Pioneer Makes Discovery on Raptor Prospect

Noble Homer Ferrington
Pioneer Natural Resources has made a gas discovery on its Raptor prospect in the Falcon Corridor in the East Breaks area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled by Noble Drilling's semisub, Noble Homer Ferrington. Raptor is the third satellite discovery Pioneer is developing as a subsea tie-back to its Falcon field.

The first satellite discovery, Harrier, has been completed, and the well is currently being tied back to the Falcon field with first production expected in early 2004. Raptor and the second satellite discovery, Tomahawk, are being completed with first production expected within approximately 12 months. To accommodate Falcon Corridor satellite production, an additional parallel pipeline connecting the Falcon field to the Falcon Nest platform on the Gulf of Mexico shelf is being added to the Falcon facilities doubling the capacity to 400 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Pioneer expects gross combined daily gas production from Falcon and Harrier to reach approximately 275 million cubic feet per day and production to approach full capacity with the addition of production from Raptor and Tomahawk. Pioneer operates the Falcon subsea system and the Falcon Corridor fields with a 100% working interest.

During the remainder of 2003, Pioneer will continue its deepwater drilling program participating in the Juno prospect in the Mississippi Canyon area. The Juno well will test a high-potential deep structure and is expected to spud during the fourth quarter. BP will operate the well with 75% working interest, and Pioneer will participate with a 25% working interest.

To expand the potential of the Devils Tower area, Pioneer plans to drill an appraisal well on the Triton satellite discovery during the fourth quarter. Pioneer holds a 25% working interest in Devils Tower and Triton and plans to follow the Triton appraisal well with an exploration well on another satellite prospect that also holds potential for subsea tie-back to the Devils Tower infrastructure.

Scott D. Sheffield, Chairman and CEO, said, "The dual focus of our deepwater strategy over the last few years, working the lower-risk areas surrounding our discoveries at Falcon and Devils Tower while generating a portfolio of high-potential but higher-risk prospects on deep structures, has positioned us well. We have three satellites that we are tying back to the Falcon system, a satellite discovery that we're appraising for tie-back to Devils Tower, and more prospects to test next year. We're also excited to be announcing our participation in the Juno well, our first high-impact deep structure test."

On the Gulf of Mexico shelf, Pioneer also reported that the Samoa well encountered minor gas shows but was not commercially viable and that the Midway prospect (operated by Pioneer with 50% working interest) offshore Texas is currently drilling.

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