Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2014
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies



Principles of Consolidation - The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries. The portion of the income and net assets applicable to the non-controlling interest in the majority-owned operations of the Company’s Gabon subsidiary has been reflected as noncontrolling interest. All intercompany transactions within the consolidated group have been eliminated in consolidation.

In December 2012, the Company acquired the noncontrolling interest in VAALCO International, Inc., for $26.2 million, with an effective date of October 1, 2012. Prior to the acquisition, the noncontrolling interest owned 9.99% of the issued and outstanding common stock of VAALCO International, Inc., a Delaware corporation of which VAALCO Gabon Etame, Inc. is the wholly owned subsidiary.

Cash and Cash Equivalents – Cash and cash equivalent includes deposits and funds invested in highly liquid instruments with original maturities of three months or less at the date of purchase.

Restricted Cash – Restricted cash includes cash that is contractually restricted. Restricted cash is classified as a current or non-current asset based on its designated purpose and time duration. Current amounts at December 31, 2014 each include an escrow amount representing the Company’s bank guarantees for customs clearance in Gabon ($1.6 million).Long term amounts at December 31, 2014 and 2013 each include the Company’s charter payment escrow for the Floating Production Storage and Offloading tanker (“FPSO”) in Gabon ($0.8 million) and funds restricted to secure the Company’s drilling obligation in Block 5 in Angola under the original production sharing contract ($10.0 million) and an increase of $10.0 million related to the Subsequent Exploration Phase (“SEP”) entered into in October 2014 which included two additional well obligations.

The Company invests restricted and excess cash in certificates of deposit and commercial paper issued by banks with maturities typically not exceeding 90 days.

Inventory - Materials and supplies are valued at the lower of cost, determined by the weighted-average method, or market. Crude oil inventories are carried at the lower of cost or market and represent the Company’s share of crude oil produced and stored on the FPSO, but unsold.

Income Taxes – VAALCO accounts for income taxes under an asset and liability approach that recognizes deferred income tax assets and liabilities for the estimated future tax consequences of differences between the financial statements and tax bases of assets and liabilities. Valuation allowances are provided against deferred tax assets that are not likely to be realized.

Property and Equipment - The Company follows the successful efforts method of accounting for exploration and development costs. Under this method, exploration costs, other than the cost of exploratory wells, are charged to expense as incurred. Exploratory well costs are initially capitalized until a determination as to whether proved reserves have been discovered. If an exploratory well is deemed to not have found proved reserves, the associated costs are expensed at that time. Other exploration costs, including geological and geophysical expenses applicable to undeveloped leasehold, leasehold expiration costs and delay rentals are expensed as incurred. All development costs, including developmental dry hole costs, are capitalized.

The Company records the fair value of a liability for an asset retirement obligation in the period in which it is incurred by capitalizing the corresponding cost as part of the carrying amount of the long-lived assets.

The Company reviews its oil and gas properties for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such properties may not be recoverable. When it is determined that an oil and gas property’s estimated future net cash flows will not be sufficient to recover its carrying amount, an impairment charge must be recorded to reduce the carrying amount of the asset to its estimated fair value. Provisions for impairment of undeveloped oil and gas leases are based on periodic evaluations and other factors.

Depletion of wells, platforms, and other production facilities are calculated on a field basis under the unit-of-production method based upon estimates of proved developed producing reserves. Depletion of developed leasehold acquisition costs are provided on a field basis under the unit-of-production method based upon estimates of proved reserves. Undeveloped leasehold acquisition costs are not subject to depletion, but are subject to impairment testing. Provision for depreciation of other property is made primarily on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the property. The annual rates of depreciation are as follows:


Office and miscellaneous equipment:


3 - 5 years

Leasehold improvements:


8 - 12 years


Foreign Exchange Transactions - For financial reporting purposes, the subsidiaries use the United States Dollar as their functional currency. Gains and losses on foreign currency transactions are included in income currently. The Company recognized loss on foreign currency transactions of $0.7 million in 2014. The Company recognized loss on foreign currency transactions of $0.1 million in 2013 and gains of $0.4 million in 2012, respectively.

Capitalized Interest - Interest costs from external borrowings are capitalized on major projects with an expected construction period of one year or longer. Capitalized interest is added to the cost of the underlying asset and is depleted on the unit-of-production method in the same manner as the underlying assets.

Accounts With Partners - Accounts with partners represent cash calls due or excess cash calls paid by the partners for exploration, development and production expenditures made by VAALCO Gabon (Etame), Inc. and VAALCO Angola (Kwanza), Inc., and VAALCO (USA), Inc.

Bad Debt – On a quarterly basis, the Company evaluates its accounts receivable balances to confirm collectability. Where collectability is in doubt, the Company records an allowance against the accounts receivable balance with a corresponding charge to net income as bad debt expense. The majority of the Company’s accounts receivable balances are with its joint venture partners and purchasers of its oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids and with the government of Gabon for reimbursements of Value-Added Tax (“VAT”) paid by the Company. Collection efforts, including remedies provided for in the contracts, are pursued to collect overdue amounts owed to the Company.  Collection efforts, including remedies provided for in the contracts, are pursued to collect overdue amounts owed to the Company.

During 2014 and 2013, the Company recorded a bad debt allowance of $2.4 million and $1.6 million, respectively. In 2014, the bad debt allowance pertains to VAT amounts owed for more than twelve months from the government of Gabon. In 2013, the bad debt allowance was related to the uncertainty in collecting its joint venture receivable in Angola as no joint venture partner was established. In January 2014, the Angolan government appointed Sonangol P&P as the replacement joint venture partner. The table below shows a rollforward analysis of the allowance against the partner accounts receivable balance and VAT: (in thousands)







of Period




to Costs






at End




Allowance for Bad Debt













Year Ended December 31, 2014













Year Ended December 31, 2013














Revenue Recognition – In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued revised guidance on revenue from contracts with customers, Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers that will supersede most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The core principle of the revenue model is that an entity will recognize revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The new standard provides a five-step analysis for transactions to determine when and how revenue is recognized. The guidance will be effective for us beginning January 1, 2017 and early adoption is not permitted. The guidance permits the use of either a full retrospective or a modified retrospective approach.  We are evaluating the transition methods and the impact of the amended guidance on our financial position, results of operations and related disclosures.

The Company recognizes revenues from crude oil and natural gas sales upon delivery to the buyer. Oil and gas revenues are recognized when production is sold to a purchaser at a fixed or determinable price, when delivery has occurred and title has transferred, and collectability of the revenue is reasonably assured. Revenue from the production of oil, natural gas and NGLs on properties in which we have joint ownership is recorded under the sales method. Under this method, we recognize revenues on the volumes sold based on the provisional sales prices. The volumes sold may be more or less than the volumes to which we are entitled based on our ownership interest in the property. These differences result in a condition known in the industry as a production imbalance. A receivable or liability is recognized only to the extent that we have an imbalance on a specific property greater than the expected remaining proved reserves on such property. As of December 31, 2014 and 2013, we had no oil and gas imbalances recorded in our consolidated financial statements.


Stock Based Compensation - The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for an award of equity instruments based on the fair value of the award on the date of the grant. Grant date fair value for options is estimated using an option-pricing model which is consistent with the terms of the award. For restricted stock, grant date fair value is determined using the grant date price of the company’s shares. Such cost is recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award (which is usually the vesting period). The Company estimates the number of instruments that will ultimately be issued, rather than accounting for forfeitures as they occur.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments - The Company’s financial instruments consist primarily of cash, restricted cash, trade receivables and trade payables and debt. The book values of cash, restricted cash, trade receivables, and trade payables are representative of their respective fair values due to the short-term maturity of these instruments. The book value of the Company’s debt instruments are considered to approximate the fair value, as the interest rates are adjusted based on rates currently in effect.

Fair Value – Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or the price paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Inputs used in determining fair value are characterized according to a hierarchy that prioritizes those inputs based on the degree to which they are observable. The three input levels of the fair-value hierarchy are as follows:

Level 1 – Inputs represent quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities (for example, exchange-traded commodity derivatives).

Level 2 – Inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly (for example, quoted market prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets or quoted market prices for identical assets or liabilities in markets not considered to be active, inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability, or market-corroborated inputs).

Level 3 – Inputs that are not observable from objective sources, such as the Company’s internally developed assumptions used in pricing an asset or liability (for example, an estimate of future cash flows used in the Company’s internally developed present value of future cash flows model that underlies the fair-value measurement).

Risks and Uncertainties - The Company’s interests are located overseas in onshore and offshore Gabon, offshore in Angola and Equatorial Guinea, and domestically in Texas, Montana, Alabama,  and the Gulf of Mexico.

Substantially all of the Company’s oil and gas is sold at the well head at posted or indexed prices under short-term contracts, as is customary in the industry.

In Gabon, starting in the second quarter of 2014, the Company switched to an agency model to sell its crude oil. The Company contracted with a third party in order to sell, based on a fixed barrel fee, on the spot market. Prior to the second quarter in 2014, the Company sold oil under contracts with Mercuria Trading NV (“Mercuria”) beginning with the calendar year 2011. For the first quarter of 2015, the Company will also sell its oil under the agency model on the spot market.

Domestic operated production in Texas is sold via two contracts, one for oil and one for gas and natural gas liquids. The Company has access to several alternative buyers for oil, gas, and natural gas liquids domestically.

Use of Estimates in Financial Statement Preparation - The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as well as certain disclosures. The Company’s consolidated financial statements include amounts that are based on management’s best estimates and judgments. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Estimates of oil and gas reserves used in the consolidated financial statements to estimate depletion expense and impairment charges require extensive judgments and are generally less precise than other estimates made in connection with financial disclosures. The Company considers its estimates to be reasonable; however, due to inherent uncertainties and the limited nature of data, estimates are imprecise and subject to change over time as additional information become available.

Asset Retirement Obligations (“ARO”) - The Company has significant obligations to remove tangible equipment and restore land or seabed at the end of oil and gas production operations. The Company’s removal and restoration obligations are primarily associated with plugging and abandoning wells, removing and disposing of all or a portion of offshore oil and gas platforms, and capping pipelines. Estimating the future restoration and removal costs is difficult and requires management to make estimates and judgments. Asset removal technologies and costs are constantly changing, as are regulatory, political, environmental, safety, and public relations considerations.

ARO associated with retiring tangible long-lived assets is recognized as a liability in the period in which the legal obligation is incurred and becomes determinable. The liability is offset by a corresponding increase in the underlying asset. The ARO liability reflects the estimated present value of the amount of dismantlement, removal, site reclamation, and similar activities associated with The Company’s oil and gas properties. The Company utilizes current retirement costs to estimate the expected cash outflows for retirement obligations. Inherent in the present value calculation are numerous assumptions and judgments including the ultimate settlement amounts, inflation factors, credit-adjusted discount rates, timing of settlement, and changes in the legal, regulatory, environmental, and political environments. To the extent future revisions to these assumptions impact the present value of the existing ARO liability, a corresponding adjustment is made to the oil and gas property balance. Accretion expense is recognized over time as the discounted liability is accreted to its expected settlement value.