Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2013
|Commitments and Contingencies||
In October 2012, the Company entered into an amendment with the owner of the FPSO chartered for the Etame field to extend the contract until September 2020. In connection with the charter of the FPSO, the Company, as operator of the Etame field, guaranteed the charter payments through the same period. The charter continues for two years beyond that period unless one year’s prior notice is given to the owner of the FPSO. The Company obtained several guarantees from its partners for their share of the charter payment. The Company’s share of the charter payment is 28.1%. The Company believes the need for performance under the charter guarantee is remote.
The estimated obligations for the annual charter payment and the Company’s share of the charter payments through the end of the charter are as follows: (in thousands)
The Company has recorded a liability of $1.1 million and $1.2 million at December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively, representing the guarantee’s fair value.
The Company’s share of charter expense, including a $0.93 per Bbl ($0.25 per Bbls in 2011) charter fee for production up to 20,000 BOPD and a $2.50 per Bbl charter fee for those Bbls produced in excess of 20,000 BOPD, was $10.4 million, $9.7 million and $7.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Other Lease Obligations
In addition to the FPSO, the Company has operating lease obligations for rentals as follows: (in thousands)
The 2014 lease obligation amounts are higher than amounts for years beyond 2014 due to short term contracts for helicopter and marine vessels supporting the offshore Gabon operations.
The Company incurred rent expense of $4.1 million, $4.4 million and $3.6 million under operating leases for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
Under the terms of the Etame Production Sharing Contract, the consortium is required to provide to the local government refinery a volume of crude at a 25% discount to market price (the “Gabon Obligation”). The volume required to be furnished is the amount of the Etame Marin block production divided by the total Gabon production times the volume of oil refined by the refinery per year. In 2013, the Company paid $3.0 million for its share of the 2012 obligation. In 2012, the Company paid $3.7 million for its share of the 2011 obligation. In 2011, the Company paid $2.8 million for its share of the 2010 obligation. The Company accrues an amount for the Gabon Obligation based on management’s best estimate of the volume of crude required, because the refinery does not publish its throughput figures. The amount accrued at December 31, 2013, for the Company’s share of the 2013 obligation is $2.9 million. These costs are deemed cost recoverable under the terms of the production sharing contract.
In addition to the contractual obligations described above, the Company entered into a sixth exploration period extension during 2009 and was required to spend $5.3 million for its share of two exploration wells and to acquire and process 150 square kilometers of 3-D seismic on the Etame Marin block by July 2014. One of the two exploration commitment wells was drilled in 2010 on the Omangou prospect at a cost of $8.6 million ($2.6 million net to the Company). The second exploration commitment well was drilled in 2013 on the Ovaka prospect at a cost of $17.2 million ($5.9 million net to the Company). The seismic obligation was met with the acquisition of 223 square kilometers of 3-D seismic in 2012. Thus, all obligations under the sixth exploration extension have been satisfied.
As part of securing the second ten year production license with the government of Gabon, the Company agreed to a cash funding arrangement for the eventual abandonment of the offshore wells, platforms and facilities. The agreement was finalized in the first quarter of 2014 providing for annual funding for the next seven years at 12.14% of the total abandonment estimate per year and 5.0% per year for the last three years of the production license. The amounts paid will be reimbursed through the cost account and are non-refundable to the Company. The funding is expected to begin in the first half of 2014. The abandonment estimate for this purpose is estimated to be approximately $10.1 million net to the Company on an undiscounted basis. As in prior periods, the obligation for abandonment of the Gabon offshore facilities is included in the asset retirement obligation shown on the Company’s balance sheet.
In November 2006, the Company signed a production sharing contract for Block 5 offshore Angola. The four year primary term with an optional three year extension awards the Company exploration rights to 1.4 million acres offshore central Angola. The Company’s working interest is 40%. Additionally, the Company is required to carry the Angolan national oil company, Sonangol P&P, for 10% of the work program. During the first four years of the contract the Company was required to acquire and process 1,000 square kilometers of 3-D seismic data, drill two exploration wells and expend a minimum of $29.5 million ($14.8 million net to the Company). The Company fulfilled its seismic obligation when it acquired 1,175 square kilometers of 3-D seismic data at a cost of $7.5 million ($3.75 million net to the Company) in January 2007 and 524 square kilometers of 3-D seismic data during the fourth quarter of 2008 at a cost of $6.0 million ($3.0 million net to the Company).
The government-assigned working interest partner was delinquent paying their share of the costs several times in 2009 and consequently was placed in a default position. By a governmental decree dated December 1, 2010, the former partner was removed from the production sharing contract, and a one year time extension was granted for drilling the two exploration commitment wells. In early 2012, the Angolan government granted a further one year extension to November 30, 2012 for drilling the two exploration commitment wells in accordance with the production sharing contract. In July 2012, the Angolan government granted an additional two year extension until November 30, 2014 to drill the two exploration commitment wells.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company received written confirmation from The Ministry of Petroleum of Angola that the available 40% working interest in Block 5, offshore Angola, has been assigned to Sonangol E.P., the National Concessionaire. The Ministry of Petroleum also confirmed that Sonangol E.P. will assign the aforementioned participating interest to its exploration and production affiliate, Sonangol P&P. The remaining obligation is a two well exploration commitment. Together with Sonangol P&P, a further time extension has been requested to allow for a proper assessment on the recently acquired seismic data and for drilling the two exploration commitment wells. However, the Company can provide no assurances that such a request will be granted. Each well is subject to a $5.0 million penalty ($10.0 million in aggregate for both wells) if not drilled during the contract term. The $10.0 million is currently recorded as restricted cash and is held at a financial institution located in the United States.
Because of the continuing uncertainty with the Angolan government, the Company has recorded a full allowance totaling $7.6 million as of December 31, 2013, against the accounts receivable from partners for the amounts owed to the Company above its 40% working interest plus the 10% carried interest. The allowance recorded in the twelve months ended December 31, 2013 totaled $1.6 million with the remainder having been recorded in 2012 and 2011. The Company invoiced its new partner, Sonangol P&P, for the cumulative accounts receivable amount in the first quarter of 2014.
In September 2012, the Company acquired a 100% working interest in approximately 10,000 acres in Harding County, South Dakota. The primary objective for this property was the Red River formation. Pursuant to the terms of the acquisition, the Company was obligated to drill and complete a well, or reenter and complete an existing well within twelve months of the acquisition date. Once this obligation was met and within sixteen months of the acquisition date, the Company must elect to proceed or withdraw from the transaction. Should the Company elect to proceed, it must pay an additional amount of approximately $3.6 million and commit to drill and complete an additional well, or reenter and complete another existing well within twelve months of the date the Company elects to proceed with the transaction. The Company drilled the initial well on the property in the first quarter of 2013, an unsuccessful effort, at a cost of approximately $2.9 million. The Company recorded this amount as dry hole cost in the first quarter of 2013. The Company does not have plans to proceed with additional investments on this property.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef