COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2020
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
Future Firm Sales Commitments
The Company has entered into various firm sales contracts to deliver and sell natural gas. The Company expects to fulfill its delivery commitments primarily with production from proved developed reserves. The Company's proved reserves have generally been sufficient to satisfy its delivery commitments during the three most recent years, and it expects such reserves will continue to be the primary means of fulfilling its future commitments. However, where the Company's proved reserves are not sufficient to satisfy its delivery commitments, it can and may use spot market purchases to satisfy the commitments.
A summary of these commitments at September 30, 2020 are set forth in the table below:
Future Firm Transportation Commitments
The Company has contractual commitments with pipeline carriers for future transportation of natural gas from the Company's production areas to downstream markets. Commitments related to future firm transportation agreements are not recorded as obligations in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets; however, the costs associated with these commitments are reflected in the Company's estimates of proved reserves and future net revenues. Effective September 14, 2020, the Company entered into an amendment to the precedent agreement dated March 15, 2017 with Midship Pipeline Company, LLC ("Midship") to decrease firm transportation commitment volumes for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, requiring a prepayment for reservation charges and other covered obligations of $32.9 million. This prepayment is included in other assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
A summary of these commitments at September 30, 2020 are set forth in the table below:
As of September 30, 2020, the Company had entered into firm transportation contracts to deliver approximately 1,380,000 and 1,399,000 MMBtu per day for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, respectively. Under these firm transportation contracts, the Company is obligated to deliver minimum daily volumes or pay fees for any deficiencies in deliveries. As a result of the reduced production from the Company's Utica Shale or SCOOP acreage due to decreased developmental activities, taking into consideration the current low commodity price environment, the Company expects that its future production levels will be below the commitment amounts under the existing firm transportation contracts, resulting in excess firm transportation costs, which may be significant and may have a material adverse effect on its operations.
Effective October 1, 2014, the Company entered into a Sand Supply Agreement with Muskie Proppant LLC (“Muskie”), a subsidiary of Mammoth Energy and a related party. Pursuant to this agreement, as amended effective August 3, 2018, the Company agreed to purchase annual and monthly amounts of proppant sand subject to exceptions specified in the agreement at agreed pricing plus agreed costs and expenses through 2021. Failure by either Muskie or the Company to deliver or accept the minimum monthly amount results in damages calculated per ton based on the difference between the monthly obligation amount and the amount actually delivered or accepted, as applicable. The Company incurred $1.9 million and $5.6 million in non-utilization fees under this agreement during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, respectively. The Company incurred $0.02 million and $0.4 million in non-utilization fees under this agreement during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, respectively. In August 2020, Muskie filed an action against the Company alleging that it breached its obligation to purchase a certain amount of proppant sand each month or make designated shortfall payments under the Sand Supply Agreement. See “Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings” below.
Future minimum commitments under this agreement at September 30, 2020 are:
Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings
The Company is involved in a number of litigation and regulatory proceedings including those described below. Many of these proceedings are in early stages, and many of them seek or may seek damages and penalties, the amount of which is indeterminate. The Company's total accrued liabilities in respect of litigation and regulatory proceedings is determined on a case-by-case basis and represents an estimate of probable losses after considering, among other factors, the progress of each case or proceeding, its experience and the experience of others in similar cases or proceedings, and the opinions and views of legal counsel. Significant judgment is required in making these estimates and their final liabilities may ultimately be materially different.
The Company, along with a number of other oil and gas companies, has been named as a defendant in two separate complaints, one filed by the State of Louisiana and the Parish of Cameron in the 38th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Cameron on February 9, 2016 and the other filed by the State of Louisiana and the District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District of the State of Louisiana in the 15th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Vermilion on July 29, 2016 (together, the "Complaints"). The Complaints allege that certain of the defendants’ operations violated the State and Local Coastal Resources Management Act of 1978, as amended, and the rules, regulations, orders and ordinances adopted thereunder (the "CZM Laws") by causing substantial damage to land and waterbodies located in the coastal zone of the relevant Parish. The plaintiffs seek damages and other appropriate relief under the CZM Laws, including the payment of costs necessary to clear, re-vegetate, detoxify and otherwise restore the affected coastal zone of the relevant Parish to its original condition, actual restoration of such coastal zone to its original condition, and the payment of reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses and interest. The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued orders remanding the cases to their respective state court, and the defendants have appealed the remand orders to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In July 2019, Pigeon Land Company, Inc., a successor in interest to certain of the Company’s legacy Louisiana properties, filed an action against the Company and many other oil and gas companies in the 16th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Iberia in Louisiana. The suit alleges negligence, strict liability and various violations of Louisiana statutes relating to property damage in connection with the historic development of the Company’s Louisiana properties and seeks unspecified damages (including punitive damages), an injunction to return the affected property to its original condition, and the payment of reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses and interest.
In September 2019, a stockholder of Mammoth Energy filed a derivative action on behalf of Mammoth Energy against members of Mammoth Energy’s board of directors, including a director designated by the Company, and its significant stockholders, including the Company, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the members of Mammoth Energy’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties and violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, in connection with Mammoth Energy’s activities in Puerto Rico
following Hurricane Maria. The complaint seeks unspecified damages, the payment of reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses and interest and to force Mammoth Energy and its board of directors to make specified corporate governance reforms.
In October 2019, Kelsie Wagner, in her capacity as trustee of various trusts and on behalf of the trusts and other similarly situated royalty owners, filed an action against the Company in the District Court of Grady County, Oklahoma. The suit alleges that the Company underpaid royalty owners and seeks unspecified damages for violations of the Oklahoma Production Revenue Standards Act and fraud.
In March 2020, Robert F. Woodley, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a federal securities class action against the Company, David M. Wood, Keri Crowell and Quentin R. Hicks in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleges that the Company made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business and operations in violation of the federal securities laws and seeks unspecified damages, the payment of reasonable attorneys’ fees, expert fees and other costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and such other and further relief that may be deemed just and proper.
In June 2020, Sam L. Carter, derivatively on behalf of the Company, filed an action against certain of our current and former executive officers and directors in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The complaint alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to the Company in connection with certain alleged materially false and misleading statements regarding our business and operations in violation of the federal securities laws. The complaint sought to recover unspecified damages from the defendants, the implementation of specified corporate governance reforms, reasonable attorneys’ and experts’ fees, costs and expenses, and such other relief as may be deemed just and proper. The complaint was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice by the plaintiff in October 2020.
In December 2019, the Company filed a lawsuit against Stingray Pressure Pumping LLC, a subsidiary of Mammoth Energy (“Stingray”), for breach of contract and to terminate the Master Services Agreement for pressure pumping services, effective as of October 1, 2014, as amended (the “Master Services Agreement”), between Stingray and the Company. In March 2020, Stingray filed a counterclaim against the Company in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware. The counterclaim alleges that the Company has breached the Master Services Agreement. The counterclaim seeks actual damages, which the complaint calculates to be approximately $37.0 million as of September 2020 (such amount to increase each month), the payment of reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses and pre- and post-judgment interest as allowed, and such other and further relief which it may be justly entitled.
In April 2020, Bryon Lefort, individually and on behalf of similarly situated individuals, filed an action against the Company in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division. The complaint alleges that the Company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Ohio Wage Act and the Ohio Prompt Pay Act by classifying the plaintiffs as independent contractors and paying them a daily rate with no overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The complaint seeks to recover unpaid regular and overtime wages, liquidated damages in an amount equal to six of all unpaid overtime compensation, the payment of reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and such other damages that may be owed to the workers.
In August 2020, Muskie filed an action against the Company in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware for breach of contract. The complaint alleges that the Company breached its obligation to purchase a certain amount of proppant sand each month or make designated shortfall payments under the Sand Supply Agreement, effective October 1, 2014, as amended (the “Sand Supply Agreement”), between Muskie and the Company, and seeks payment of unpaid shortfall payments, which are estimated to be approximately $2.5 million as of September 2020, the payment of reasonable attorney’s fees and legal costs and expenses and pre- and post-judgment interest as allowed, and such other and further relief to which it may be justly entitled.
These cases are still in their early stages. As a result, the Company has not had the opportunity to evaluate the allegations made in the plaintiffs' complaints and intends to vigorously defend the suits.
The SEC has commenced an investigation with respect to certain actions by former Company management, including alleged improper personal use of Company assets, and potential violations by former management and the Company of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in connection with such actions. The Company has fully cooperated and intends to continue to cooperate fully with the SEC’s investigation. Although it is not possible to predict the ultimate resolution or financial liability
with respect to this matter, the Company believes that the outcome of this matter will not have a material effect on the Company’s business, financial condition or results of operations.
The Company is involved in various lawsuits and disputes incidental to its business operations, including commercial disputes, personal injury claims, royalty claims, property damage claims and contract actions.
The nature of the oil and gas business carries with it certain environmental risks for Gulfport and its subsidiaries. Gulfport and its subsidiaries have implemented various policies, programs, procedures, training and audits to reduce and mitigate environmental risks. They conduct periodic reviews, on a company-wide basis, to assess changes in their environmental risk profile. Environmental reserves are established for environmental liabilities for which economic losses are probable and reasonably estimable. The Company manages its exposure to environmental liabilities in acquisitions by using an evaluation process that seeks to identify pre-existing contamination or compliance concerns and address the potential liability. Depending on the extent of an identified environmental concern, they may, among other things, exclude a property from the transaction, require the seller to remediate the property to their satisfaction in an acquisition or agree to assume liability for the remediation of the property.
In October 2018, the company submitted a Voluntary Disclosure document to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) stemming from improper air permitting at several sites in Midcon between 2014 and 2017. The sites were permitted by Vitruvian prior to the Company's purchase of those assets. The sites were permitted utilizing the “permit by rule” regulation but actually required Title V air permits. The Company has agreed in a final Consent Order to obtain the proper permits and to pay the costs from not having the proper permits in place in the amount of $180,000 to the ODEQ. The Order received final approval at the ODEQ and was finalized in October 2020.
Based on management’s current assessment, they are of the opinion that no pending or threatened lawsuit or dispute relating to its business operations is likely to have a material adverse effect on their future consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. The final resolution of such matters could exceed amounts accrued, however, and actual results could differ materially from management’s estimates.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef