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Austral Pacific Cheal Oil Field Development

30 Nov 2006

Wellington, New Zealand - 30th November 2006 Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. (TSX-V: APX; NZSX: APX; AMEX: AEN)

Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. announced today that the Cheal B3 well reached a total depth of 1927 metres (6322 feet) on 27 November.

The target Mt Messenger sands were intersected over a gross interval from 1726 metres (5663 feet) to 1772 metres (5814 feet). Wireline logs indicate a net pay of 10 metres (33 feet) and that these sands are oil bearing.

Sands from the secondary target Urenui Formation were intersected over a gross interval from 1365 metres (4478 feet) to 1396 metres (4580 feet). Wireline logs indicate a net pay of 8 metres (26 feet) and that these sands are also oil bearing.

The Cheal B3 well is the third of four wells to be drilled back to back from the Cheal B site as part of the Cheal Oil Field development. Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. holds a 36.5 percent interest in the field (rising to 69.5 percent following the completion of the acquisition of Arrowhead Energy Limited) and is the operator. TAG Oil holds the remaining 30.5% interest in the permit.

Commenting on the announcement Chief Executive Officer Rick Webber said, "This is another very encouraging result for the Cheal Joint Venture. Continued success with drilling from the Cheal B site increases our confidence in the resource potential of the northern extension of the Cheal Oil Field."

Following the running of production casing in the Cheal B3 well, Ensign Energy Services' Rig 19 will be skidded to an adjacent, pre-installed conductor for the immediate drilling of the Cheal B4 well.

In other news Mr Webber reported that construction of the processing facilities at the Cheal A site is making good progress. "The site foundations are now largely complete and installation of the oil storage tanks is underway," said Mr Webber. "Fabrication of the separator vessels is well advanced at a Lower Hutt engineering firm."


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