Pioneer Natural Resources Co.'s fourth quarter production was dinged by about 6,000 boe/d due to severe winter weather in Texas that affected mainly the Permian Basin region. Operations are now back to normal, the company said Tuesday in a production update.
Pioneer fourth quarter production averaged 173,000 boe/d, excluding operations in Alaska, which were categorized as discontinued during the quarter. Production was curtailed by 6,000 boe/d, about 5,000 boe/d of which was related to heavy icing and low temperatures across Pioneer's leasehold in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp area that resulted in extensive power outages, facility freeze-ups, trucking curtailments and limited access to production and drilling facilities.
In Pioneer's Midkiff area, which experienced the greatest impact from severe winter weather, more than 1,000 utility poles, 900 transformers and 1,000 miles of power lines were damaged and had to be replaced by utility providers serving the area between late November and early January.
When the severe weather first occurred in late November, more than 50% of Pioneer's 7,000-plus wells in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp area were shut in. All of the wells that were affected have been returned to production and the company does not anticipate any adverse effects on future well performance due to the downtime.
Drilling and completion operations have returned to normal. This includes Pioneer's horizontal drilling program, which currently has eight rigs operating in the southern Wolfcamp joint venture area and nine rigs operating across the company's northern acreage. Pioneer expects to have more than 10 rigs operating on its northern acreage by the end of the first quarter.
The remaining curtailed production in the fourth quarter was due to facility freeze-ups in the company's Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale Combo and West Panhandle areas. Operations in these areas have also returned to normal.
Pioneer plans to report fourth quarter earnings and financial results on Feb. 10.