Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. - CEO to Stand Down

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, March 22 /CNW/ -- David Newman, Chairman of
Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. (TSX-V and NZSX: APX; AMEX:   AEN), announced today
that the Board had accepted the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer,
Rick Webber, effective 30 April 2007. At the same time Mr. Webber will resign
his position as a director of the Company.
    David Newman and his fellow director Peter Hill will jointly assume the
duties of Chief Executive Officer and conduct a review of the organization to
find the best suited, permanent, leadership structure.
    Reflecting on events since Mr. Webber took office at the beginning of
2006, Mr. Newman noted that the Company has a new business strategy in place
together with a firm work programme to execute and deliver that strategy in
2007 and beyond. The re-commencement of production from the Cheal Oil Field
using temporary facilities, the initiation of the full field development of
Cheal, the acquisition of Arrowhead Energy Limited and the Douglas gas
condensate discovery in PNG are all important milestones, but other
significant opportunities, such as Cardiff and the Kahili Fields remain
undeveloped. These current and future projects are planned to grow shareholder
value in the months and years ahead.

    Web site:
    Phone:       David Newman, Chairman +64 (4) 495 0888

    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: David Newman, Chairman of Austral Pacific
Energy  Ltd., +64 (4) 495 0888, Web Site:

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