Oil and gas explorer Pioneer Natural Resources' frontier is not in the Western prairies, but below them, and below the Rocky Mountains, the Midcontinent, West Texas, South Texas, and elsewhere. The large independent exploration and production company reported proved reserves of 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2011. The vast majority of the company's reserves are found within the US (including in Alaska, where the company was the first independent explorer to produce from a North Slope oilfield). It also has stakes in more than 10,000 net producing wells.
The company maintains offices in Anchorage, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; and Midland, Texas.
Pioneer Natural Resources' revenues increased by 17% tin 2011 hanks to the 7% and 21% increases in average reported oil and NGL prices, respectively, and 44%, 14% and 3% increases in oil, NGL, and gas sales volumes, respectively. This was partially offset by an 8% decrease in average reported gas prices and its South Africa performance, where sales volumes in 2011 declined by 29%, primarily due to unplanned production curtailments resulting from third-party gas-to-liquid plant downtime and normal well declines. In Tunisia, sales volumes in 2011 decreased due to the sale of Pioneer Tunisia during February 2011.
Net income decreased by 37% in 2011 due to higher revenues, a decrease in interest expense, and a drop in interest expense primarily due to a $17.4 million decrease in charges recorded for the difference between Pioneer contracted rig rates and market rig rates that are charged to joint operations and idle rig costs. Other factors included a $13.1 million decrease in idle well servicing operations and a $7.6 million drop in inventory impairments.
The company's revenues come from its US operations where the oil firm focuses on exploiting low-risk, long-lived basins. Securing an industrial sands business to support its hydraulic fracturing drilling activities in the Wolfcamp Shale and Barnett Shale plays in Texas, in 2012 Pioneer acquired Carmeuse Industrial Sands for $297 million.
It has exited higher risk foreign ventures. To raise cash and to focus on its core North American assets, in 2011 the company sold its Tunisia-based exploration and production units to OMV for $866 million. It also sold its South African business in 2012 for $38 million.
To gain capital to develop its US shale properties, in 2010 Pioneer entered a joint venture, selling a 45% stake in its southern Texas gas field, Eagle Ford Shale, to the USA subsidiary of India's Reliance Industries for $1.15 billion.