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Austral Pacific loss narrows after hedge close-out

Friday 14th November 2008

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Austral Pacific Energy, an oil explorer, posted a narrower annual loss after sales rose and oil price hedges closed out.

The net loss was $710,000, down from a loss of $3.64 million in the previous quarter, Austral said in a statement.

Chief executive Thom Jewell said the company is focusing on refinancing or restructuring its Investec loan facility by the due date of December 15, "in the current financial market, which leaves us with a going concern uncertainty at this time".

Excluding tax, the loss was $2.93 million, largely reflecting the $3.26 million write-off of un-commercial wells and maintenance work. Cash flow from operations was $1.37 million, compared to a loss of $9.1 million in the previous quarter, reflecting the impact of oil price hedges, it said.

In September, the company began a strategic review including talks with Investec, it said.

The NZX listed shares last traded yesterday at 14 cents and have slipped 90% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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