Baytex to acquire Aurora for $2.6 billion

Baytex Energy Corp., Calgary, has agreed to acquire Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd., Subiaco, Western Australia, for $2.6 billion, providing Baytex with 22,200 net contiguous acres in the Sugarkane field in the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas.

Aurora’s fourth-quarter 2013 gross production was 24,678 boe/d (82% liquids) of predominantly light, high-quality crude oil. The company forecasted this year’s average gross production at 29,000-32,000 boe/d, about a 43% increase from 2013.

Baytex said Sugarkane field has been largely delineated with infrastructure in place, facilitating low-risk future annual production growth. The company added that the assets have future reserves upside potential from well downspacing, improving completion techniques, and new development targets in additional zones.

Following the purchase, Baytex’s 2014 production is expected to reach 85,000 boe/d, comprised of 53% heavy oil, 34% light oil and liquids, and 13% natural gas.

The deal gives Baytex additional proved reserves of 106.7 million boe and proved plus probable reserves of 166.6 million boe.

Baytex in 2012 purchased 100% working interest in 46 sections of undeveloped oil sands leases in the Cold Lake region of northeastern Alberta for $120 million (OGJ Online, Oct. 4, 2012). Provincial authorities had conditionally approved the company’s 1,200 steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) pilot and a 10,000-b/d development that was expected to launch in 2013.

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