Pioneer Hits Record Q4 Eagle Ford Production - 40,000 boe/d

Pioneer Eagle Ford Production
Pioneer Eagle Ford Production

Pioneer set a record for its fourth-quarter 2013 production in the Eagle Ford Shale, averaging 40,000 boe/d. That's up ~14% from 35,000 boe/d in the fourth-quarter of 2012.

Forty-one wells were placed on production during the quarter in the Eagle Ford. Full-year 2013 production averaged 38,000 boe/d. That's an increase of ~35% compared to average production of 28,000 boe/d in 2012.

In the fourth-quarter, the Eagle Ford contributed to Pioneer's net recoverable resource potential, which increased from more than 8 billion boe to more than 10 billion boe.

Read more: Pioneer's Eagle Ford Growth Back Weighted - Drilling 2 - 6 Pad Wells

Pioneer's Eagle Ford Outlook in 2014

Pioneer plans to spend $545 million in the Eagle Ford in 2014. The breakdown includes $480 million for it's horizontal drilling program and $65 million for infrastructure and land acquisitions.

The company plans on drilling 110 wells in the Eagle Ford Shale. Most of these wells will be drilled utilizing three-well and four-well pads. Full-year 2014 production is forecasted to range from 45,000 boe/d to 49,000 boe/d, an estimated increase of 18% - 29% compared to full-year 2013.

Of the 110 Eagle Ford wells planned, 45 will be targeting the Upper Eagle Ford as part of the downspacing program in the play. Pioneer's first test well in the Upper Eagle Ford continues to perform in-line with offset Lower Eagle Ford wells.

Our main objective is to translate the resource growth we delivered in 2013 to strong production growth. To accomplish this, we are increasing our horizontal rig count in the northern Spraberry/Wolfcamp from five rigs at the end of 2013 to 16 rigs by the end of the first quarter. We will also continue an active drilling program in the southern Wolfcamp joint venture area and the Eagle Ford Shale. As a result, we expect a 14% to 19% increase in production in 2014 compared to 2013.
— Scott Sheffield, CEO

For the first quarter, Pioneer expects to place approximately 26 horizontal wells on production in the Eagle Ford, predominately in the second half of the quarter. Production from these wells is anticipated in the second quarter.

Pioneer's Eagle Ford Highlights

  • Q4 2013 record production - Up 14% quarter to quarter to 40,000 b0e/d
  • 2013 average production of 38,000 boe/d
  • $545 million capital budget slated for Eagle Ford in 2014
  • 2014 production forecasted between 45,000 boe/d - 49,000 boe/d
  • 110 wells to be drilled with 45 wells slated for the Upper Eagle Ford
  • Eagle Ford contributed to Pioneer's net recoverable resource potential - 8 billion boe to 10 billion boe


Oil & Gas Jobs in South Texas Are Abundant

S. TX Expo Event Registration Line
S. TX Expo Event Registration Line

Oil and gas jobs in South Texas are abundant. From gate guards to industry sales reps and engineers, there's a flood of new people running the roads of South Texas and more open positions than companies can find qualified people for. The Eagle Ford Shale oil boom has added oil and gas jobs in South Texas at a rate no one could have predicted.

Pioneer Natural Resources, an Irving, Texas-based driller, has hired 400 people in the South Texas area in the last two years, says Joey Hall, vice president in charge of Pioneer's South Texas Asset Team.

About 75% or a little more of Pioneer's workers are located in the field and contractors employ another 1,000 people who help build rigs and move crude.

The story is similar for Conoco who added more than 500 jobs between its Texas plays and North Dakota's Bakken Shale. Over 50% of Conoco's hires were engineers, but most jobs in the field don't require a college degree.

About 15% of the 54,000 new jobs expected in the Eagle Ford shale by 2021 will require a college degree, and a little more than 10% will require direct experience in the energy business, Tunstall said.

Read more in an article from South Carolina's

Pioneer Taps the Brakes in the Eagle Ford

Pioneer Natural Resources had planned to grow its rig count to 14 in 2012, but 25% of the company's development was set for dry gas. With natural gas prices below $3/mmbtu, Pioneer is backing off and delaying the two new rigs until 2013. The company still plans to have 19 rigs running by 2015. Production also made a considerable jump in the fourth quarter. The company produced more than 20,000 boe/d, compared to 14,000 boe/d in the third quarter. Gathering constraints are being eased and more companies are seeing significant production jumps. 

The company's well costs are expected to run $7-8 million per well in 2012 and the white sand, instead of ceramic, proppant will be used in 50% of the company's wells. White sand saves the company $700,000 per well.

The company's midstream partnership with Reliance Industries will also complete three additional central gathering plants in 2012. That will bring the total number of gathering plants to 11 across the company's acreage.

Read more at the Pioneer Natural Resources Eagle Ford page.

Pioneer Natural Resources Adds Frack Crew - White Sand Completions - Q311 Ops

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) reported strong growth from its Eagle Ford Shale assets when the company operates in partnership with Reliance Industries. The company is currently running 12 rigs in the play and has assembled 2 frack crews solely dedicated to the Eagle Ford. The second crew will be active in Q4 2011. Both crews compliment the company's two-year third party completion agreement. Wells are producing a 65% liquids cut that includes oil, condensate, and NGLs. Average wells laterals extend 5,500 ft and completions involve 13 frack stages. Wells are being brought on at restricted rates (16/64ths) to protect against reservoir damage at high flow rates. To date, company is seeing improved declines.

The company's midstream partnership will continue to build out gathering facilities in 2012 and will begin financing construction through outside sources in the next year. Well costs across the play average $7-8 million, but the company is saving as much as $700,000 per well by utilizing white sand in the more shallow portions of the play.

Production grew quarter over quarter from 8,000 boe/d to 14,000 boe/d and is expected to reach as high as 60,000 boe/d in 2014. 

PXD Q311 Eagle Ford Well Results
PXD Q311 Eagle Ford Well Results

"Based on our drilling plans for the Spraberry field, the Eagle Ford Shale and the Barnett Shale Combo play, we expect the Company to deliver production growth of 20+% in 2012 compared to 2011 and U.S. production growth of 22+%.

Eight central gathering plants (CGPs) have been completed as part of the joint venture's Eagle Ford Shale midstream business. Three additional CGPs are planned for 2012. Pioneer's share of its Eagle Ford Shale joint-venture midstream activities is conducted through a partially-owned, unconsolidated entity. Beginning in June 2011, funding for ongoing midstream infrastructure build-out costs that are in excess of operating cash flow are expected to be provided from external debt sources. Cash flow from the services provided by the midstream operations is not included in Pioneer's forecasted operating cash flow of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion in 2011.

Pioneer's gross well cost in the Eagle Ford Shale ranges from $7 million to $8 million per well. Using this cost, flat commodity prices of $90 per barrel for oil and $5 per MCF for gas, estimated future production costs, and excluding the benefit of the joint-venture drilling carry, before tax internal rates of return are estimated to be 80% for high condensate yield wells (200 barrels per million cubic feet) and 60% for lean condensate yield wells (60 barrels per million cubic feet).

Pioneer has been testing the use of lower-cost white sand instead of ceramic proppant to fracture stimulate wells drilled in shallower areas of the field. Twenty wells have been tested to date, with a savings of approximately $700 thousand per well. Early well performance has been similar to direct offset ceramic-stimulated wells. Pioneer plans to continue to monitor the performance of these wells and plans to use white sand in approximately 30% of its 2012 drilling program.

Read the full press release at

Caller's Oil & Gas Report For Oct. 4, 2011

Eleven well permits were reported in the Caller's Oil & Gas Report. The most significant of those are two 21,000 ft permits by Pioneer Natural Resources. Both wells were permitted in Live Oak County, with one in the Sugarkane field and one in the Eagleville field. Longer laterals are the trend in shale  plays. Drilling an extra foot or thousands of feet is much more efficient than drilling multiple wells. Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns due to technical limitations, but operators are routinely drilling 10,000 ft laterals in other shale plays.