Independent oil and gas exploration and production company Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) announced that it was commencing a public offering of 8 million shares of its common stock, with an option for an additional 1.2 million shares for the underwriters to purchase.

While Pioneer expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, including accelerating the horizontal appraisal drilling at its highly prospective Wolfcamp/Spraberry acreage in West Texas, in the interim, a portion of the proceeds will be used to repay the outstanding borrowings under its existing credit facility. The remaining proceeds will be invested in money market funds or U.S. treasuries.

Citigroup, Goldman, Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and RBC Capital Markets are acting as the joint book-running managers on the offering, and they will have 30 days in which to purchase the additional shares.