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Gastar Exploration Inc. (NYSE MKT: GST) (“Gastar” or the “Company”) announced today the retirement of its Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Michael McCown, effective February 1, 2016.

Mr. McCown began his tenure with Gastar in December 2009 as a consultant and was hired as the Vice President – Northeast in July 2010.  On June 7, 2013, Mr. McCown was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  During his time at Gastar, the Company established a significant presence in the Marcellus Shale and Utica/Point Pleasant play in West Virginia and commenced operations in the Mid-Continent, initially drilling Hunton Limestone wells in Central Oklahoma and subsequently expanding drilling operations into the STACK play.

“After a nearly 40-year career, it is time to spend more time at home and less time on the road.  I am proud of our accomplishments in the last six years – we’ve kept our employees safe, drilled some excellent wells in relatively new plays and strived to maximize shareholder value.  I wish nothing but the best for Gastar and its employees,” said Mr. McCown of his retirement.

J. Russell Porter, Gastar’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We sincerely appreciate Mike’s hard work and dedication to Gastar over the past six years and wish him well in his retirement.”

About Gastar
Gastar Exploration Inc. is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil, condensate, natural gas and natural gas liquids in the United States. Gastar’s principal business activities include the identification, acquisition, and subsequent exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties with an emphasis on unconventional reserves, such as shale resource plays. In Oklahoma, Gastar is developing the primarily oil-bearing reservoirs of the Hunton Limestone horizontal play and is testing other prospective formations on the same acreage, including the Meramec Shale and the Woodford Shale, which is referred to as the STACK play and emerging prospective plays in the shallow Oswego formation and in the Osage formation, a deeper bench of the Mississippi Lime located below the Meramec Shale. In West Virginia, Gastar has developed liquids-rich natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and has drilled and completed two successful dry gas Utica Shale/Point Pleasant wells on its acreage.  Gastar has engaged Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. to market certain of its Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale/Point Pleasant assets located in Marshall and Wetzel Counties, West Virginia.  For more information, visit Gastar’s website at