Pioneer Natural Resources Reports Third Quarter 2022 Financial and Operating Results


Pioneer Natural Resources Company (NYSE:PXD) (“Pioneer” or “the Company”) today reported financial and operating results for the quarter ended September 30, 2022. Pioneer reported third quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $2.0 billion, or $7.93 per diluted share. These results include the effects of noncash mark-to-market adjustments and certain other unusual items. Excluding these items, non-GAAP adjusted income for the third quarter was $1.9 billion, or $7.48 per diluted share. Cash flow from operating activities for the third quarter was $3.0 billion.

Highlights

  • Generated strong third quarter free cash flow1 of $1.7 billion
  • Based on third quarter results, declared a quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $5.71 per share to be paid in December 2022
  • Repurchased $500 million of shares during the third quarter
  • Announced participation in wind and solar generation projects to increase use of renewable energy and reduce Scope 2 emissions

Chief Executive Officer Scott D. Sheffield stated, “Pioneer continues to execute on our investment framework that provides best-in-class capital returns to shareholders. This framework is expected to result in $7.5 billion of cash flow being returned to shareholders during 2022, including $26 per share in dividends and continued opportunistic share repurchases.

“To further enhance our top-tier free cash flow generation and return of capital, we have increased the return thresholds for wells to be included in our future development programs, which is expected to improve our program well productivity in 2023 and subsequent years, surpassing 2021 productivity levels. Additionally, our current 15,000-foot lateral program, which we plan to expand in 2023, is delivering improved returns through lower capital costs per lateral foot. With an inventory of more than twenty years of high-return wells, our improved 2023 development program is highly repeatable and will deliver affordable energy to the world, with some of the lowest emissions as a result of the Company’s high environmental standards.”

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Pioneer Wells Drilled 2022

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Financial Highlights

Pioneer maintains a strong balance sheet, with unrestricted cash on hand at the end of the third quarter of 2022 of $1.3 billion and net debt of $3.9 billion. The Company had $3.7 billion of liquidity as of September 30, 2022, comprised of $1.3 billion of cash, $372 million of short-term commercial paper investments and a $2.0 billion unsecured credit facility (undrawn as of September 30, 2022).

Cash flow from operating activities during the third quarter was $3.0 billion, leading to free cash flow1 of $1.7 billion.

During the third quarter, the Company’s total capital expenditures2, including drilling, completion, facilities and water infrastructure totaled $1.0 billion.

For the fourth quarter of 2022, the Company’s Board of Directors (Board) has declared a quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $5.71 per share, comprised of a $1.10 base dividend and $4.61 variable dividend. This represents a total annualized dividend yield of approximately 9%3.

In addition to a strong dividend program, the Company continues to execute opportunistic share repurchases. During the third quarter, the Company repurchased $500 million of common stock at an average share price of $218. Pioneer believes this peer-leading return of capital strategy, which combines a strong base dividend, a substantial variable dividend and opportunistic share repurchases, creates significant value for shareholders4. The combination of fourth quarter dividends and third quarter share repurchases, on an annualized basis, represents a total stockholder return yield of approximately 12%5.

Financial Results

For the third quarter of 2022, the average realized price for oil was $94.23 per barrel. The average realized price for natural gas liquids (NGLs) was $38.09 per barrel, and the average realized price for gas was $7.58 per thousand cubic feet. These prices exclude the effects of derivatives.

Production costs, including taxes, averaged $13.62 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) expense averaged $10.61 per BOE. Exploration and abandonment costs were $8 million. General and administrative (G&A) expense was $90 million, or $80 million when excluding $10 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Interest expense was $30 million. The net cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation, was a loss of $135 million. Other expense was $36 million. Cash taxes totaled $308 million, and the Company’s effective tax rate was 20% for the quarter.

Operations Update

Pioneer continues to deliver strong operational performance in the Midland Basin, enabling the Company to place 128 and 399 horizontal wells on production during the third quarter and the first nine months of the year, respectively.

The Company is increasing the return thresholds for wells to be included in future development programs, providing a substantial improvement in expected program well productivity and returns. With these changes, Pioneer expects future well productivity to surpass 2021 levels. Future returns and well productivity reflect optimized full-stack development, drilling extended lateral lengths and a reduction in drilling of delayed targets. The Company’s deep inventory of high-return locations is expected to sustain Pioneer’s development program for multiple decades.

The Company continues to see significant capital savings and higher returns from the development of wells with lateral lengths in excess of 15,000 feet. Pioneer’s savings of approximately 15% per lateral foot on extended laterals results in internal rates of return that are 20% higher than that of a 10,000-foot lateral.

Drilling longer laterals, reducing drilling days per well and completing more feet per day, among other operational efficiency improvements, continue to benefit capital efficiency and dampen inflationary pressures.

Pioneer Operational Map (click for access)

2022 Outlook

The Company expects its 2022 total capital budget2 to range between $3.6 to $3.8 billion. Pioneer expects its capital program to be fully funded from 2022 cash flow6 of over $12 billion.

During 2022, the Company plans to operate an average of 22 to 24 horizontal drilling rigs in the Midland Basin, including a three-rig average program in the southern Midland Basin joint venture area. The 2022 capital program is expected to place 475 to 505 wells on production. Pioneer expects 2022 oil production of 350 to 365 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBOPD) and total production of 623 to 648 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD).

Fourth Quarter 2022 Guidance

Fourth quarter 2022 oil production is forecasted to average between 346.5 to 361.5 MBOPD and total production is expected to average between 655 to 680 MBOEPD. Production costs are expected to average $12.00 per BOE to $13.50 per BOE. DD&A expense is expected to average $10.50 per BOE to $12.00 per BOE. Total exploration and abandonment expense is forecasted to be $10 million to $20 million. G&A expense is expected to be $75 million to $85 million. Interest expense is expected to be $28 million to $33 million. Other expense is forecasted to be $20 million to $40 million. Accretion of discount on asset retirement obligations is expected to be $3 million to $6 million. The cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation, is expected to be a loss of $45 million to a loss of $85 million, based on forward oil price estimates for the quarter. The Company’s effective income tax rate is expected to be between 22% to 27%, with cash taxes expected to be $10 million to $30 million, representing estimated federal and state tax payments that will be paid based on forecasted 2022 taxable income.

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Pioneer views sustainability as a multidisciplinary effort that balances economic growth, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The Company emphasizes developing natural resources in a manner that protects surrounding communities and preserves the environment.

Pioneer recently published its 2022 Sustainability Report highlighting the Company’s focus and significant progress on ESG initiatives. The comprehensive report details the Company’s leadership position on ESG metrics and targets during 2021, including enhanced disclosures on air emissions; water management practices; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); board of director governance and community engagement.

The Company has multiple initiatives underway that are expected to result in tangible progress towards Pioneer’s net zero emissions ambition. Pioneer has made significant progress towards the Company’s 2030 emissions intensity targets by achieving a 22% reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity and a 50% reduction in methane emission intensity, when compared to a 2019 baseline. Additionally, Pioneer achieved a flaring intensity of 0.41% in 2021, well below the Company’s goal to limit flaring to 1% of natural gas produced. Pioneer continues to prioritize environmental stewardship and accelerated the Company’s target to end routine flaring by 2025, five years earlier than the Company’s previous 2030 target.

Pioneer is participating in two renewable energy projects that will supply low-cost, renewable power to the Company’s Permian Basin operations and to the Texas electric grid. One project includes a 140-megawatt (MW) wind generation facility on Pioneer-owned surface acreage in Midland County, which will be developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and is supported by a power purchase agreement with Pioneer, in which Targa Resources Corporation (Targa) will participate. This project is expected to be operational during 2024. Additionally, Pioneer will also participate in a 160 MW Concho Valley Solar project through a power purchase agreement executed by Targa. The Concho Valley Solar project commenced delivering renewable electricity during October 2022. Pioneer will not incur any capital expenditures associated with either of these projects. Pioneer will continue to evaluate wind and solar developments on the Company’s extensive owned surface acreage in the Permian Basin.

These two renewable energy projects, along with any future projects, are expected to provide an offset to Pioneer’s Scope 2 emissions through the use of renewable electricity, helping Pioneer to reduce the emission intensity of the Company’s operations while continuing to supply low-cost, responsibly sourced energy to the world.

Pioneer Energy News

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