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TAG Commences Drilling Program in Taranaki Basin

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Canada-based East West Petroleum Corp. (Company or East West) announced Monday that drilling operations have commenced at the first well in its nine well 2013 exploration program in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand.

The Company’s joint venture partner and operator, TAG Oil Ltd. (TAG), has commenced drilling operations at the Cheal E-1 well on the Cheal North permit with the Nova-1 rig. Drilling is expected to take up to four weeks to reach a total depth of approximately 8,202 feet (2,500 meters), following which the rig will stay on site to drill a further four wells testing independent prospects on Cheal North. The wells will be targeting the Miocene aged Mt. Messenger and Urenui formations which have shown to be productive across the Taranaki Basin and on TAG’s adjacent Cheal field.
 
Greg Renwick, CEO of East West Petroleum commented, “The Board and management of the Company are extremely pleased to have commenced this major exploration drilling program in New Zealand. This area of the Taranaki Basin is a proven petroleum province and numerous prospective areas have been identified for future drilling.”
 
David Sidoo, Chairman of East West added, “The work program developed by the joint venture is very aggressive and was designed to test the many prospects we hold. We are looking forward to the results of these first wells and continuing to develop our prospects and opportunities in New Zealand with TAG.”
 
Drilling of three wells on South Cheal and one well on Southern Cross is scheduled for 4Q of this year. The total net cost to East West of the 2013 New Zealand drilling program is estimated at $11.95 million (CAD 12.4 million) and is fully funded out of East West’s existing cash balance of approximately $21.7 million (CAD 22.5 million).

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