Austral Pacific Completes Financing

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 2 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN)
    Further to Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.'s news releases of December 19,
2007 and February 11, 2008 announcing a US$15million placement, the Company
now confirms that it has received the final tranche of $3.9 million and
completed the placement. 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 are being 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 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).
    Cardiff Testing
    Commencement of testing operations on the Cardiff 2A ST-1 well was
slightly delayed, but all equipment has now been mobilized to site and flow
testing of the prospective K3E formation commenced on February 25. This test
is an important component of the ongoing field appraisal and development
    Annual General Meeting Scheduled
    More details on these projects and the Company's strategies for growth
will be discussed at the Company's annual general and special meeting of
shareholders on May 22, 2008 at noon, at the James Cook Hotel Grand
Chancellor, 147 The Terrace in Wellington, New Zealand.
    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:
     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 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., Web Site:

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