Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES

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CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industries Disclosures [Abstract]  
CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIESThe Company follows the full cost method of accounting for crude oil and natural gas operations whereby all costs related to the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas properties are capitalized into a single cost center (“full cost pool”).  Such costs include land acquisition costs, geological and geophysical expenses, carrying charges on non-producing properties, costs of drilling directly related to acquisition, and exploration activities.  Internal costs that are capitalized are directly attributable to acquisition, exploration and development activities and do not include costs related to production, general corporate overhead or similar activities.  Costs associated with production and general corporate activities are expensed in the period incurred.
Under the full cost method of accounting, the Company is required to perform a ceiling test each quarter.  The test determines a limit, or ceiling, on the book value of the proved oil and gas properties.  Net capitalized costs are limited to the lower of unamortized cost net of deferred income taxes, or the cost center ceiling. The Company did not have any impairment of its proved oil and gas properties for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The book value of the Company’s crude oil and natural gas properties consists of all acquisition costs (including cash expenditures and the value of stock consideration), drilling costs and other associated capitalized costs.  Acquisitions are accounted for as purchases and, accordingly, the results of operations are included in the accompanying condensed statements of operations from the closing date of the acquisition.  Acquired assets and liabilities assumed are recorded based on their estimated fair value at the time of the acquisition.  Acquisitions have been funded with internal cash flow, bank borrowings and the issuance of debt and equity securities.

2021 Acquisitions

The Company acquired oil and natural gas properties, through a number of independent transactions, for a total of $4.4 million during the three months ended March 31, 2021. These amounts include $1.8 million of associated development costs.

See Note 12 regarding the Reliance Acquisition, which the Company closed on April 1, 2021.

2020 Acquisitions

The Company acquired oil and natural gas properties, through a number of independent transactions, for a total of $25.5 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020. These amounts include $18.4 million of development costs that occurred prior to the closings of the acquisitions.

Unproved Properties

All properties that are not classified as proved properties are considered unproved properties and, thus, the costs associated with such properties are not subject to depletion. Once a property is classified as proved, all associated acreage and drilling costs are subject to depletion.

The Company historically has acquired unproved properties by purchasing individual or small groups of leases directly from mineral owners, landmen, or lease brokers, which leases historically have not been subject to specified drilling projects, and by purchasing lease packages in identified project areas controlled by specific operators.  The Company generally participates in drilling activities on a heads up basis by electing whether to participate in each well on a well-by-well basis at the time wells are proposed for drilling.

The Company believes that the majority of its unproved costs will become subject to depletion within the next five years by proving up reserves relating to the acreage through exploration and development activities, by impairing the acreage that will expire before the Company can explore or develop it further or by determining that further exploration and development activity will not occur.  The timing by which all other properties will become subject to depletion will be dependent upon the timing of future drilling activities and delineation of its reserves.
Capitalized costs associated with impaired unproved properties, which includes leases that have expired or have been deemed uneconomic, and capitalized costs related to properties having proved reserves, plus the estimated future development costs and asset retirement costs, are depleted and amortized on the unit-of-production method. Under this method, depletion is calculated at the end of each period by multiplying total production for the period by a depletion rate. The depletion rate is determined by dividing the total unamortized cost base plus future development costs by net equivalent proved reserves at the beginning of the period. The costs of unproved properties are withheld from the depletion base until such time as they are either developed or abandoned. When proved reserves are assigned or the property is considered to be impaired, the cost of the property or the amount of the impairment is added to costs subject to depletion and full cost ceiling calculations. For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, unproved properties of $0.2 million and $1.7 million, respectively, were impaired.