Pioneer Natural Resources Warns of Tepid Shale Growth in Coming Years

DENVER (Reuters) — Pioneer Natural Resources Co.'s top executive said that U.S. shale growth was "not going to grow that much" in the coming years, as oil and gas companies continue to focus on capital discipline and shareholder returns.

Pioneer Chief Executive Officer Scott Sheffield anticipates output in the Permian basin to grow roughly 5% - in line with his own company's planned production increases - over the coming years, while other basins will be flat or face declines, he said during a second-quarter conference call.

Irving, Texas-based Pioneer is the largest producer in the Permian Basin. It grew its holdings there with the acquisitions of Double Point Energy and Parsley Energy this year.

Sheffield on Tuesday said the company was not eying any additional large acquisitions in the Midland basin. The company this week announced an inaugural variable dividend.

Shares of Pioneer were up 6.7% in mid-morning trading to $151.83. The bump in its stock price came even as U.S. oil futures were off about 1.25% at $70.37 a barrel.

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