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Press release from Marketwire

New Zealand Energy Operational Update

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Zealand Energy Operational Update07:00 EST Friday, December 21, 2012VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2012) - New Zealand Energy Corp. ("NZEC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NZ)(OTCQX:NZERF) today provided an update on its eight-well exploration program, currently underway in the Taranaki Basin of New Zealand's North Island.Waitapu-1 remains shut-in pending further evaluation and potential sidetracking to a new location. Waitapu-2, following initial production testing and a pressure build-up phase, will commence continuous production before year-end 2012.Arakamu-2 has been completed across 18 metres in two intervals. The well demonstrated good inflow and pressure build-up but downhole mechanical issues have delayed testing. When NZEC perforated the upper interval at a depth of approximately 2,190 metres, sand flowed into the wellbore and the tubing became stuck. To rectify the situation NZEC will require the use of a service rig, which can move onto location once the drill rig has moved off the site. NZEC hopes to be able to use a wireline to determine the extent of hydrocarbons in the well, but will not complete well testing until late January.NZEC has spud the fourth well in its current eight-well program, the Arakamu-1A well. Arakamu-1A will target the Moki formation at approximately 2,700 metres. NZEC may follow with a second Moki well contingent on results from Arakamu-1A, and has provision to drill up to seven wells on the site. When drilling operations have been completed at Arakamu-1A and the possible contingent well, the drill rig will move to the site of NZEC's next well and a service rig will move on to Arakamu-2 to complete testing of the well.NZEC plans to begin construction of its fourth drill pad next week. Wairere is located approximately 3.75 km southwest of the Company's Copper Moki site and 7.5 km southwest of the Waihapa Production Station. NZEC has provision to drill up to six wells at the site. The Wairere-1 well will target the Mt. Messenger formation at approximately 1,900 metres.The current eight-well program is the start of continuous drilling focused on increasing production and cash flow. NZEC expects to finish the remainder of the eight-well program by the end of Q1-2013 as the Company advances toward its production objective of 3,000 boe/day, and will then move directly into its 2013 exploration program. NZEC's Taranaki Basin drill program for 2013 is focused on targets that are central to the Waihapa Production Station and associated gathering pipelines, expediting tie-in of discoveries and reducing transport and processing costs. In addition, NZEC plans to drill two wells on the East Coast in 2013 to evaluate both conventional opportunities in the shallower Miocene sands and unconventional opportunities in the Waipawa and Whangai oil shale formations.NZEC is on track to close the acquisition of assets from Origin Energy in Q1-2013, including the TAWN Petroleum Licenses and Waihapa Production Station. NZEC's technical team has identified 18 Mt. Messenger leads on the TAWN Licenses, many of which are accessible from existing drill pads with gathering pipelines in place to deliver oil and gas production to the Waihapa Production Station. NZEC will continue to evaluate and prioritize additional opportunities in the Urenui, Moki, Tikorangi and Kapuni formations as its exploration program unfolds.On behalf of the Board of DirectorsBruce McIntyre, Executive DirectorAbout New Zealand Energy Corp.NZEC is an oil and natural gas company engaged in the production, development and exploration of petroleum and natural gas assets in New Zealand. NZEC's property portfolio collectively covers approximately 2.27 million acres (including pending permits) of conventional and unconventional prospects in the Taranaki Basin and East Coast Basin of New Zealand's north island. The Company's management team has extensive experience exploring and developing oil and natural gas fields in New Zealand and Canada, and takes a multi-disciplinary approach to value creation with a track record of successful discoveries. NZEC plans to add shareholder value by executing a technically disciplined exploration and development program focused on the onshore and offshore oil and natural gas resources in the politically and fiscally stable country of New Zealand. NZEC is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "NZ" and on the OTCQX International under the symbol "NZERF". More information is available at www.newzealandenergy.com or by emailing info@newzealandenergy.com.Forward-looking StatementsThis news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively "forward-looking statements"). The use of any of the words "will", "commence", "hopes", "may", "plans", "begin", "increasing", "expects", "advances", "on track" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, including without limitation, the speculative nature of exploration, appraisal and development of oil and natural gas properties; uncertainties associated with estimating oil and natural gas resources; uncertainties in both daily and long-term production rates and resulting cash flow; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; changes in the cost of operations, including costs of extracting and delivering oil and natural gas to market, that affect potential profitability of oil and natural gas exploration; the need to obtain various approvals before exploring and producing oil and natural gas resources; the need to obtain government approval of work programs before exploring or developing the Petroleum Licenses; uncertainty in the timing of receipt of permits and the Company's ability to extend the permits if required; exploration hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas exploration; operating hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas operations; market conditions that prevent the Company from raising the funds necessary for exploration and development on acceptable terms or at all; global financial market events that cause significant volatility in commodity prices; unexpected costs or liabilities for environmental matters; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of resources, skilled personnel, and access to equipment and services required for exploration, development and production; changes in exchange rates, laws of New Zealand or laws of Canada affecting foreign trade, taxation and investment; failure to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions; and other factors as disclosed in documents released by NZEC as part of its continuous disclosure obligations. Information concerning reserves may also be deemed to be forward looking as estimates imply that the reserves described can be profitably produced in the future. NZEC believes the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. Such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release and NZEC does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained in this news release, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as such term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Contact Information: New Zealand Energy Corp.Bruce McIntyreExecutive DirectorNorth American toll-free: 1-855-630-8997New Zealand Energy Corp.John ProustChief Executive Officer & DirectorNorth American toll-free: 1-855-630-8997New Zealand Energy Corp.Rhylin BailieVice President Communications & Investor RelationsNorth American toll-free: 1-855-630-8997New Zealand Energy Corp.Chris BushNew Zealand Country ManagerNew Zealand: 64-6-757-4470info@newzealandenergy.comwww.newzealandenergy.com