Pioneer Natural Resources is postponing its second appraisal well at the Cosmopolitan unit in Cook Inlet, company spokesman Tadd Owens told Petroleum News today.
“Pioneer’s 2009 capital budget has been reduced significantly due to the fall in commodity prices,” Owens said in an e-mail. “However, the company is well positioned to ramp back up when prices recover.”
After an initial test well at Cosmopolitan in 2007 showed “encouraging” results, Pioneer originally planned to drill another well this year. The company will now wait until 2010.
In early November, Pioneer suggested it might postpone the well as part of a companywide reduction in spending, but said it wanted to monitor oil prices before making a decision. Since then, prices dropped from $63 a barrel to around $33 a barrel.
Over the coming year, though, Pioneer will continue to increase drilling and ramp up production at the Oooguruk unit in the Beaufort Sea. Pioneer brought the offshore unit into operation last April, making it the first independent producer on the North Slope.
See full story in the Jan. 25 issue of Petroleum News, which will be online at noon Friday, Jan. 23, at www.petroleumnews.com.