Significant Potential Demonstrated in Trans-Orient Petroleum's Multi-million Acre New Zealand Permits

    Seismic proceeding to define drilling locations in conventional and
    unconventional opportunities

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - Canadian-based oil and gas explorer
Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. (TOPLF/OTCBB) is pleased to provide an activity
update on its 100%-controlled onshore East Coast Basin project in New Zealand.

    Waipawa-Whangai fractured shale source rock returns porosities of 22-30%

    Trans-Orient's unconventional play is moving forward with positive
results. International oil services company Core Laboratories (
has analyzed a number of core plugs from samples of the Waipawa and Whangai
fractured shale formations provided by the Company. These shale formations are
high-quality oil and gas source rocks and also 'unconventional' fractured
shale reservoir units. The measured primary porosities fall in the 22%-30%
range, which substantially exceed those typically measured in fractured shale
plays such as the Barnett and Bakken shales in North America.
    Dave Bennett, Executive Chairman of Trans-Orient commented, "We are
encouraged to see such high porosities, with measured permeabilities in the
range of other successful fractured shale plays. These positive results can
only enhance our ability to successfully and economically produce oil and/or
gas from this major unconventional resource."

    Seismic now proceeding to define drilling locations

    Trans-Orient is proceeding with a seismic program to be acquired in
February 2008 within the main Waipawa-Whangai shale fairway, and on other
conventional exploration targets. The Company has laid out a 50km seismic
program budgeted at US$1.4M to be managed by UK-based RPS Energy
( This will identify optimal drilling locations over
Trans-Orient's defined prospects, including the Boar Hill, Pauariki and Kowhai
Prospects, and detail the Mangaorapa, Arakihi, Kawakawa, Gala and Waipuka
structures, which are several of the more prominent follow-on drilling
targets. Geochemical sampling over the past year has also revealed elevated
levels of hydrocarbons at ground surface over certain of these features.
    Dr. Bennett stated, "The seismic data collected will immediately be
processed, leading up to a multi-well exploration drilling campaign. This
initial drilling will target a number of potential sandstone reservoirs at
depths under 1500m, as well as fractured shale targets."
    Sproule International Ltd. ( has recently completed an
independent assessment covering the conventional exploration prospects. The
report estimates the mid-range undiscovered resource potential on the
Company's prospects in its East Coast permit areas at approximately 1.7
billion barrels of oil equivalent in place.

    Shallow oil and gas field development

    Trans-Orient also plans to investigate commercialization of two shallow
producing features in the northern permit area. The Waitangi-1 well (1912)
continues to actively produce high-quality oil from a sandstone reservoir at a
depth of 700 feet. Trans-Orient plans to survey this well's productive
capacity, and will acquire a detailed seismic survey around the well, re-drill
at the location, and lift oil using beam pump technology, as circumstances
    Further north at Te Puia Springs, for many years shallow bores collected
gas with associated oil used for heating by the nearby hospital. These
continue to flow natural gas very actively. Trans-Orient will conduct flow
rate tests on these old boreholes in order to better assess the commercial
potential for both electricity generation and oil recovery.
    "Given positive results at either of these projects, we can rapidly and
cost-effectively proceed to profitable development," said Dr. Bennett.
"Interestingly, these long-lived oil and gas seeps also demonstrate the
production potential of the underlying Waipawa-Whangai fractured shales, which
immediately underlie these primitive wells."


    The term "barrels of oil equivalent" or "boe" may be misleading,
particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of six thousand
cubic feet (6 mcf) to one barrel (1 bbl) is based on an energy equivalency
conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not
represent a value equivalency at the wellhead.

    The term "undiscovered resources" refers to those quantities of oil and
gas estimated, on a given date, to be contained in accumulations not yet
discovered. There is no certainty that any portion of the undiscovered
resources will be discovered or that, if discovered, it will be economically
viable or technically feasible to produce.

    Forward-Looking Statements:

    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 operations, undiscovered hydrocarbon resource potential,
exploration, potential reservoirs, prospects, leads 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 may differ materially from those in the forward-looking
statements due to factors such as market prices, exploration successes,
continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market,
political or business conditions. Please see our public filings at for further information.

For further information:

For further information: Dan Brown, (604) 682-6496,,

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