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Pioneer Natural Resources Making Huge Moves, Focus on Permian “Super Basin”

Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it was selling its non-Permian Basin acreage and infrastructure to focus its money and attention on what’s sometimes called a “Super Basin.”

A large chunk of the sale — 70,000 acres — is in South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale, which includes both oil and natural gas production. Pioneer is also selling its assets in the West Panhandle natural gas field in Texas, oil and gas acreage in the Sinor Nest Field in South Texas and gas production in the Raton Basin,  along the Colorado-New Mexico border.

“After these divestitures are completed, Pioneer’s operations will be solely in the Permian Basin,” Timothy L. Dove, Pioneer’s president and CEO, said in a written statement.

The announcement comes at a time when the U.S. oil industry’s focus is increasingly on the Permian Basin. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has projected that the Permian will account for 30 percent of the nation’s crude oil production this year. And Baker Hughes reported last year that 366 of the 915 onshore rigs in the Lower 48 were operating in the Permian.

The lower cost of production in the Permian, which lies in West Texas and eastern New Mexico, has created a land rush. Companies are also consolidating acreage there to increase efficiency, particularly with horizontal drilling.

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