US becoming a ‘swing producer’ after oil crash woke ‘sleeping giant,’ says Pioneer CEO

CNBC | Elizabeth Gurdus | August 24, 2017

US becoming 'swing producer' after oil crash: Pioneer CEO from CNBC.

Wall Street traders are all to familiar with oil's recent trajectory — trading in a tight range and struggling to break out above $50 a barrel.

But if oil's 2014 crash was an obstacle for Pioneer Natural Resources chief Timothy Dove, it was hardly enough to eradicate the U.S. oil industry altogether, he told CNBC on Wednesday.

"It's a bit like waking the sleeping giant," Pioneer's president and CEO told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer. "In other words, challenging U.S. industry to improve in the face of adversity, in this case price adversity, is something that we all stood up to and accepted."

During the crash, oil prices tumbled from over $100 to the $40s in about a year. But rather than letting the fall shutter the oil industry altogether, Dove said it actually spurred innovation.

"We've both been able to have our cost reduced somewhat by our service companies, but at the same time, by our own productivity increases, by our own ingenuity, improving how the wells were drilled and completed and increasing the amount that each oil well produces," Dove said. "And so what happens is our economics are very strong at $45 to $50. Our returns are strong. It's a return-based industry. And so therefore we're drilling wells that make money. And that's going to continue."

And while commodity watchers may have initially balked at the idea of drillers and producers recovering from the crash, Dove told Cramer that his drilling giant has adjusted.

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