The permit PEP 38492 covers an area of 69 sq km which contains the Hawera West lead in the Kapuni Formation. Part of this lead is within the northern end of the Kupe license, which is now operated by Origin Energy.
Austral Pacific also operates another offshore Taranaki permit PEP 38480 northeast of the Pohokura gas-condensate field.
Austral Pacific's chief executive Dave Bennett has a past association with the Kupe permit as he headed exploration for New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd one of the partners in the joint venture which discovered the Kupe field. NZOG still holds a stake in the current Kupe field.
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