WELLINGTON, New Zealand, April 25 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex: AEN)
The Chairman of Austral Pacific Energy Ltd., Mr David Newman, announced
today the appointment of Mr Thompson Jewell as the Company's new Chief
Executive Officer and Mr Derek Gardiner as Chief Financial Officer.
Commenting on the announcements, Mr Newman said, "The two appointments
reflect the outcome of an extensive international search conducted by global
search specialists. We are delighted to have people of their skills and
experience to lead Austral Pacific."
Chief Executive Officer
Mr Jewell is a Canadian and has some thirty years of experience in the
international oil and gas industry, having worked in the Middle East, the
United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Educated at the
University of Alberta, Mr Jewell holds a B. Sc in geophysics.
Mr Jewell has held a variety of technical and senior executive roles in
previous positions with Amoco and Santos. Most recently he has been
responsible for the strategic planning and execution of building an offshore
exploration business in Australia and prior to that was responsible for a $100
million per year exploration and appraisal budget of Amoco in the Deep Water
Gulf of Mexico. Thompson was also the President of Amoco Oman. He will take
up the appointment with Austral Pacific from 1 May 2007 when he will become a
member of the Board of the Company.
Chief Financial Officer
The Company's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment
of Mr Derek Gardiner as the Company's new Chief Financial Officer, replacing
Mr Bruce McGregor who resigned to pursue other opportunities. Mr Gardiner is
a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in New Zealand and also the
Institute of Chartered Secretaries. He is a New Zealand citizen and has
worked in the oil and gas industry since 1987 where he has held senior
planning and finance roles for Shell in New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia and
Mr Gardiner joins Austral from Shell Development Australia where he has
been Finance and Planning Manager, a member of the management team and a
director of the Company. He oversaw the implementation of the Sarbanes Oxley
project and IFRS for Shell Development Australia. He was also responsible for
developing the finance strategy to enable Shell Development to meet
significant expansion plans. His various roles with a number of Shell
companies bring to Austral broad experience covering governance, operational
and commercial issues (especially in the joint venture arena), balance sheet
management (including capital discipline), due diligence and subsequent
integration of acquisitions and strategic planning.
Cheal Oil Field Development
Production facilities for the Cheal oil field in onshore Taranaki, New
Zealand, are being upgraded. This will allow for the realisation of the
considerable upside potential seen within the permit area.
Austral Pacific Energy Chairman, David Newman, said that the changes in
scope of the development were primarily made to ensure continuous, efficient
production of the waxy crude at minimal operating cost.
"The budget has been revised to approximately US$30 million and reflects
the cost of upgrading the facilities and includes five pipelines linking the
Cheal B site to the A site where the production station is being constructed.
The revised budget estimate also includes the cost of a gas pipeline from the
A site to the Waihapa production station for gas and LPG sales. The cost of
the Cheal B4 well, which drilled a target in the Moki formation and will be
side tracked to Mt Messenger targets once the B site is tied in to the
production station, is included," he said. "The pipelines between the A and B
sites have been upgraded to handle hotter fluids than had been foreseen in the
Remaining recoverable 3P (proved, probable and possible) reserves were
estimated by the Company's independent consulting engineers in December, 2006
to be 4.1 million barrels of oil within the area of the Cheal A and B sites.
"We also see upside reserve potential beyond the current field boundaries
within the Cheal mining permit (PMP 38156) particularly to the northwest,
across a fault, towards Cardiff where the Cheal B4 well penetrated oil
saturated sands at the Mt Messenger level," Mr Newman said.
The five development wells drilled so far -- the Cheal A3 and A4
discovery wells and three wells at the B well site -- have total production
capability of 1200-1500 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Additional production
will come from drilling of the A5 and A6 wells.
Mr Newman said Austral has secured a 500 bopd throughput agreement for
the current, early production and is investigating several alternatives to
access available storage at or near Port Taranaki, New Plymouth. "I expect
full production of about 1900 bopd to be achieved during the third quarter.
The Cheal project remains very profitable, and with the upgraded facilities,
we can take advantage of any incremental production," he concluded.
Web site: http://www.austral-pacific.com/
Phone: David Newman, Chairman +64 (4) 495 0888
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 www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm for
For further information:
For further information: David Newman, Chairman of Austral Pacific
Energy Ltd., +64-4-495-0888 Web Site: http://www.austral-pacific.com/