Plenty of analysts are reading Pioneer Natural Resources Co.’s Eagle Ford sale agreement like the terms of a surrender—the A&D equivalent of the Treaty of Versailles.

In the aftermath of the (ultimately one-sided) Anadarko Petroleum Corp. bidding war, there’s been some myth-making over which E&P might be the next M&A target.

So some angst followed Pioneer’s sale of 59,000 net Eagle Ford acres to private-equity-backed Ensign Natural Resources LLC for just $25 million in upfront cash. Pioneer’s deal could ultimately be worth another $450 million, depending on WTI-based contingency payments. However, the earliest they kick in is 2023.

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