Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2019
|Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment [Abstract]|
|Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment||
7. OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES AND EQUIPMENT
Extension of Term of Etame PSC
On September 25, 2018, VAALCO together with the other joint owners in the Etame Marin block (the “Consortium”) received an implementing Presidential Decree from the government of Gabon authorizing an extension for additional years (“PSC Extension”) to the Consortium to operate in the Etame Marin block. The Company’s subsidiary, VAALCO Gabon S.A., has a 33.575% participating interest (working interest including the working interest attributable to the carried interest owner) in the Etame Marin block.
The PSC Extension extends the term for each of the three exploitation areas in the Etame Marin block for a period of ten years from September 17, 2018, the effective date of the PSC Extension. Prior to the PSC Extension, the exploitation periods for the three exploitation areas in the Etame Marin block would have expired beginning in June 2021. The PSC Extension also grants the Consortium the right for two additional extension periods of five years each. The PSC Extension further allows the Consortium to explore the potential for resources within the Exclusive Exploitation Authorization area as defined in the PSC Extension.
In consideration for the PSC Extension, the Consortium agreed to a signing bonus of $65.0 million ($21.8 million, net to VAALCO) payable to the government of Gabon (the “Signing Bonus”). The Consortium paid $35.0 million ($11.8 million, net to VAALCO) in cash on September 26, 2018 and paid $25.0 million ($8.4 million, net to VAALCO) through an agreed upon reduction of the VAT receivable owed by the government of Gabon to the Consortium as of the effective date. An additional $5.0 million is to be paid in cash by the Consortium following the end of the drilling activities described below. The Company has accrued its $1.7 million share of this remaining payment as of September 30, 2018. The amount paid through a reduction in VAT has been recorded at $4.2 million that represents the book value of the receivable, net of the valuation allowance as of the effective date. In addition, the Company recorded an increase of $18.6 million resulting from the deferred tax impact for the difference between book basis and tax basis. A corresponding $18.6 million deferred tax liability was recorded that reduced the Company’s net deferred tax assets. The Company has allocated its share of the Signing Bonus between proved and unproved leasehold costs using the acreage attributable to the previous exploitation areas and the additional acreage in the expanded exploitation areas resulting in $22.5 million being attributed to proved leasehold costs and $13.7 million attributed to unproved leasehold costs.
Under the PSC Extension, by September 16, 2020, the Consortium is required to drill two wells and two appraisal wellbores. If the wells are not drilled, then the Consortium must pay the difference between the amounts spent on any wells that were drilled and the estimated costs of the wells as set forth in the Work Program and Budget as approved by the government of Gabon. In September 2019, the 2019/2020 drilling campaign was begun with the spudding of the first of the two appraisal wellbores, the Etame 9P. In October 2019, drilling of the Etame 9P was completed and drilling of the first well, the Etame 9H, was begun. The Company plans to drill the second appraisal wellbore and the second well as part of the current 2019/2020 drilling campaign that is currently planned to be completed in the first half of 2020. The Company estimates the cost of these wells will be approximately $68.5 million ($23.0 million, net to VAALCO). The Company could drill a third development well in the 2019/2020 drilling campaign, subject to joint owner and government approval.
The Consortium is also required to complete two technical studies by September 16, 2020 at an estimated cost of $1.3 million gross ($0.4 million, net to VAALCO). These studies are currently underway.
Also previous to the PSC Extension, the Consortium was entitled to take up to 70% of production remaining after the 13% royalty (“Cost Recovery Percentage”) to recover its costs so long as there are amounts remaining in the Cost Account. Under the PSC Extension, the Cost Recovery Percentage increased to 80% for the period from September 17, 2018 through September 16, 2028. After September 16, 2028, the Cost Recovery Percentage returns to 70%.
Prior to the PSC Extension, the Etame PSC provided for the government of Gabon to take a 7.5% gross working interest carried by the Consortium. The government of Gabon transferred this interest to a third party. Pursuant to the PSC Extension, the government of Gabon will acquire from the Consortium an additional 2.5% gross working interest carried by the Consortium effective June 20, 2026. VAALCO’s share of this interest to be transferred to the government of Gabon is 0.8%.
Depletion and Impairment
The Company reviews oil and natural gas producing properties for impairment quarterly or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such properties may not be recoverable. When an oil and natural gas property’s undiscounted estimated future net cash flows are not sufficient to recover its carrying amount, an impairment charge is recorded to reduce the carrying amount of the asset to its fair value. The fair value of the asset is measured using a discounted cash flow model relying primarily on Level 3 inputs into the undiscounted future net cash flows. The undiscounted estimated future net cash flows used in the Company’s impairment evaluations at each quarter end are based upon the most recently prepared independent reserve engineers’ report adjusted to use forecasted prices from the forward strip price curves near each quarter end and adjusted as necessary for drilling and production results.
As a result of lower future strip prices for the third quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2019, VAALCO compared the undiscounted estimated future net cash flows to the carrying value of the crude oil and natural gas properties. Based on this analysis, no impairment was identified and there were no indicators that adjustments were needed to the year-end reserve report.
There was no triggering event in the third quarter of 2018 that would cause the Company to believe the value of oil and natural gas producing properties should be impaired. While there were capital expenditures during the quarter related to the signing bonus for the PSC Extension, the value of the extended exploitation period and the increase in the Cost Recovery Percentage exceeded the consideration given. Other factors considered included the fact that the future strip prices for the third quarter of 2018 modestly increased from the second quarter of 2018, and there were no indicators that downward adjustments were needed to the 2017 year-end reserve report.
Undeveloped Leasehold Costs
The Company has a 31% working interest in an undeveloped portion of a block offshore Equatorial Guinea that the Company acquired in 2012 (the “Block P interest”). The Company is currently awaiting the Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (“EG MMH”) to approve its appointment as operator for Block P. Compania Nacional de Petroleos de Guinea Equatorial (“GEPetrol”) is the state-owned oil company and one of the joint venture owners in Block P. For a number of years, the Block P interest was in suspension; however, in September 2018, the EG MMH lifted the suspension subject to several conditions. GEPetrol was required to introduce a new investor or joint venture owner to the EG MMH by March 28, 2019, and it has fulfilled this requirement. Upon EG MMH approving the new joint owner, the Contractor group has one year to drill an exploration well. The Company intends to seek a joint venture owner on a promoted basis that will cover all or substantially all of the cost to drill an exploratory well. If the joint venture owners fail to drill an exploration well, the Company would lose its interest in the license, and the associated costs would become impaired. As of September 30, 2019, the Company had $10.0 million recorded for the book value of the undeveloped leasehold costs associated with the Block P license. The Company and the joint venture owners are evaluating the timing and budgeting for development and exploration activities under a development and production area in the block, including the approval of a development and production plan. The production sharing contract covering this development and production area provides for a development and production period of 25 years from the date of approval of a development and production plan.In Gabon, as a result of the PSC Extension, the exploitation area was expanded to include previously undeveloped acreage. The Company allocated $6.7 million of its share of the signing bonus and $7.1 million of the $18.6 million resulting from the deferred tax impact for the difference between book basis and tax basis to unproved leasehold costs using the acreage attributable to the previous exploitation areas and the additional acreage in the expanded exploitation areas. Exploitation of this additional area is permitted throughout the term of the Etame PSC.
The entire disclosure for properties used in normal conduct of oil and gas exploration and producing operations. This disclosure may include property accounting policies and methodology, a schedule of property, plant and equipment gross, additions, deletions, transfers and other changes, depreciation, depletion and amortization expense, net, accumulated depreciation, depletion and amortization expense and useful lives.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef