Austral Pacific Adds to Engineering Staff

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. has strengthened the Company's technical team through the permanent appointment of two key engineering staff members.

Mr. Carey Mills has been appointed as Exploration Manager and Mr. Joe Johnston has been appointed as Petroleum Engineering Manager. Both Carey and Joe bring wide experience to the Company in New Zealand and internationally, and have an extensive knowledge of exploration and production issues relevant to the Taranaki Basin.

As part of the remuneration package to engineering staff the Company has granted 210,000 incentive options, exercisable for 5 years, vesting in three equal tranches over 3 years at $1.90 per share. In addition the Company has agreed to replace an existing 900,000 option grant to the former Chief Executive Officer, Dave Bennett, by canceling it and granting a 750,000 two year option, at an increased exercise price of US$1.20, vesting immediately, with the second year option period being subject to the provision by him of on-going consulting services to the Company.
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