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Pioneer Natural Resources Announces Second Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Discovery
Dallas, Texas, February 15, 2000 -- Pioneer Natural Resources Company (“Pioneer”)(NYSE:PXD) (TSE:PXD) announces its participation in a Deepwater Gulf of Mexico discovery on the Devil's Tower Prospect in Mississippi Canyon 773 located approximately 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in 5,610 feet of water.
The discovery well was drilled to a total depth of 15,625 feet and encountered a significant number of hydrocarbon bearing sands. Appraisal drilling is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2000. Pioneer has a 15.83375% working interest in the discovery. Mariner Energy, Inc., the operator, holds a 50% interest with other partners CNG Producing Company (30%) and Westport Oil and Gas Company, Inc. (4.16625%).
Devil's Tower is Pioneer's second successful exploration well drilled in the last year in the Deepwater Gulf. In early 1999, Pioneer participated in the Aconcagua discovery in Mississippi Canyon 305. The appraisal well for the Aconcagua discovery is expected to spud within the next week. The partners in this discovery, Elf Exploration, Inc. (Operator-50%), Pioneer (25%) and Mariner (25%) expect to sanction the development project in June of this year.
Aconcagua is one of three deepwater natural gas fields included in the recently announced Canyon Express joint development project. The other fields are Marathon Oil Company's Camden Hills in Mississippi Canyon 348 and BP Amoco's Kings Peak in Mississippi Canyon 217. Anticipated production of approximately 500 million cubic feet of gas per day will flow to the Elf-operated Virgo platform in Viosca Knoll 823. First production is anticipated in early 2002.
2000 will represent Pioneer's most active year for high-impact exploratory drilling since its inception. During the year, in addition to appraisal wells on these two deepwater discoveries, Pioneer plans to drill four to six Gulf Basin prospects. In South Africa, the Company plans an appraisal well on its Sable oil discovery and two wells to test two other oil prospects.
Pioneer is a large independent exploration and production oil and gas company in North America, with major operations in the United States, Canada, Argentina and South Africa. Pioneer's headquarters are in Dallas.
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this Press Release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, and the business prospects of Pioneer Natural Resources Company, are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties which may cause the Company's actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, volatility of oil and gas prices, product supply and demand, competition, government regulation or action, litigation, the costs and results of drilling and operations, the Company's ability to replace reserves or implement its business plans, access to and cost of capital, uncertainties about estimates of reserves, quality of technical data, and environmental risks. These and other risks are described in the Company's 10-K and 10-Q Reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investor Relations Contact: Susan Spratlen (972) 444-9001
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