AWE Expands Taranaki Portfolio

The New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development has granted Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited (AWE) three additional exploration permits in the offshore Taranaki basin. AWE has equity of between 42.5% and 100% in these three new permits, PEP 38401, PEP 381202 and PEP 38499 and will operate all three of the new permits.

The permits, which are located adjacent to AWE's existing spread of acreage within the Taranaki region, have been granted with committed work programs, including seismic activity and geological studies.

An 800-kilometer 2D seismic program is planned to start shortly over the Hoki prospect in PEP 38401. Subject to available time with the seismic vessel, a further 400 kilometer 2D seismic survey will also be acquired over the Toke prospect in PEP 38499.

AWE Ltd managing director Bruce Phillips said:

"The acquisition of additional exploration interests in the offshore Taranaki basin is consistent with our view that the area remains under explored with potential for the discovery of significant oil and gas fields.

"The new permit areas are contiguous with our existing acreage position in the basin, where the Tui Area Project is nearing the production of its first oil and where an exciting exploration drilling campaign is scheduled to commence in July.

"AWE is now a dominant acreage holder in the Taranaki basin, and these new acreage acquisitions demonstrate our long-term commitment to New Zealand's energy future."

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