Norwest Energy Farms Out Timor Sea Block to CPC

Norwest Energy has signed a farmout agreement with Chinese Petroleum Corporation. CPC will earn 25% equity in Ashmore-Cartier exploration permit AC/P32 located in the Timor Sea. Under the terms of the Agreement Westranch Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwest Energy NL, will retain operatership of the permit. The deal will be subject to normal government approvals and completion of relevant joint venture documentation.

CPC subsidiary OPIC Australia Pty Ltd will earn 25% interest in permit AC/P 32, funding 36% of the cost of 3D seismic purchase and the "dry-hole" cost of drilling one exploration well. Under conditions of grant of the permit a well is required to be drilled with AC/P32 by February 2004.

Norwest Energy CEO, Mr. Ivan Burgess, said the farm-in was a result of extensive negotiations and represented a significant event for all.

This project represents a return to Australia by CPC after an absence of more than a decade. Mr Burgess hoped this could represent the first of a number of such deals and looks to a fruitful association with CPC.