Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industries Disclosures [Abstract]  



The Company currently has under lease three federal Outer Continental Shelf blocks and has licensed 2.2 million acres of three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data in its area of concentration.


The Company, as the operator of two wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, has incurred tangible and intangible drilling costs for the wells in process and has billed its working interest partners for their respective share of the drilling costs to date. The intangible drilling and all other costs related to the first well have been impaired. The second well, Tau, was drilled to a measured depth of 15,254 feet, as compared to the originally permitted 29,857 foot measured depth. Producible hydrocarbon zones were not established to that depth, but hydrocarbon shows were encountered. Complex geomechanical conditions required two by-pass wellbores, one sidetrack wellbore, and eight casing strings to reach that depth. Equipment limitations prevented further drilling. In addition, the drilling rig had contractual obligations related to another operator. The Company elected to plug this well in a manner that would allow for re-entry at a later time. The Company is evaluating various options related to future operations in this wellbore and testing of the deeper Tau prospect. The Company plans to re-drill this prospect within the next twelve months, however, the impact of the CoVid-19 pandemic on offshore operations is still under mitigation by operators and will influence the potential timing of a re-drill.


In January 2019, the Tau well experienced an underground control of well event and as a result, the Company filed an insurance claim pursuant to its insurance policy with its insurance underwriters (the “Underwriters“). The total amount of the claim was approximately $10.8 million for 100% working interest after the insurance deductible amount. The Company received approximately $2.5 million of this amount and credited wells in process for approximately $0.9 million for the Company’s portion, and recorded an accrued payable for approximately $1.6 million, pending evaluation of distributions to the working interest owners. In December 2019, the accrued payable was settled by the issuance to the working interest partner of approximately 38.4 million shares of the Company’s common stock.


In May 2019, the Tau No. 1 well experienced a second underground control of well event and as a result, the Company filed an insurance claim. The claim was related to a subsurface well occurrence that happened during the drilling of the Company‘s Tau No. 1 well on May 5, 2019 at a measured depth of 15,254 feet. The Company subsequently controlled the occurrence and ceased drilling operations and plugs were placed in the well to meet regulatory requirements prior to rig release. Pursuant to the Policy terms and conditions, the Underwriters were obligated to reimburse GulfSlope for qualified actual costs and expenses incurred to (i) regain control of the well, and (ii) restore or re-drill the well to 15,254 feet. Total costs and expenses to regain control of the well were determined to be approximately $4.8 million (net of deductible) for 100% working interest and all of this amount had been received as of December 31, 2020. GulfSlope’s share of this amount was approximately $1.2 million.


In November 2019, an agreement was reached with a working interest partner whereby the working interest partner re-conveyed to the Company their 5% interest in Tau and Canoe in exchange for the release of claims and the Company foregoing collection of accounts receivable owed by the working interest partner. As a result of this agreement approximately $3.6 million of accounts receivable was reclassified to oil and gas properties – unproved during the year ended September 30, 2020.


On July 27, 2020, the Company entered into a settlement with the Underwriters of the well control events insurance policy for their claims associated with the re-drilling of the Tau No. 1 well. In accordance with the settlement, in lieu of the insurer paying for the redrill of the well and for a complete release of any further liability under the insurance policy, the Company will receive approximately $6.6 million in cash net to its 25% working interest. At December 31, 2020, all of this amount has been received.


As of December 31, 2020, the Company’s oil and natural gas properties consisted of unproved properties, wells in process and no proved reserves. During the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company capitalized approximately nil and $0.4 million of interest expense to oil and natural gas properties, respectively, and approximately $0.03 million and $0.3 million of general and administrative expenses, capitalized to oil and natural gas properties, respectively.