Pioneer Natural Resources is again shopping its Barnett Shale properties, something it did in 2012 without results. And the effort is already proving costly. In its 2013 earnings report released last month, the Irving-based producer disclosed that it shaved $189.5 million off the book value of its holdings in the North Texas field as it re-evaluated the matter in the fourth quarter. According to Texas Railroad Commission data, Pioneer was the No. 12 producer in the Barnett last year.
It’s the second big write-off, called an impairment, that Pioneer has taken on its Barnett holdings, which are concentrated in the field’s northwestern reaches, where more crude oil and natural gas liquids are produced. In 2012, when it previously put the properties up for sale and not long after natural gas prices bottomed out at a 10-year low, it took a $532.6 million impairment. It now lists the Barnett properties at $180.4 million after selling expenses.
-- Jim Fuquay