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Pioneer Natural Resources Second Quarter 2022 Results

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   |    Wednesday,August 03,2022

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. reported financial and operating results for the quarter ended June 30, 2022.


  • Generated strong second quarter free cash flow1 of $2.7 billion
  • Declared quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $8.57 per share to be paid during the third quarter; includes increasing the quarterly base dividend by greater than 40%
  • Repurchased $750 million of shares since the end of the first quarter (3.3 million shares), includes $250 million of shares repurchased during July
  • Returning greater than 95% of second quarter free cash flow to shareholders

Chief Executive Officer Scott D. Sheffield stated, "Pioneer is focused on developing our top-tier assets, driving best-in-class margins and delivering the highest free cash flow per barrel oil equivalent produced. Our differentiated investment framework strategy generated $2.7 billion of free cash flow during the second quarter, with greater than 95% of the free cash flow being returned to shareholders through our base-plus-variable dividend and opportunistic share repurchases.

"Pioneer's willingness to aggressively repurchase shares during market dislocations resulted in $750 million of shares being repurchased since the end of the first quarter. Of this, $250 million was purchased in July at an average price of $213 per share.

"Pioneer's strong balance sheet provides the financial flexibility to return significant free cash flow to investors, while still growing annual oil volumes. This durable program, underpinned by our high-quality Permian drilling inventory, coupled with our peer-leading ESG strategy outlined in our recently published 2022 Sustainability Report, demonstrates why Pioneer is well positioned to create value for our shareholders for decades to come."

Financial Highlights

Pioneer reported second quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $2.4 billion, or $9.30 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 second quarter was $2.4 billion, or $9.36 per diluted share. Cash flow from operating activities for the second quarter was $3.2 billion.

Pioneer maintains a strong balance sheet, with cash on hand at the end of the second quarter of $2.6 billion and net debt of $3.1 billion. The Company had $5.1 billion of liquidity as of June 30, 2022, comprised of $2.6 billion of cash, $506 million of short-term commercial paper investments and a $2.0 billion unsecured credit facility (undrawn as of June 30, 2022).

Cash flow from operating activities during the second quarter was $3.2 billion, leading to free cash flow1 of $2.7 billion.

During the second quarter, the Company’s drilling, completion and facilities capital expenditures totaled $881 million, with total capital expenditures2, including water infrastructure, totaling $895 million.

For the third quarter of 2022, the Company’s Board of Directors (Board) has declared a quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $8.57 per share, comprised of a $1.10 base dividend and $7.47 variable dividend. The dividend includes a greater than 40% increase to the base dividend and represents a total annualized dividend yield of approximately 15%3.

In addition to a strong dividend program, the Company continues to execute opportunistic share repurchases. During the second quarter of 2022, the Company repurchased $500 million of common stock at an average share price of $235. During July, the Company repurchased an additional $250 million of common stock at an average share price of $213. 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 third quarter dividends and second quarter share repurchases, on an annualized basis, represents a total stockholder return yield of approximately 19%5.

Financial Results

For the second quarter of 2022, the average realized price for oil was $110.56 per barrel. The average realized price for natural gas liquids (NGLs) was $44.21 per barrel, and the average realized price for gas was $6.72 per thousand cubic feet. These prices exclude the effects of derivatives.

Production costs, including taxes, averaged $12.81 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) expense averaged $10.60 per BOE. Exploration and abandonment costs were $11 million. General and administrative (G&A) expense was $88 million, or $78 million when excluding $10 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Interest expense was $33 million. The net cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation, was a loss of $16 million. Other expense was $5 million. Cash taxes totaled $144 million, and the Company’s effective tax rate was 22% for the quarter.

Operations Update

Pioneer continues to deliver strong operational performance in the Midland Basin. The Company has increased forecasted drilled lateral length per well in 2022, with an expected average length of approximately 10,500 feet, representing a 4% increase when compared to 2021. This increase includes adding approximately fifty 15,000-foot laterals to the 2022 program. Additionally, Pioneer has consistently increased completed feet per day for both simulfrac and zipper fleets. In 2021, the Company's completed feet per day increased over 20%, when compared to 2020, with further increases expected in 2022.

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.

These strong operational efficiencies enabled Pioneer to place 133 horizontal wells on production during the second quarter.

2022 Outlook

Based on the inflationary pressures seen in steel, diesel and chemical costs, among other items, the Company now expects its 2022 total capital budget2 to range between $3.6 billion to $3.8 billion. Pioneer expects its capital program to be fully funded from 2022 cash flow6 of greater than $13 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).

Third Quarter 2022 Guidance

Third quarter 2022 oil production is forecasted to average between 345 to 360 MBOPD and total production is expected to average between 635 to 660 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 $30 million to $35 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 $60 million to a loss of $100 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 $300 million to $350 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.

Additionally, Pioneer has joined the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) 2.0 Initiative, which is considered the gold standard on methane emission measurement and reporting for the upstream energy industry. This decision demonstrates the Company's focus on increasing transparency in methane reporting and measurement.

Pioneer has also strengthened the Company's target to reduce the freshwater used in completions to 20% or less by 2026. The enhanced target reflects Pioneer's dedication to expanding the use of alternative water sources, including recycled water and reclaimed water from the cities of Midland and Odessa.

Within the past year, Pioneer has appointed three new directors to the Company’s Board, with combined expertise in DEI, ESG and alternative energy, in addition to outstanding business experience. The appointments of Lori George Billingsley, Maria Jelescu Dreyfus and Jacinto Hernandez have expanded the diverse backgrounds of the Company’s Board.

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