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Aurora Projects 47% Eagle Ford Growth in 2014

Australia’s Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd., which is focused on the Eagle Ford Shale, said it projects production will grow about 47% in 2014, as it spends $455-495 million on capital expenditures (capex) and launches its largest non-operated well development program.

In a 14-page outlook and guidance statement released Friday, Perth-based Aurora said it expects average daily production to range from 29,000 to 32,000 boe/d gross (21,500 to 23,500 boe/d net) for the full-year 2014. Total production volume for the upcoming year is projected to range from 10.6 million to 11.7 million boe gross (7.8 million to 8.6 million boe net).

Aurora said it plans to spend $368-402 million on non-operated drilling costs for the year, compared to $47-49 million for operated wells. The company plans to spud 49-53 net wells in 2014, and place 50-54 net wells into production.

"[We] anticipate scaling back operated activity during the year to maintain a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility while achieving significant growth from non-operated acreage," the company said. "[We] expect this strong growth to continue through 2015 and beyond through the development of significant operated and non-operated undeveloped well inventory."

In 2012, Aurora acquired the Eagle Ford interests of another Australian company, Eureka Energy Ltd. (see Shale Daily, July 6, 2012). The next year it bought more acreage in the play, raised its production guidance and started drilling new wells (see Shale Daily, June 4, 2013; April 1, 2013; March 4, 2013).

"Increased development activity in the latter half of 2013 resulted in estimated December 2013 average production of approximately 26,450 boe/d gross (19,500 boe/d net), up 41% from the beginning of 2013," the company said. "This increased activity is expected to contribute to continued strong growth in production during 2014."

Aurora is currently participating in four separate joint ventures or areas of mutual interest (AMI) with varying degrees of working interest (WI) in the Eagle Ford's Sugarkane Field, which is in Atascosa, Karnes and Live Oak counties in South Texas (see Shale Daily, April 10, 2013). Collectively, the AMIs form a contiguous land position of 77,200 gross (19,300 net) acres.

The company holds a 31.9% WI in the largest AMI, Longhorn, which is 28,400 gross (9,000 net) acres. Aurora holds a 28.1% WI in the Sugarloaf AMI (24,000 gross, 6,700 net acres); a 9.1% WI in the Excelsior AMI (20,100 gross, 1,800 net acres), and a 36.4% WI in the Ipanema AMI (4,700 gross, 1,700 net acres).

Other exploration and development companies holding acreage around Aurora's acreage in the Sugarkane Field include ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources Inc., Marathon Oil Corp. and Murphy Oil Corp.

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