Austral Pacific Set to Complete Financing



    
    Wellington, New Zealand - February 11, 2008 - Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
    (TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; AMEX:   AEN)
    

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Feb. 10 /CNW/ -- Further to Austral Pacific
Energy Ltd.'s news release of December 19, 2007 announcing a US$15million
placement, the Company confirms that it has received US$11.1million and has
been advised it will receive the final tranche of $3.9 million on February 22,
2008. The financing involves the sale of 12,500,000 common (ordinary) shares
with attached warrants, sold as units at $1.20 per unit. Each unit consists of
one common share and one share purchase warrant. The warrants are exercisable
one-for-one into the Company's common shares for 12 months after closing at an
exercise price of $2.25.
    A portion of the securities were placed in the United States to
accredited investors in reliance on Rule 506 and are subject to resale
restrictions in the United States under Rule 144 for a one year period but can
be traded under Rule 904 through the TSX Venture Exchange after 4 months which
is the basic hold period applicable to all the securities.
    The majority of the proceeds from the private placement will be used to
accelerate the Cheal field development with a goal of increasing the field
reserve base and increasing production through the newly commissioned Cheal
Production Station. The proceeds will also fund other appraisal and
development projects in Taranaki, New Zealand, and will be used to progress
the Cardiff field appraisal.
    The Company has used part of the proceeds to pay the additional cash
component of the previously announced purchase of a further interest in its
Cardiff permit, by the purchase of all the shares of International Resource
Management Corporation Limited, whose principal asset is a 19.8% interest in
the Cardiff gas project (PMP 38156).
    
    Cheal Operation Update
    
    Cheal A1 was tied in to the production facilities this week as the first
producing well in the Urenui formation (shallower than the primary Mt
Messenger producing zone). The well will be brought on-stream slowly and
commingled with production from the primary reservoir. The well is expected to
produce at 500mcf/d and 45-50 barrels of crude per day.
    The Cheal field is currently producing in excess of 700bopd, in line with
the expectations of the existing wells.
    Final design work for two additional wells from the A and B sites is now
complete and ready for JV approval. Surface casing has been set at the A site
and a manifold is in place at the B site to expedite the tie-in of these wells
to the Cheal production facility.
    
    Cardiff Testing
    
    Testing operations on the prospective K3E formation in the Cardiff 2A
ST-1 well are now in the final stages, with flow testing scheduled to commence
within the next ten days. This test is an important component of the ongoing
field appraisal and development activities.
    
    About Austral Pacific
    
    Austral Pacific is a listed independent oil and gas exploration and
production company registered in Canada with corporate headquarters in
Wellington, New Zealand. The Company has an interest in thirteen exploration
and production permits totaling over 2.6 million acres in onshore New Zealand
and Papua New Guinea. The Company's primary assets are the Cheal Field, Kahili
Field and Cardiff Field located onshore in the highly prolific Taranaki Basin
on the North Island of New Zealand. In Papua New Guinea, the Company has an
interest in four onshore blocks.

    
    Austral Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
    Web site: http://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. Please 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, both of Austral Pacific Energy Ltd., 
ir@austral-pacific.com Web Site: http://www.austral-pacific.com/

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AUSTRAL PACIFIC ENERGY LTD.

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