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Austral Pacific starts output at Cheal A7 Well

Tuesday 2nd September 2008

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Austral Pacific Energy Ltd., which owns 69.5% of the Cheal oil field onshore in the Taranaki region, said it began production from its Cheal A7 well.

Initial testing shows the well is capable of a maximum flow rate in the range of 250 to 280 barrels of oil a day, Austral said in a statement. The well showed no water during the testing phase.

Meantime, the company said it is reviewing options for fixing a casing leak at its Cheal A3X well to return it to its flow rate of 90 bopd.

Austral has an interest in eight exploration and production permits totaling over 2.6 million acres in New Zealand, according to its website. Its assets include the Cheal Field, Kahili Field and Cardiff Field in the Taranaki Basin.

Austral's shares fell 9.1% to 40 cents. The stock has declined about 70% this year, a period when it raised funds selling new shares to finance well developments.

By Jonathan Underhill

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