Scott Sheffield, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer Natural Resources Company, speaks to guests and investors during the OGIS Conference for Small and Medium Oil and Gas Companies in New York on April 8, 2014. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz

American oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD.N) On Tuesday, adjusted earnings were reported to be 124% up on the last three months for the first quarter as the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of travel restrictions lifted crude oil prices.

U.S. oil and gas companies posted strong profits in the first quarter on a spike in oil prices and profound cost reductions implemented last year at the height of a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gas producers have benefited from a freezing process in Texas that has increased demand for fuel for heating and power generation.

The company’s total production was 474,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) for the first quarter compared to 364,000 boepd in the fourth quarter.

According to Pioneer, the total realized price was $ 42.75 per barrel of oil equivalent (Boe) in the first quarter, well above the Boe of $ 30.22 achieved in the last three months of 2020.

The company announced that adjusted net income increased from $ 177 million, or $ 1.07 per share, to $ 396 million, or $ 1.77 per share, in the previous quarter.

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