Pioneer CEO Sheffield warns of OPEC price war if U.S. shale output surges
Apr. 14, 2021 1:36 PM ETPioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD)PXDBy: Carl Surran, SA News Editor30 Comments
- U.S. shale producers risk another oil price war with OPEC and its allies if they resume the breakneck production growth of the last decade, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD +5%) CEO Scott Sheffield tells Bloomberg.
- U.S. producers responded to last year's oil collapse by cutting capex, drilling and jobs, resulting 2M bbl/day less production, but as rebound this year due to both the economic recovery and Saudi Arabia's unilateral output cuts, temptation is growing for U.S. shale to ramp back up.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration sees domestic oil output rising ~1M bbl/day, or 9%, to average 11.9M bbl/day in 2022, to which Sheffield says "if we grow another 1M bbl/day next year, we're going to have another price war in my opinion going into 2023."
- Sheffield predicts overall U.S. production will rise at a 2%-3% annual rate, with most of the increases coming from the Permian Basin - where Pioneer is one of the largest producers - while all other shale fields will decline.
- Pioneer will stay out of the M&A market for at least the next few quarters while it demonstrates that the recent DoublePoint deal and last year's Parsley acquisition are generating strong free cash flow for shareholders, Sheffield also says.
- "We need to prove to the market and our shareholders those are two great opportunities, so it will take a few quarters," the CEO says.
- Pioneer natural was downgraded last week at J.P. Morgan following the "pricey" DoublePoint acquisition.