Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2019
|Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies||
2. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Principles of consolidation – The accompanying consolidated financial statements (“Financial Statements”) include the accounts of VAALCO and its wholly owned subsidiaries. Investments in unincorporated joint ventures and undivided interests in certain operating assets are consolidated on a pro rata basis. All intercompany transactions within the consolidated group have been eliminated in consolidation.
Reclassifications – Certain reclassifications have been made to prior period amounts to conform to the current period presentation related to the presentation of stock based compensation and derivatives on the Company’s consolidated statements of cash flows. These reclassifications had no material impact on the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
Use of estimates – The preparation of the Financial Statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“U.S.”) (“GAAP”) requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the Financial Statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the respective reporting periods. The Financial Statements include amounts that are based on management’s best estimates and judgments. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Estimates of crude oil and natural gas reserves used to estimate depletion expense and impairment charges require extensive judgments and are generally less precise than other estimates made in connection with financial disclosures. Due to inherent uncertainties and the limited nature of data, estimates are imprecise and subject to change over time as additional information become available.
Cash and cash equivalents – Cash and cash equivalents includes deposits and funds invested in highly liquid instruments with original maturities of three months or less at the date of purchase.
Restricted cash and abandonment funding – 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 in restricted cash at December 31, 2019 and 2018 each include an escrow amount representing bank guarantees for customs clearance in Gabon. Long-term amounts at December 31, 2019 and 2018 include a charter payment escrow for the floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (“FPSO”) offshore Gabon as discussed in Note 12. The Company invests restricted and excess cash in readily redeemable money market funds. The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash reported within the consolidated balance sheets to the amounts shown in the consolidated statement of cash flows.
The Company conducts regular abandonment studies to update the estimated costs to abandon the offshore wells, platforms and facilities on the Etame Marin block. This cash funding is reflected under “Other noncurrent assets” as “Abandonment funding” on the consolidated balance sheets. Future changes to the anticipated abandonment cost estimate could change the asset retirement obligation and the amount of future abandonment funding payments. See Note 11 for further discussion.
On February 28, 2019, the Gabonese branch of the international commercial bank holding the abandonment funds in a U.S. dollar denominated account advised that the bank regulator required transfer of the funds to the Central Bank for African Economic and Monetary Community (“CEMAC”) of which Gabon is one of the six member states, for conversion to local currency with a credit back to the Gabonese branch in local currency. The Etame PSC provides these payments must be denominated in U.S. dollars and the CEMAC regulations provide for establishment of a U.S. dollar account with the Central Bank. Although we have requested
establishment of such account, the Central Bank has not complied with our requests. As a result, we were not able to make the annual abandonment funding payment in 2019. Amendment No. 5 to the Etame PSC also provides that in the event that the Gabonese bank fails for any reasons to reimburse all of the principal and interest due, the Contractor shall no longer be held liable for the obligation to remediate the sites.
Accounts with joint owners – Accounts with joint owners represent the excess of charges billed over cash calls paid by the joint owners for exploration, development and production expenditures made by the Company as an operator.
Bad debts – Quarterly, the Company evaluates its accounts receivable balances to confirm collectability. When collectability is in doubt, the Company records an allowance against the accounts receivable and a corresponding income charge for bad debts, which appears in the “Bad debt expense and other” line item of the consolidated statements of operations. The majority of the accounts receivable balances are with the Company’s joint venture owners, purchasers of the production and the government of Gabon for reimbursable Value-Added Tax (“VAT”). Collection efforts, including remedies provided for in the contracts, are pursued to collect overdue amounts owed to the Company. Portions of the costs in Gabon (including the VAT receivable) are denominated in the local currency of Gabon, the Central African CFA Franc (“XAF”). As of December 31, 2019, the outstanding VAT receivable balance, excluding the allowance for bad debt, was approximately XAF 5.4 billion (XAF 1.8 billion, net to VAALCO). The VAT receivable balance was reduced by XAF14.1 billion (XAF 4.7 billion, net to VAALCO or $4.2 million) associated with a signing bonus as part of the Sixth Amendment to the Etame PSC executed on September 17, 2018 (“PSC Extension”). As of December 31, 2019, the exchange rate was XAF 585.7 = $1.00.
In 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Company recorded recoveries (allowances) of $0.3 million, $0.1 million and $(0.4) million, respectively, related to VAT, which the government of Gabon has not reimbursed. The receivable amount, net of allowances, is reported as a non-current asset in the “Value added tax and other receivables” line item in the consolidated balance sheets. Because both the VAT receivable and the related allowance are denominated in XAF, the exchange rate revaluation of these balances into U.S. dollars at the end of each reporting period also has an impact on profit/loss. Such foreign currency gains/(losses) are reported separately in the “Other, net” line item of the consolidated statements of operations.
The following table provides an analysis of the change in the allowance:
Crude oil inventory – Crude oil inventories are carried at the lower of cost or market and represent the share of crude oil produced and stored on the FPSO, but unsold at the end of the period.
Materials and supplies – Materials and supplies, which are included in the “Prepayments and other” line item of the consolidated balance sheet, are primarily used for production related activities. These assets are valued at the lower of cost, determined by the weighted-average method, or market.
Crude Oil and natural gas properties, equipment and other – The Company uses the successful efforts method of accounting for crude oil and natural gas producing activities. Management believes that this method is preferable, as the Company has focused on exploration activities wherein there is risk associated with future success and as such earnings are best represented by drilling results.
Capitalization – Costs of successful wells, development dry holes and leases containing productive reserves are capitalized and amortized on a unit-of-production basis over the life of the related reserves. Other exploration costs, including dry exploration well costs, geological and geophysical expenses applicable to undeveloped leaseholds, leasehold expiration costs and delay rentals, are expensed as incurred. The costs of exploratory wells are initially capitalized pending a determination of whether proved reserves have been found. At the completion of drilling activities, the costs of exploratory wells remain capitalized if a determination is made that proved reserves have been found. If no proved reserves have been found, the costs of exploratory wells are charged to expense. In some cases, a determination of proved reserves cannot be made at the completion of drilling, requiring additional testing and evaluation of the wells. Cost incurred for exploratory wells that find reserves that cannot yet be classified as proved are capitalized if (a) the well has found a sufficient quantity of reserves to justify its completion as a producing well and (b) sufficient progress in assessing the reserves and the economic and operating viability of the project has been made. The status of suspended well costs is monitored continuously and reviewed quarterly. Due to the capital-intensive nature and the geographical characteristics of certain projects, it may take an extended period of time to evaluate the future potential of an exploration project and the economics associated
with making a determination of its commercial viability. Geological and geophysical costs are expensed as incurred. Costs of seismic studies that are utilized in development drilling within an area of proved reserves are capitalized as development costs. Amounts of seismic costs capitalized are based on only those blocks of data used in determining development well locations. To the extent that a seismic project covers areas of both developmental and exploratory drilling, those seismic costs are proportionately allocated between development costs and exploration expense.
Depreciation, depletion and amortization – Depletion of wells, platforms, and other production facilities are calculated on a field-by-field basis under the unit-of-production method based upon estimates of proved developed reserves. Depletion of developed leasehold acquisition costs are provided on a field-by-field basis under the unit-of-production method based upon estimates of proved reserves. Support equipment (other than equipment inventory) and leasehold improvements related to crude oil and natural gas producing activities, as well as property, plant and equipment unrelated to crude oil and natural gas producing activities, are recorded at cost and depreciated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which are typically five years for office and miscellaneous equipment and to seven years for leasehold improvements.
Impairment – The Company reviews the crude oil and natural gas producing properties for impairment on a field-by-field basis whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of such properties may not be recoverable. If the sum of the expected undiscounted future cash flows from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition is less than the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment charge is recorded based on the fair value of the asset. This may occur if a field contains lower than anticipated reserves or if commodity prices fall below a level that significantly effects anticipated future cash flows on the field. The fair value measurement used in the impairment test is generally calculated with a discounted cash flow model using several Level 3 inputs that are based upon estimates the most significant of which is the estimate of net proved reserves. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of proved reserves and in projecting future rates of production and timing of development expenditures, including many factors beyond the Company’s control. Reserve engineering is a subjective process of estimating underground accumulations of crude oil and natural gas that cannot be measured in an exact manner, and the accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data and of engineering and geological interpretation and judgment. The quantities of crude oil and natural gas that are ultimately recovered, production and operating costs, the amount and timing of future development expenditures and future crude oil and natural gas sales prices may all differ from those assumed in these estimates. Capitalized equipment inventory is reviewed regularly for obsolescence. The Company recorded no material adjustments for inventory obsolescence for the years 2019 or 2017. The Company identified equipment inventory in Gabon that required an adjustment of $0.4 million to the “Other operating income (expense), net” line item of the consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2018. When undeveloped crude oil and natural gas leases are deemed to be impaired, exploration expense is charged. Unproved property costs consist of acquisition costs related to undeveloped acreage in the Etame Marin block in Gabon and in Block P in Equatorial Guinea.
Capitalized interest – Interest costs and commitment fees from external borrowings are capitalized on exploration and development projects that are not subject to current depletion. Interest and commitment fees are capitalized only for the period that activities are in progress to bring these projects to their intended use. 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.
The Company capitalized no interest costs during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Lease commitments – The Company lessees of office buildings, warehouse and storage facilities, equipment and corporate housing under leasing agreements that expire at various times. All leases are characterized as operating leases and are expensed either as production expenses or general and administrative expenses. See Note 13 for further discussion.
Asset retirement obligations (“ARO”) – The Company has significant obligations to remove tangible equipment and restore land or seabed at the end of crude oil and natural gas production operations. The removal and restoration obligations are primarily associated with plugging and abandoning wells, removing and disposing of all or a portion of offshore crude oil and natural 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.
A liability for ARO is recognized in the period in which the legal obligations are incurred if a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made. The ARO liability reflects the estimated present value of the amount of dismantlement, removal, site reclamation, and similar activities associated with crude oil and natural gas properties. The Company uses 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. Initial recording of the ARO liability is offset by the corresponding capitalization of asset retirement cost recorded to crude oil and natural gas properties. To the extent these or other assumptions change after initial recognition of the liability, the fair value estimate is revised and the recognized liability adjusted, with a corresponding adjustment made to the related asset balance or income statement, as appropriate. Depreciation of capitalized asset retirement costs and accretion of asset retirement obligations are recorded over time. Depreciation is generally determined on a units-of-production basis for crude oil and natural gas production facilities, while accretion escalates over the lives of the assets to reach the expected settlement value. See Note 11 for disclosures regarding the asset retirement obligations. Where there is a downward revision to the ARO that exceeds the net book value of the related asset, the corresponding adjustment is limited to the amount of the net book value
of the asset and the remaining amount is recognized as a gain. During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company recorded a downward revision of $6.5 million to the ARO liability as a result of a change in the expected timing of the abandonment costs when the period of exploitation under the Etame PSC was extended to at least September 16, 2028 as discussed further in Note 9. In the second half of 2019, the Company recorded $0.6 million in additions associated with the spudding of the Etame 9H and Etame 11H development wells at the Etame field in conjunction with commencement of its 2019/2020 drilling campaign and $0.4 million downward revision associated with the Mutamba Iroru block onshore Gabon.
Revenue recognition– Revenues from contracts with customers are generated from sales in Gabon pursuant to crude oil sales and purchase agreements. There is a single performance obligation (delivering crude oil to the delivery point, i.e. the connection to the customer’s crude oil tanker) that gives rise to revenue recognition at the point in time when the performance obligation event takes place. In addition to revenues from customer contracts, the Company has other revenues related to contractual provisions under the Etame Marin block PSC. The Etame PSC is not a customer contract. The terms of the Etame PSC includes provisions for payments to the government of Gabon for: royalties based on 13% of production at the published price and a shared portion of “Profit Oil” determined based on daily production rates, as well as a gross carried working interest of 7.5% (increasing to 10% beginning June 20, 2026) for all costs. For both royalties and Profit Oil, the Etame PSC provides that the government of Gabon may settle these obligations in-kind, i.e. taking crude oil barrels, rather than with cash payments. See Note 7 for further discussion.
Major maintenance activities – Costs for major maintenance are expensed in the period incurred and can include the costs of workovers of existing wells, contractor repair services, materials and supplies, equipment rentals and labor costs.
Stock-based compensation – The Company measured 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 the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The model employs various assumptions, based on management’s best estimates at the time of grant, which impact the calculation of fair value and ultimately, the amount of expense that is recognized over the life of the stock option award. For restricted stock, grant date fair value is determined using the market value of the common stock on the date of grant. The fair value of stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) is based on a Monte Carlo simulation at grant date and at each subsequent reporting date for the 2016 grants. The Monte Carlo simulation to value the SARs uses the following inputs: (i) the quoted market price of the Company’s common stock on the valuation date, (ii) the maximum stock price appreciation that an employee may receive, (iii) the expected term that is based on the contractual term, (iv) the expected volatility that is based on the historical volatility of the Company’s stock for the length of time corresponding to the expected term of the SARs, (v) the expected dividend yield is based on the anticipated dividend payments, (vi) the risk-free interest rate that is based on the U.S. treasury yield curve in effect as of the reporting date for the length of time corresponding to the expected term of the SARs. The Company utilizes the Black-Scholes option pricing model to measure the fair value of the 2019, 2018 and 2017 SARs.
The stock-based compensation expense is recognized based on the awards as they vest, using the straight-line attribution method over the requisite service period for each separately vesting portion of the award as if the award was, in-substance, multiple awards.
When awards are forfeited before they vest, previously recognized expense related to such forfeitures is reversed in the period in which the forfeiture occurs. See Note 17 for further discussion.
Foreign currency transactions – The U.S. dollar is the functional currency of the Company’s foreign operating subsidiaries. Gains and losses on foreign currency transactions are included in income. Within the consolidated statements of operations line item “Other income (expense)—Other, net,” the Company recognized losses on foreign currency transactions of $0.2 million and $0.1 million in 2019 and 2018, respectively, while the Company recognized gains on foreign currency transactions of $0.5 million 2017.
Income taxes – The annual tax provision is based on expected taxable income, statutory rates and tax planning opportunities available to the Company in the various jurisdictions in which the Company operates. The determination and evaluation of the annual tax provision and tax positions involves the interpretation of the tax laws in the various jurisdictions in which the Company operates and requires significant judgment and the use of estimates and assumptions regarding significant future events such as the amount, timing and character of income, deductions and tax credits. Changes in tax laws, regulations, agreements and tax treaties or the level of operations or profitability in each jurisdiction would impact the tax liability in any given year. The Company also operates in foreign jurisdictions where the tax laws relating to the crude oil and natural gas industry are open to interpretation, which could potentially result in tax authorities asserting additional tax liabilities. While the income tax provision (benefit) is based on the best information available at the time, a number of years may elapse before the ultimate tax liabilities in the various jurisdictions are determined. We also record as income tax expense the increase or decrease in the value of the government’s allocation of Profit Oil which results due to change in value from the time the allocation is originally produced to the time the allocation is actually lifted.
Judgment is required in determining whether deferred tax assets will be realized in full or in part. Management assesses the available positive and negative evidence to estimate if existing deferred tax assets will be utilized, and when it is estimated to be more-likely-than-not that all or some portion of specific deferred tax assets, such as net operating loss carry forwards or foreign tax credit carryovers, will not be realized, a valuation allowance must be established for the amount of the deferred tax assets that are estimated to not be realizable. Factors considered are earnings generated in previous periods, forecasted earnings and the expiration period of carryovers.
In certain jurisdictions, the Company may deem the likelihood of realizing deferred tax assets as remote where the Company expects that, due to the structure of operations and applicable law, the operations in such jurisdictions will not give rise to future tax consequences. For such jurisdictions, the Company has not recognized deferred tax assets. Should the expectations change regarding
the expected future tax consequences, the Company may be required to record additional deferred taxes that could have a material effect on the consolidated financial position and results of operations. See Note 8 for further discussion.
Derivative instruments and hedging activities – The Company uses derivative financial instruments to achieve a more predictable cash flow from crude oil production by reducing the exposure to price fluctuations.
All of the crude oil put contracts, which provided for settlement based upon reported the Brent price, had expired as of December 31, 2017. The Company’s derivative instruments at December 31, 2018, consisted of crude oil swaps, which require the Company to pay a counterparty when the price of crude oil exceeds $74.00 per barrel, and where the price of crude oil falls below $74.00, the Company received a payment from the counterparty. On May 6, 2019, the Company entered into commodity swaps at a Dated Brent weighted average of $66.70 per barrel for the period from and including July 2019 through June 2020 for an approximate quantity of 500,000 barrels. See Note 10 for further discussion.
The Company records balances resulting from commodity risk management activities in the consolidated balance sheets as either assets or liabilities measured at fair value. Gains and losses from the change in fair value of derivative instruments and cash settlements on commodity derivatives are presented in the “Derivative instruments gain (loss), net” line item located within the “Other income (expense)” section of the consolidated statements of operations. Gains and losses from the change in fair value of derivative instruments and cash settlements on commodity derivatives are presented in the “Derivative instruments (gain) loss, net” and “Cash settlements received on matured derivative contracts, net” lines items located as adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities on the statements of consolidated cash flows. The Company received net cash settlements of $2.4 million, $0.7 million and $0.2 million during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, related to matured derivative contracts.
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 internally developed assumptions used in pricing an asset or liability (for example, an estimate of future cash flows used in the internally developed present value of future cash flows model that underlies the fair-value measurement).
Fair value of financial instruments – The Company’s current assets and liabilities include financial instruments such as cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, accounts receivable, derivative assets and liabilities, accounts payable, liabilities for SARs and guarantee. As discussed further in Note 10, derivative assets and liabilities are measured and reported at fair value each period with changes in fair value recognized in net income. The derivative asset commodity swaps referenced below are reported on the consolidated balance sheet on line item “Prepayments and other.” SARs liabilities are measured and reported at fair value using level 2 inputs each period with changes in fair value recognized in net income. The current portion of the SARs liabilities is reported on the consolidated balance sheet on line item “Accrued liabilities and other” while the long-term portion is located on the line item “Other long term liabilities”. With respect to the other financial instruments included in current assets and liabilities, the carrying value of each financial instrument approximates fair value primarily due to the short-term maturity of these instruments.
Other, net – “Other, net” in non-operating income and expenses includes gains and losses from foreign currency transactions as discussed above. In addition, “Other, net” for the year ended December 31, 2017 includes $2.6 million related to the reversal of accruals for liabilities the Company was no longer obligated to pay.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef