AWE Expands New Zealand Drilling Activity

Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited, on behalf of its wholly owned subsidiary AWE New Zealand Pty Ltd, reports that the PEP 38460 joint venture has unanimously agreed to expand its current wildcat exploration drilling program in the offshore Taranaki Basin, New Zealand.

The expanded drilling activity, which is a direct consequence of the recent new oil field discovery made by the Amokura-1 well, includes wells on the Pateke and Kiwi prospects. These prospects are located in close proximity to the Tui and Amokura oil fields where the joint venture has recently commenced a review of a possible commercial development of the fields.

The expanded drilling activity is expected to follow the completion of the Pukeko-1 well and the drilling of a further exploration well, to the north of PEP 38460, by another operator. On the current schedule, AWE expects the first of these 2 additional wells to commence drilling in July.

As a result of the expanded drilling program, the AWE exploration program, incorporating both the new wells is as follows:

Amokura-1: March/April 2004
Pukeko-1: April/May 2004
Pateke-1: July 2004
Kiwi-1: August 2004

This expanded drilling program in New Zealand is additional to AWE's 3 well program in the Bass Basin, where the Yolla-3, Yolla-4 and Trefoil –1 wells will be drilled back-to-back commencing in early June.

Commenting on the expanded drilling program in New Zealand, Mr. Bruce Phillips, Managing Director of AWE said:

"We are encouraged by the success of the initial stages of our drilling program in the offshore Taranaki Basin, where the 2 wells drilled to date, Tui-1 and Amokura-1, resulted in wildcat oil discoveries.

"The immediate expansion of drilling activity is indicative of the encouragement the joint venture has received in the results to date

. "The additional drilling is designed to add further recoverable oil reserves adjacent to the known discoveries to optimize a development scheme for the area.

"Success at Pateke-1 or Kiwi-1 would most likely provide AWE with a 4th cornerstone asset area along with the Company's interests in the Bass (Yolla field), Otway (Casino field) and Perth (Cliff Head field) basins."

Participants in PEP 38460 are: AWE New Zealand Pty Ltd ("AWE") 20.0%
New Zealand Overseas Petroleum Limited (operator) ("Transworld") 45.0%
Mitsui E&P New Zealand Limited ("Mitsui") 12.5%
Stewart Petroleum Company Limited ("NZOG") 12.5%
WM Petroleum Limited ("Pan Pacific") 10.0%