Pioneer Provides 4Q02 Update
Pioneer Natural Resources has updated its fourth quarter 2002 outlook based on current expectations and partial quarter actual results. The following statements are estimates based on current expectations.
Fourth quarter production is expected to average approximately 117 thousand barrels per day on an oil equivalent basis. Pioneer's production from the Canyon Express project was lower than originally estimated as a result of start-up operational issues delaying the production ramp-up until late in the fourth quarter and a delay in initiating production from one of Pioneer's six wells in the project. Pioneer's net Canyon Express production is now achieving expected levels, averaging over 100 million cubic feet per day with five of its six wells producing. The Company expects the sixth well to be brought on production during the first quarter.
The Company's fourth quarter realized price for oil, including the effects of hedges, is expected to average approximately $22.90 to $23.10 per barrel. Pioneer's fourth quarter realized price for natural gas liquids is expected to range from $16.00 to $16.20 per barrel. The Company's fourth quarter realized price for gas, including the effects of hedges, is expected to average approximately $2.65 to $2.85 per thousand cubic feet. Fourth quarter lease operating expenses (including production and ad valorem taxes) are expected to average approximately $4.45 to $4.65 per barrel oil equivalent (BOE). Depreciation, depletion and amortization expense is expected to range from $5.50 to $5.75 per BOE. General and administrative expense is expected to be approximately $14 million. Interest expense is expected to be approximately $24 million. Cash taxes for the fourth quarter are expected to be no more than $1 million as the Company continues to benefit from the carry forward of prior years' net operating losses in the U.S. and Canada.
Total exploration and abandonment expense is expected to be approximately $27 million after including charges related to an unsuccessful well on the Lightning prospect, the first of three prospects Pioneer is drilling near its Falcon field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.