Austral Pacific Energy Encouraged by Cheal B4 Results

Austral Pacific Energy reports that the Cheal B4 well reached a total depth of 2900 meters (9514 feet) on December 19, 2006. Cheal B4 targeted Urenui, Mount Messenger and Moki sandstones in a separate fault terrace to the north-west of the currently defined limits of the Cheal Oil Field.

The target Mt Messenger sands were intersected over a gross interval from 1772 meters (5814 feet) to 1785 meters (5856 feet) and from 1904 meters (6247 feet) to 1944 meters (6378 feet). Wireline logs and drill gas indicate that these intervals are oil bearing.

Sands from the secondary target Urenui Formation were intersected over a gross interval from 1460 meters (4790 feet) to 1476 meters (4842 feet) and from 1620 meters (5315 feet) to 1646 meters (5400 feet). Wireline logs and drill gas indicate that these intervals are oil bearing.

Sands from within a deeper secondary target, the Moki Sandstone, were intersected below 2407 meters (7897 feet) and are interpreted to be water saturated.

The Cheal B4 well is currently being prepared for later side track operations to target better developed sands near the existing well bore.

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. holds a 69.5% interest in the Cheal oil field and is the operator. TAG Oil holds the remaining 30.5% interest in the permit.

Commenting on the announcement Chief Executive Officer Rick Webber said, "Cheal B4 is another encouraging result for the Cheal Joint Venture. The well confirms the existence of hydrocarbon charge outside the currently recognized limits of the field and as such increases our confidence in the resource potential of the north western extension of the Cheal Oil Field."

In other news Mr. Webber reported that construction of the processing facilities at the Cheal A site continues to make good progress. "The site foundations are now largely complete and installation of the three large oil storage tanks is complete," said Mr. Webber. "Fabrication of the first of two separator vessels has now been completed."

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