COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2021
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
Future Firm Transportation and Gathering Agreements
The Company has contractual commitments with midstream and pipeline companies for future gathering and transportation of natural gas from the Company's producing wells to downstream markets. Under certain of these agreements, the Company has minimum daily volume commitments. The Company is also obligated under certain of these arrangements to pay a demand charge for firm capacity rights on pipeline systems regardless of the amount of pipeline capacity utilized by the Company. If the Company does not utilize the capacity, it often can release it to other counterparties, thus reducing the cost of these commitments. Working interest owners and royalty interest owners, where appropriate, will be responsible for their proportionate share of these costs. Commitments related to future firm transportation and gathering agreements are not recorded as obligations in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets; however, costs associated with utilized future firm transportation and gathering agreements are reflected in the Company's estimates of proved reserves.
A summary of these commitments at September 30, 2021 are set forth in the table below, excluding contracts recently rejected or in the process of being rejected as discussed in the Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings section below:
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 operated production has generally been sufficient to satisfy its delivery commitments during the periods presented, and it expects its operated production will continue to be the primary means of fulfilling its future commitments. However, where the Company's operated production is not sufficient to satisfy its delivery commitments, it can and may use spot market purchases to satisfy the commitments.
A summary of these volume commitments at September 30, 2021 are set forth in the table below:
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. In accordance with ASC Topic 450, Contingencies, an accrual is recorded for a material loss contingency when its occurrence is probable and damages are reasonably estimable based on the anticipated most likely outcome or the minimum amount within a range of possible outcomes.
Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings
Commencement of the Chapter 11 Cases automatically stayed the proceedings and actions against us that are described below, in addition to actions seeking to collect pre-petition indebtedness or to exercise control over the property of the Company's bankruptcy estates. The Plan in the Chapter 11 Cases, which became effective on May 17, 2021, provided for the treatment of claims against the Company's bankruptcy estates, including pre-petition liabilities that had not been satisfied or addressed during the Chapter 11 Cases.
As part of its Chapter 11 Cases and restructuring efforts as discussed in Note 2, the Company filed motions to reject certain firm transportation agreements between the Company and affiliates of TC Energy Corporation ("TC") and Rover Pipeline LLC ("Rover") or jointly as the “Pending Motions to Reject”. The Pending Motions to Reject were removed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. While the Pending Motions to Reject are litigated, the Company isn’t required to perform under these firm transportation agreements. During the third quarter of 2021, Gulfport finalized a settlement agreement with TC that was approved by the Bankruptcy Court on September 21, 2021. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Gulfport and TC agreed that the firm transportation contracts between Gulfport and TC would be rejected without any further
payment or obligation by Gulfport or TC, and TC assigned its damages claims from such rejection to Gulfport. In exchange, Gulfport agreed to make a payment of $43.8 million in cash to TC. The $43.8 million was paid to TC on October 7, 2021 and as of September 30, 2021 is presented in "Accounts payable and accrued liabilities" in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet. Gulfport expects to receive distributions for substantially all of the $43.8 million payment based on the assigned claims pursuant to Gulfport’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that became effective in May 2021. Any future distributions will be recognized once received by Gulfport. The Company believes that the remaining Pending Motion to Reject will be ultimately granted, and that the Company does not have any ongoing obligation pursuant to the contract; however, in the event that the Company is not permitted to reject the Rover firm transportation contract, it could be liable for demand charges, attorneys' fees and interest in excess of approximately $40 million.
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. On September 9, 2021, the State of Louisiana and Cameron Parish dismissed all claims against Gulfport without prejudice.
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. On October 4, 2021, plaintiffs filed a stipulation and agreement of settlement to dismiss all claims against Gulfport that is pending approval by the trial court.
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. On October 16, 2021, Gulfport filed a motion to dismiss that is currently pending before the trial court.
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, and Stingray filed claims in the Chapter 11 proceedings exceeding $80 million related to breach of contract damages, attorneys' fees and interest. In September 2021, Gulfport reached an agreement in principle with Stingray that fully resolves the litigation between the parties. Pursuant to the settlement, Stingray and Gulfport have agreed to drop all of the claims brought against each other in Delaware Court and Bankruptcy Court. On September 22, 2021, the parties announced to the bankruptcy court that all Stingray claims would be withdrawn. The parties are finalizing settlement documents.
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, and Muskie
filed a claim in the Chapter 11 proceedings for $3.4 million. On September 22, 2021, the parties announced to the bankruptcy court that an agreed claim for $3.1 million would resolve the matter. The parties are finalizing settlement documents.
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 percent 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, and claims were filed in the Chapter 11 proceedings totaling $5.8 million. On October 1, 2021, the bankruptcy court approved the parties' settlement resolving all claims for a bankruptcy claim of approximately $0.7 million. Final dismissal is currently pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division.
The Company, along with other oil and gas companies, have been named as a defendant in J&R Passmore, LLC, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on December 6, 2018. Plaintiffs assert their respective leases are limited to the Marcellus and Utica Shale geological formations and allege that Defendants have willfully trespassed and illegally produced oil, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon products beyond these respective formations. Plaintiffs seek the full value of any production from below the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, unspecified damages from the diminution of value to their mineral estate, unspecified punitive damages, and the payment of reasonable attorney fees, legal expenses, and interest.
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. The Company conducts 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.
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