COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|6 Months Ended|
Jun. 30, 2022
|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 June 30, 2022 are set forth in the table below, excluding contracts in the process of being rejected as discussed in the Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings section below (in thousands):
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, 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") (jointly, the “Pending Motions to Reject”). 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. Gulfport expects to receive distributions for a significant portion of such amounts through future distributions with respect to the assigned claims pursuant
to the terms of the Plan that became effective in May 2021. Any future distributions will be recognized once received by Gulfport. In February 2022, Gulfport received an initial distribution of $11.5 million from the above-mentioned claim, which is included in Other, net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The timing and amount of any future distributions are not certain, and the total amount received will be impacted by the bankruptcy trustee's distributions and other bankruptcy claims.
The Pending Motions to Reject were removed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (the “District Court”) by TC and Rover prior to the TC settlement. On July 13, 2022, the District Court referred the Pending Motion to Reject with respect to Rover back to the Bankruptcy Court. The Company believes that the Pending Motion to Reject with respect to Rover will be ultimately granted, and that the Company does not have any ongoing obligation pursuant to the contract; however, if the Company is not permitted to reject the Rover firm transportation contract, it could be liable for demand charges, attorneys' fees and interest.
The Company has been named as a defendant in three separate complaints, two filed by Siltstone Resources, LLC, and the third filed by the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) (together, the "Complaints"). The Complaints all arise from restrictive covenants in favor of OPWC generally prohibiting any transfer and any use inconsistent with a green park space. OPWC filed crossclaims against Gulfport in the Siltstone matters alleging that the transfer of the mineral rights and the development of oil and gas on the property violated these restrictive covenants. On June 19, 2018, October 25, 2019, and March 15, 2019, each trial court in the Complaints entered judgment in favor of the Company and other defendants, finding the restrictive covenants only applied to the surface estate. OPWC appealed each judgement to the respective Ohio Courts of Appeal where the trial court decisions were reversed in favor of OPWC. The Company and certain other parties to the Complaints appealed the appellate court decisions to the Ohio Supreme Court. On February 23, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the first appellate decision and remanded the case back to the trial court. The other two complaints are still pending before the Ohio Supreme Court. OPWC is seeking both injunctive relief to enforce the restrictive covenants and liquidated damages. Liquidated damages were successfully discharged in the Company’s Chapter 11 proceedings through May 17, 2021. The scope and consequence of any injunctive relief that may be granted is not certain, but may have an adverse impact on the Company's operations associated with the leases subject to the Complaints.
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 January 11, 2022, the court granted Gulfport's motion to dismiss and the case was closed by the court on February 14, 2022. The plaintiffs appealed the district court ruling on March 10, 2022.
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. On April 27, 2021, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas approved a settlement agreement in which the plaintiffs fully released the Company from all claims for amounts allegedly owed to the plaintiffs through the effective date of the Company’s Chapter 11 plan, which occurred on May 17, 2021. The plaintiffs are continuing to pursue alleged damages after May 17, 2021.
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