Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2023
Asset Retirement Obligation Disclosure [Abstract]  



The Company has a number of oil and gas wells in production and will have AROs once the wells are permanently removed from service. The primary obligations involve the removal and disposal of surface equipment, plugging and abandoning the wells and site restoration.


The Company is the operator of certain wells located in New Mexico, at the Twin Lakes San Andres Unit (“TLSAU”) Field. TLSAU is located 45 miles from Roswell, Chaves County, New Mexico.


On March 4, 2021, the Company received a letter from the Commissioner of Public Lands of the State of New Mexico, which was sent to us and certain other parties notifying such parties of certain non-compliance with the laws and regulations that it administers. The deficiencies are currently in the process of being settled by a third party agreeing to plug six wells, including at least two Company operated wells (TLSAU wells #316 and #037). The scope of the matter above included only 240 acres of the 640 acres of The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) lease. The Commissioner of Public Lands of the State of New Mexico could still file suit and require the plugging and surface remediation of all wells in section 36.



On April 8, 2021, the State of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Oil Conservation Division (“OCD”) sent the Company a Notice of Violation alleging that the Company was not in compliance with certain New Mexico Oil and Gas Act regulations (the “NMAC”), associated with required reporting, inactive wells and financial assurance requirements, plugging certain abandoned wells, providing required financial assurance in connection with plugging expenses, and proposing to assess certain civil penalties in the amount of an aggregate of approximately $35,100.


On April 8, 2021, the State of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Oil Conservation Division (the “OCD”) issued a Notice of Violation (the “NOV”) to Petrolia alleging that the Company violated four regulations under Title 19, Chapter 15 of the New Mexico Administrative Code (the “NMAC”) by: (i) failing to file production reports for certain wells, (ii) exceeding the number of inactive wells allowed, (iii) failing to provide financial assurance in the amount required, and (iv) failing to provide additional financial assurance in the amount required.


The Company acknowledged the violations alleged in the NOV and requested an informal resolution. On December 30, 2021, to resolve this matter, Petrolia entered into a Stipulated Final Order ( the “SFO”) in Case No. 21982 with the OCD whereby Petrolia among other things agreed to: (i) submit appropriate forms for wells identified on the SFO Inactive Well List, (ii) plug the specific TLSAU wells listed in section 8 (c) and (d) of the SFO, as well as submit all required information and forms specified in the SFO, (iii) open an escrow account meeting the terms listed in the SFO, (iv) deposit funds into an escrow account within the timeframe described in the SFO, and (v) provide the OCD with a report proposing deadlines for bringing all remaining wells into compliance. The Company recognized an additional liability of $792,000 to plug these wells in 2020.


The Company entered into a settlement agreement on July 27, 2020 with Moon Company, Trustee of the O’Brien Mineral Trust pursuant to which nine leases totaling approximately 3,800 acres of the 4,880 acre Twin Lakes San Andres Unit were terminated as a part of the settlement agreement. Pursuant to this settlement agreement, the Company no longer has the right to produce oil, gas, or other hydrocarbons and any other minerals from the mineral estate encumbered by the leases and owned by the trustee of the O’Brien Mineral Trust.


AROs associated with the retirement of tangible long-lived assets are recognized as liabilities with an increase to the carrying amounts of the related long-lived assets in the period incurred. The fair value of AROs is recognized as of the acquisition date of the working interest. The cost of the tangible asset, including the asset retirement cost, is depleted over the life of the asset. AROs are recorded at estimated fair value, measured by reference to the expected future cash outflows required to satisfy the retirement obligations discounted at the Company’s credit-adjusted risk-free interest rate. Accretion expense is recognized over time as the discounted liabilities are accreted to their expected settlement value. If estimated future costs of AROs change, an adjustment is recorded to both the ARO and the long-lived asset. Revisions to estimated AROs can result from changes in retirement cost estimates, revisions to estimated discount rates and changes in the estimated timing of abandonment.


For the purpose of determining the fair value of AROs incurred during the years presented, the Company used the following assumptions:



March 31, 2023

Inflation rate     1.92 - 2.15 %
Estimated asset life     12-21 years    



The following table shows the change in the Company’s ARO liability:






United States properties

Asset retirement obligations, December 31, 2021   $ 1,186,297     $ 1,070,730     $ 2,257,027  
Accretion expense     145,191       28,412       173,603  
Disposition           (47,624 )     (47,624 )
Foreign currency translation     (81,671 )           (81,671 )
Asset retirement obligations, December 31, 2022   $ 1,249,816     $ 1,051,518     $ 2,301,335  
Accretion expense     37,550       10,655       48,205  
Foreign currency translation     991             991  
Asset retirement obligations, March 31, 2023   $ 1,288,357     $ 1,062,173     $ 2,350,530