Austral Pacific to Kick Off 2 Seismic Surveys Offshore & Onshore NZ

Austral Pacific announced that two seismic surveys included in this year's work program will commence this month.

The first survey is in the D'Urville offshore block (PEP 38524) operated by Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited. Austral Pacific has a 20 percent interest in the permit and a free carry on the cost of the seismic program.

AWE will acquire 400km of 2D infill seismic to advance the Malvern prospect to drill ready status. PEP 38524 is interpreted to form an extension of the South Taranaki Basin which includes the Kupe South and Maari oil and gas fields. A number of prospects and leads have been mapped in the permit, primarily at the Moki level.

In the onshore Taranaki Austral Pacific will acquire a minimum of 14km 2D infill seismic over the Onaero Prospect (PEP 38746). The Onaero prospect is seen as a northern extension of the eastern margin thrust belt. Austral Pacific is the operator of PEP 38746 and holds an 83.35 percent interest in the permit.

Results from the seismic surveys will be available early in the new year. A final decision on whether to commit to the drilling of either one, or both, of the wells must be made in the first half of 2009. Any decision on Austral participating in the drilling of these wells is also subject to the outcomes of the Strategic Alternatives Review announced on September 24.