Crude Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2021
|Crude Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment [Abstract]|
|Crude Oil and Natural Gas Properties and Equipment||
7. CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES AND EQUIPMENT
Extension of Term of Etame Marin Block PSC
On September 25, 2018, VAALCO, together with the other joint venture 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., currently has a 63.575% participating interest (working interest including the working interest attributable to the carried interest owner) in the Etame Marin block.
The PSC Extension extended the term for each of the three exploitation areas in the Etame Marin block for a period of ten years with effect from September 17, 2018, the effective date of the PSC Extension. The PSC Extension also granted 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 area of each Exclusive Exploitation Authorization 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 ($1.7 million, net to VAALCO) was paid in cash in February 2020 by the Consortium following the end of the drilling activities described below.
As required under the PSC Extension, the Consortium completed drilling two development wells and two appraisal wellbores during the 2019/2020 drilling campaign with the last appraisal wellbore completed in February 2020. During September 2020, the Consortium completed the two technical studies at a cost of $1.5 million gross ($0.5 million, net to VAALCO).
In accordance with the Etame Marin block PSC, the Consortium maintains a “Cost Account,” which accumulates capital costs and operating expenses that are deductible against revenues, net of royalties, in determining taxable profits. 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%. 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 1.6%.
The Company reviews the crude 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 a crude 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 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.
There was no triggering event in the first quarter of 2021 that would cause us to believe the value of crude oil and natural gas producing properties should be impaired. Factors considered included higher future strip prices for the first quarter of 2021 compared
to the fourth quarter of 2020, and that the Company incurred no significant capital expenditures in the period related to the fields in the Etame Marin block.
Declining forecasted oil prices in the first quarter of 2020 caused us to perform an impairment review during this period. The impairment test was performed using the year end 2019 independently prepared reserve report, estimated reserves for the South East Etame 4H well completed in March 2020 and forward price curves. The Company performed a recoverability test as defined under ASC 932 and ASC 360, noting that the undiscounted cash flows related to the Etame, Avouma, Ebouri, Southeast Etame and North Tchibala fields were less than the book values for these fields resulting in the Company recording a $30.6 million impairment loss to write down the Company’s investment in each field to their fair value of $15.6 million.
Undeveloped Leasehold Costs
VAALCO acquired a 31% working interest in an undeveloped portion of a block (“Block P”) offshore Equatorial Guinea in 2012. The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (“EG MMH”) approved our appointment as operator for Block P on November 12, 2019. The Company acquired an additional working interest of 12% from Atlas Petroleum, thereby increasing its working interest to 43% in 2020, in exchange for a potential future payment of $3.1 million in the event that there is commercial production from Block P. On August 27, 2020, the amendment to the production sharing contract to ratify the Company’s increased working interest and appointment as operator was approved by the EG MMH. VAALCO is seeking to farm down its interest in Block P in exchange for funding a substantial portion of an appraisal well. On April 12, 2021, the majority of non-defaulting parties assigned the defaulting party’s interest to the non-defaulting parties. As a result, VAALCO’s working interest will increase to 45.9% once the EG MMH approves a new amendment to the production sharing contract. As of March 31, 2021, the Company had $10.0 million recorded for the book value of the undeveloped leasehold costs associated with the Block P license. VAALCO and its current and potential future 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 Block P production sharing contract provides for a development and production period of 25 years from the date of approval of a development and production plan.
As a result of the PSC Extension, the exploitation area for the Etame Marin block was expanded to include previously undeveloped acreage. The Company allocated $6.7 million of the 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 Marin block PSC. As a result of discovering reserves in connection with drilling the South East Etame 4H development well in March 2020, $2.3 million of costs were transferred to proved leasehold costs leaving a remaining $11.5 million in unproved leasehold costs. In connection with the Sasol Acquisition discussed under Note 3, $2.2 million of reserves were attributed to undeveloped properties. The balance of undeveloped leasehold costs related to the Etame Marin block at March 31, 2021 was $13.7 million.
Capitalized Equipment InventoryCapitalized equipment inventory is reviewed regularly for obsolescence. Adjustments for inventory obsolescence are recorded in the “Other operating expense, net” line item of the condensed consolidated statements of operations but were not material for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020.
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