Trans-Orient Increases Investment in Austral Pacific Energy

Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. has participated in a private placement to acquire an additional 1,395,000 common shares of Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. for total consideration of $1,813,500. As a result of the acquisition, Trans-Orient now owns 3,110,240 common shares (11.20%) of Austral. Existing principal shareholders, including Wellington-based Infratil Limited, Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. and Vancouver businessman Mr. Alex Guidi subscribed for a substantial portion of the 5 million shares issued by Austral.

To consolidate operations and create a more powerful organization during the cyclical downturn in oil prices in 1999, Trans-Orient shareholders voted to exchange assets for a major equity position with affiliated company Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. The consolidation of assets and operations into Austral benefited both companies by creating an entity with the necessary critical mass to evolve into what is today a substantial development stage oil and gas company in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.