PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2019
|Property, Plant and Equipment [Abstract]|
|PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT||
PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT
The major categories of property and equipment and related accumulated depletion, depreciation, amortization and impairment as of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018 are as follows:
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 Company's oil and natural gas properties. At September 30, 2019, the net book value of the Company's oil and gas properties, less related deferred income taxes, was above the calculated ceiling as a result of reduced commodity prices for the period leading up to September 30, 2019. As a result, the Company was required to record an impairment of its oil and natural gas properties under the full cost method of accounting in the amount of $35.6 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019. No impairment was required for oil and natural gas properties for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018. Additional impairments of oil and natural gas properties are expected to occur in upcoming quarters should commodity prices continue below the average of the previous 12 months. However, the amount of any future impairments is difficult to predict as it depends on changes in commodity prices, production rates, proved reserves, evaluation of costs excluded from amortization, future development costs and production costs.
Included in oil and natural gas properties at September 30, 2019 is the cumulative capitalization of $229.6 million in general and administrative costs incurred and capitalized to the full cost pool. General and administrative costs capitalized to
the full cost pool represent management’s estimate of costs incurred directly related to exploration and development activities such as geological and other administrative costs associated with overseeing exploration and development activities. All general and administrative costs not directly associated with exploration and development activities were charged to expense as they were incurred. Capitalized general and administrative costs were approximately $9.8 million and $26.3 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, respectively, and $10.6 million and $28.8 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, respectively.
The average depletion rate per Mcfe, which is a function of capitalized costs, future development costs and the related underlying reserves in the periods presented, was $1.01 and $0.94 per Mcfe for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
The following table summarizes the Company’s non-producing properties excluded from amortization by area at September 30, 2019:
At December 31, 2018, approximately $2.9 billion of non-producing leasehold costs was not subject to amortization.
The Company evaluates the costs excluded from its amortization calculation at least annually. Subject to industry conditions and the level of the Company’s activities, the inclusion of most of the above referenced costs into the Company’s amortization calculation typically occurs within three to five years. However, the majority of the Company’s non-producing leases in the Utica Shale have five-year extension terms which could extend this time frame beyond five years.
In December of 2018, the Company entered into an agreement to sell its non-core assets located in the West Cote Blanche Bay ("WCBB") and Hackberry fields of Louisiana to an undisclosed third party for a purchase price of approximately $19.7 million. The sale closed on July 3, 2019, subject to customary post-closing terms and conditions, with an effective date of August 15, 2018. The Company received approximately $9.2 million in cash and retained contingent overriding royalty interests. In addition, the Company could also receive contingent payments based on commodity prices exceeding specified thresholds over the two years following the closing date. See Note 9 for further discussion of the contingent consideration arrangement, which was determined to be an embedded derivative. The buyer assumed all plugging and abandonment liabilities associated with these assets which totaled approximately $30.0 million at the divestiture date.
Asset Retirement Obligation
A reconciliation of the Company’s asset retirement obligation for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018 is as follows:
The entire disclosure for long-lived, physical assets used in the normal conduct of business and not intended for resale. Includes, but is not limited to, accounting policies and methodology, roll forwards, depreciation, depletion and amortization expense, including composite depreciation, accumulated depreciation, depletion and amortization expense, useful lives and method used, income statement disclosures, assets held for sale and public utility disclosures.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef