Austral Pacific Updates Progress at Cardiff and Cheal

Austral Pacific Energy reports that the Cardiff-2 well (Austral 25.1%, operator) was drilled to a TD (target depth) of 4895m (16,060 feet) during the Christmas interval. All the anticipated reservoir targets within the Kapuni Formation were intersected, and good quality electric logs were acquired to Target Depth. These revealed that in addition to the McKee and K1A sands previously reported, several hydrocarbon bearing sandstone units were also intersected within the K2 interval. The deeper K3E sands, which are the main producer units in the adjacent Kapuni field, were also well developed, and the logs indicated these too are gas charged.

Given these results, the decision was taken to run 7" liner across the open hole interval down to TD, in preparation for future production testing. However, operational problems during the cementing of this liner in place in the hole have now created a situation where it is not presently possible to access this section of the well. At the time of this report, efforts are underway to free the down-hole assembly. In the event that these efforts are not successful, it will be necessary to deviate out of the existing well near 3,000m depth, and re-drill the entire 8 1/2" hole section to TD. This would take about three weeks to complete. The new hole would then have to be cased and completed for testing; and it is estimated that production testing would not then commence until February.

Reconfiguration of the Cheal-A wellsite is underway, in preparation for jet-pump production tests of Cheal-A3X and Cheal-A4 wells; which are scheduled to commence on or about January 10th.