Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2016
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industries Disclosures [Abstract]  

The 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.  Purchase prices are allocated to acquired assets 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.  Development capital expenditures and purchases of properties that were in accounts payable and not yet paid in cash at March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were approximately $56.8 million and $59.5 million, respectively.


For the three months ended March 31, 2016, the Company acquired approximately 764 net acres, for an average cost of approximately $1,214 per net acre, in its key prospect areas in the form of effective leases.

For the three months ended March 31, 2015, the Company acquired approximately 899 net acres, for an average cost of approximately $1,363 per net acre, in its key prospect areas in the form of effective leases.

Unproved Properties

Unproved properties not being amortized comprise approximately 36,973 net acres and 38,003 net acres of undeveloped leasehold interests at March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively.  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.

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 its properties by purchasing individual or small groups of leases directly from mineral owners or from 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 on a well-by-well basis at the time wells are proposed for drilling.

The Company assesses all items classified as unproved property on an annual basis, or if certain circumstances exist, more frequently, for possible impairment or reduction in value.  The assessment includes consideration of the following factors, among others:  intent to drill, remaining lease term, geological and geophysical evaluations, drilling results and activity, the assignment of proved reserves, and the economic viability of development if proved reserves are assigned.  During any period in which these factors indicate an impairment, the cumulative drilling costs incurred to date for such property and all or a portion of the associated leasehold costs are transferred to the full cost pool and are then subject to depletion and amortization.  For the three months ended March 31, 2016 and 2015, the Company included in the pool of cost subject to depletion $5.8 million and $23.6 million, respectively, for unproved property costs related to expiring leases.