While first production from the Big 4 projects currently
under development will have significant near-term impact to net income
and cash flow, Pioneer also has several significant projects in the
earlier phases of the exploration projects life cycle to support
During 2001, the Company made new discoveries on the Olowi prospect
offshore Gabon in West Africa, on the Ozona Deep prospect in the
deepwater Gulf of Mexico and on its Block 9 gas prospects in South
Africa. During 2002, Pioneer plans to appraise these discoveries and
hopes to approve the projects for development by the end of the year.
These projects, if successfully appraised and approved, have the
potential to significantly impact production in 2004 and beyond. Pioneer
drilled its first well on its 315,000-acre Olowi block offshore Gabon,
discovering the Olowi field in 2001. The field is 3 miles southeast of
the 300-million-barrel Gamba oil field. The first well encountered a
75-foot oil column with excellent porosity, and Pioneer plans to drill
three wells to further define and appraise the field in 2002. The
Company holds a 100% working interest and is operator of the permit.
In October 2001, the Ozona Deep field was discovered in the deepwater
Gulf of Mexico in over 3,000 feet of water and encountered approximately
345 feet of net oil pay. The field is near existing infrastructure
providing several alternatives for future development, and Pioneer plans
to appraise the discovery in 2002. The Company holds a 32% working
interest in the field.
Two discoveries were drilled on Pioneers acreage in Block 9
offshore South Africa. The Boomslang discovery encountered significant
oil and gas and the E-BB#2 well drilled in the center of the basin to
assess potential deliverability and reservoir limits also encountered
significant gas. The Company is evaluating the commercial viability of
providing gas to a synthetic fuels plant onshore and plans to drill two
wells to test oil and gas prospects during 2002.