Austral Pacific Announces Strategic Alternatives Review

    Austral Pacific to Conduct Comprehensive Review of Business Options

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Sept. 23 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
    Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. today announced that it has decided to
initiate a strategic alternatives review of its business.
    Austral CEO and President Thompson Jewell said, "In light of the low
share price, Austral Pacific has initiated a strategic review to consider all
options available to the company to maximise value for its shareholders".
    In conjunction with the strategic review, Austral Pacific has appointed
Australasian investment banking firm McDouall Stuart as the company's
Financial Advisor.
    The strategic review will be comprehensive, and will consider new capital
investments as well as third-party approaches for asset sales and/or merger
    No decision on any particular alternative has been reached at this time
and there can be no assurance that the process will result in any change in
the Company's current plans to seek additional capital in order to refinance
its existing credit facility or that the Company will pursue any particular
    Austral does not intend to make any further announcement regarding the
process unless and until its board of directors has approved a specific
transaction or other course of action or otherwise deems disclosure of
developments is appropriate.
    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 eight exploration and
production permits totaling over 0.5 million acres in New Zealand. 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.

     Web site:
     Phone: Thom Jewell, CEO +64 (4) 495 0880 or Brad Holmes +1 (713) 304 6962
     For McDouall Stuart:
     Phone: Dugald Morrison +64 (21) 833-907 or
    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  and 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.; or Dugald
Morrison of McDouall Stuart, +64 (21) 833-907, Web

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