Selective shale acquisition bolsters Texas holding

AUSTRALIAN oil and gas explorer Aurora has completed the purchase of 2700 acres directly adjacent to its Sugarkane Field acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
The US$117.5 million acquisition included 11 producing wells and associated assets and infrastructure and has expanded Aurora’s net acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale by over 14 per cent to 21,800 acres. Aurora executive chairman Jon Stewart said the deal significantly added to the company’s future net well inventory in the liquids rich zone.
“This acquisition, being our third in the past 12 months, highlights Aurora’s ability to add to its considerable organic growth at the Sugarkane Field through value driven, high-quality Eagle Ford transactions,” he said.
“The recently completed US$300 million unsecured fixed coupon debt issuance and an undrawn US$200 million secured revolver facility means we are very well funded for both our operated and non-operated drilling programs.
“Aurora is extremely selective around acquisition opportunities and we firmly believe the purchase of this acreage will provide significant value and upside to our portfolio through its current production capabilities and reserves base.”
A vigorous drilling campaign in 2012 saw Aurora drill more than 150 oil producing wells across its North American acreage.
The company plans to drill between 45 and 50 new wells in 2013 with the December average production expected to hit 18,000 barrels per day.
Aurora chief executive Douglas Brooks said the company would use the same drill operators for the new acreage, which was estimated to contain 6.7 million barrels of oil equivalent.
“Acquiring these assets provides Aurora greater flexibility in the overall development of its asset portfolio,” he said.
“It adds materially to current production but more over includes growth opportunities in reserves through higher density well drilling.
“Aurora has recruited Houston-based staff experienced in operations who will execute our plans and, of course, have the benefit of the significant knowledge acquired in all related phases of development from our participation in more than 250 wells to date in the Sugarkane field.”

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