U.S. shale player Pioneer expects higher output

Company says its production for the year could be at least 10 percent higher than for 2015.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Jan. 6, 2016 at 8:43 AM
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DALLAS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. shale player Pioneer Natural Resources said it aims to boost production by at least 10 percent and spend around $2.6 billion despite the weakened market.

Pioneer said it plans to keep about 18 rigs in service in the Spraberry/Woflcamp shale basin in Texas during 2016. Last year, the company said it was standing pat on regional rig activity and, in its recent update, said it was idling two rigs in the Eagle Ford shale reserve area in Texas.

The company estimates total production for 2016 should be between 10 and 15 percent higher than last year. Growth should continue through at least 2018. In terms of spending, the company said its capital program for 2016 should be as much as $2.6 billion.

"The company plans to continue to prudently and economically execute the active development of the Spraberry/Wolfcamp through 2017 in the event a 'lower-for-longer' commodity price scenario unfolds," Chairman and CEO Scott Sheffield said in a statement.

For the fourth quarter, Pioneer said it expects production to come in at around 214,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, besting its forecast by around 3 percent.

Pioneer's cash flow for the first nine months of 2015 was around $789 million, compared with $1.8 billion year-on-year.

Pioneer reported a profit for the third quarter of $646 million, compared with $374 million year-on-year. That contrasts to market peers, who reported weak quarterly results as lower crude oil prices continue to dig into corporate profits.

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