Pioneer Natural says harsh winter in Texas may hurt 4th-qtr results

Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:07am EST

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co and its unit Pioneer Southwest Energy Partners said their fourth-quarter results could fall short of their expectations after a severe winter in Texas hurt production.

Pioneer Natural had said last month that a severe winter hurt production and drilling operations in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp, Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale fields.

The company had forecast average production of 179,000 to 184,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31. Pioneer Southwest had forecast average output of 8,700 to 9,200 BOEPD.

A harsh winter in the western United States has hampered some oil and gas production and could further crimp output in the top crude-producing states as temperatures drop further this week.

Portions of western Texas, home to the oil-and-gas rich Permian Basin shale field, will experience sleet and snow with ice forming on Thursday night, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Energen Corp and Apache Corp have also said weather conditions would hurt production.

"The Spraberry/Wolfcamp area was especially hard hit as heavy icing and low temperatures resulted in extensive power outages, facilities freeze-ups, trucking curtailments and limited access to production and drilling facilities," Pioneer Natural said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. () ()

The company and its unit said that worsening of weather conditions since Dec. 4 in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp area did not cause too much damage.

Pioneer Southwest, formed to buy and own oil and gas assets, was bought by its parent Pioneer Natural earlier this year.

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