Austral Pacific Energy Updates Reserves

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Feb. 15 /CNW/ -- Austral Pacific Energy Ltd.

    Austral Pacific has revised its reserves estimates, in the process of
preparing its annual reserves report.  The Independent Reserves Evaluator's
report, prepared by Sproule International Limited, estimates Austral's 69.5%
share of the Cheal oilfield Proved and Probable oil reserves at 344mbo as at
December 31, 2008.

    The reserves revision has been driven by a number of factors including
significantly reduced forward-looking oil price assumptions. Additional
contributing factors include: lower oil volumes due to the reduced thickness
of the oil bearing reservoir encountered in the Cheal-A6 well in June 2008, a
reduced number of wells included in the model as a result of current market
conditions, and a more conservative recovery factor based on the existing well
performance over the past 12 months.

    Austral CEO Thompson Jewell said, "It is Austral's view that the field
retains its upside potential. We are evaluating the impact of stimulating the
existing wells to improve both production rates and ultimate recovery per
well. Given success in this optimization program, we will be looking for
capital investment for a staged drilling campaign to expand the field and

    "Austral is continuing to reduce the production costs for the field and
is projecting an OPEX figure, including transport and marketing, of
approximately $US19.20 per barrel produced through the first six months of

    The reserves estimates have been prepared in accordance with the COGE
Handbook and Canadian securities regulations. A full report on the company's
year end reserves will be filed by March 31, 2009.

    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.


    Web site:
    Phone:      Thom Jewell, CEO +64 (4) 495 0880


For further information:

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

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