Commitments And Contingencies
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2017
|Commitments And Contingencies [Abstract]|
|Commitments And Contingencies||
6. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
On December 7, 2016, a lawsuit was filed against the Company alleging that a former worker on the Company’s oil and gas platforms off the coast of Gabon was terminated because of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. The Plaintiff seeks damages for lost wages and benefits as well as attorneys’ fees. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and is styled as McDonough v. VAALCO Energy, Inc., No. 4:17-cv-00361. In a February 2017 demand letter, the plaintiff made a demand for $361,000 to settle this claim. We intend to defend the claim vigorously, and we do not expect that this claim will have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
In 2014, we entered into a long-term contract for the Constellation II drilling rig that was under a long-term contract for the multi-well development drilling campaign offshore Gabon. The campaign included the drilling of development wells and workovers of existing wells in the Etame Marin block. We began demobilization in January 2016 and released the drilling rig in February 2016, prior to the original July 2016 contract termination date, because we no longer intended to drill any wells in 2016 on our Etame Marin block offshore Gabon. In June 2016, we reached an agreement with the drilling contractor for us to pay $5.1 million net to VAALCO’s interest for unused rig days under the contract. We paid this amount, plus the demobilization charges, in seven equal monthly installments, which began in July 2016 and ended in January 2017. The related expense was reported in the “Other operating expense” line item in our condensed consolidated statement of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2016.
As part of securing the first of two five-year extensions to the Etame field production license to which we are entitled from the government of Gabon, we agreed to a cash funding arrangement for the eventual abandonment of all offshore wells, platforms and facilities on the Etame Marin block. The agreement was finalized in the first quarter of 2014 (effective 2011) providing for annual funding over a period of ten years at 12.14% of the total abandonment estimate for the first seven years and 5.0% per year for the last three years of the production license. The amounts paid will be reimbursed through the cost account and are non-refundable. The abandonment estimate used for this purpose is approximately $61.1 million ($19.0 million net to VAALCO) on an undiscounted basis. Through March 31, 2017, $27.4 million ($8.5 million net to VAALCO) on an undiscounted basis has been funded. This cash funding is reflected under “Other noncurrent assets” as “Abandonment funding” on our condensed consolidated balance sheet. Future changes to the anticipated abandonment cost estimate could change our asset retirement obligation and the amount of future abandonment funding payments.
We are subject to periodic routine audits by various government agencies in Gabon, including audits of our petroleum cost account, customs, taxes and other operational matters, as well as audits by other members of the contractor group under our joint operating agreements.
As of December 31, 2016, we had accrued $1.0 million net to VAALCO in “Accrued liabilities and other” on our condensed consolidated balance sheet for certain payroll taxes in Gabon which were not paid pertaining to labor provided to us over a number of years by a third-party contractor. While the payroll taxes were for individuals who were not our employees, we could be deemed liable for these expenses as the end user of the services provided. These liabilities were substantially resolved at the accrued amount in January 2017.
In 2016, the government of Gabon conducted an audit of our operations in Gabon, covering the years 2013 through 2014. We received the findings from this audit and responded to the audit findings in January 2017. We do not anticipate that the ultimate outcome of this audit will have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef