Austral Pacific Energy Announces Appraisal Programme in Papua New Guinea

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Sept. 24 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.
(TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN)
    Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. (TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; Amex:   AEN) is due to
begin appraisal work later this year on the Stanley gasfield in Papua New
    The move comes after the company won a five year extension to the term of
Petroleum Retention Licence (PRL) 4, which covers the Stanley field in the
western province of Papua New Guinea.
    Austral Pacific Energy, through a wholly owned subsidiary, Austral
Pacific Energy (PNG) Limited, holds a 28.92 percent interest in PRL 4 and is
the new operator of the licence.
    The other partners in PRL 4 are InterOil Corporation, through its wholly
owned subsidiary SPI (157) Ltd, (43.13 percent) and Horizon Oil Limited (27.95
    "This licence represents an integral part of the company's strategy to
commercialise gas opportunities in the Forelands region of Papua New Guinea,"
said chief executive officer and president, Thom Jewell.
    The licence was granted originally in 2000 for a term of five years to
appraise the Stanley discovery.
    In 2005, the then operator of the PRL 4 Joint Venture, Santos, sought an
extension to the term of the licence.  The extension is for five years and is
backdated to August 2005.
    The Stanley-1 well was drilled in 1999 to a total depth of 3219m.  Thirty
five meters of excellent quality Toro reservoir was intersected at 3125m with
13.5m of gross gas pay interpreted from wireline logs.
    Appraisal of the Stanley discovery will begin later this year with a 43km
infill 2D seismic programme.  It will address the structural uncertainty of
the Stanley Field and determine the optimum location for an updip Stanley-2
appraisal / development well.
    At the same time, negotiations will continue with a potential buyer of
Stanley gas.  The gas is proposed for use in electricity generation for the OK
Tedi mine ("the Stanley Gas Project").
    The Stanley Gas Project is an exciting project for Austral Pacific
Energy, Jewell said.
    "Bringing gas to market in Papua New Guinea is a significant challenge,
but with a ready buyer for Stanley gas we have a unique opportunity to begin
realising the potential of our extensive licence interests there."

    Austral Pacific Energy (NZ) Limited
    Web site:
    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  and for further information.

For further information:

For further information: Thom Jewell, CEO of Austral Pacific Energy
Ltd.,  +64 (4) 495 0880, Web Site:

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