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Australian Worldwide Raises Tui Oil Project Reserves

Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd., an Australian oil and gas project developer, said estimated reserves at the Tui oil project in New Zealand rose by 15 percent after the drilling of development wells.

Estimated proven and probable reserves at the field off the North Island's west coast rose to 32 million barrels, up from 27.9 million, Sydney-based Australian Worldwide said today in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

The $269 million Tui field, New Zealand's first offshore oil project in 11 years, started production late July and has increased output to 47,000 barrels a day of oil. The project produced about 1 million barrels of oil in the first month for delivery to refineries in Australia and Southeast Asia.

The increase in the estimated reserves ``will deliver the joint venture an additional $280 million in revenue, with only minor associated operating costs,'' Australian Worldwide Managing Director Bruce Phillips said in the statement.

Australian Worldwide rose 14 cents, or 4.5 percent, to A$3.23 on the exchange.

The Australian company owns 42.5 percent of Tui and is the project operator, while Mitsui & Co. owns 35 percent, New Zealand Oil & Gas 12.5 percent and Pan Pacific Petroleum NL 10 percent.

Pan Pacific gained 8.7 percent, while New Zealand Oil & Gas jumped 15 percent in Sydney trading.

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