Pioneer Natural Resources Eagle Ford Production Up & Costs Down

Pioneer Eagle Ford Production Chart
Pioneer Eagle Ford Production Chart

Pioneer Natural Resources' Eagle Ford production was up to 37,000 boe/d in the first quarter.

That's an increase from 35,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter and a 2012 average of 28,000 boe/d.

Pioneer drilled 37 wells in the quarter and brought 35 of those to production. In total, the company expects to drill 130 wells at a cost of $7-8 million each this year. Those wells will be drilled with just 10 rigs compared to 12 in 2012.

Four out of every five wells will be drilled from centralized pads this year. That's up from just 45% of wells in 2012 and one reason costs continue to fall. Pad drilling saves $600,000-700,000 per well and also saves precious time.

Our three liquids and resource-rich core assets in Texas, the Spraberry vertical, the horizontal Wolfcamp Shale and the Eagle Ford Shale, were the drivers of this significant increase.
— Scott Sheffield, Chairman and CEO

Testing Downspacing & White Sand Proppants

Pioneer continues to test the viability of 70-80 acre downspacing and is even testing 40-acre spacing in areas. The liquids prone areas will likely call for tighter spacing. We should know results from the 70-80 acre spacing tests later in the year.

The company is also expanding the use of white sand proppant. Ceramic proppants have been used in the deeper portions of the play, but the use of white sand can save as much as $700,000 per well. Pioneer estimates it will use cheaper sand in 70% of its Eagle Ford completions in 2013.

A total of 11 central gathering facilities are in place and one more will be added in 2014. The major midstream hurdles faced when the company began developing the play have largely been eliminated.

Don't expect natural gas drilling in the Eagle Ford to pick up at current gas prices. The company indicated it is not going to get around to dry gas acreage even at gas prices of $4.25-4.50.

Read the full press release at