AWE Begins 3D Seismic Campaign in Taranaki Basin

Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited reports that it has commenced its 3D seismic campaign in the offshore Taranaki Basin, New Zealand on March 25, 2005.

The first stage of the campaign, the Tui Extension 3D survey, comprises approximately 80 square kilometers of new seismic to extend the original Tui survey, which was completed in 2003. The new survey will assist in defining the extent of the Pateke oil discovery, which is part of the Tui Area oil development currently proceeding through the Front End Engineering and Design stage.

As a second stage and immediately following the Tui Extension survey AWE will acquire approximately 420 square kilometers of new 3D seismic over the Hector Prospect Area in PEP 38483. The Hector area is considered highly prospective due to a combination of the favourable reservoir development within the Kapuni "F" sand and the prime location for oil charge from the adjacent Kahurangi Trough.

AWE is operating the Tui Extension and Hector 3D surveys on behalf of the PEP 38460 and PEP 38483 joint ventures. These two surveys are expected to be completed by the end of April.

AWE is also pleased to announce that the joint venture has received government approval for the relinquishment of a portion of PEP 38460 over the Hector Area and for the extension of PEP 38483 the over the same area.

Commenting on the progress in the Taranaki Basin, AWE's Managing Director Mr. Bruce Phillips said:

"We are pleased to progress the Tui Extension and Hector 3D seismic surveys as AWE's first active operational role in New Zealand.

"We look forward to fast-tracking the acquisition and processing of the data from these two seismic surveys, which will assist in selecting future drilling candidates for the two joint ventures in this very prospective acreage."

Upon the completion of the farmout to Mitsui, the equities in the two Taranaki Basin blocks will be: PEP 38483:

AWE New Zealand Pty Ltd (Operator): 44.317%
Mitsui E&P New Zealand Limited: 22.728%
Stewart Petroleum Company Limited: 18.864%
WM Petroleum Limited: 14.091%

PEP 38460:

AWE New Zealand Pty Ltd (Operator): 20.0%
New Zealand Overseas Petroleum Limited (Operator): 45.0%
Mitsui E&P New Zealand Limited: 12.5%
Stewart Petroleum Company Limited:12.5%
WM Petroleum Limited: 10.0%