Austral's 2006 Results Filed



    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 30 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V and NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN)
    Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. has now filed its annual comparative audited
financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. The
financial statements and accompanying management's discussion and analysis,
annual information form, reserves statement and report and independent
evaluator's report on reserves (all 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 www.austral-pacific.com, www.sedar.com and
www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm respectively.
    Note:  all amounts are expressed in US$

    
    Financial Results
    
    The net loss for the year was $13.4 million ($0.57 per common share)
compared with the restated loss for 2005 of $5.7 million ($0.30 per common
share). The major portion of the movement from the prior year reflects the
increased level of exploration activity undertaken by the company during 2006.
Commencing in the year ended December 31, 2006 the Company changed the manner
in which it accounts for exploration activities by adopting the "successful
efforts" basis of accounting. The accounting impact of adopting this basis is
that all exploration costs are written off unless the expenditure results in
the recognition of Proven Reserves within 12 months of the expenditure having
been incurred. The previous accounting policy was to use the "full cost"
method whereby exploration expenditure was capitalised and not written off
until the well or permit was abandoned.

    
    Oil Reserves
    
    An independent assessment has assigned total Proven Undeveloped Reserves
of 1.643 million barrels oil equivalent (Austral share 69.5% or 1.142 million
barrels oil equivalent) to the Cheal field. This is a 3.4% increase on 2005
levels. The pre tax value at a 10% discount factor of the Proven and Probable
reserves is $38 million.

    
    Financial position
    
    The Company's asset portfolio and financial position has advanced in
several areas:

    
    - In December 2006 the Company acquired the shares of Arrowhead Energy
      Limited, which holds interests in the permits over the Cheal and Kahili
      fields, increasing the Company's interests in those fields from 36.5% to
      69.5% and 60% to 85% respectively.

    - In December 2006 the Company secured a $23 million loan facility to fund
      the acquisition of Arrowhead Energy Limited and the development of the
      Cheal field. Of this amount $15.7 million has been drawn down.

    - In October 2006 the Company raised $6.5 million by the issue of 5
      million shares
    

    Cash and cash equivalents of $7.1 million were held at 31 December 2006
(2005 $15.3 million).

    
    Operations
    
    Development of the Cheal field commenced in July 2006. The construction
plan is proceeding as planned and following commissioning of the plant in late
2Q 2007 a production rate of 1,900 barrels of oil per day is projected to be
achieved by 4Q 2007.
    The Douglas-1 exploration well in Papua New Guinea was drilled during 2Q
2006. The well was determined to be a gas discovery but is suspended pending
further analysis. Commercialisation studies have resulted in the Company
signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Alcan South Pacific to investigate
the supply of natural gas to the Gove Refinery in the Northern Territory of
Australia.
    Results of flow testing of the McKee sands in Cardiff-2, undertaken
during 2006, demonstrated sufficient commerciality to secure a mining permit.
Current simulation studies will determine the form of further testing to be
carried out in the second half of 2007 on the deeper K3E zone in which the
majority of the gas/condensate resource is mapped.

    
    Looking Forward
    During 2007 the Company has plans to progress the following programmes:

    - Completion of the development of the Cheal field
    - Drilling of Kahili-2
    - Conduct further testing of the Cardiff field
    - In PNG progress a programme to prove up the Douglas-1 discovery, and
      drill appraisal wells, Douglas-2 and Puk Puk
    - Continuation of the exploration programme in Taranaki
    

    David Newman, Chairman of Austral, commenting on 2006 stated, "Last year
marked a number of significant changes for the company as we advanced towards
our near term goal of sustainable oil and gas production. We now have a solid
understanding of our asset base and have focused on increasing our interests
in strategic properties while looking for complementary acquisitions. We were
able to leverage our assets with a credit line in order to minimize
shareholder dilution and we did so with confidence in the outlook for energy.
We have our challenges managing the transition to emerging producer status,
and we will need to recruit senior management. However, we know that 2007 is
filled with promise for Austral".

    
    $3.25 Million financing
    
    Austral has reached agreement with a group of accredited investors in New
Zealand to privately place 2.5 million ordinary shares at a price of $1.30 per
share. Substantially all the shares were subscribed for by existing
shareholders of the Company including Wellington based Infratil Limited. The
proceeds will be used in connection with the Cheal field development and for
working capital purposes.  The placement is subject to regulatory approvals
expected in the ordinary course. The shares will not be offered or sold in the
United States and will not be registered under the 1933 Securities Act (US).
The shares will be subject to a four month resale restriction in Canada.

    
    Web site:  http://www.austral-pacific.com/
    Email:  ir@austral-pacific.com
    Phone:  Rick Webber, CEO +64 (4) 495 0880;
            David Newman, Chairman +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 www.sedar.com and
www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm for further information.





For further information:

For further information: Rick Webber, CEO, +64 (4) 495 0880, David
Newman,  Chairman, +64 (4) 495 0880, 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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