Pioneer Natural Resources Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 01, 2012 10:00 am ET

Executives

Frank E. Hopkins - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Scott D. Sheffield - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Timothy L. Dove - President and Chief Operating Officer

Richard P. Dealy - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Analysts

Brian Lively - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Cameron Horwitz - U.S. Capital Advisors LLC, Research Division

Will Green - Stephens Inc., Research Division

John C. Nelson - Macquarie Research

Leo P. Mariani - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

David W. Kistler - Simmons & Company International, Research Division

Brian Singer - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Brian M. Corales - Howard Weil Incorporated, Research Division

Mario Barraza - Tuohy Brothers Investment Research, Inc.

Charles A. Meade - Johnson Rice & Company, L.L.C., Research Division

Charles A. Meade - Johnson Rice & Company, L.L.C.

Sven Del Pozzo - IHS Herold, Inc

Michael A. Hall - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Richard M. Tullis - Capital One Southcoast, Inc., Research Division

Michael Kelly - Global Hunter Securities, LLC, Research Division

Abhishek Sinha - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to Pioneer Natural Resources Second Quarter Conference Call. Joining us today will be Scott Sheffield, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Tim Dove, President and Chief Operating Officer; Rich Dealy, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Frank Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations.

Pioneer has prepared PowerPoint slides to supplement their comments today. These slides can be accessed over the Internet at www.pxd.com. Again, the Internet site to access the slides related to today's call is www.pxd.com. At the website, select Investors, then select Investor Presentations. This call is being recorded. A replay of the call will be archived on the Internet site through August 22.

The company's comments today will include forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements and the business prospects of Pioneer are subject to a number risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results in future periods to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are described in Pioneer's news release on Page 2 of the slide presentation and in Pioneer's public filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At this time, for opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over to Pioneer's Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, Frank Hopkins. Please go ahead, sir.

Frank E. Hopkins

Good day, everyone, and thank you for joining us. I'm going to briefly go over the agenda for today's call. Scott is going to be up first. He will provide the financial and operating highlights for the second quarter of 2012. He'll then discuss the company's plan to pursue a joint venture partner to accelerate the development of Pioneer's industry-leading position in the horizontal Wolfcamp Shale. He'll also update you on our increased production growth forecast for 2012, and capital spending plans over the remainder of the year. After that, Tim will be up. He'll discuss our drilling results and plans for the horizontal Wolfcamp Shale, Spraberry vertical wells, the Eagle Ford Shale and the Barnett Shale Combo play. He'll also update you on our activities in Alaska. Rich will then cover the second quarter financials in more detail and provide earnings guidance for the third quarter. And then after that, we'll open up the call for your questions.

So with that, I'll turn the call over to Scott.

Scott D. Sheffield

Nice, Frank, and good morning. On Slide #3 in our highlights, we had a clean adjusted income number of $98 million or $0.78 per adjusted share. Second quarter production, which we had already press released a couple of weeks ago, totaled over 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The Spraberry production was negatively impacted by about 4,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day due to unplanned third-party NGL fractionation capacity shortfalls at Mont Belvieu. Did include 2,000 barrels a day associated with NGL inventory build, which we do expect to sell between now and the end of the year, and 2,000 barrels a day from ethane rejection that will continue. Production would've been about 155,000 barrels a day without the negative impact, which have been at the high end or above our guidance of 149,000 to 154,000 barrels a day. We were up 4,000 barrels a day versus the first quarter, primarily driven by the production growth in Spraberry, Eagle Ford, Barnett and Alaska. One note is that all production is up 70% over the last 12 months with Pioneer.

Increasing 2012 production growth, our target range, which was 23 to 27, up to 25 to 29, as strong drilling and well performance is expected to out weigh the continued third-party NGL fractionation capacity shortfalls and our reduced second half drilling activity. Between -- to advance the successful Horizontal Wolfcamp Shale plays, we're announcing 5 additional wells, very successful, for a total of 7. The program is way exceeding expectations. Increasing our estimated ultimate recovery to 575,000 barrels oil equivalent for 7,000-foot laterals in our southern acreage. Also, we're announcing, of the next several months, we're pursuing a joint -- looking for a joint venture partner to accelerate horizontal Wolfcamp Shale development in our southern 200,000 acres of our total perspective acreage position. We'll talk more about that in a minute.

Going to Slide #4. Continued on highlights. Our deeper vertical drilling to the Strawn, Atoka and Mississippian continue to drive the strong Spraberry performance -- out-performance in that field. Also, what's important, maintaining our drilling capital at $2.4 billion by reducing second half activity in response to the recent -- in the last 60 days, the price of WTI coming down from roughly $100 to between $85 and $90 from lower commodity prices.

We're taking the Spraberry rig count down a little bit quicker than we anticipated in this price environment, from 40 to 30, reducing the Barnett rig count from 2 to 1. Also, we're looking at reducing the Spraberry vertical rig count of 1 to 3 rigs. In addition, we have terminated some third-party fracture stimulation plates and are now predominantly using Pioneer fracture stimulation fleets, saving lots of capital there. We liquidated some gas derivatives, in 2014 and '15, several weeks ago. And the market obviously has moved up since then, substantially, with cash proceeds of about $143 million. And also recently when oil peaked at about $93 just recently, we went ahead and added 8,000 barrels a day of oil swaps for the next -- for the last 5 months of 2012, which puts us close to 100% of our oil hedge for the rest this year.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com