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Pioneer Q4, Full Year 2022 Results; Bets on Midland in 2023, 25 Rigs Running

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   |    Wednesday,February 22,2023

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. reported financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2022.

 Pioneer reported fourth quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 billion, or $5.98 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 fourth quarter was $1.5 billion, or $5.91 per diluted share. Cash flow from operating activities for the fourth quarter was $2.6 billion. For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company reported net income attributable to common stockholders of $7.8 billion, or $31.13 per diluted share. Cash flow from operating activities for the year was $11.3 billion.


  • Delivered strong fourth quarter and full year free cash flow1 of $1.7 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively
  • Declared a quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $5.58 per share to be paid in March 2023 (based on fourth quarter results)
  • Repurchased $400 million of shares during the fourth quarter and $1.65 billion during the full year
  • Generated a return on capital employed2 of 30% during 2022

Chief Executive Officer Scott D. Sheffield stated, "Pioneer delivered a strong 2022, executing on our investment framework and providing compelling shareholder returns. Our peer-leading free cash flow per barrel produced, paired with our low reinvestment rate, generated free cash flow of $8.4 billion during the year. This significant free cash flow resulted in nearly $8.0 billion being returned to shareholders through dividends of over $26 per share and $1.65 billion of share repurchases.

"We believe Pioneer is differentiated from our peers based on our decades of low-breakeven, high-return inventory that underpins our ability to deliver attractive corporate returns and durable free cash flow through commodity price cycles. Our best-in-class assets, great people, highly efficient and responsible operations, and commitment to substantial shareholder returns creates significant value for our shareholders. We expect to deliver more strong results during 2023 as we execute on our plan."

2023 Outlook

The Company expects its 2023 drilling, completions, facilities and water infrastructure capital budget3 to range between $4.45 billion to $4.75 billion.

Additionally, the Company expects its capital budget for exploration, environmental and other capital to range between $150 million to $200 million, principally related to drilling four Barnett/Woodford formation wells in the Midland Basin, additional testing of the Company's enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project and adding electric power infrastructure for future drilling, completions and production operations. Pioneer expects its capital program to be funded from 2023 cash flow6, which is projected to be approximately $9 billion.

During 2023, the Company plans to operate an average of 24 to 26 horizontal drilling rigs in the Midland Basin, including a three-rig average program in the southern Midland Basin joint venture area. The 2023 capital program is expected to place 500 to 530 wells on production. Pioneer expects 2023 oil production of 357 to 372 thousand barrels of oil per day (MBOPD) and total production of 670 to 700 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOEPD).

First Quarter 2023 Guidance

First quarter 2023 oil production is forecasted to average between 349 to 364 MBOPD and total production is expected to average between 659 to 687 MBOEPD. Production costs are expected to average $11.75 per BOE to $13.25 per BOE. DD&A expense is expected to average $10.50 per BOE to $12.00 per BOE. Total exploration and abandonments expense is forecasted to be $10 million to $20 million. G&A expense is expected to be $78 million to $88 million. Interest expense is expected to be $27 million to $32 million. Other expense is forecasted to be $20 million to $40 million. The cash flow impact related to purchases and sales of oil and gas, including firm transportation, is expected to be a loss of $50 million to a loss of $90 million, based on forward oil price estimates for the quarter. The Company's effective income tax rate is expected to be 22% to 27%, with cash taxes expected to be $70 million to $100 million, representing estimated federal and state tax payments that will be paid based on forecasted 2023 taxable income.

Financial Highlights

Pioneer maintains a strong balance sheet, with unrestricted cash on hand as of December 31, 2022 of $1.0 billion and net debt of $3.9 billion. The Company had $3.0 billion of liquidity as of December 31, 2022, comprised of $1.0 billion of cash and a $2.0 billion unsecured credit facility (undrawn as of December 31, 2022).

Cash flow from operating activities during the fourth quarter and full year 2022 was $2.6 billion and $11.3 billion, respectively, leading to free cash flow1 of $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter and $8.4 billion for the full year 2022.

During the fourth quarter, the Company's total capital expenditures3, including drilling, completion, facilities and water infrastructure, totaled $1.1 billion. For the full year 2022, the Company's total capital expenditures3 totaled $3.8 billion.

For the first quarter of 2023, the Company's Board of Directors (Board) has declared a quarterly base-plus-variable dividend of $5.58 per share, comprised of a $1.10 base dividend and $4.48 variable dividend. This represents a total annualized dividend yield of approximately 11%4. In addition to a strong dividend program, the Company continues to execute opportunistic share repurchases. During the fourth quarter, the Company repurchased $400 million of common stock, bringing total 2022 share repurchases to $1.65 billion. Additionally, Pioneer repurchased $250 million of common stock during January and February, bringing total repurchases under the current authorization to $1.9 billion.

Pioneer believes this peer-leading return of capital strategy, comprised of dividends and share repurchases, creates significant value for shareholders5.

Fourth Quarter Financial Results

For the fourth quarter of 2022, the average realized price for oil was $83.53 per barrel. The average realized price for natural gas liquids (NGLs) was $27.67 per barrel, and the average realized price for gas was $4.98 per thousand cubic feet. These prices exclude the effects of derivatives.

Production costs, including taxes, averaged $11.08 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE). Depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A) expense averaged $10.77 per BOE. Exploration and abandonments expense was $9 million. General and administrative (G&A) expense was $83 million. Interest expense was $28 million. The net cash flow impact related to sales of purchased oil and gas, including firm transportation, was a loss of $76 million. Other expense was $55 million, or $39 million excluding unusual items. The Company recognized a current tax benefit of $172 million during the quarter (principally related to the overpayment of estimated cash taxes during the year). The Company's effective tax rate was 21% for the quarter.

Operations Update

Pioneer continued to deliver strong operational performance in the Midland Basin, which led to the Company placing 483 horizontal wells on production during 2022, including 84 horizontal wells placed on production during the fourth quarter.

Pioneer's large and contiguous acreage position provides the opportunity to drive further operational enhancements. The development of wells with lateral lengths in excess of 15,000 feet provides significant capital savings on a per foot basis and generates returns that are on average 20% higher than a 10,000-foot lateral well. The Company is expanding the development of 15,000 foot laterals and expects to place more than 100 of these wells on production in 2023.

Additionally, Pioneer has delivered significant cost and efficiency improvements from the utilization of simulfrac completions. The Company added a third simulfrac fleet in the first quarter of 2023. Consistent with the Company's commitment to sustainable operations, Pioneer expects 100% of its completions fleets to be either electric or dual-fuel powered by the second half of 2023.

Extended laterals, utilization of simulfrac fleets and the transition of completions fleets from diesel-only fuel are a few examples of the many continuous improvement efforts that the Company's operational teams continue to generate. During 2022, Pioneer's operational teams delivered a fifth consecutive year of improved drilling and completions efficiencies.

Proved Reserves

The Company added proved reserves totaling 365 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) during 2022, excluding acquisitions and price revisions. These proved reserve additions equate to a drillbit reserve replacement ratio of 152% when compared to Pioneer's full-year 2022 production of 240 MMBOE, including field fuel. The drillbit finding and development (F&D) cost was $10.82 per BOE in 2022, with a drillbit proved developed F&D cost of $9.83 per BOE.

As of December 31, 2022, the Company's total proved reserves were estimated at 2,377 MMBOE, of which 89% are proved developed.

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.

During 2022, Pioneer continued to advance the Company's leading ESG strategy. Highlights from 2022 include partnering with NextEra Energy Resources to develop a 140-megawatt wind generation facility on Pioneer owned surface acreage and joining 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. Additionally, Pioneer's continued progress on its ESG initiatives led to an increase to an ESG "A" rating from MSCI.

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