SOURCE: Aspen Exploration Corporation

May 18, 2006 18:06 ET

Aspen Exploration Reports Strong Nine Month Results

Gas Production Rises 11% Leading to 55% Increase in Revenues for the Nine Month Period

DENVER, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 18, 2006 -- Aspen Exploration Corporation (OTC BB: ASPN), an energy company with offices in Bakersfield, California, and Denver, Colorado, announced today results for its third fiscal quarter and nine month period ended March 31, 2006. For the third quarter, the Company reported revenues of $1,589,000, an increase of 37% compared to revenues of $1,163,000 in the year-earlier period. Aspen reported pre-tax income of $792,000 or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to pre-tax income of $704,000 or $0.11 per diluted share in the year-earlier period. Net income before interest, depletion, depreciation and taxes was $1,219,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to $864,000, or $0.13 per diluted share for the prior three month period.

Aspen reported net income of $430,000 compared to net income of $702,000 for the year-earlier period. Aspen reported earnings of $0.06 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $0.11 per diluted share for the prior year three month period. The decrease in net income and earnings per share is primarily due to an increase in the Provision for Income Taxes due to the fact that Aspen used up all of its Net Operating Losses, due to improved profitability, during the first six months of fiscal 2006 and an increase in depreciation, depletion, and amortization expenses which were the result of increased production and capital expenditures.

For the nine months ended March 31, 2006, the Company reported revenues of $4,872,000 an increase of 55% compared to $3,135,000 for the nine months ended March 31, 2005. Net income before interest, depletion, depreciation and taxes was $3,846,000, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to $2,296,000, or $0.35 per diluted share for the prior nine month period. The Company had pre-tax income of $2,731,000, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to pre-tax income of $1,823,000, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the nine months in fiscal 2005. Net income of $1,797,000 represented an increase of 30%, as compared to $1,386,000 in the year-earlier period. Aspen reported earnings of $0.24 per diluted share compared with earnings of $0.21 per diluted share for the prior year nine month period.

The Company reported higher revenues as a result of an increase in production volumes from recent gas discoveries and higher prevailing prices for natural gas. Gas production for the quarter ended March 31, 2006 was 2,033 MMBTU per day, an increase of 8% versus the prior year three month period. Gas prices for this quarter averaged $8.18 per MMBTU versus $6.52 per MMBTU for the quarter ended March 31, 2005.

Based upon the increasing production levels and continued strong gas prices, which currently exceed $5.50 per MMBTU, Aspen expects continued strong earnings for the balance of the year.

Future news releases will keep shareholders informed of Aspen's continuing progress and drilling activity. Aspen's stock is quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol ASPN.OB. For more information concerning Aspen, contact Bob Cohan, President and CEO, in Aspen's Bakersfield office at (661) 831-4669. Aspen's web page can be found at www.aspenexploration.com.

DISCLAIMER

This news release contains information that is "forward-looking" in that it describes events and conditions, which Aspen Exploration Corporation ("Aspen") reasonably expects to occur in the future. Expectations for the future performance of the business of Aspen are dependent upon a number of factors, and there can be no assurance that Aspen will achieve the results as contemplated herein and there can be no assurance that Aspen will be able to conduct its operations or production from its properties will continue as contemplated herein. Certain statements contained in this report using the terms "may," "expects to," and other terms denoting future possibilities, are forward-looking statements. The accuracy of these statements cannot be guaranteed as they are subject to a variety of risks which are beyond Aspen's ability to predict or control and which may cause actual results to differ materially from the projections or estimates contained herein. These risks include, but are not limited to: the possibility that the described operations (including any proposed exploration or development drilling) will not be completed on economic terms, if at all, or the estimates of reserves may not be accurate. The exploration for, and development and production of, oil and gas are enterprises attendant with high risk, including the risk of fluctuating prices for oil and natural gas, imports of petroleum products from other countries, the risks of not encountering adequate resources despite expending large sums of money, and the risk that test results and reserve estimates may not be accurate, notwithstanding appropriate precautions. Many of these risks are described herein and in Aspen's annual report on Form 10-KSB, and it is important that each person reviewing this report understand the significant risks attendant to the operations of Aspen. Aspen disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement made herein.

ASPEN EXPLORATION CORPORATION
2050 S. Oneida St., Ste. 208
Denver, CO 80224-2426
Telephone: (303) 639-9860
Fax: (303) 639-9863
Email: aecorp2@qwest.net
Web Site: www.aspenexploration.com

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