Tap Oil to Buy Back Shares

Tap Oil Limited intends to carry out an on-market share buy-back of up to 10,000,000 shares as part of a capital management initiative designed to optimise the Company's capital structure and enhance returns to all shareholders.

Woollybutt Field Life Extended with Woollybutt-4 Result

Given the recent success of the Woollybutt-4 appraisal well the Board believes that the future life of the Woollybutt Oil Field will be significantly extended.

The Board considers that the upward revision for production from the Woollybutt Oil Field gives confidence in future earnings and balance sheet strength and hence, makes the allocation of some of the Company's capital to buy back shares a sensible decision at this time.

2005 Exploration Spend will be a Record

The Company has previously announced that it has allocated up to $40 million for exploration and appraisal in 2005 whereby the Company will participate in up to 35 wells. This will be a record annual spend for Tap in its endeavours to find new reserves and production.

The 2005 well program will address numerous prospects which have the potential to materially increase the Company's reserves and future production and includes the following wells:

  • additional wells in the Woollybutt north and south fields;

  • two explorations wells, Lauda-1 and Maier-1, in WA-290-P (adjacent to the Woollybutt permit);

  • up to 20 wells in the Harriet Joint Venture area;

  • numerous wells in New Zealand, including the Barque-1 exploration well targeting 700 mmbbls of condensate;

  • a number of other wells in the Carnarvon Basin and onshore New Zealand.

  • The Company's Aggressive Exploration Strategy not Affected

    This buy-back is largely possible due to the Company having enjoyed high oil prices for the past two years. The Company presently has a very strong ungeared balance sheet and hence this buy-back initiative will not impact the Company's ability to fully fund its well program from production cash flows. Accordingly, the aggressive exploration strategy announced by the Company will not be affected.

    All Shareholders will Benefit from this buy-back

    Any shares acquired by the Company pursuant to the buy-back will be immediately cancelled, reducing the total number of shares on issue in the Company and proportionately increasing all shareholders' interests in the Company and return on equity.