Austral Pacific 2007 Results Filed



    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 31 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN)
    Austral Pacific Energy Ltd has filed its annual comparative audited
financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007. The
financial statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis,
annual information form, reserves statement and report and independent
evaluator's report on reserves, as required under National Instruments 51-101
and 51-102 (Canada), are now available for review on the Company's website and
via the SEDAR (Canada) and EDGAR (US) securities disclosure filings sites,
which can be accessed through http://www.austral-pacific.com,
http://www.sedar.com and http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm
respectively.
    Note:  all amounts are expressed in US currency. The Company's operating
and financial highlights for the year ended December 31, 2007 included:

    
    --  Completing and commissioning permanent production facilities for the
        Cheal field;
    --  Meeting its interim production goal of 700 barrels of oil per day by
        year-end;
    --  Initiating production testing at Cardiff;
    --  Placement of $15.5 million (in cash and assets) of preferred and
        common shares during the year.
    --  Subsequent to year end, the Company has also announced:
    --  The conditional sale of its PNG Stanley (PRL 4) and PRL 5 assets;
    --  A renegotiation and restructuring of the terms of its loan facility
        with Investec Bank (Australia) Limited, reducing the debt from $18.7
        million to $11 million.
    
    In announcing the results, Austral CEO Thompson Jewell said, "Equally as
important as the production at Cheal are the proven and probable oil reserves
that have been confirmed as 2.020 mmboe net to the Company. The Independent
Reserves Evaluator's report prepared by Sproule gave a before tax NPV10 value
of $72.25 million for our 2P reserves; a significant increase on last year's
report of $38.85 million, and testament to the value added to the company."
    
    Financial Results
    
    The net loss for the year was $22.0 million ($0.74 per common share)
compared with the loss for 2006 of $13.4 million ($0.57 per common share). The
major movement from the prior year reflects the commissioning of the Cheal
facility and the costs associated with the loan facility. Net revenues of $5.9
million were offset by initial production costs ($3.0 million) and depletion
($4.4 million) based on full capital costs spread over proved developed
reserves only. Financing costs ($4.1 million) associated with the Arrowhead
acquisition in 2006 and Cheal project development, and unrealised "hedging"
costs based on the current high oil price ($7.3 million), were significant
expense items for the first time. Commenting on the financial position of the
Company, Mr. Jewell stated, "There is no doubt that delays in commissioning
the Cheal facilities adversely affected our financial performance in 2007 and
give us some short term liquidity issues. Our bankers have been very
supportive of the project and we are working closely with them. Our recent
announcement showed we will reduce our debt to a more manageable $11 million
and allow us to reinvest our current cash and future cash flows to grow
production to up to 1,000 to 1,400 bopd, and test the significant potential
upside we see in the Cheal area. A 2 to 3 well program is planned to start in
Q2 2008.
    Jewell continued, "Our strategic intention remains clear and unchanged,
and 2008 becomes a critical year to see real delivery of value from the
investments made in 2006-07. I am excited by the 10 or so prospects that the
Cheal/Cardiff Area 3D seismic survey has identified and matured, that we hope
to drill in the next 18 months. This, together with growing Cheal production
in Q2, drilling the Kahili development well later in the year, and further
evaluation of the Cardiff Field, will add real value. PNG also has long term
potential and we continue to pursue commercial development of the Douglas
gas/condensate discovery."

    
    (*) BOEs may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE
      conversion ratio of 6 Mcf:1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency
      conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not
      represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.
    

    
    Web site:  www.austral-pacific.com
    Email:     ir@austral-pacific.com
    Phone:     Thom Jewell, CEO +64 (4) 495 0880 or
               Brad Holmes: +1 (713) 304 6962
    
    None of the Exchanges upon which Austral Pacific's securities trade have
approved or disapproved the contents hereof. This release includes certain
statements that may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of applicable legislation. Other than statements of historical fact,
all statements in this release addressing future production, reserve
potential, exploration and development activities and other contingencies are
forward-looking statements. Although management believes the expectations
expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable
assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance, and
actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the
forward-looking statements, due to factors such as market prices, exploration
and development successes, continued availability of capital and financing,
and general economic, market, political or business conditions.
    See our public filings at http://www.sedar.com and
http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm for further information.




For further information:

For further information: Thom Jewell, CEO, +64 (4) 495 0880, or Brad 
Holmes, +1-713-304-6962, ir@austral-pacific.com, both of Austral Pacific 
Energy Ltd Web Site: http://www.austral-pacific.com

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AUSTRAL PACIFIC ENERGY LTD.

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