Commitments and Contingencies
|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2014
|Commitments and Contingencies||
4. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
As part of securing the second ten year production license with the government of Gabon for the Etame Marin block, the Company agreed to a cash funding arrangement for the eventual abandonment of the offshore wells, platforms and facilities. The agreement is pending final approval and will provide for annual funding over the remaining life 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 third quarter of 2014. 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.
The sixth exploration license for the Etame Marin block expired on July 7, 2014. In the second quarter of 2014 and prior to the deadline, the Company submitted a proposal for a seventh exploration license and is in negotiations with the Republic of Gabon to obtain the extension. The balance of undeveloped leasehold costs of $0.8 million was recorded as exploration expense in the second quarter of 2014 due to the uncertainty of entering into a seventh exploration license on the block.
The Company is the operator of Block 5, offshore Angola, a 1.4 million acre property. 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. The Company has a two well exploration commitment. The Company’s two year extension to drill the wells expires on November 30, 2014. In April 2014, the Company received a letter and contractual amendment proposal from Sonangol E.P., which is expected to be approved prior to the expiration of the extension, by the government of Angola. The contractual amendment provides for a three year time extension for the exploration permit until November 30, 2017. The amendment also outlines the timing for the drilling of the two exploration wells, which was an obligation under the terms of the original agreement. The amendment provides for the commencement of one exploration well prior to November 30, 2014 and the commencement of a second well by early 2016. Each well is subject to a $5.0 million penalty net to the Company, if not drilled during the contract term. The $10.0 million non-performance commitment is currently recorded as restricted cash and is held at a financial institution located in the United States.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Company purchased 3D seismic in the outboard segment of the block which is currently being processed. The seismic processing is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. In the second quarter of 2014, the Company secured for a jack-up drilling rig to drill an exploration well on the Kindele prospect, a post-salt objective. The drilling rig contract was signed in July 2014, and the well is expected to be drilled in the fourth quarter of 2014. Drilling this well will satisfy the well commitment required by the proposed extension.
Asset Retirement Obligation
The Company is carrying $11.7 million of asset retirement obligation as of June 30, 2014, representing the present value of our future obligations for the future abandonment costs of tangible assets such as platforms, well, pipelines and other facilities.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef