IMAGE SOURCE: PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES, SANDS WEEMS.

The current downturn in the oil market has made one thing abundantly clear: Not all shale drillers are alike. In fact, it is often the key differences between companies that is what's separating the winners and the losers. Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) is one company that strives to distinguish itself from the rest of the sector. In doing so, it has set itself up for long-term success. 

One example of how Pioneer differentiates itself from its peers is by investing alongside its midstream partner Targa Resources (NYSE:TRGP) to ensure that natural gas processing plants are built in time to meet its needs. Together, the partners have built 655 MMCF/D of capacity, of which Pioneer uses a third. Furthermore, Targa Resources and Pioneer are building another 200 MMCF/D of capacity that's expected to come on line next quarter to help support Pioneer's growth plans. Combined, Pioneer owns a 27% interest in Targa Resources' natural gas processing system that services its core acreage, which not only ensures it has the capacity it needs, but enables the company to earn a profit from this investment. 

To learn more about what differentiates Pioneer Natural Resources from its peers, check out the slideshow below.