The U.S. unit of Australia’s Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd. has raised its 2013 guidance for Eagle Ford Shale well count by 25-30% and said it plans to spend $430-465 million this year on drilling and related infrastructure.

The company said Wednesday it expects to spud 45-50 net wells on its Eagle Ford assets. This includes 30-32 net wells on its nonoperated Sugarkane acreage (Marathon Oil Corp. is the operator) and 14-19 net wells on soon-to-be-acquired operated acreage (see Shale Daily, March 4) that Aurora plans to add to its Sugarkane portfolio.

The forecast for the operated acreage presumes one rig beginning work around the middle of the year and a second rig being added shortly thereafter, Aurora said. “Well locations will be determined by Aurora on an ongoing basis, and management will consider adding a third rig prior to year-end,” the company said.

Production this year is expected to be 7.2-8.0 million boe gross, 5.3-5.9 million boe net. Activity is to be weighted toward the second half of the year with about 40% of spending targeted for the fourth quarter, Aurora said. Drilling is expected to increase after a downspacing pilot program.

“Aurora is anticipating another successful year of growth in the Eagle Ford,” said CEO Douglas Brooks. “We are confident these development drilling programs together with the results of our downspacing pilot programs will deliver strong and accelerating production growth during 2013 and beyond.”