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Fletcher Challenge Energy in New Exploration

Fletcher Challenge Energy in New Exploration Acreage

18 July 2000, Auckland – As a further step in its exploration portfolio restructuring, Fletcher Challenge Energy has increased its exploration acreage in New Zealand by acquiring a 30 per cent interest in exploration license area PEP 38728 in onshore Taranaki, New Zealand.

The interest, acquired from Marabella Enterprises Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bligh Oil & Minerals NL), will be earned through the acquisition of seismic data.

“This farm-in is part of our rebuilding of a meaningful exploration business in New Zealand and internationally. The exploration licence is well located, being between the recently discovered Rimu field and our producing Waihapa field” said Mr Rick Webber, General Manager, New Zealand for Fletcher Challenge Energy.

After the farm-in is complete the interests in PEP 38728 will be as follows:

Marabella Enterprises Limited (Operator) 40%
Fletcher Challenge Energy 30%
Origin Energy Resources NZ Limited 30%

In a related deal Fletcher Challenge Energy and Marabella have agreed in principle for Marabella to acquire a 10 per cent interest in PEP 38718 from Fletcher Challenge Energy. This block, which was previously 100 per cent held by Fletcher Challenge Energy, contains the Tuihu prospect to be drilled later this year. “We are very encouraged by the potential of the Tuihu prospect and are in the process of securing the long lead-time items required for the drilling of this well” said Mr Webber.

“The deals, in association with the recent relinquishment of its interest in PEP 38462, and the portfolio changes in Canada reflect Fletcher Challenge Energy’s clear intention to improve the level and quality of its exploration business globally” said Lloyd Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Fletcher Challenge Energy.

# # #
For more information contact:
Rick Webber
General Manager, New Zealand
Fletcher Challenge Energy
Tel: 64 9 525 9082 or 025 858 881

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