COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2023
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
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 March 31, 2023, are set forth in the table below (in thousands):
Other Operational Commitments
During 2022, the Company entered into various contractual commitments to purchase inventory and other material to be used in future activities. The Company's commitment to purchase these materials spans 2023 and 2024, with approximately $52.7 million remaining in 2023 and $31.2 million for 2024.
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
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"). 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 them would be rejected without any further payment or obligation by either party, 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 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.
During the first quarter of 2023, Gulfport finalized a settlement agreement with Rover that was approved by the Bankruptcy Court on February 21, 2023. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Gulfport and Rover agreed that the firm transportation contracts between them would be rejected. The Bankruptcy Court Order provided Rover will: (a) receive an allowed $85.9 million Class 4A General Unsecured Claim (the “Rover Unsecured Claim”), (b) receive an administrative claim of $1.0 million payable by Gulfport, and (c) draw the full amount of its credit assurance. Gulfport paid the $1.0 million administrative claim during the first quarter, and has no further obligations to Rover. The Rover Unsecured Claim will receive distributions under the Plan payable from the liquidating trust, not Gulfport. On February 24, 2023, Gulfport received an additional $17.8 million interim distribution for its TC claim. The timing and amount of any future distributions to Gulfport are not certain, and the total amount received will be impacted by the liquidating trust’s distributions and resolution of other remaining bankruptcy claims. These payments are included in Other, net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
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. On December 27, 2022, the Ohio Supreme Court affirmed the other two complaints and remanded the matters back to the trial court. OPWC is seeking both injunctive relief to enforce the restrictive covenants and equitable relief. 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, including a potential order to plug and abandon the wells at issue.
The Company, along with other oil and gas companies, have been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits where 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 its 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, it may, among other things, exclude a property from the transaction, require the seller to remediate the property to its 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.