What Is The Sugarkane Eagle Ford Field?
The origin of the name “Sugarkane” field is unclear. It is a part of the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas, in which wells are being completed by drilling horizontally into both the Austin Chalk and the Eagle Ford shale formations, often with impressive results. Sugarkane was discovered in 2006 and lies approximately 15 miles south of the main Austin Chalk trend. It is overlain by the Pecan Gap shale, and underlain by the tight Buda Limestone, both of which provide a tight reservoir pressure seal. Geologists believe that oil and gas found in the Austin chalk migrated upwards from the Eagle Ford shale “source rock” below. The Texas Railroad Commission lists the discovery well for the Sugarkane field to be the Burlington – Kunde Lease, # 1, a vertical well.
Due to the fact that wells can be drilled through more feet of pay zone, and the fact that Sugarkane exists in the “sweet spot” of the Eagle Ford shale, (over-pressured, and containing large volumes of oil and natural gas liquids), it is proving to be a hot area of the overall play. Aurora Oil and Gas Ltd, an Australian company, (With Marathon Oil as operator) will have drilled over 85 wells in the Sugarkane field by the end of 2011. Aurora expects to ramp up their drilling program in 2012, running 10-12 rigs with 4 frac crews, and drilling 123 wells by year’s end. Aurora operates in 4 separate AMI’s or “areas of mutual interest” in the Sugarkane field, identified as Longhorn (28,280 gross acres), Sugarloaf (23,550 gross acres), Ipanema (4,600 gross acres) and Excelsior ((20,180 gross acres).
Players in the Sugarkane Eagle Ford shale play include Aurora Oil and Gas Ltd., Marathon Oil, Pioneer Natural Resources, ConocoPhillips, EOG Resources, Empyrean Energy, Eureka Energy, Geosouthern Energy, Murphy E&P, Petrohawk Energy among others.
The Sugarkane Eagle Ford shale trend runs roughly from Live Oak to Dewitt county. Below is a map of the Sugarkane Eagle Ford shale play. (source: http://www.auroraoag.com.au)
The second illustration shows Aurora Oil and Gas’s completion procedure for wells in the Sugarkane field and how water aquifers are protected from contamination by frac fluids.