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The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) has been in the industry’s no man’s land the past couple of years, but an Australian company led by the founder of Aurora Oil & Gas aims to change that.

Australis Oil & Gas Ltd. agreed to buy 62,000 operated net acres in the TMS from Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) for $80 million, Australis said Feb. 28. The acquisition includes average net oil production of 1,900 barrels per day (bbl/d).

Australis Chairman Jonathan Stewart said the TMS deal is the acquisition the company has been seeking since forming in 2014. Stewart previously headed Aurora, which sold in June 2014 for $2.35 billion.


“We see many parallels to the early days of the Eagle Ford,” Stewart said. “We believe that our Aurora Oil & Gas experience in the Eagle Ford from discovery to full development and then sale in 2014 offers us key [experience] to apply to generating significant value for shareholders.”

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