Pioneer Approves Development of Falcon Field

Pioneer Natural Resources Company along with its partner, Mariner Energy announced that they have approved the development of the Falcon field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Gas production is scheduled to begin in early 2003 with peak rates expected to reach 175 million cubic feet equivalent per day. Gas reserves are currently estimated to range from 175 to 240 billion cubic feet equivalent. Pioneer has a 45% working interest in the field, and Mariner operates the field with a 50% working interest.

Scott D. Sheffield, Chairman and CEO, stated, "Falcon is Pioneer's fourth major exploration project being developed for first production in 2002 or 2003, following the previously approved Canyon Express, Devils Tower and Sable projects. Compared to our current production rate, Falcon alone is expected to add 10%, and when all four projects are fully on-stream during 2003, our daily production is expected to be approximately 45% to 50% above current levels. At estimated peak rates, the combined natural gas production from Falcon, Canyon Express and Devils Tower represents approximately 75% of our current North America natural gas production."

The Falcon field is located 100 miles east of Corpus Christi in 3,400 feet of water in East Breaks 579/623. The field will be produced via a two-well subsea development tied back to a host platform located on the shelf approximately 30 miles away. The system will be expandable in order to accommodate future subsea tie-backs from numerous other prospects owned by Pioneer and Mariner in the surrounding area. Final facility design work and construction-related negotiations with third parties are expected to conclude by year-end.

In August, the partners were the apparent successful bidders on twelve deepwater blocks covering approximately 69,120 gross acres concentrated near the Falcon discovery. Pioneer and Mariner will each have a 50% working interest in the blocks when awarded.


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