Austral Pacific's Drilling Program On Track

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. advises that Cheal-A4 expects to reach its 1900m Target Depth over the course of the weekend. The shallower and secondary Urenui pay interval has already been intersected at around 1400m (4,600 feet) down hole, and good indications of oil pay have been observed during drilling at that level. The main target of the well -- the Mt Messenger pay sands which flowed at rates in excess of 300 barrels of oil per day in Cheal-A3X, will be intersected within the next 300m (1,000 feet). Electric logging is expected early next week, after which the well will be completed ready for flow-testing; which is scheduled to commence for both Cheal-A3X and Cheal-A4 around November 7.

The Cardiff-2 appraisal well (Austral 25.1% carried, operator) is presently drilling ahead in 16" hole below 1100m (3,600 feet). It is expected to reach the top of its objective -- the Kapuni Formation Sands below 4,000m (13,000 feet) around late November; with a further month before testing is ready to commence. Present site stability problems may slightly delay this schedule.

Kahili-1A/B (Austral 45%, operator) has now produced 110 million cubic feet of sales gas. However, flow rates are below expectation; being presently in the range 0.5-1 million cubic feet per day. Condensate buildup in the reservoir may be restricting flow, and may be contributing to isolating this section of the field from the larger reservoir volume to the north. Options to enhance flow are under review. These include, fraccing, running a velocity string in Kahili-1A/B and a Kahili-2 well; which might, based on existing mapping, intersect the pay sands up to 70m (230 feet) higher on the trap than Kahili-1A/B.

The Hihi-1 well (Austral 25%) was spudded by the ODE 19 rig on October 29, and will take around two weeks to drill to its 1900m (6,200 feet) Target Depth. It is to be followed, using the same rig, by Miromiro-1 (Austral 27.5%) to a similar depth and objective.