Pioneer has signed an exploration agreement with ConocoPhillips and Anadarko acquiring a 20% interest in approximately 452,000 additional acres and gaining the rights to extensive seismic and geologic data in the NPR-A Northeast Planning Area. Earlier in 2004, through an exploration agreement with the same companies, Pioneer acquired a 20% interest in 167,000 acres in this planning area and in the adjacent federal offshore waters. Pioneer also participated in the Northwest Planning Area lease sale and acquired working interests ranging from 20% to 30% in approximately 808,000 acres.
"This new joint venture agreement positions us to participate in near-term, high-impact exploration opportunities on trend with existing discoveries. The new acreage complements our existing NPR-A acreage as it is much closer to infrastructure and could provide a bridge to our large holdings in the northwest," stated Scott Sheffield, Pioneer's Chairman and CEO. "When all of the related assignments have been approved, Pioneer will have amassed an Alaskan undeveloped acreage portfolio in excess of 1.6 million gross acres and will hold the third largest net position in the state."
Alaska Portfolio Update
Since Pioneer entered Alaska with the successful drilling of three discovery wells within its Oooguruk Unit in the first quarter of 2003, Pioneer has assembled an extensive and balanced portfolio of North Slope opportunities:
Pioneer's Executive Vice President of Worldwide Exploration, Chris Cheatwood, stated, "We are pleased to expand our exploration agreement with ConocoPhillips and Anadarko across a large portion of NPR-A. Pioneer has assembled a substantial portfolio on the North Slope of Alaska with good balance between development and exploration and with opportunities that will spur drilling activity for the next 5 to 10 years. We plan to invest more than $50 million on our Alaska portfolio in 2005 with a vision of growing these assets into a new core division for Pioneer."
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