Pioneer Announces Test Results of Gabon Discovery

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May 15, 2001

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (“Pioneer”) (NYSE:PXD) (TSE:PXD) announced today a series of discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Gabon and South Africa and provided an update on its 2001 exploration program. Two prospects in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Turnberry and Falcon, encountered hydrocarbons and have been or will be sidetracked to further test reservoir extent. A well in the Olowi block offshore Gabon found oil and has been successfully sidetracked, and significant gas-productive sands have been found in Pioneer's first gas well offshore South Africa. Pioneer also provided an update on the development of prior discoveries in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and discussed wells currently drilling and planned for the remainder of 2001. The 2001 program offers potential net gas equivalent reserves of 1.5 to 3.7 trillion cubic feet or 50% to 100% of existing total company proved reserves.

Scott D. Sheffield, Pioneer's Chairman and CEO stated, “With 11 wells currently drilling to test, appraise or develop high-impact exploration projects, our office is buzzing with excitement. Development of our prior discoveries is underway and is expected to provide significant production growth in 2002 and 2003. The 2001 exploration program is key to continuing this trend of exceptional production growth into 2004 and 2005. We are very pleased with this series of discoveries and our burgeoning track record of exploration success and look forward to further tests on these successes and results on the remainder of this year's program.”

2001 Discoveries

Two new discoveries have been made in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The initial exploration well on the Turnberry prospect (Atwater Valley 92) was drilled to a total depth of 15,994 feet and encountered over 100 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sands. The discovery well will be sidetracked to an updip location approximately 1,800 feet to the north to test the extent of the reservoir. Sidetrack operations will commence late in the third quarter. Turnberry, where Pioneer has a 40% working interest (“WI”), is operated by Dominion E&P (60% WI).

At Falcon (East Breaks 579), the exploratory well was drilled to a total depth of 9,060 feet and found two hydrocarbon-bearing sands. The discovery well has been successfully sidetracked to a downdip location to test the extent of the reservoir. Falcon, where Pioneer has a 45% WI, is operated by Mariner Energy (55% WI).

Offshore Gabon (West Africa), the Pioneer-operated (100% WI) Olowi Marin-1 well was drilled to its targeted depth of 3,720 feet. The discovery well and a subsequent sidetrack have established the presence of an oil column at least 75 feet thick. The Gamba sandstone exhibits excellent reservoir quality with average porosity of 20% or higher. Pioneer plans extended tests and expects the results in early May.

Exploration in South Africa continues where the Pioneer-operated E-BB2 gas well has reached total depth of 10,184 feet. The well was drilled offshore approximately 75 miles south of Mossel Bay and is Pioneer's first test of the lateral continuity and productivity of widespread sands in a potential multi-TCF gas accumulation located in the Block 9 area. Over 325 feet of gas-productive sandstone was found in the well in five primary zones. The well will be completed, and two to three extended well tests will be conducted over the next eight weeks. Pioneer has a 40% WI and operates the well. SOEKOR E and P (Pty), the government-owned company, has the remaining 60% WI and is the designated operator of the tract.

After testing the E-BB2 gas well, the SOEKOR-owned Omega rig will move approximately 20 miles to the southwest to drill an appraisal well on the previously announced Pioneer-operated Boomslang discovery (49% WI) in Block 9. The discovery well found 108 feet of net pay consisting of an oil leg under a gas column at a depth of 6,600 feet. Well tests flowed at a combined rate of 3,120 barrels of oil, 300 barrels of condensate and 26 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Wells Drilling and Planned for 2001

Three exploration wells are drilling on the Gulf of Mexico shelf targeting deep gas objectives. The Pioneer-operated Cruiser prospect in West Cameron 296 (70% WI) is currently drilling at approximately 12,000 feet and the Company expects to reach its targeted depth of 16,000 feet by mid-May. In Mustang Island 861-L, the Stirrup prospect (25% WI) is currently drilling at approximately 13,000 feet toward two Frio objectives at 14,500 and 15,300 feet. The first objective should be reached in early May. The Oneida prospect in East Cameron 76 (14% WI) is currently drilling at about 15,000 feet and is expected to reach its objective at 16,800 feet in early May.

Three additional Gulf of Mexico exploration wells are planned for the remainder of 2001, two in the deepwater and one on the shelf. Deepwater wells are planned to test the Ozona Deep prospect (32% WI) in Garden Banks 515 and the Sanibel prospect (100% WI) in East Breaks 981. Both are anticipated to spud in the fourth quarter of 2001. On the shelf, Pioneer plans to follow Cruiser with its Malta prospect (100% WI).

Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Development

Development and completion work has commenced in the Aconcagua and Camden Hills fields being jointly developed as part of the Canyon Express gas project operated by TotalFinaElf. The project is the largest development underway to deliver natural gas to the North American market in 2002 with the capacity to deliver approximately 500 million cubic feet of gas beginning mid-2002. A successful development well was recently drilled in the Aconcagua field and exceeded expectations. The Canyon Express project is on schedule with facilities currently under construction and installation scheduled to begin in the next three to four months. Pioneer has 18% of the joint project.

Two development wells are also underway in the Devils Tower field in Mississippi Canyon 773. The two wells are being drilled concurrently to prove up new reserves in previously undrilled reservoirs and further develop previously tested zones. Facility design work and construction related negotiations continue with third parties. Oil production of 40,000 to 50,000 barrels of oil per day is anticipated to commence from the field in early 2003. Pioneer has a 25% WI in this project that is operated by Dominion E&P (75% WI).

Pioneer is a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Gabon. Pioneer's headquarters are in Dallas. For more information, visit Pioneer's website at www.pioneernrc.com.


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