Austral Pacific Schedules Production Testing for Cheal-4

Austral Pacific reports that production testing of the Cheal-4 well is now scheduled to commence November 18. The initial test program is planned for two months on the two identified pay zones. Cheal-3 will also be put on resumed production test at some stage in this period.

Drilling of Cardiff-2 is proceeding on schedule and within budget, with the well now beyond 2450m / 8,200 feet, and expected to reach top of the Kapuni objective by end of the month; although it will be towards end December before the well has reached its TD and is ready for testing.

The Kahili-1A well continues to under-perform its expected production profile, despite its initial good performance. Gas rates are now typically around 500,000 cubic feet per day, and the well is being cycled to assist lifting condensate, which is loading down the well. Independent consultant analysis is that the well is depleting a fault bounded compartment low on the southern end of the field, with connection to the larger volume of the field to the north having become limited. However, a just completed mapping of the Kahili field by the company's consultants, which has incorporated for the first time the recently acquired and processed seismic, has resulted in an increase in the volumetric estimate of the total gas reservoir by approximately 50%. This gives a good match with the original estimates of field reserves derived from reservoir engineering analysis of the original flow test data.

The remapping has also identified the possibility that an additional fault compartment at the crest of the Kahili structure, might hold several times as much gas as the present field volume; in like manner to the Tariki gas- condensate field immediately south along trend. The Company is now investigating the alternatives for accessing the predicted larger volume of the field. A Kahili-2 well might intersect the field more than 100m / 300 feet higher on the structure than Kahili-1B. Alternatively, the field may be accessed from the existing Kahili-1A well-bore via a deviated or lateral drilling operation.