AWE Exercised Option to Drill Well in Western Taranaki Basin

Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited has exercised its option to drill a well in the western Taranaki Basin in PEP 38481. In addition, following a recent meeting of the PEP 38481 and PEP 38482 joint ventures, AWE has been elected as Operator of these contiguous permits.

As previously advised, AWE earned a 10% equity in PEP 38481 and 38482 by funding a share of the West Cape seismic survey. This part of the farmin was completed in mid 2005. AWE also had an option to move to 40% in the permits and has now made this election. Furthermore, the PEP 38481 joint venture has approved the drilling of the West Cape-1 well.

AWE acted as the project Operator for the recently acquired West Cape seismic survey in and around PEP 38481 and following the election to drill the well, AWE has now been appointed as Operator of the two permits.

As a consequence of the option exercise, AWE will become the major operator of acreage in the prospective Western Taranaki basin, over a gross area exceeding 16,600 square kilometers.

The next phase of activity within the Western Taranaki Basin permits will be the exploration drilling starting with the Hector-1 well in PEP 38483, which is anticipated in Q3 2006.