Austral Pacific Revises NZ Reserves Estimates

Austral Pacific has revised its reserves estimates, in the process of preparing its annual reserves report. The Independent Reserves Evaluator's report, prepared by Sproule International Limited, estimates Austral's 69.5% share of the Cheal oilfield Proved and Probable oil reserves at 344mbo as at December 31, 2008.

The reserves revision has been driven by a number of factors including significantly reduced forward-looking oil price assumptions. Additional contributing factors include: lower oil volumes due to the reduced thickness of the oil bearing reservoir encountered in the Cheal-A6 well in June 2008, a reduced number of wells included in the model as a result of current market conditions, and a more conservative recovery factor based on the existing well performance over the past 12 months.

Austral CEO Thompson Jewell said, "It is Austral's view that the field retains its upside potential. We are evaluating the impact of stimulating the existing wells to improve both production rates and ultimate recovery per well. Given success in this optimization program, we will be looking for capital investment for a staged drilling campaign to expand the field and reserves.

"Austral is continuing to reduce the production costs for the field and is projecting an OPEX figure, including transport and marketing, of approximately $US19.20 per barrel produced through the first six months of 2009."