Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eagle Ford Shale - Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD)

By Tim -

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) provided an oil & natural gas drilling update in the Eagle Ford Shale play located in South Texas.

In the liquids-rich Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas, Pioneer and its joint venture partners are currently running 12 rigs. The Company drilled 111 wells in 2011 and placed 92 wells on production. To improve the execution of its drilling and completions program and reduce costs, Pioneer is operating two Company-owned fracture stimulation fleets totaling 100,000 horsepower. The Company is also utilizing a dedicated third-party fracture stimulation fleet, which commenced operating in April 2011 under a two-year contract.

Pioneer plans to continue running 12 rigs in 2012 and drill approximately 125 wells. The 2012 drilling program will continue to focus on liquids-rich drilling, with only 15% of the wells designated to hold strategic dry gas acreage. The original plan for 2012 called for an increase to 14 rigs on the assumption that 25% of the program would target dry gas drilling. However, in response to the current low gas price environment, the increase to 14 rigs has been delayed until 2013. It is now planned that the rig count will increase to 16 rigs in 2014 and 19 rigs in 2015.

Pioneer increased its Eagle Ford Shale production from 14 MBOEPD in the third quarter to 20 MBOEPD in the fourth quarter. The Company expects production to increase from an average of 12 MBOEPD in 2011 to 25 MBOEPD to 29 MBOEPD in 2012, 37 MBOEPD to 41 MBOEPD in 2013 and 47 MBOEPD to 53 MBOEPD in 2014.

Pioneer’s gross well cost in the Eagle Ford Shale ranges from $7 million to $8 million per well. Using this well cost, estimated EURs, assumed flat commodity prices of $100 per barrel for oil and $4 per MCF for gas and excluding the benefit of the joint-venture drilling carry, the before-tax internal rate of return for the 2012 drilling program is estimated to be 70%.