Austral Pacific Opens Cheal Production Station



    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Oct. 12 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN) has commissioned its Cheal oil and gas
production facility in onshore Taranaki, New Zealand. The production facility
was officially opened this week by New Zealand's Associate Energy Minister,
Harry Duynhoven, who labeled it a springboard for further growth for the
company. The $NZ30 million facility is unique in New Zealand; it has been
purpose-built to facilitate the extraction, production and transportation of
Cheal oil, which is waxy and similar to that found in the onshore
Ngatoro/Kaimiro and offshore Maari fields.
    To date, Cheal has produced more than 212,000 barrels of oil at rates of
up to 1000 barrels per day from the "A" and "B" sites. Daily production is
currently around 400 barrels as Austral Pacific, as the field operator,
follows the asset management plan and moves off cost-inefficient temporary
equipment to allow the installation of permanent connections between the main
'A' site and the satellite 'B' site.
    "We believe that preserving long term asset value should be an integral
part of a timetabled asset management plan, and there is little point in
producing oil at high costs, now that we have commissioned our own state of
the art facility less than 2km away," said the Company's Chief Executive
Officer and President Thompson Jewell.
    "Once we have connected in the 'B' site over the coming weeks, we will
bring our production back up to rates of between 850-1000 barrels per day. The
next step is to drill and complete two more wells at the 'A' site which are
planned to increase daily production by a further 50%."
    With the production station now complete, there is also considerable
scope to further increase daily production when the play trend is further
tapped into over the coming year.  "There is significant potential for further
upside in this project and we are excited at the prospects for further
growth," said Jewell.
    The presentation given at the opening ceremony, the Associate Minister's
Speech and a presentation given at the IPAA Oil and Gas Investment Symposium
are available for download at http://www.austral-pacific.com.
    
    Update on Corporate Matters
    
    Further to the Company's news release of July 6, 2007, Austral confirms
that it has now completed the placement of 7,698,308 Series 1 preferred shares
to two international investment funds.  Proceeds will be used in connection
with the Cheal field development and for working capital purposes. Consequent
upon the closing, the company has allocated 150,000 three-year common share
purchase warrants at an exercise price of US$1.30 to Morgan Keegan & Company
Inc.  All these securities have a restricted period in Canada until January
20, 2008. The preferred shares, warrants and any underlying common shares will
not be offered or sold in the United States and will not be registered under
the 1933 Securities Act (US).
    In other news, the Company has satisfied all conditions relating to the
transaction announced on August 8, 2007 -- the purchase of all the shares of
International Resource Management Corporation Limited, a small, privately
held, New Zealand oil and gas exploration and production company whose
principal asset is a 19.8% interest in the Cardiff gas field (PMP 38156).
    The consideration for the IRM shares will be paid partly in cash, and
partly by the issue of shares in the Company. The transaction will close upon
issuance of 1,851,855 shares in the Company at a deemed price of US$1.21,
which issuance is subject to regulatory approvals. The additional cash
component is due for payment by January 25, 2008.

    
    Web site: http://www.austral-pacific.com
    Email:    ir@austral-pacific.com
    Phone:    Thom Jewell, CEO +64 (4) 495 0880
    
    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 of Austral Pacific Energy
Ltd.,  +64 (4) 495 0880, ir@austral-pacific.com Web Site:
http://www.austral-pacific.com

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AUSTRAL PACIFIC ENERGY LTD.

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