Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

3. SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

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3. SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

The Company maintains its accounts on the accrual method of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Accounting principles followed and the methods of applying those principles, which materially affect the determination of financial position, results of operations and cash flows are summarized below:

 

Use of estimates – The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and certain assumptions that affect the amounts reported in these consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from these estimates.

 

Basis of presentation—The financial statements are presented on a consolidated basis and include all of the accounts of Torchlight Energy Resources Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Torchlight Energy, Inc., Torchlight Energy Operating, LLC, Hudspeth Oil Corporation, Torchlight Hazel LLC, and Warwink Properties LLC. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated.

 

These interim financial statements are unaudited and have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) regarding interim financial reporting. Certain disclosures have been condensed or omitted from these financial statements. Accordingly, they do not include all the information and notes required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) for complete consolidated financial statements, and should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited financial condensed consolidated financial statements include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, necessary to fairly present the financial position as of, and the results of operations for, all periods presented. In preparing the accompanying financial statements, management has made certain estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts in the condensed financial statements and disclosures of contingencies. Actual results may differ from those estimates. The results for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of annual results. Certain reclassifications have been made to the prior period’s consolidated financial statements and related footnotes to conform them to the current period presentation.

 

Risks and uncertainties – The Company’s operations are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including financial, operational, technological, and other risks associated with operating an emerging business, including the potential risk of business failure.

 

Concentration of risks – At times the Company’s cash balances are in excess of amounts guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Company’s cash is placed with a highly rated financial institution, and the Company regularly monitors the credit worthiness of the financial institutions with which it does business.

 

Fair value of financial instruments – Financial instruments consist of cash, receivables, payables and promissory notes, if any. The estimated fair values of cash, receivables, and payables approximate the carrying amount due to the relatively short maturity of these instruments. The carrying amounts of any promissory notes approximate their fair value giving affect for the term of the note and the effective interest rates.

 

For assets and liabilities that require re-measurement to fair value the Company categorizes them in a three-level fair value hierarchy as follows:

 

  Level 1 inputs are quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

 

  Level 2 inputs are quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets or inputs that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly through market corroboration.

 

  Level 3 inputs are unobservable inputs based on management’s own assumptions used to measure assets and liabilities at fair value.

 

A financial asset or liability’s classification within the hierarchy is determined based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement.

 

Cash and cash equivalents - Cash and cash equivalents include certain investments in highly liquid instruments with original maturities of three months or less.

 

Accounts receivable – Accounts receivable consist of uncollateralized oil and natural gas revenues due under normal trade terms, as well as amounts due from working interest owners of oil and gas properties for their share of expenses paid on their behalf by the Company. Management reviews receivables periodically and reduces the carrying amount by a valuation allowance that reflects management’s best estimate of the amount that may not be collectible. As of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, no valuation allowance was considered necessary.

 

Oil and gas properties – The Company uses the full cost method of accounting for exploration and development activities as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Under this method of accounting, the costs of unsuccessful, as well as successful, exploration and development activities are capitalized as properties and equipment. This includes any internal costs that are directly related to property acquisition, exploration and development activities but does not include any costs related to production, general corporate overhead or similar activities. Gain or loss on the sale or other disposition of oil and gas properties is not recognized, unless the gain or loss would significantly alter the relationship between capitalized costs and proved reserves.

 

Oil and gas properties include costs that are excluded from costs being depleted or amortized. Oil and natural gas property costs excluded represent investments in unevaluated properties and include non-producing leasehold, geological, and geophysical costs associated with leasehold or drilling interests and exploration drilling costs. The Company allocates a portion of its acquisition costs to unevaluated properties based on relative value. Costs are transferred to the full cost pool as the properties are evaluated over the life of the reservoir. Unevaluated properties are reviewed for impairment at least quarterly and are determined through an evaluation considering, among other factors, seismic data, requirements to relinquish acreage, drilling results, remaining time in the commitment period, remaining capital plan, and political, economic, and market conditions.

 

Gains and losses on the sale of oil and gas properties are not generally reflected in income unless the gain or loss would significantly alter the relationship between capitalized costs and proved reserves. Sales of less than 100% of the Company’s interest in the oil and gas property are treated as a reduction of the capital cost of the field, with no gain or loss recognized, as long as doing so does not significantly affect the unit-of-production depletion rate. Costs of retired equipment, net of salvage value, are usually charged to accumulated depreciation.

 

Capitalized interest – The Company capitalizes interest on unevaluated properties during the periods in which they are excluded from costs being depleted or amortized. During the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, the Company capitalized $2,084,026 and $1,382,820, respectively, of interest on unevaluated properties.

 

Depreciation, depletion, and amortization – The depreciable base for oil and natural gas properties includes the sum of all capitalized costs net of accumulated depreciation, depletion, and amortization (“DD&A”), estimated future development costs and asset retirement costs not included in oil and natural gas properties, less costs excluded from amortization. The depreciable base of oil and natural gas properties is amortized on a unit-of-production method.

 

Ceiling test – Future production volumes from oil and gas properties are a significant factor in determining the full cost ceiling limitation of capitalized costs. Under the full cost method of accounting, the Company is required to periodically perform a “ceiling test” that determines a limit on the book value of oil and gas properties. If the net capitalized cost of proved oil and gas properties, net of related deferred income taxes, plus the cost of unproved oil and gas properties, exceeds the present value of estimated future net cash flows discounted at 10 percent, net of related realizable tax affects, plus the cost of unproved oil and gas properties, the excess is charged to expense and reflected as additional accumulated DD&A. The Company recorded an impairment expense of $474,357 and $139,891 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively, to recognize the adjustment required by the ceiling test.

 

The ceiling test calculation uses a commodity price assumption which is based on the unweighted arithmetic average of the price on the first day of each month for each month within the prior 12 month period and excludes future cash outflows related to estimated abandonment costs.

 

The determination of oil and gas reserves is a subjective process, and the accuracy of any reserve estimate depends on the quality of available data and the application of engineering and geological interpretation and judgment. Estimates of economically recoverable reserves and future net cash flows depend on a number of variable factors and assumptions that are difficult to predict and may vary considerably from actual results. In particular, reserve estimates for wells with limited or no production history are less reliable than those based on actual production. Subsequent re-evaluation of reserves and cost estimates related to future development of proved oil and gas reserves could result in significant revisions to proved reserves. Other issues, such as changes in regulatory requirements, technological advances, and other factors which are difficult to predict could also affect estimates of proved reserves in the future.

 

Asset retirement obligations –The fair value of a liability for an asset’s retirement obligation (“ARO”) is recognized in the period in which it is incurred if a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made, with the corresponding charge capitalized as part of the carrying amount of the related long-lived asset. The liability is accreted to its then-present value each subsequent period, and the capitalized cost is depleted over the useful life of the related asset. Abandonment costs incurred are recorded as a reduction of the ARO liability.

 

Inherent in the fair value calculation of an ARO are numerous assumptions and judgments including the ultimate settlement amounts, inflation factors, credit adjusted discount rates, timing of settlement, and changes in the legal, regulatory, environmental, and political environments. To the extent future revisions to these assumptions impact the fair value of the existing ARO liability, a corresponding adjustment is made to the oil and gas property balance. Settlements greater than or less than amounts accrued as ARO are recorded as a gain or loss upon settlement.

 

Income taxes - Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases and operating loss carry forwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is established to reduce deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that the related tax benefits will not be realized.

 

Authoritative guidance for uncertainty in income taxes requires that the Company recognize the financial statement benefit of a tax position only after determining that the relevant tax authority would more likely than not sustain the position following an examination. Management has reviewed the Company’s tax positions and determined there were no uncertain tax positions requiring recognition in the consolidated financial statements. Company tax returns remain subject to Federal and State tax examinations. Generally, the applicable statutes of limitation are three to four years from their respective filings.

 

Estimated interest and penalties related to potential underpayment on any unrecognized tax benefits are classified as a component of tax expense in the statement of operation. The Company has not recorded any interest or penalties associated with unrecognized tax benefits for any periods covered by these financial statements.

 

Share-based compensation – Compensation cost for equity awards is based on the fair value of the equity instrument on the date of grant and is recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award.

 

The Company accounts for stock option awards using the calculated value method. The expected term was derived using the simplified method provided in Securities and Exchange Commission release Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 110, which averages an awards weighted average vesting period and contractual term for “plain vanilla” share options.

 

The Company accounts for any forfeitures of options when they occur. Previously recognized compensation cost for an award is reversed in the period that the award is forfeited.

 

The Company also issues equity awards to non-employees. The fair value of these option awards is estimated when the award recipient completes the contracted professional services. The Company recognizes expense for the estimated total value of the awards during the period from their issuance until performance completion.

 

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-07, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which simplifies the accounting for share-based payments granted to nonemployees for goods and services. Under this ASU, the guidance on such payments to nonemployees is aligned with the requirements for share-based payments granted to employees. ASU 2018-07 was effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, however the Company opted for early adoption effective July 1, 2018. In evaluating early adoption the Company determined that the change did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.

 

The Company values warrant and option awards using the Black-Scholes option pricing model.

 

Revenue recognition – On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted ASC 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and the related guidance in ASC 340-40 (the new revenue standard), and related guidance on gains and losses on derecognition of nonfinancial assets ASC 610-20, using the modified retrospective method applied to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Under the modified retrospective method, the Company recognizes the cumulative effect of initially applying the new revenue standard as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings; however, no significant adjustment was required as a result of adopting the new revenue standard. Results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented under the new revenue standard. The impact of the adoption of the new revenue standard was immaterial to the Company’s net loss.

 

The Company’s revenue is typically generated from contracts to sell natural gas, crude oil or NGLs produced from interests in oil and gas properties owned by the Company. Contracts for the sale of natural gas and crude oil are evidenced by (1) base contracts for the sale and purchase of natural gas or crude oil, which document the general terms and conditions for the sale, and (2) transaction confirmations, which document the terms of each specific sale. The transaction confirmations specify a delivery point which represents the point at which control of the product is transferred to the customer. These contracts frequently meet the definition of a derivative under ASC 815, and are accounted for as derivatives unless the Company elects to treat them as normal sales as permitted under that guidance. The Company elects to treat contracts to sell oil and gas production as normal sales, which are then accounted for as contracts with customers. The Company has determined that these contracts represent multiple performance obligations which are satisfied when control of the commodity transfers to the customer, typically through the delivery of the specified commodity to a designated delivery point.

 

Revenues from oil and gas sales are detailed as follows:

 

    Three Months     Three Months     Nine Months     Nine Months  
    Ended     Ended     Ended     Ended  
    September 30, 2019     September 30, 2018     September 30, 2019     September 30, 2018  
Revenues                                
                                 
Oil sales   $ 71,064     $ 124,830     $ 596,247     $ 881,364  
                                 
Gas sales     78       3,845       22,807       11,737  
                                 
Total   $ 71,142     $ 128,675     $ 619,054     $ 893,101  

 

Revenue is measured based on consideration specified in the contract with the customer, and excludes any amounts collected on behalf of third parties. The Company recognizes revenue in the amount that reflects the consideration it expects to be entitled to in exchange for transferring control of those goods to the customer. Amounts allocated in the Company’s price contracts are based on the standalone selling price of those products in the context of long-term contracts. Payment is generally received one or two months after the sale has occurred.

 

Gain or loss on derivative instruments is outside the scope of ASC 606 and is not considered revenue from contracts with customers subject to ASC 606. The Company may in the future use financial or physical contracts accounted for as derivatives as economic hedges to manage price risk associated with normal sales, or in limited cases may use them for contracts the Company intends to physically settle but do not meet all of the criteria to be treated as normal sales.

 

Producer Gas Imbalances. The Company applies the sales method of accounting for natural gas revenue. Under this method, revenues are recognized based on the actual volume of natural gas sold to purchasers.

 

Basic and diluted earnings (loss) per share Basic earnings (loss) per common share is computed by dividing net income (loss) available to common shareholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted earnings (loss) per common share is computed in the same way as basic earnings (loss) per common share except that the denominator is increased to include the number of additional common shares that would be outstanding if all potential common shares had been issued and if the additional common shares were dilutive. The calculation of diluted earnings per share excludes 10,705,072 shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants and options because their effect would be anti-dilutive.

 

Environmental laws and regulations – The Company is subject to extensive federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. Environmental expenditures are expensed or capitalized depending on their future economic benefit. The Company believes that it is in compliance with existing laws and regulations. The Company accrued no liability as of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018.

 

Recent adopted accounting pronouncements – In February 2016 the FASB, issued ASU, 2016-02, Leases. The ASU requires companies to recognize on the balance sheet the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by leased assets. ASU 2016-02 was effective for the Company in the first quarter of 2019. The Company adopted the change which did not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.

 

Other recently issued or adopted accounting pronouncements are not expected to have, or did not have, a material impact on the Company’s financial position or results from operations.

 

Subsequent events – The Company evaluated subsequent events through November 8, 2019, the date of issuance of these financial statements. Subsequent events, if any, are disclosed in Note 11.