Australia-based and Eagle Ford-focused Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd. said a downspacing pilot on its non-operated acreage in the Eagle Ford’s Sugarkane Field is yielding strong results and the company is planning 40-acre spacing on its recently acquired operated acreage in the play.

“We view the preliminary pilot program results achieved in the Sugarkane Field to be important evidence to further understand the drilling density prior to commencing full field development,” said Aurora CEO Douglas Brooks. “Results to date are very encouraging. Once more data is analyzed and discussed with our partners, Aurora intends to report more definitive results and plans.”

On the non-operated acreage, 13 wells have yielded more than six months of production. These have had good results as have more recently drilled wells. All of the wells have been drilled at less than 80-acre spacing.

“The downspacing pilot program is investigating the performance of wells spaced and drilled 60 acres (500 ft) and 40 acres (330 ft) apart,” Aurora said. “Results that support relatively minimal negative impact on well performance will generate increased recoverable reserves and higher field returns. The ultimate objective is to maximize the recovery factor taking into account economic returns.

“The statistically small population of wells with adequate production history means it is premature to definitively determine spacing ultimately adopted across the entire acreage position. These wells require at least six months production history to be meaningfully analyzed and the Austin Chalk also needs to be considered. However, consistent with the spacing practices of other Eagle Ford participants and the 70 wells already drilled on tighter spacing at the Sugarkane Field, it is clear to Aurora that ultimate spacing will be less than 80 acres across the Sugarkane Field.”

Aurora recently raised its planned Eagle Ford well count for 2013 (see Shale Daily, April 1) after having acquired the additional Sugarkane acreage (see Shale Daily, March 4).