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EX-21 - SUBSIDIARIES OF THE REGISTRANT - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex21.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 302 - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex312.htm
EX-23.3 - CONSENT OF NETHERLAND, SEWELL & ASSOCIATES, INC - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex233.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF GRANT THORNTON - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex231.htm
EX-23.2 - CONSENT OF RYDER SCOTT COMPANY - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex232.htm
EX-32.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 906 - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex322.htm
EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 906 - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex321.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER PURSUANT TO SECTION 302 - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex311.htm
EX-23.4 - CONSENT OF GRANT THORNTON - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-2015x1231xex234.htm
EX-10.19 - EXHIBIT 10.19 - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex1019.htm
EX-99.1 - REPORT OF NETHERLAND, SEWALL & ASSOCIATES, INC. - GULFPORT ENERGY CORPgpor-20151231xex991use.htm

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM 10-K
 
(Mark One)
ý
ANNUAL REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
OR
¨
TRANSITION REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission File Number 000-19514
 
Gulfport Energy Corporation
(Exact Name of Registrant As Specified in Its Charter)
 
Delaware
 
73-1521290
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(IRS Employer
Identification Number)
14313 North May Avenue, Suite 100
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 
73134
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
(Zip Code)
(405) 848-8807
(Registrant Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share
 
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:    None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    
Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (Section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (Section 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large Accelerated filer  ý    Accelerated filer   ¨    Non-accelerated filer  ¨    Smaller reporting company  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No  ý
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant computed as of June 30, 2015, based on the closing price of the common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on June 30, 2015, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter ($40.25 per share), was $4,355,210,235.
As of February 10, 2016, 108,324,750 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of Gulfport Energy Corporation’s Proxy Statement for the 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Form 10-K.



GULFPORT ENERGY CORPORATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 1.
 
 
 
ITEM 1A.
 
 
 
ITEM 1B.
 
 
 
ITEM 2.
 
 
 
ITEM 3.
 
 
 
ITEM 4.
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 5.
 
 
 
ITEM 6.
 
 
 
ITEM 7.
 
 
 
ITEM 7A.
 
 
 
ITEM 8.
 
 
 
ITEM 9.
 
 
 
ITEM 9A.
 
 
 
ITEM 9B.
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 10.
 
 
 
ITEM 11.
 
 
 
ITEM 12.
 
 
 
ITEM 13.
 
 
 
ITEM 14.
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 15.
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

i


FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Our disclosure and analysis in this Form 10-K may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “potential” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this Form 10-K that address activities, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future, including such things as estimated future net revenues from oil and gas reserves and the present value thereof, future capital expenditures (including the amount and nature thereof), business strategy and measures to implement strategy, competitive strength, goals, expansion and growth of our business and operations, plans, references to future success, reference to intentions as to future matters and other such matters are forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are largely based on our expectations and beliefs concerning future events, which reflect estimates and assumptions made by our management. These estimates and assumptions reflect our best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors relating to our operations and business environment, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
Although we believe our estimates and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are beyond our control. In addition, management's assumptions about future events may prove to be inaccurate. Management cautions all readers that the forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K are not guarantees of future performance, and we cannot assure any reader that those statements will be realized or the forward-looking events and circumstances will occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements due to the factors listed in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” and Item 7. “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections and elsewhere in this Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Form 10-K. We do not intend to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf.


1


PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS
General
We are an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company focused on the exploration, exploitation, acquisition and production of natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude oil in the United States. Our corporate strategy is to internally identify prospects, acquire lands encompassing those prospects and evaluate those prospects using subsurface geology and geophysical data and exploratory drilling. Using this strategy, we have developed an oil and natural gas portfolio of proved reserves, as well as development and exploratory drilling opportunities on high potential conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas prospects. Our principal properties are located in the Utica Shale primarily in Eastern Ohio and along the Louisiana Gulf Coast in the West Cote Blanche Bay, or WCBB, and Hackberry fields. In addition, we have an interest in producing properties in the Niobrara Formation of Northwestern Colorado and the Bakken Formation. We also hold a significant acreage position in the Alberta oil sands in Canada through our interest in Grizzly Oil Sands ULC, or Grizzly, and an interest in an entity that operates in the Phu Horm gas field in Thailand. We seek to achieve reserve growth and increase our cash flow through our annual drilling programs.

As of February 10, 2016, we held leasehold interests in approximately 244,000 gross (237,000 net) acres in the Utica Shale primarily in Eastern Ohio, including approximately 24,000 net acres acquired in our purchase of Paloma Partners III, LLC, or Paloma, and approximately 35,000 net acres acquired from American Energy-Utica, LLC (now known as Ascent Resources Utica, LLC), or AEU, in each case during the second quarter of 2015. We spud our first well, the Wagner 1-28H, on our Utica Shale acreage in February 2012 and, as of December 31, 2015, had spud 219 gross wells (including wells from our AEU acquisition), 165 of which were completed and were producing. In 2015, we spud 49 gross (38.4 net) wells, of which ten were completed as producing wells, 36 were in various stages of completion and, as of December 31, 2015, three were still being drilled. We commenced sales from 55 gross wells (50.2 net wells) in the Utica Shale during 2015. During 2016 (through February 10, 2016), we had spud four gross (2.2 net) wells. As of February 10, 2016, one well was waiting on completion and three were still drilling. In addition, 25 gross (7.3 net) wells were drilled by other operators on our Utica Shale acreage during 2015.
We currently intend to drill 29 to 32 gross (19 to 21 net) horizontal wells, and commence sales from 44 to 48 gross (28 to 30 net) horizontal wells on our Utica Shale acreage in 2016 for an estimated aggregate cost of $219.0 million to $247.0 million. We currently anticipate 17 to 19 gross (two to three net) horizontal wells will be drilled, and sales commenced from 30 to 34 gross (eight to nine net) horizontal wells, by other operators on our Utica Shale acreage during 2016 for an estimated net cost to us of $90.0 million to $100.0 million.
Aggregate net production from our Utica Shale acreage during the three months ended December 31, 2015 was approximately 57,381 net million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, or MMcfe, or 623.7 MMcfe per day, of which 85% was from natural gas and 15% was from oil and natural gas liquids, or NGLs. During January 2016, our average daily net production from the Utica Shale was approximately 586.9 MMcfe, of which 86% was from natural gas and 14% was from oil and NGLs.
In 2015, at our WCBB field, we recompleted 35 gross and net wells and spud no new wells. In the fourth quarter of 2015, production at WCBB was approximately 1,363 MMcfe, or an average of 14.8 MMcfe per day, of which 97% was from oil and 3% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at WCBB was approximately 13.1 MMcfe, 100% of which was from oil.
In 2015, at our East Hackberry field, we recompleted 37 gross and net wells and spud no new wells. In the fourth quarter of 2015, net production at East Hackberry was approximately 315.8 MMcfe, or an average of 3.4 MMcfe per day, of which 94% was from oil and 6% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at East Hackberry was approximately 4.6 MMcfe, of which 96% was from oil and 4% was from natural gas.
In 2015, at our West Hackberry field, we had no recompletions and spud no new wells. In the fourth quarter of 2015, net production at West Hackberry was approximately 45.1 MMcfe, or an average of 489.9 Mcfe per day, of which 94% was from oil and 6% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at West Hackberry was approximately 685.5 Mcfe, of which 99% was from oil and 1% was from natural gas.
We currently estimate our 2016 activities in our Southern Louisiana fields to be approximately $26.0 million to $28.0 million in aggregate for maintenance capital activities.

2


As of December 31, 2015, we held leasehold interests in approximately 5,000 net acres in the Niobrara Formation in Northwestern Colorado. During the year ended December 31, 2015, there were no wells spud on our Niobrara Formation acreage. In the fourth quarter of 2015, net production from our Niobrara Formation acreage was approximately 29.1 MMcfe, or an average of 315.9 Mcfe per day, 100% of which was from oil. During January 2016, our average net daily production from our Niobrara Formation acreage was approximately 292.5 Mcfe, 100% of which was from oil. During 2016, we currently do not anticipate drilling any wells in the Niobrara Formation.
As of December 31, 2015, we held leasehold interests in approximately 864 net acres in the Bakken Formation of Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana, interests in 18 wells and overriding royalty interests in certain existing and future wells. In the fourth quarter of 2015, our net production from this acreage was approximately 94.3 MMcfe, or an average of 1.0 MMcfe per day, of which 90% was from oil and natural gas liquids and 10% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average daily net production from our Bakken Formation acreage was approximately 375.0 Mcfe, of which 82% was from oil and 18% was from natural gas.
We, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Grizzly Holdings Inc., own a 24.9% interest in Grizzly. As of December 31, 2015, Grizzly had approximately 830,000 net acres under lease in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions of Alberta, Canada. For additional information regarding Grizzly, see "Our Equity Investments–Grizzly Oil Sands" below.

We own a 23.5% ownership interest in Tatex Thailand II, LLC, or Tatex II. Tatex II, a privately held entity, holds an 8.5% interest in APICO, LLC, or APICO, an international oil and gas exploration company. APICO has a reserve base located in Southeast Asia through its ownership of concessions covering approximately 243,000 acres which includes the Phu Horm Field. For additional information regarding Tatex II and our other activities in Southeast Asia, see "Our Equity Investments–Thailand" below.
In an effort to facilitate the development of our Utica Shale and other domestic acreage, we have invested in entities that can provide services that are required to support our operations. For additional information regarding these entities, see "Our Equity Investments–Other Investments" below.

As of December 31, 2015, we had 1.7 Tcfe of proved reserves with a present value of estimated future net revenues, discounted at 10%, or PV-10, of approximately $765.8 million and associated standardized measure of discounted future net cash flows of approximately $764.3 million, excluding reserves attributable to our interests in Grizzly, Tatex II and Tatex III. See Item 2. "Properties-Proved Oil and Natural Gas Reserves” for our definition of PV-10 (a non-GAAP financial measure) and a reconciliation of our standardized measure of discounted future net cash flows (the most directly comparable GAAP measure) to PV-10.
Principal Oil and Natural Gas Properties
The following table presents certain information as of December 31, 2015 reflecting our net interest in our principal producing oil and natural gas properties in the Utica Shale primarily in Eastern Ohio, along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, in the Niobrara Formation in Northwestern Colorado and in the Bakken Formation in Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proved Reserves  
Field
 
NRI/WI (1) 
 
Productive
Wells (2)  
 
Non-Productive
Wells  
 
Developed
Acreage (3)  
 
Gas  
 
Oil  
 
NGLs
 
Total  
Percentages  
 
Gross 
 
Net  
 
Gross  
 
Net  
 
Gross  
 
Net 
 
MMcf
 
MBbls  
 
MBbls
 
MMcfe
Utica Shale (4)
39.11/48.15
 
306

 
147.49

 
3

 
2.66

 
36,549

 
32,110

 
1,558,677

 
3,618

 
17,736

 
1,686,795

West Cote Blanche Bay Field (5)
80.108/100
 
98

 
98

 
202

 
202

 
5,668

 
5,668

 
894

 
2,258

 

 
14,442

E. Hackberry Field (6)
79.91/100
 
21

 
21

 
124

 
124

 
2,910

 
2,910

 
316

 
309

 

 
2,168

W. Hackberry Field
80.00/100
 
5

 
5

 
8

 
8

 
1,192

 
1,192

 

 
14

 

 
88

Niobrara Formation
38.94/46.77
 
4

 
2

 
2

 
1

 
2,740

 
1,370

 
55

 
117

 

 
758

Bakken Formation
1.51/1.83
 
18

 
0.3

 

 

 
1,861

 
163

 
189

 
141

 

 
1,038

Overrides/Royalty Non-operated
Various
 
541

 
0.71

 

 

 

 

 
14

 
1

 

 
23

 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

Total
 
 
993

 
274.5

 
339

 
337.66

 
50,920

 
43,413

 
1,560,145

 
6,458

 
17,736

 
1,705,312

(1)
Net Revenue Interest (NRI)/Working Interest (WI) for producing wells.

3


(2)
Includes two gross and net wells at WCBB that are producing intermittently.
(3)
Developed acres are acres spaced or assigned to productive wells. Approximately 17% of our acreage is developed acreage and has been held by production.
(4) Includes NRI/WI from wells that have been drilled or in which we have elected to participate. Includes 141 gross (15.66 net) wells drilled by other operators on our acreage.
(5)
We have a 100% working interest (80.108% average NRI) from the surface to the base of the 13900 Sand which is located at 11,320 feet. Below the base of the 13900 Sand, we have a 40.40% non-operated working interest (29.95% NRI).
(6)
NRI shown is for producing wells.

Utica Shale (primarily in Eastern Ohio)
Location and Land
As of December 31, 2015, we held leasehold interests in approximately 240,000 gross (234,000 net) acres in the Utica Shale.
Area History
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported that in the Utica Shale in Ohio, as of January 2, 2016, there were 1,126 producing horizontal wells, 403 horizontal wells that had been drilled but were not yet completed or connected to a pipeline, 12 horizontal wells that were being drilled and an additional 447 horizontal wells that had been permitted.
Geology
The Utica Shale is located in the Appalachian Basin of the United States and Canada. The Utica Shale is a rock unit comprised of organic-rich calcareous black shale that was deposited about 440 million to 460 million years ago during the Late Ordovician period. It overlies the Trenton Limestone and is located a few thousand feet below the Marcellus Shale.
Recently, the application of horizontal drilling, combined with multi-staged hydraulic fracturing to create permeable flow paths from shale units into wellbores, has resulted in increased drilling activity and production in the Devonian-age Marcellus Shale and the Ordovician-age Utica Shale in the Appalachian Basin states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Southern New York and Eastern Ohio. This proven technology has potential for application in other shale units which extend across much of the Appalachian Basin region.
The Utica Shale is estimated to be thicker and more geographically extensive than the Marcellus Shale. The source rock portion of the Utica Shale underlies portions of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia in the United States and is also present beneath parts of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Ontario, Canada. Throughout this area, the Utica Shale ranges in thickness from less than 100 feet to over 500 feet. There is a general thinning from east to west.
The Utica Shale is also significantly deeper than the Marcellus Shale. In some parts of Pennsylvania, the Utica Shale is estimated to be over two miles below sea level and up to 7,000 feet below the Marcellus Shale. However, the depth of the Utica Shale decreases to the west into Ohio and to the northwest under the Great Lakes and into Canada to less than 2,000 feet below sea level.
The Utica Shale is estimated to have higher carbonate and lower clay mineral content than the Marcellus Shale. The difference in mineralogy generally produces a different response to hydraulic fracturing treatments. Operators in the Utica play continue to refine completions techniques to optimize productivity.
Facilities
There are standard land oil and natural gas processing facilities in the Utica Shale. Our facilities located at well site pads include storage tank batteries, oil/gas/water separation equipment, vapor recovery units, line heaters, compression emission control devices and applicable metering.

4


Recent and Future Activities
We spud our first well, the Wagner 1-28H, on our Utica Shale acreage in February 2012 and, as of December 31, 2015, had spud 219 gross wells (including wells from our AEU acquisition), 165 of which were completed and were producing. In 2015, we spud 49 gross (38.4 net) wells, of which ten were completed as producing wells, 36 were in various stages of completion and, as of December 31, 2015, three were still being drilled. We commenced sales from 55 gross wells (50.2 net wells) in the Utica Shale during 2015. During 2016 (through February 10, 2016), we had spud four gross (2.2 net) wells of which one was waiting on completion and three were still drilling. In addition, 25 gross (7.3 net) wells were drilled by other operators on our Utica Shale acreage during 2015.
We currently intend to drill 29 to 32 gross (19 to 21 net) horizontal wells, and commence sales from 44 to 48 gross (28 to 30 net) horizontal wells, on our Utica Shale acreage in 2016 for an estimated aggregate cost of $219.0 million to $247.0 million. We currently anticipate 17 to 19 gross (two to three net) horizontal wells will be drilled, and sales commenced from 30 to 34 gross (eight to nine net) horizontal wells, by other operators on our Utica Shale acreage during 2016 for an estimated net cost to us of $90.0 million to $100.0 million. As of February 10, 2016, we had three operated horizontal rigs drilling in the play.
Production Status
    
Aggregate net production from our Utica Shale acreage during the three months ended December 31, 2015 was approximately 57,381 MMcfe, or 623.7 MMcfe per day, of which 85% was from natural gas and 15% was from oil and NGLs. During January 2016, our average daily net production from the Utica Shale was approximately 586.9 MMcfe, of which 86% was from natural gas and 14% was from oil and NGLs. The slight decrease in January 2016 production was the result of our decision to temporarily curtail our production beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015.

West Cote Blanche Bay Field
Location and Land
The WCBB field is located approximately five miles off the coast of Louisiana in a shallow bay with water depths averaging eight to ten feet. We own a 100% working interest (80.108% net revenue interest, or NRI), and are the operator, in depths above the base of the 13900 Sand which is located at 11,320 feet. In addition, we own a 40.40% non-operated working interest (29.95% NRI) in depths below the base of the 13900 Sand, which is operated by Chevron Corporation. Our leasehold interests at WCBB contain 5,668 gross acres.
Area History and Production
Texaco, now Chevron Corporation, drilled the discovery well in this field in 1940 based on a seismic and gravitational anomaly. WCBB was subsequently developed on an even 160-acre pattern for much of the remainder of the decade. Developmental drilling continued and reached its peak in the 1970s when over 300 wells were drilled in the field. Of the 1,077 wells drilled as of December 31, 2015, 973 were completed as producing wells. From the date of our acquisition of WCBB in 1997 through December 31, 2015, we drilled 265 new wells, 233 of which were productive, for an 88% success rate. As of December 31, 2015, estimated field cumulative gross production was 197.9 MMBO and 237.1 Bcf of gas. Of the 1,077 wells drilled in WCBB as of December 31, 2015, 96 were producing, 202 were shut-in, two were producing intermittently, and six were being used as salt water disposal wells. The other 771 wells have been plugged and abandoned.
Geology
WCBB overlies one of the largest salt dome structures on the Gulf Coast. The field is characterized by a piercement salt dome, which created traps from the Pleistocene through the Miocene formations. The relative movements affected deposition and created a complex system of fault traps. The compensating fault sets generally trend northwest to southeast and are intersected by sets having a major radial component. Later-stage movement caused extension over the dome and a large graben system (a downthrown area bounded by normal faults) was formed.
There are over 100 distinct sandstone reservoirs recognized throughout most of the field, and nearly 200 major and minor discrete intervals have been tested. Within the 1,077 wells that had been drilled in the field as of December 31, 2015, over 4,000 potential zones have been penetrated. These sands are highly porous and permeable reservoirs primarily with a strong water drive.

5


WCBB is a structurally and stratigraphically complex field. All of the proved undeveloped, or PUD, locations at WCBB are adjacent to faults and abut at least one fault. Our drilling programs are designed to penetrate each PUD trap with a new wellbore in a structurally optimum position, usually very close to the fault seal. The majority of these wells have been, and new wells drilled in connection with our drilling programs will be, directionally drilled using steering tools and downhole motors. The tolerance for error in getting near the fault is low, so the complex faulting does introduce the risk of crossing the fault before encountering the zone of interest, which could result in part or all of the zone being absent in the borehole. This, in turn, can result in lower than expected or no reserves for that zone. The new wellbores eliminate the mechanical risk associated with trying to produce the zone from an old existing wellbore, while the wellbore locations are selected in an effort to more efficiently drain each reservoir. The vast majority of the PUD targets are up-dip offsets to wells that produced from a sub-optimal position within a particular zone.
Facilities
We own and operate a production facility at WCBB that includes four production tank batteries, seven natural gas compressors, a storage barge facility, a dock, a dehydration unit and a salt water disposal system.
Recent Activity
In 2015, at our WCBB field, we recompleted 35 gross and net wells and spud no new wells. As of February 10, 2016, we had recompleted six gross and net wells during 2016 in our WCBB field.
Production Status
In the fourth quarter of 2015, our net production at WCBB was approximately 1,363 MMcfe, or an average of 14.8 MMcfe per day, of which 97% was from oil and 3% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at WCBB was approximately 13.1 MMcfe, 100% of which was from oil. The slight decrease in average net daily production in January 2016 was due to normal production declines.
East Hackberry Field
Location and Land
The East Hackberry field in Louisiana is located along the western shore and the land surrounding Lake Calcasieu, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. We own a 100% working interest (approximately 79.91% average NRI) in certain producing oil and natural gas properties situated in the East Hackberry field. As of December 31, 2015, we held beneficial interests in approximately 4,116 acres, including the Erwin Heirs Block, which is located on land, and the adjacent State Lease 50 Block, which is located primarily in the shallow waters of Lake Calcasieu. We licensed approximately 54 square miles of 3-D seismic data covering a portion of the area and have received a processed version of the seismic data.
Area History and Production
The East Hackberry field was discovered in 1926 by Gulf Oil Company, now Chevron Corporation, by a gravitational anomaly survey. The massive shallow salt stock presented an easily recognizable gravity anomaly indicating a productive field. Initial production began in 1927 and has continued to the present. The estimated cumulative oil and condensate production through 2015 was over 4,425 MBO and 331.9 Bcf of casinghead gas production. A total of 269 wells have been drilled on our portion of the field. As of December 31, 2015, 21 wells had daily production, 125 were shut-in and three had been converted to salt water disposal wells. The remaining 120 wells had been plugged and abandoned.
Geology
The Hackberry field is a major salt intrusive feature, elliptical in shape as opposed to a classic “dome,” divided into east and west field entities by a saddle. Structurally, our East Hackberry acreage is located on the eastern end of the Hackberry salt ridge. There are over 30 pay zones at this field. The salt intrusion formed a series of structurally complex and steeply dipping fault blocks in the Lower Miocene and Oligocene age rocks. These fault blocks serve as traps for hydrocarbon accumulation. Our wells currently produce from perforations found between 5,100 and 12,200 feet.

6


Facilities
We have a field office that serves both the East and West Hackberry fields. In addition, we own and operate three production facilities at East Hackberry that include two land based tank batteries, a production barge, three natural gas compressors, dehydration units and salt water disposal systems.
Recent Activity
During 2015 at East Hackberry, we recompleted 37 gross and net wells and spud no new wells. As of February 10, 2016, we had recompleted two gross and net wells during 2016 in our East Hackberry field.
Production Status
In the fourth quarter of 2015, our net production at East Hackberry was approximately 315.8 MMcfe, or an average of 3.4 MMcfe per day, of which 94% was from oil and 6% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at East Hackberry was approximately 4.6 MMcfe, of which 96% was from oil and 4% was from natural gas. The slight increase in production in January 2016 is a result of our 2016 recompletion activities.
West Hackberry Field
Location and Land
The West Hackberry field is located on land and is five miles west of Lake Calcasieu in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, approximately 85 miles west of Lafayette and 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. We own a 100% working interest (approximately 80.00% NRI) in 1,192 acres within the West Hackberry field. Our leases at West Hackberry are located within two miles of one of the United States Department of Energy's Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
Area History
The first discovery well at West Hackberry was drilled in 1938 and the field was developed by Superior Oil Company, now ExxonMobil Corporation, between 1938 and 1988. The estimated cumulative oil and condensate production through 2015 was 452 MBO and 140 Bcf of natural gas. As of December 31, 2015, 41 wells had been drilled on our portion of West Hackberry. As of December 31, 2015, five of such wells were producing, eight were shut-in and one had been converted to a saltwater disposal well. The remaining 27 wells have been plugged and abandoned.
Geology
Structurally, our West Hackberry acreage is located on the western end of the Hackberry salt ridge. There are over 30 pay zones at this field. West Hackberry consists of a series of fault-bounded traps in the Oligocene-age Vincent and Keough sands associated with the Hackberry Salt Ridge. Recoveries from these thick, porous, water-drive reservoirs have resulted in per well cumulative production of almost 700 MBOE.
Recent Activity
During 2015 at West Hackberry, we had no recompletions and spud no new wells. We do not anticipate drilling any wells in our West Hackberry field during 2016.
Production Status
In the fourth quarter of 2015, our net production at West Hackberry was approximately 45.1 MMcfe, or an average of 489.9 Mcfe per day, of which 94% was from oil and 6% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average net daily production at West Hackberry was approximately 685.5 Mcfe, of which 99% was from oil and 1% was from natural gas.
Facilities
We own and operate a production facility at West Hackberry that includes a land based tank battery and salt water disposal system.

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Niobrara Formation (Northwestern Colorado)
Location and Land
Effective as of April 1, 2010, we acquired leasehold interests in the Niobrara Formation in Northwestern Colorado and, as of December 31, 2015, we held leases for approximately 5,000 net acres. In 2015, no wells were spud on our Niobrara Formation acreage.
Area History
The Niobrara Formation is a shale oil rock formation located in Colorado, Northwest Kansas, Southwest Nebraska, and Southeast Wyoming. Oil and natural gas can be found at depths of 3,000 to 14,000 feet and is drilled both vertically and horizontally. The Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation has emerged as another potential crude oil resource play in various basins throughout the northern Rocky Mountain region. As with most resource plays, the Niobrara Formation has a history of producing through conventional technology with some of the earliest production dating back to the early 1900s. Natural fracturing has played a key role in producing the Niobrara Formation historically due to the low porosity and low permeability of the formation. Because of this, conventional production has been very localized and limited in area extent. We believe the Niobrara Formation can be produced on a more widespread basis using today's horizontal multi-stage fracture stimulation technology where the Niobrara Formation is thermally mature.
Geology
The Niobrara Formation oil play in Northwestern Colorado is located between the Piceance Basin to the south and the Sand Wash Basin to the north. Rocks mainly consist of interbedded organic-rich shales, calcareous shales and marlstones. It is the fractured marlstone intervals locally known as the Buck Peak, Tow Creek and Wolf Mountain benches that account for the majority of the area's production. These fractured carbonate reservoirs are associated with anticlinal, synclinal and monoclinal folds, and fault zones. This proven oil accumulation is considered to be continuous in nature and lightly explored. Source rocks are predominantly oil prone and thermally mature with respect to oil generation. The producing intervals are geologically equivalent to the Niobrara Formation reservoirs of the DJ and Powder River Basins, which are currently emerging as a major crude resource play.
Production Status
In the fourth quarter of 2015, net production from our Niobrara Formation acreage was approximately 29.1 MMcfe, or an average of 315.9 Mcfe per day, 100% of which was from oil. During January 2016, our average net daily production from our Niobrara Formation acreage was approximately 292.5 Mcfe, 100% of which was from oil.
Facilities
There are typical land oil and natural gas processing facilities in the Niobrara Formation. Our facilities located at well locations include storage tank batteries, oil/gas/water separation equipment and pumping units.
Recent Activity
There were no new wells drilled on our Niobrara Formation acreage in 2015. We do not anticipate drilling any wells in the Niobrara Formation during 2016.
Bakken Formation
Location and Land
The Bakken Formation is located in the Williston Basin areas of Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. As of December 31, 2015, we held approximately 864 net acres, interests in 18 wells and overriding royalty interests in certain existing and future wells.

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Production Status
In the fourth quarter of 2015, our net production from this acreage was approximately 94.3 MMcfe, or an average of 1.0 MMcfe per day, of which 90% was from oil and natural gas liquids and 10% was from natural gas. During January 2016, our average daily net production from our Bakken Formation acreage was approximately 375.0 Mcfe, of which 82% was from oil and 18% was from natural gas.
Facilities
There are typical land, oil and natural gas processing facilities in the Williston Basin. The facilities located at well locations include storage tank batteries, oil/gas/water separation equipment and pumping units.
Recent Activities
There were no new wells drilled on our Bakken Formation acreage in 2015. We do not anticipate drilling any wells in the Bakken Formation during 2016.
Additional Properties
Louisiana. In addition to our interests in the WCBB, East Hackberry and West Hackberry fields, we also own working interests and overriding royalty interest in various fields in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma as described in the following table as of December 31, 2015:
Field
 
State 
 
Parish/County  
 
Acreage Working
Interest 
 
Overriding Royalty
Interests  
 
Producing
Wells 
 
Non-Producing
Wells 
Deer Island
 
Louisiana
 
Terrebonne
 
3.125
%
 

 
1

 

Napoleonville
 
Louisiana
 
Assumption
 

 
2.5
%
 
3

 

Crest
 
Texas
 
Ochiltree
 
2
%
 

 
1

 

Eagle City South
 
Oklahoma
 
Dewey
 
1.04
%
 

 
1

 

Fay South
 
Oklahoma
 
Blaine
 
0.301
%
 

 
1

 

Squaw Cheek
 
Oklahoma
 
Blaine
 
0.13
%
 

 
1

 

Watonga Chickasha Trend
 
Oklahoma
 
Canadian
 
0.052
%
 

 
1

 


Our Equity Investments
Grizzly Oil Sands. We, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Grizzly Holdings Inc., own a 24.9% interest in Grizzly. As of December 31, 2015, Grizzly had approximately 830,000 net acres under lease in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions of Alberta, Canada. Grizzly has three oil sands projects in various stages of development. Grizzly commenced commercial production from its Algar Lake Phase 1 steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD, oil sand project during the second quarter of 2014 and has received regulatory approval for up to 11,300 barrels per day of bitumen production. Grizzly produced approximately 900 barrels of bitumen per day at its Algar Lake SAGD project during the first quarter of 2015. In April 2015, Grizzly determined to cease bitumen production at its Algar Lake facility due to the level of commodity prices. Grizzly continues to monitor market conditions as it assesses future plans for the facility. We reviewed our investment in Grizzly at September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 for impairment, resulting in an aggregate other than temporary impairment write down of $101.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  If commodity prices continue to decline, further impairment of our investment in Grizzly may result in the future. In the first quarter of 2012, Grizzly acquired the May River property comprising approximately 47,000 acres. An initial 12,000 barrel per day development application was filed with the regulatory authorities in the fourth quarter of 2013, covering the eastern portion of the May River lease. The development application continues to move through the regulatory process and is expected to be approved by early 2016. In the first quarter of 2014, a 2-D seismic program covering approximately 83 kilometers was completed to more fully define the resource over the remaining lease beyond the development application area. At the Thickwood thermal project, a development application for a 12,000 barrel per day oil sands project was filed in the fourth quarter of 2012. Since then, the Alberta Energy Regulator, or AER, announced it is implementing a policy for future regulatory requirements for reservoir containment in shallow SAGD areas, which impacts the Thickwood application. Additional work to advance the Thickwood application will be required and is expected to be addressed once the May River development approval is received. In December 2015, Grizzly suspended the review of the Thickwood application by the AER. The Thickwood application will be resubmitted once the regulations have

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been updated. Grizzly has also developed delineation drilling, seismic and regulatory work plans at its Cadotte, Peace River property. Grizzly has pursued a rail marketing strategy to ensure consistent and flexible access to premium markets for its production, including its Windell truck to rail terminal located near Conklin, Alberta, which commenced transloading blended bitumen production from Algar Lake on to rail cars for delivery to the US Gulf Coast markets in the second quarter of 2014.
Thailand. We own a 23.5% ownership interest in Tatex II. Tatex II, a privately held entity, holds an 8.5% interest in APICO, an international oil and gas exploration company. APICO has a reserve base located in Southeast Asia through its ownership of concessions covering approximately 243,000 acres which includes the Phu Horm Field. Our investment is accounted for on the equity method. Tatex II accounts for its investment in APICO using the cost method. In December 2006, first gas sales were achieved at the Phu Horm field located in northeast Thailand. Phu Horm's initial gross production was approximately 60 million cubic feet per day. For 2015, net gas production was approximately 90 MMcf per day and condensate production was 407 barrels per day. Hess Corporation, or Hess, operates the field with a 35% interest. Other interest owners include APICO (35% interest), PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (20% interest) and ExxonMobil (10% interest). Our gross working interest (through Tatex II as a member of APICO) in the Phu Horm field is 0.7%. Since our ownership in the Phu Horm field is indirect and Tatex II's investment in APICO is accounted for by the cost method, these reserves are not included in our year-end reserve information.
We own a 17.9% ownership interest in Tatex Thailand III, LLC, or Tatex III. Tatex III owns a concession covering approximately 245,000 acres in Southeast Asia. In 2009, Tatex III completed a 3-D seismic survey on this concession. Between 2010 and 2013, three wells were drilled on this concession. Each of the wells lacked sufficient permeability to produce in commercial quantities.  Tatex III allowed the concession to expire in January 2015.
Other Investments. In an effort to facilitate the development of our Utica Shale and other domestic acreage, we have invested in entities that can provide services that are required to support our operations. In 2013, we participated in the formation of Stingray Energy Services LLC, or Stingray Energy, with an initial ownership interest of 50%. Stingray Energy provides rental tools for land-based oil and natural gas drilling, completion and workover activities as well as the transfer of fresh water to wellsites. In 2012, we participated in the formation of Stingray Pressure Pumping LLC, or Stingray Pressure, Stingray Cementing LLC, or Stingray Cementing, and Stingray Logistics LLC, or Stingray Logistics, with an initial ownership interest in each entity of 50%. These entities provide well completion and other well services. In 2012, we also participated in the formation of Blackhawk Midstream LLC, or Blackhawk, and Timber Wolf Terminals LLC, or Timber Wolf, with an initial ownership interest of 50% in each entity. Blackhawk coordinates gathering, compression, processing and marketing activities in connection with the development of our Utica Shale acreage and Timber Wolf will operate a crude/condensate terminal and a sand transloading facility in Ohio. Also in 2012, we acquired a 22.5% equity interest in Windsor Midstream LLC, or Midstream, which owns a 28.4% equity interest in a gas processing plant in West Texas. In 2011 and 2012, we acquired an aggregate 40% equity interest in Bison Drilling and Field Services LLC, or Bison, which owns and operates drilling rigs and related equipment. Also in 2011, we acquired a 25% interest in Muskie Proppant LLC, or Muskie, which is engaged in the processing and sale of hydraulic fracturing grade sand. In 2014, we acquired a 25% equity interest in Sturgeon Acquisitions LLC, or Sturgeon. Sturgeon owns and operates sand mines that produce hydraulic fracturing grade sand. In the fourth quarter of 2014, we contributed our investments in Stingray Pressure, Stingray Logistics, Bison and Muskie to Mammoth Energy Partners LP, or Mammoth, in exchange for a 30.5% limited partner interest in this newly formed limited partnership. Mammoth has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC in connection with its proposed initial public offering. Mammoth originally intended to pursue the offering in 2015; however, Mammoth continues to evaluate market conditions and the commodity price environment which will impact the timing of the proposed offering. See Note 4 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report for additional information regarding these other investments.
In February 2016, we entered into a joint venture with Rice Midstream Holdings LLC, or Rice, a subsidiary of Rice Energy Inc., to develop natural gas gathering assets in eastern Belmont County and Monroe County, Ohio, which we refer to as the dedicated areas. We own a 25% interest in the joint venture and Rice acts as operator and owns the remaining 75% interest in the joint venture. Construction of the gathering assets, which is underway, is expected to provide connectivity of our dry gas gathering systems and interchangeability of natural gas across our firm portfolio. The joint venture has completed the first phase of the projects: a lateral that connects two existing dry gas gathering systems on which we currently flow the majority of our dry gas volumes. The lateral has been commissioned and first flow commenced on February 1, 2016. In addition, we and Rice have agreed to negotiate in good faith to expand the joint venture to provide water services to us within the dedicated areas.
Competition


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The oil and natural gas industry is intensely competitive, and we compete with other companies that have greater resources. Many of these companies not only explore for and produce oil and natural gas, but also carry on midstream and refining operations and market petroleum and other products on a regional, national or worldwide basis. These competitors may be better positioned to take advantage of industry opportunities and to withstand changes affecting the industry, such as fluctuations in oil and natural gas prices and production, the availability of alternative energy sources and the application of government regulation. In addition, oil and natural gas compete with other forms of energy available to customers, primarily based on price. These alternate forms of energy include electricity, coal and fuel oils. Changes in the availability or price of oil and natural gas or other forms of energy, as well as business conditions, conservation, legislation, regulations and the ability to convert to alternate fuels and other forms of energy may affect the demand for oil and natural gas.
Marketing and Customers
The availability of a ready market for any oil and/or natural gas we produce depends on numerous factors beyond the control of our management, including but not limited to the demand for oil and natural gas and the level of domestic production and imports of oil, the proximity and capacity of gas pipelines, the availability of skilled labor, materials and equipment, the effect of state and federal regulation of oil and natural gas production and federal regulation of gas sold in interstate commerce. The oil and natural gas we produce in Louisiana is sold to purchasers who service the areas where our wells are located. We sell the majority of our Southern Louisiana oil to Shell Trading Company, or Shell. Shell takes custody of the oil at the outlet from our oil storage barge. Our production from WCBB is being sold in accordance with the Shell posted price for West Texas/New Mexico Intermediate crude plus or minus Platt's trade month average P+ value, plus or minus the Platt's HLS/WTI differential less transportation charges. The majority of our Utica Shale oil is sold to Shell and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, or Marathon. The purchaser takes custody at the MarkWest Utica EMG, or MarkWest, operated condensate stabilizer located near Cadiz, Ohio. Our Utica Shale NGLs are currently purchased by MarkWest which remits to us a weighted average selling price of products sold to various markets. We have NAESBs in place with various purchasers for our Utica Shale natural gas production. The majority of our gas is sold to BP Energy Company, or BP. In 2015, our Utica Shale natural gas and natural gas liquids were sold under monthly, seasonal and long term contracts and, as needed, through daily trades. The majority of purchases are transacted at the tailgate of the plants or at central delivery points with available pricing based on Platts Gas Daily - Appalachian - Dominion South Point (Dominion Eastern and Dominion Transmission) or Texas Eastern M2 Zone when sold in the Utica Basin.  To maintain flow assurance and price stability, and as discussed under "–Transportation and Takeaway Capacity," we have entered into agreements to transport a portion of our natural gas production out of the Utica Basin. These agreements have pricing based on the appropriate delivery point less transportation charges and fuel.
During the year ended December 31, 2015, we sold approximately 90% and 10% of our oil production to Shell and Marathon Oil Corporation, respectively, 76% and 24% of our natural gas liquids production to MarkWest and Antero Resources, respectively and 79%, 14% and 5% of our natural gas production to BP, DTE Energy Trading, Inc. and Hess, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2014, we sold approximately 99% of our oil production to Shell, 100% of our natural gas liquids production to MarkWest and 40%, 32% and 19% of our natural gas production to BP, DTE Energy Trading, Inc. and Hess, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2013, we sold approximately 99% of our oil production to Shell, 100% of our natural gas liquids production to MarkWest and 32%, 31% and 17% of our natural gas production to Sequent Energy Management, L.P., Hess and Interstate Gas Supply, Inc., respectively.
As of December 31, 2015, we had an average of approximately 476,000 MMBtu per day of firm sales contracted with third parties for 2016. We had an average of approximately 349,000 MMBtu per day, 216,000 MMBtu per day, 197,000 MMBtu per day, 152,000 MMBtu per day and 62,000 MMBtu per day contracted with third parties for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and thereafter, respectively.
Transportation and Takeaway Capacity
In Ohio, as of December 31, 2015, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to deliver approximately 725,000 MMBtu to 775,000 MMBtu per day for 2016. For 2017, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to deliver approximately 775,000 MMBtu to 1,125,000 MMBtu per day. For 2018 through 2020, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to deliver approximately 1,125,000 MMBtu per day. We continuously monitor the need to secure additional firm transportation contracts for incremental volumes from our Utica Shale acreage but expect additional contracts to be limited in 2016. Our primary long-haul firm transportation commitments include the following:
520,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Dominion East Ohio, which began in 2014 and allows us to reach additional connectivity to Gulf Coast and Midwest natural gas markets;

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250,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Dominion Transmission, which began in 2015 and allows us to reach additional connectivity to Midwest natural gas markets;
194,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on ANR Pipeline Company facilities, which began in 2014 and allows us to reach the Michigan, Chicago and Wisconsin natural gas markets;
200,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Tennessee Gas Pipeline facilities, which began in 2015 and allows us to reach Gulf Coast delivery points;
275,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Rockies Express Pipeline facilities, which began in 2015 and allows us to reach additional connectivity to Gulf Coast and Midwest markets;
50,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Rockies Express Pipeline facilities expected to begin in 2016 allowing additional connectivity to Gulf Coast and Midwest markets;
20,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Natural Gas Pipeline facilities which began in 2015 and allows us to reach Midwest markets;
50,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Texas Gas Transmission facilities expected to begin in 2016 allowing additional access to Gulf Coast delivery points;
54,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Texas Gas Transmission facilities expected to begin in 2017 allowing additional access to Gulf Coast delivery points;
100,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Texas Eastern Transmission facilities expected to begin in 2017 allowing additional access to Midwest delivery points;
150,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Energy Transfer’s Rover Pipeline facilities expected to begin in 2017 allowing additional access to Canadian, Midwest and Gulf Coast delivery points; and
100,000 MMBtu per day of firm capacity on Columbia Gulf Transmission facilities expected to begin in late 2017 allowing additional access to Gulf Coast delivery points.
Under firm transportation contracts, we are obligated to deliver minimum daily volumes or pay fees for any deficiencies in deliveries. We continue to actively identify and evaluate additional takeaway capacity to facilitate production growth in our Utica Basin position.
Regulation
Regulation of Oil and Natural Gas Production
Oil and natural gas operations such as ours are subject to various types of legislation, regulation and other legal requirements enacted by governmental authorities. This legislation and regulation affecting the oil and natural gas industry is under constant review for amendment or expansion. Some of these requirements carry substantial penalties for failure to comply. The regulatory burden on the oil and natural gas industry increases our cost of doing business and, consequently, affects our profitability.
We own interests in producing oil and natural gas properties located in the Utica Shale primarily in Eastern Ohio, along the Louisiana Gulf Coast and in the Niobrara Formation in Northwestern Colorado and the Bakken Formation in Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. The states in which our fields are located regulate the production and sale of oil and natural gas, including requirements for obtaining drilling permits, the method of developing fields and the spacing and operation of wells. In addition, regulations governing conservation matters aimed at preventing the waste of oil and natural gas resources could affect the rate of production and may include maximum daily production allowables for wells on a market demand or conservation basis.

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Environmental Regulation
Our oil and natural gas exploration, development and production operations are subject to stringent laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to protection of the environment or occupational health and safety. Numerous governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, issue regulations that often require difficult and costly compliance measures that carry substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties and may result in injunctive obligations for non-compliance. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of a permit before drilling commences, restrict the types, quantities and concentrations of various substances that can be released into the environment in connection with drilling and production activities, limit or prohibit construction or drilling activities on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, ecologically or seismically sensitive areas, and other protected areas, require action to prevent or remediate pollution from current or former operations, such as plugging abandoned wells or closing earthen pits, result in the suspension or revocation of necessary permits, licenses and authorizations, require that additional pollution controls be installed and impose substantial liabilities for pollution resulting from our operations or relate to our owned or operated facilities. Liability under such laws and regulations is strict (i.e., no showing of “fault” is required) and can be joint and several. Moreover, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances, hydrocarbons or other waste products into the environment. Changes in environmental laws and regulations occur frequently, and any changes that result in more stringent and costly pollution control or waste handling, storage, transport, disposal or cleanup requirements could materially adversely affect our operations and financial position, as well as the oil and natural gas industry in general. Our management believes that we are in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations and we have not experienced any material adverse effect from compliance with these environmental requirements. This trend, however, may not continue in the future.
Waste Handling. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, or RCRA, and comparable state statutes and regulations promulgated thereunder, affect oil and natural gas exploration, development and production activities by imposing requirements regarding the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, disposal and cleanup of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. With federal approval, the individual states administer some or all of the provisions of RCRA, sometimes in conjunction with their own, more stringent requirements. Although most wastes associated with the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas are exempt from regulation as hazardous wastes under RCRA, such wastes may constitute “solid wastes” that are subject to the less stringent requirements of non-hazardous waste provisions. Moreover, the EPA or state or local governments may adopt more stringent requirements for the handling of non-hazardous wastes or categorize some non-hazardous wastes as hazardous for future regulation. Indeed, legislation has been proposed from time to time in Congress to re-categorize certain oil and natural gas exploration, development and production wastes as “hazardous wastes.” Any such changes in the laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our capital expenditures and operating expenses.
Administrative, civil and criminal penalties can be imposed for failure to comply with waste handling requirements. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with applicable requirements related to waste handling, and that we hold all necessary and up-to-date permits, registrations and other authorizations to the extent that our operations require them under such laws and regulations. Although we do not believe the current costs of managing our wastes, as presently classified, to be significant, any legislative or regulatory reclassification of oil and natural gas exploration and production wastes could increase our costs to manage and dispose of such wastes.
Remediation of Hazardous Substances. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, as amended, also known as CERCLA or the “Superfund” law, and analogous state laws, generally imposes liability, without regard to fault or legality of the original conduct, on classes of persons who are considered to be responsible for the release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment. These persons include the current owner or operator of a contaminated facility, a former owner or operator of the facility at the time of contamination, and those persons that disposed or arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substance at the facility. Under CERCLA and comparable state statutes, persons deemed “responsible parties” are subject to strict liability that, in some circumstances, may be joint and several, for the costs of removing or remediating previously disposed wastes (including wastes disposed of or released by prior owners or operators) or property contamination (including groundwater contamination), for damages to natural resources and for the costs of certain health studies. In addition, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the hazardous substances released into the environment. In the course of our operations, we use materials that, if released, would be subject to CERCLA and comparable state statutes. Therefore, governmental agencies or third parties may seek to hold us responsible under CERCLA and comparable state statutes for all or part of the costs to clean up sites at which such “hazardous substances” have been released.

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Water Discharges. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, as amended, also known as the “Clean Water Act,” the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, or OPA, and analogous state laws and regulations promulgated thereunder impose restrictions and strict controls regarding the unauthorized discharge of pollutants, including produced waters and other gas and oil wastes, into navigable waters of the United States, as well as state waters. The discharge of pollutants into regulated waters is prohibited, except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the EPA or the state. The Clean Water Act and regulations implemented thereunder also prohibit the discharge of dredge and fill material into regulated waters, including jurisdictional wetlands, unless authorized by an appropriately issued permit. Spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan requirements under federal law require appropriate containment berms and similar structures to help prevent the contamination of navigable waters in the event of a petroleum hydrocarbon tank spill, rupture or leak. These laws and regulations also prohibit certain activity in wetlands unless authorized by a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA has also adopted regulations requiring certain oil and natural gas exploration and production facilities to obtain individual permits or coverage under general permits for storm water discharges. In addition, on April 7, 2015, the EPA published a proposed rule establishing federal pre-treatment standards for wastewater discharged from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction facilities to publicly owned treatment works, or POTW, which regulations are discussed in more detail below under the caption “-Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing.” Costs may be associated with the treatment of wastewater or developing and implementing storm water pollution prevention plans, as well as for monitoring and sampling the storm water runoff from certain of our facilities. Some states also maintain groundwater protection programs that require permits for discharges or operations that may impact groundwater conditions.
The OPA is the primary federal law for oil spill liability. The OPA contains numerous requirements relating to the prevention of and response to petroleum releases into waters of the United States, including the requirement that operators of offshore facilities and certain onshore facilities near or crossing waterways must develop and maintain facility response contingency plans and maintain certain significant levels of financial assurance to cover potential environmental cleanup and restoration costs. The OPA subjects owners of facilities to strict liability that, in some circumstances, may be joint and several for all containment and cleanup costs and certain other damages arising from a release, including, but not limited to, the costs of responding to a release of oil to surface waters.
Noncompliance with the Clean Water Act or the OPA may result in substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties, as well as injunctive obligations. We believe we are in material compliance with the requirements of each of these laws.
Air Emissions. The federal Clean Air Act, as amended, and comparable state laws and regulations, regulate emissions of various air pollutants through the issuance of permits and the imposition of other requirements. The EPA has developed, and continues to develop, stringent regulations governing emissions of air pollutants at specified sources. New facilities may be required to obtain permits before work can begin, and existing facilities may be required to obtain additional permits and incur capital costs in order to remain in compliance. For example, on August 16, 2012, the EPA published final regulations under the federal Clean Air Act that establish new emission controls for oil and natural gas production and processing operations, which regulations are discussed in more detail below under the caption “-Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing.” These laws and regulations may increase the costs of compliance for some facilities we own or operate, and federal and state regulatory agencies can impose administrative, civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance with air permits or other requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and associated state laws and regulations. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with all applicable air emissions regulations and that we hold all necessary and valid construction and operating permits for our operations. Obtaining or renewing permits has the potential to delay the development of oil and natural gas projects.
Climate Change. In December 2009, the EPA issued an Endangerment Finding that determined that emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases, or GHGs, present an endangerment to public health and the environment because, according to the EPA, emissions of such gases contribute to warming of the earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes. These findings by the EPA allowed the agency to proceed with the adoption and implementation of regulations that would restrict emissions of GHGs under existing provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, including rules that regulate emissions of GHGs from certain large stationary sources of emissions such as power plants or industrial facilities. In response to its endangerment finding, the EPA adopted two sets of rules regarding possible future regulation of GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act. The motor vehicle rule, which became effective in July 2010, purports to limit emissions of GHGs from motor vehicles. The EPA adopted the stationary source rule, or the tailoring rule, in May 2010, and it became effective in January 2011. The tailoring rule established new GHG emissions thresholds that determine when stationary sources must obtain permits under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, and Title V programs of the Clean Air Act. On June 23, 2014, in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that stationary sources could not become subject to PSD or Title V permitting solely by reason of their GHG emissions. The Court ruled, however, that the EPA may require installation of best available control technology for GHG emissions at sources otherwise subject to the PSD and Title V programs. On December 19, 2014, the EPA issued two memoranda providing initial guidance on GHG permitting requirements in response to

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the Court’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA. In its preliminary guidance, the EPA indicated that it will undertake a rulemaking action to rescind any PSD permits issued under the portions of the tailoring rule that were vacated by the Court. In the interim, the EPA issued a narrowly crafted “no action assurance” indicating it will exercise its enforcement discretion not to pursue enforcement of the terms and conditions relating to GHGs in an EPA-issued PSD permit, and for related terms and conditions in a Title V permit. On April 30, 2015, the EPA issued a final rule allowing permitting authorities to rescind PSD permits issued under the invalid regulations.
The EPA also adopted a GHG reporting rule in September 2009 authorizing the collection of GHG data from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors. In November 2010, the EPA expanded the GHG reporting rule to include onshore and offshore oil and natural gas production and onshore processing, transmission, storage and distribution facilities, which may include certain of our facilities, beginning in 2012 for emissions occurring in 2011. In October 2015, the EPA amended the GHG reporting rule to add the reporting of GHG emissions from gathering and boosting systems, completions and workovers of oil wells using hydraulic fracturing, and blowdowns of natural gas transmission pipelines.
The EPA has continued to adopt GHG regulations applicable to other industries, such as its August 2015 adoption of three separate, but related, actions to address carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, including final Carbon Pollution Standards for new, modified and reconstructed power plants, a final Clean Power Plan to cut carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants, and a proposed federal plan to implement the Clean Power Plan emission guidelines. Upon publication of the Clean Power Plan on October 23, 2015, more than two dozen States as well as industry and labor groups challenged the Clean Power Plan in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result of this continued regulatory focus, future GHG regulations of the oil and gas industry remain a possibility. In addition, the U.S. Congress has from time to time considered adopting legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and almost one-half of the states have already taken legal measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases primarily through the planned development of greenhouse gas emission inventories and/or regional greenhouse gas cap and trade programs. Although the U.S. Congress has not adopted such legislation at this time, it may do so in the future and many states continue to pursue regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In December 2015, the United States joined the international community at the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP-21, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. The resulting Paris Agreement calls for the parties to undertake “ambitious efforts” to limit the average global temperature, and to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of GHGs. The Agreement, if ratified, establishes a framework for the parties to cooperate and report actions to reduce GHG emissions.
Restrictions on emissions of methane or carbon dioxide that may be imposed could adversely affect the oil and natural gas industry. Currently, while we are subject to certain federal GHG monitoring and reporting requirements, our operations are not adversely impacted by existing federal, state and local climate change initiatives and, at this time, it is not possible to accurately estimate how potential future laws or regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions would impact our business.
In addition, claims have been made against certain energy companies alleging that GHG emissions from oil and natural gas operations constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. As a result, private individuals may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury or property damages. While our business is not a party to this litigation, we could be named in actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could significantly impact our operations and could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.
Moreover, there has been public discussion that climate change may be associated with extreme weather conditions such as more intense hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornados and snow or ice storms, as well as rising sea levels. Another possible consequence of climate change is increased volatility in seasonal temperatures. Some studies indicate that climate change could cause some areas to experience temperatures substantially colder than their historical averages. Extreme weather conditions can interfere with our production and increase our costs and damage resulting from extreme weather may not be fully insured. However, at this time, we are unable to determine the extent to which climate change may lead to increased storm or weather hazards affecting our operations.
Endangered Species Act
Environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, as amended, or the ESA, may impact exploration, development and production activities on public or private lands. The ESA provides broad protection for species of fish, wildlife and plants that are listed as threatened or endangered in the U.S., and prohibits taking of endangered species. Similar protections are offered to migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Federal agencies are required to insure that any action authorized, funded or carried out by them is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or modify their

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critical habitat. While some of our facilities may be located in areas that are designated as habitat for endangered or threatened species, we believe that we are in substantial compliance with the ESA. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may identify, however, previously unidentified endangered or threatened species or may designate critical habitat and suitable habitat areas that it believes are necessary for survival of a threatened or endangered species, which could cause us to incur additional costs or become subject to operating restrictions or bans in the affected areas.

Occupational Safety and Health Act

We are also subject to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of the health and safety of employees. In addition, OSHA’s hazard communication standard requires that information be maintained about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations and that this information be provided to employees, state and local government authorities and citizens. We believe that our operations are in substantial compliance with the OSHA requirements.

Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is an important common practice that is used to stimulate production of hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas, from tight formations, including shales. The process involves the injection of water, sand and chemicals under pressure into formations to fracture the surrounding rock and stimulate production. We use hydraulic fracturing extensively in the development of our Utica Shale acreage. The federal Safe Drinking Water Act, or SDWA, regulates the underground injection of substances through the Underground Injection Control, or UIC, program. Hydraulic fracturing is generally exempt from regulation under the UIC program, and the hydraulic fracturing process is typically regulated by state oil and gas commissions. The EPA, however, has in the past taken the position that hydraulic fracturing with fluids containing diesel fuel is subject to regulation under the UIC program, specifically as “Class II” UIC wells. Furthermore, legislation to amend the SDWA to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing from the definition of “underground injection” and require federal permitting and regulatory control of hydraulic fracturing, as well as legislative proposals to require disclosure of the chemical constituents of the fluids used in the fracturing process, have been proposed in recent sessions of Congress.
In addition, on May 9, 2014, the EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the development of regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act to require companies to disclose information regarding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The public comment period ended on September 18, 2014. The EPA plans to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by December 2016, which would describe a proposed mechanism - regulatory, voluntary, or a combination of both - to collect data on hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures. Also, on April 7, 2015, the EPA published a proposed rule establishing federal pre-treatment standards for wastewater discharged from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction facilities to POTW. The EPA asserts that wastewater from such facilities can be generated in large quantities and can contain constituents that may disrupt POTW operations and/or be discharged, untreated, from the POTW to receiving waters. If adopted, the new pre-treatment rule would require unconventional oil and gas facilities to pre-treat wastewater before transferring it to a POTW. The public comment period ended on July 17, 2015, and the EPA is expected to publish a final rule by August 2016. The EPA is also conducting a study of private wastewater treatment facilities (also known as centralized waste treatment, or CWT, facilities) accepting oil and gas extraction wastewater. The EPA is collecting data and information related to the extent to which CWT facilities accept such wastewater, available treatment technologies (and their associated costs), discharge characteristics, financial characteristics of CWT facilities, and the environmental impacts of discharges from CWT facilities.

On August 16, 2012, the EPA published final regulations under the federal Clean Air Act that establish new air emission controls for oil and natural gas production and natural gas processing operations. Specifically, the EPA’s rule package includes NSP standards to address emissions of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and a separate set of emission standards to address hazardous air pollutants frequently associated with oil and natural gas production and processing activities. The final rule seeks to achieve a 95% reduction in VOCs emitted by requiring the use of reduced emission completions or “green completions” on all hydraulically-fractured wells constructed or refractured after January 1, 2015. The rules also establish specific new requirements regarding emissions from compressors, controllers, dehydrators, storage tanks and other production equipment. The EPA received numerous requests for reconsideration of these rules from both industry and the environmental community, and court challenges to the rules were also filed. In response, the EPA has issued, and will likely continue to issue, revised rules responsive to some of the requests for reconsideration. For example, in September 2013 and December 2014, the EPA amended its rules to extend compliance deadlines and to clarify the NSP standards. Further, on July 31, 2015, the EPA finalized two updates to the NSP standards to address the definition of low-pressure wells and references to tanks that are connected to one another (referred to as connected in parallel). In addition, on September 18, 2015, the EPA published a suite of proposed rules to reduce methane and VOC emissions from oil and gas industry, including new

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“downstream” requirements covering equipment in the natural gas transmission segment of the industry that was not regulated by the 2012 rules. The public comment period closed on December 4, 2015. At this point, we cannot predict the final regulatory requirements or the cost to comply with such requirements with any certainty.
In addition, on March 26, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, published a final rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The rule requires public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, implementation of a casing and cementing program, management of recovered fluids, and submission to the BLM of detailed information about the proposed operation, including wellbore geology, the location of faults and fractures, and the depths of all usable water. The rule took effect on June 24, 2015, although it is the subject of several pending lawsuits filed by industry groups and at least four states, alleging that federal law does not give the BLM authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. On September 30, 2015, the United States District Court for Wyoming issued a preliminary injunction preventing the BLM from implementing the rule nationwide. This order has been appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Also, on January 22, 2016, the BLM announced a proposed rule to reduce the flaring, venting and leaking of methane from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands. The proposed rule would require operators to use currently available technologies and equipment to reduce flaring, periodically inspect their operations for leaks, and replace outdated equipment that vents large quantities of gas into the air. The rule would also clarify when operators owe the government royalties for flared gas.
Furthermore, there are certain governmental reviews either underway or being proposed that focus on environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing practices. These ongoing or proposed studies, depending on their degree of pursuit and whether any meaningful results are obtained, could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing under the SDWA or other regulatory authorities. The EPA is currently evaluating the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. In June 2015, the EPA released its draft assessment report for peer review and public comment, finding that, while there are certain mechanisms by which hydraulic fracturing activities could potentially impact drinking water resources, there is no evidence available showing that those mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts. Also, on February 6, 2015, the EPA released a report with findings and recommendations related to public concern about induced seismic activity from disposal wells. The report recommends strategies for managing and minimizing the potential for significant injection-induced seismic events. Other governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, have evaluated or are evaluating various other aspects of hydraulic fracturing. These ongoing or proposed studies could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing, and could ultimately make it more difficult or costly for us to perform fracturing and increase our costs of compliance and doing business.
Some states and local jurisdictions in which we operate or hold oil and natural gas interests have adopted or are considering adopting regulations that could restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances, impose more stringent operating standards and/or require the disclosure of the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids. For example, in June 2012, Ohio’s Governor signed legislation mandating chemical disclosure for hydraulic fracturing fluids, pre-drilling testing of water samples within 1,500 feet of a proposed horizontal well, and increased well operator liability insurance requirements. In addition, in April 2014, Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources announced new permit conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The Texas Railroad Commission, or RRC, and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources adopted rules and regulations requiring that well operators disclose the list of chemical ingredients subject to the requirements of federal OSHA, to state regulators and on a public internet website. Also, in May 2013, the RRC adopted new rules, which became effective in January 2014, governing well casing, cementing and other standards for ensuring that hydraulic fracturing operations do not contaminate nearby water resources. Additionally, on October 28, 2014, the RRC adopted disposal well rule amendments designed, among other things, to require applicants for new disposal wells that will receive non-hazardous produced water and hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid to conduct seismic activity searches utilizing the U.S. Geological Survey. These searches are intended to determine the potential of earthquakes within a circular area of 100 square miles around a proposed new disposal well. The disposal well rule amendments, which became effective in Texas on November 17, 2014, also clarify the RRC’s authority to modify, suspend or terminate a disposal well permit if scientific data indicates a disposal well is likely to contribute to seismic activity. RRC has used this authority to deny permits for waste disposal wells. Effective August 26, 2011, Montana adopted hydraulic fracturing well integrity and disclosure regulations under which well operators must demonstrate a suitable and safe mechanical configuration for the proposed stimulation treatment and provide information in the drilling permit application on the estimated volume and types of materials to be used in the proposed hydraulic fracturing activities. Upon completion of the well, well operators must provide the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation with the volume and type of chemicals used, including the additive type, chemical ingredient names, and Chemical Abstracts Service, or CAS, number, subject to certain trade secret protections. On April 1, 2012, the North Dakota Industrial Commission enacted regulations requiring hydraulic fracturing well operators to disclose the hydraulic fluid composition, including the trade name, supplier, ingredients, CAS Number, and the maximum ingredient concentrations of all additives in the hydraulic fracturing fluid. Colorado enacted rules requiring similar disclosures on January 30, 2012. Also, in 2013 and 2014, Colorado approved

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regulations that require well operators to test groundwater quality before and after drilling and to install emission controls to capture 95 percent of VOC and methane emissions.
There has been increasing public controversy regarding hydraulic fracturing with regard to the use of fracturing fluids, induced seismic activity, impacts on drinking water supplies, use of water and the potential for impacts to surface water, groundwater and the environment generally. A number of lawsuits and enforcement actions have been initiated across the country implicating hydraulic fracturing practices. If new laws or regulations that significantly restrict hydraulic fracturing are adopted, such laws could make it more difficult or costly for us to perform fracturing to stimulate production from tight formations as well as make it easier for third parties opposing the hydraulic fracturing process to initiate legal proceedings based on allegations that specific chemicals used in the fracturing process could adversely affect groundwater. In addition, if hydraulic fracturing is further regulated at the federal, state or local level, our fracturing activities could become subject to additional permitting and financial assurance requirements, more stringent construction specifications, increased monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping obligations, plugging and abandonment requirements and also to attendant permitting delays and potential increases in costs. Such legislative changes could cause us to incur substantial compliance costs, and compliance or the consequences of any failure to comply by us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the impact on our business of newly enacted or potential federal, state or local laws governing hydraulic fracturing.
Other Regulation of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
The oil and natural gas industry is extensively regulated by numerous federal, state and local authorities. Legislation affecting the oil and natural gas industry is under constant review for amendment or expansion, frequently increasing the regulatory burden. Also, numerous departments and agencies, both federal and state, are authorized by statute to issue rules and regulations that are binding on the oil and natural gas industry and its individual members, some of which carry substantial penalties for failure to comply. Although the regulatory burden on the oil and natural gas industry increases our cost of doing business and, consequently, affects our profitability, these burdens generally do not affect us any differently or to any greater or lesser extent than they affect other companies in the industry with similar types, quantities and locations of production.
The availability, terms and cost of transportation significantly affect sales of oil and natural gas. The interstate transportation and sale for resale of oil and natural gas is subject to federal regulation, including regulation of the terms, conditions and rates for interstate transportation, storage and various other matters, primarily by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. Federal and state regulations govern the price and terms for access to oil and natural gas pipeline transportation. FERC's regulations for interstate oil and natural gas transmission in some circumstances may also affect the intrastate transportation of oil and natural gas.
Although oil and natural gas prices are currently unregulated, Congress historically has been active in the area of oil and natural gas regulation. We cannot predict whether new legislation to regulate oil and natural gas might be proposed, what proposals, if any, might actually be enacted by Congress or the various state legislatures, and what effect, if any, the proposals might have on our operations. Sales of condensate and oil and natural gas liquids are not currently regulated and are made at market prices.
Drilling and Production. Our operations are subject to various types of regulation at the federal, state and local level. These types of regulation include requiring permits for the drilling of wells, drilling bonds and reports concerning operations. The states and some counties and municipalities in which we operate also regulate one or more of the following:
the location of wells;
the method of drilling and casing wells;
the timing of construction or drilling activities, including seasonal wildlife closures;
the rates of production or “allowables”;
the surface use and restoration of properties upon which wells are drilled;
the plugging and abandoning of wells; and
notice to, and consultation with, surface owners and other third parties.

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State laws regulate the size and shape of drilling and spacing units or proration units governing the pooling of oil and natural gas properties. Some states allow forced pooling or integration of tracts to facilitate exploration while other states rely on voluntary pooling of lands and leases. In some instances, forced pooling or unitization may be implemented by third parties and may reduce our interest in the unitized properties. In addition, state conservation laws establish maximum rates of production from oil and natural gas wells, generally prohibit the venting or flaring of natural gas and impose requirements regarding the ratability of production. These laws and regulations may limit the amount of oil and natural gas we can produce from our wells or limit the number of wells or the locations at which we can drill. Moreover, each state generally imposes a production or severance tax with respect to the production and sale of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids within its jurisdiction. States do not regulate wellhead prices or engage in other similar direct regulation, but we cannot assure you that they will not do so in the future. The effect of such future regulations may be to limit the amounts of oil and natural gas that may be produced from our wells, negatively affect the economics of production from these wells or to limit the number of locations we can drill.
Federal, state and local regulations provide detailed requirements for the abandonment of wells, closure or decommissioning of production facilities and pipelines and for site restoration in areas where we operate. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and many other state and local authorities also have regulations for plugging and abandonment, decommissioning and site restoration. Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not require bonds or other financial assurances, some state agencies and municipalities do have such requirements.
Natural Gas Sales and Transportation. Historically, federal legislation and regulatory controls have affected the price of the natural gas we produce and the manner in which we market our production. FERC has jurisdiction over the transportation and sale for resale of natural gas in interstate commerce by natural gas companies under the Natural Gas Act of 1938 and the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978. Since 1978, various federal laws have been enacted which have resulted in the complete removal of all price and non-price controls for sales of domestic natural gas sold in “first sales,” which include all of our sales of our own production. Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, FERC has substantial enforcement authority to prohibit the manipulation of natural gas markets and enforce its rules and orders, including the ability to assess substantial civil penalties.
FERC also regulates interstate natural gas transportation rates and service conditions and establishes the terms under which we may use interstate natural gas pipeline capacity, which affects the marketing of natural gas that we produce, as well as the revenues we receive for sales of our natural gas and release of our natural gas pipeline capacity. Commencing in 1985, FERC promulgated a series of orders, regulations and rule makings that significantly fostered competition in the business of transporting and marketing gas. Today, interstate pipeline companies are required to provide nondiscriminatory transportation services to producers, marketers and other shippers, regardless of whether such shippers are affiliated with an interstate pipeline company. FERC's initiatives have led to the development of a competitive, open access market for natural gas purchases and sales that permits all purchasers of natural gas to buy gas directly from third-party sellers other than pipelines. However, the natural gas industry historically has been very heavily regulated; therefore, we cannot guarantee that the less stringent regulatory approach currently pursued by FERC and Congress will continue indefinitely into the future nor can we determine what effect, if any, future regulatory changes might have on our natural gas related activities.
Under FERC’s current regulatory regime, transmission services are provided on an open-access, non-discriminatory basis at cost-based rates or at negotiated rates. Gathering service, which occurs upstream of jurisdictional transmission services, is regulated by the states onshore and in state waters. Section 1(b) of the NGA exempts natural gas gathering facilities from regulation by FERC as a natural gas company under the NGA. Although its policy is still in flux, FERC has in the past reclassified certain jurisdictional transmission facilities as non-jurisdictional gathering facilities, which has the tendency to increase our costs of transporting gas to point-of-sale locations.
Oil Sales and Transportation. Sales of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids are not currently regulated and are made at negotiated prices. Nevertheless, Congress could reenact price controls in the future.
Our crude oil sales are affected by the availability, terms and cost of transportation. The transportation of oil in common carrier pipelines is also subject to rate regulation. FERC regulates interstate oil pipeline transportation rates under the Interstate Commerce Act and intrastate oil pipeline transportation rates are subject to regulation by state regulatory commissions. The basis for intrastate oil pipeline regulation, and the degree of regulatory oversight and scrutiny given to intrastate oil pipeline rates, varies from state to state. Insofar as effective interstate and intrastate rates are equally applicable to all comparable shippers, we believe that the regulation of oil transportation rates will not affect our operations in any materially different way than such regulation will affect the operations of our competitors.

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Further, interstate and intrastate common carrier oil pipelines must provide service on a non-discriminatory basis. Under this open access standard, common carriers must offer service to all shippers requesting service on the same terms and under the same rates. When oil pipelines operate at full capacity, access is governed by prorationing provisions set forth in the pipelines' published tariffs. Accordingly, we believe that access to oil pipeline transportation services generally will be available to us to the same extent as to our competitors.
State Regulation. The states in which we operate regulate the drilling for, and the production and gathering of, oil and natural gas, including through requirements relating to the method of developing new fields, the spacing and operation of wells and the prevention of waste of oil and natural gas resources. States may also regulate rates of production and may establish maximum daily production allowables from oil and natural gas wells based on market demand or resource conservation, or both. States do not regulate wellhead prices or engage in other similar direct economic regulation, but we cannot assure you that they will not do so in the future. The effect of these regulations may be to limit the amount of oil and natural gas that may be produced from our wells and to limit the number of wells or locations we can drill.
In July 2015, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, or the ODNR, enacted a comprehensive set of rules to regulate the construction of well pads. Under these new rules, operators must submit detailed horizontal well pad site plans certified by a professional engineer for review by the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management prior to the construction of a well pad. These rules will result in increased construction costs for operators. It is expected that the ODNR will pursue further initiatives in 2016, including additional emergency response rules.
The petroleum industry is also subject to compliance with various other federal, state and local regulations and laws. Some of those laws relate to resource conservation and equal employment opportunity. We do not believe that compliance with these laws will have a material adverse effect on us.
Operational Hazards and Insurance
The oil and natural gas business involves a variety of operating risks, including the risk of fire, explosions, blow outs, pipe failures and, in some cases, abnormally high pressure formations which could lead to environmental hazards such as oil spills, natural gas leaks and the discharge of toxic gases. If any of these should occur, we could incur legal defense costs and could be required to pay amounts due to injury, loss of life, damage or destruction to property, natural resources and equipment, pollution or environmental damage, regulatory investigation and penalties and suspension of operations.
In accordance with what we believe to be industry practice, we maintain insurance against some, but not all, of the operating risks to which our business is exposed. We insure some, but not all, of our properties for operational and hurricane related events. We currently have insurance policies that include coverage for general liability, physical damage to our oil and natural gas properties, operational control of certain wells, oil pollution, third party liability, workers compensation and employers' liability and other coverage. Our insurance coverage includes deductibles that must be met prior to recovery. Additionally, our insurance is subject to exclusion and limitations, and there is no assurance that such coverage will fully or adequately protect us against liability from all potential consequences, damages and losses. Any of these events could cause a significant disruption to our business. A loss not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Currently, we have general liability insurance coverage with an annual aggregate limit of up to $21.0 million which includes sudden and accidental pollution for the effects of onshore and offshore pollution on third parties arising from our operations as well as $10.0 million of gradual pollution insurance coverage. For our offshore WCBB properties, we also have a $40.0 million property physical damage policy which insures against most operational perils, such as explosions, fire, vandalism, theft, hail and windstorms, provided, however, that this policy is limited to $12.5 million for damages arising as a result of a named windstorm. All of our insurance coverage includes deductibles of up to $250,000 per occurrence ($1.25 million in the case of a named windstorm) that must be met prior to recovery. Additionally, our insurance is subject to customary exclusions and limitations. We reevaluate the purchase of insurance, policy terms and limits annually each May. Future insurance coverage for our industry could increase in cost and may include higher deductibles or retentions. In addition, some forms of insurance may become unavailable in the future or unavailable on terms that we believe are economically acceptable. No assurance can be given that we will be able to maintain insurance in the future at rates that we consider reasonable and we may elect to maintain minimal or no insurance coverage. We may not be able to secure additional insurance or bonding that might be required by new governmental regulations. This may cause us to restrict our operations, which might severely impact our financial position. The occurrence of a significant event, not fully insured against, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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We carry control of well insurance for all of our Utica Shale wells and several Southern Louisiana wells. We also require all of our third party vendors to sign master service agreements in which they agree to indemnify us for injuries and deaths of the service provider's employees as well as contractors and subcontractors hired by the service provider.
We have prepared and have in place spill prevention control and countermeasure plans for each of our principal facilities in response to federal and state requirements. The plans are reviewed annually and updated as necessary. As required by applicable regulations, our facilities are built with secondary containment systems to capture potential releases. We also own additional spill kits with oil booms and absorbent pads that are readily available, if needed. In addition, we have emergency response companies on retainer. These companies specialize in the clean up of hydrocarbons as a result of spills, blow-outs and natural disasters, and are on call to us 24 hours a day, seven days a week when their services are needed. We pay these companies a retainer plus additional amounts when they provide us with clean up services. Our aggregate payments for the retainer and clean up services during 2015 and 2014 were approximately $0.1 million and $0.2 million, respectively. While these companies have been able to meet our service needs when required from time to time in the past, it is possible that the ability of one or more of them to provide services to us in the future, if and when needed, could be hindered or delayed in the event of a widespread disaster. However, in light of the areas in which we operate and the nature of our production, we believe other companies would be available to us in the event our primary remediation companies are unable to perform. To supplement our planning and operation activities in Ohio, we also actively manage an incident response planning program and coordinate with applicable state agency personnel on spills and releases. We also participate in Ohio's Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) program, which includes reporting of various materials used or stored on-site as well as notification to state and local emergency response centers, such as local fire departments, for emergency planning purposes.
Headquarters and Other Facilities
We own an approximately 28,500 square foot office building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that serves as our corporate headquarters. Additionally, we lease approximately 26,900 square feet of office space in other buildings in Oklahoma City. A new corporate headquarters is currently under construction in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The building, currently scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016, will have approximately 120,000 square feet of office space and will allow our employees to office in one location in Oklahoma City. We have received various offers to purchase or lease our existing headquarters building which we are evaluating.
We also own an approximately 12,500 square foot building in Lafayette, Louisiana. This building contains approximately 6,200 square feet of finished office area and 6,300 square feet of clear span warehouse area. We also lease approximately 3,700 square feet in a building in Lafayette that we use as our Louisiana headquarters. We own an approximately 5,700 square foot office building in St. Clairsville, Ohio that serves as our Ohio headquarters. In addition, we lease approximately 4,275 square feet of office space in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Each of these properties is suitable and adequate for its use.
Employees
At December 31, 2015, we had 230 employees. An unrelated third-party Louisiana well servicing company provides a majority of the field personnel needed to operate the WCBB and the Hackberry fields.
Availability of Company Reports
Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are made available free of charge on the Investor Relations page of our website at www.gulfportenergy.com as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. Information contained on our website, or on other websites that may be linked to our website, is not incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 10-K and should not be considered part of this report or any other filing that we make with the SEC.
ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS

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Risks Related to our Business and Industry
Market conditions for oil and natural gas, and particularly the recent decline in prices for oil and natural gas, have, and may continue to, adversely affect our revenue, cash flows, profitability, growth, production and the present value of our estimated reserves.
Our revenues, cash flows, profitability, future rate of growth, production and the carrying value of our oil and natural gas properties depend significantly upon the prevailing prices for natural gas and, to a lesser extent, oil. Historically, oil and natural gas prices have been volatile and are subject to fluctuations in response to changes in supply and demand, market uncertainty and a variety of additional factors that are beyond our control, including:
worldwide and domestic supplies of oil and natural gas;
the level of prices, and expectations about future prices, of oil and natural gas;
the cost of exploring for, developing, producing and delivering oil and natural gas;
the expected rates of declining current production;
the level of consumer demand;
the price and availability of alternative fuels;
technical advances affecting energy consumption;
risks associated with operating drilling rigs;
the availability of pipeline capacity and other transportation facilities;
the price and level of foreign imports;
domestic and foreign governmental regulations and taxes;
the ability of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to and maintain oil price and production controls;
speculative trading in crude oil and natural gas derivative contracts;
political or economic instability or armed conflict in oil and natural gas producing regions, including the Middle East, Africa, South America and Russia;
the overall domestic and global economic environment; and
weather conditions, including hurricanes, and other natural disasters that can affect oil and natural gas operations over a wide area.
These factors and the volatility of the energy markets make it extremely difficult to predict future oil and natural gas price movements with any certainty. During the past six years, the posted price for West Texas intermediate light sweet crude oil, which we refer to as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, has ranged from a low of $27.56 per barrel, or Bbl, in January 2016 to a high of $113.39 per Bbl in April 2011. The Henry Hub spot market price of natural gas has ranged from a low of $1.80 per MMBtu in December 2015 to a high of $7.51 per MMBtu in January 2010. During 2015, WTI prices ranged from $36.48 to $65.69 per Bbl and the Henry Hub spot market price of natural gas ranged from $1.80 to $3.65 per MMBtu. On January 20, 2016, the WTI posted price for crude oil was $28.35 per Bbl and the Henry Hub spot market price of natural gas was $2.12 per MMBtu, representing decreases of 57% and 42%, respectively, from the high of $65.69 per Bbl of oil and $3.65 per MMBtu for natural gas during 2015. If the prices of oil and natural gas continue at current levels or decline further, our operations, financial condition and level of expenditures for the development of our oil and natural gas reserves may be materially and adversely affected. In addition, lower oil and natural gas prices may reduce the amount of oil and natural gas that we can produce economically. This may result in our having to make substantial downward adjustments to our estimated proved reserves. If this

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occurs or if our production estimates change or our exploration or development activities are curtailed, full cost accounting rules may require us to further write down, as a non-cash charge to earnings, the carrying value of our oil and natural gas properties. Reductions in our reserves could also negatively impact the borrowing base under our revolving credit facility, which could further limit our liquidity and ability to conduct additional exploration and development activities.
Strategic determinations, including the allocation of capital and other resources to strategic opportunities, are challenging, and our failure to appropriately allocate capital and resources among our strategic opportunities may adversely affect our financial condition and reduce our future growth rate.
Our future growth prospects are dependent upon our ability to identify optimal strategies for our business. In developing our 2016 business plan, we considered allocating capital and other resources to various aspects of our businesses, including well development, reserve acquisitions, midstream infrastructure and other activities. We also considered our likely sources of capital. Notwithstanding the determinations made in the development of our 2016 plan, business opportunities not previously identified periodically come to our attention, including possible acquisitions and dispositions. If we fail to identify optimal business strategies, including the appropriate rate of reserve development, or fail to optimize our capital investment and capital raising opportunities and the use of our other resources in furtherance of our business strategies, our financial condition and growth rate may be adversely affected. Moreover, economic or other circumstances may change from those contemplated by our 2016 plan, and our failure to recognize or respond to those changes may limit our ability to achieve our objectives.
We periodically engage in acquisitions, dispositions and other strategic transactions, including equity investments and joint ventures such as our recent joint venture with Rice. These transactions involve various inherent risks, such as changes in prevailing market conditions, our ability to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, the timing of and conditions that may be imposed on us by regulators and our ability to achieve benefits anticipated to result from the transactions. Further, our equity investments and joint venture arrangements may restrict our operational and corporate flexibility and subject us to risks and uncertainties, such as committing us to fund operating and/or capital expenditures, the timing and amount of which we may not be able to control. Further, the counterparties to these transactions may not satisfy their obligations to the joint venture. Our inability to complete a transaction or to achieve our strategic or financial goals in any transaction could have significant adverse effects on our earnings, cash flows and financial position.
Concerns over general economic, business or industry conditions may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
Concerns over global economic conditions, energy costs, geopolitical issues, inflation, the availability and cost of credit and the European, Asian and the United States financial markets have contributed to increased economic uncertainty and diminished expectations for the global economy. In addition, continued hostilities in the Middle East and the occurrence or threat of terrorist attacks in the United States or other countries could adversely affect the global economy. These factors, combined with volatility in commodity prices, business and consumer confidence and unemployment rates, have precipitated an economic slowdown. Concerns about global economic growth have had a significant adverse impact on global financial markets and commodity prices. If the economic climate in the United States or abroad deteriorates, worldwide demand for petroleum products could diminish further, which could impact the price at which we can sell our production, affect the ability of our vendors, suppliers and customers to continue operations and ultimately adversely impact our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
Our development, acquisition and exploration operations require substantial capital and we may be unable to obtain needed capital or financing on satisfactory terms or at all, which could lead to a loss of properties and a decline in our oil and natural gas reserves.
Our future success depends upon our ability to find, develop or acquire additional oil and natural gas reserves that are economically recoverable. Our proved reserves will generally decline as reserves are depleted, except to the extent that we conduct successful exploration or development activities or acquire properties containing proved reserves, or both. To increase reserves and production, we undertake development, exploration and other replacement activities or use third parties to accomplish these activities. We have made and expect to make in the future substantial capital expenditures in our business and operations for the development, production, exploration and acquisition of oil and natural gas reserves. For example, we currently estimate our exploration and production capital expenditures for 2016 to be in the range of $335.0 million to $375.0 million and an additional $60.0 million to $65.0 million for acreage expenses, primarily lease extensions, in the Utica Shale and $30.0 million to $35.0 million for cash capital contributions to our midstream joint venture with Rice in Eastern Ohio.

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Historically, we have financed capital expenditures primarily with cash flow from operations, the issuance of equity and debt securities and borrowings under our bank and other credit facilities. Our cash flow from operations and access to capital are subject to a number of variables, including:
our proved reserves;
the volume of oil and natural gas we are able to produce from existing wells;
the prices at which oil and natural gas are sold;
our ability to acquire, locate and produce economically new reserves; and
our ability to borrow under our credit facility.
We cannot assure you that our operations and other capital resources will provide cash in sufficient amounts to maintain planned or future levels of capital expenditures. Further, our actual capital expenditures in 2016 could exceed our capital expenditure budget. In the event our capital expenditure requirements at any time are greater than the amount of capital we have available, we could be required to seek additional sources of capital, which may include traditional reserve base borrowings, debt financing, joint venture partnerships, production payment financings, sales of assets, offerings of debt or equity securities or other means. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain debt or equity financing on terms favorable to us, or at all.
If we are unable to fund our capital requirements, we may be required to curtail our operations relating to the exploration and development of our prospects, which in turn could lead to a possible loss of properties and a decline in our oil and natural gas reserves, or we may be otherwise unable to implement our development plan, complete acquisitions or take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our production, revenues and results of operations. In addition, a delay in or the failure to complete proposed or future infrastructure projects could delay or eliminate potential efficiencies.
Our failure to successfully identify, complete and integrate future acquisitions of properties or businesses could reduce our earnings and slow our growth.
There is intense competition for acquisition opportunities in our industry. The successful acquisition of producing properties requires an assessment of several factors, including:
recoverable reserves;
future oil and natural gas prices and their applicable differentials;
operating costs; and
potential environmental and other liabilities.
The accuracy of these assessments is inherently uncertain and we may not be able to identify attractive acquisition opportunities. In connection with these assessments, we perform a review of the subject properties that we believe to be generally consistent with industry practices. Our review will not reveal all existing or potential problems nor will it permit us to become sufficiently familiar with the properties to assess fully their deficiencies and capabilities. Inspections may not always be performed on every well, and environmental problems, such as groundwater contamination, are not necessarily observable even when an inspection is undertaken. Even when problems are identified, the seller may be unwilling or unable to provide effective contractual protection against all or part of the problems. Even if we do identify attractive acquisition opportunities, we may not be able to complete the acquisition or do so on commercially acceptable terms.
Competition for acquisitions may increase the cost of, or cause us to refrain from, completing acquisitions. Our ability to complete acquisitions is dependent upon, among other things, our ability to obtain debt and equity financing and, in some cases, regulatory approvals. Further, these acquisitions may be in geographic regions in which we do not currently operate, which could result in unforeseen operating difficulties and difficulties in coordinating geographically dispersed operations, personnel and facilities. In addition, if we enter into new geographic markets, we may be subject to additional and unfamiliar legal and regulatory requirements. Compliance with regulatory requirements may impose substantial additional obligations on us and our management, cause us to expend additional time and resources in compliance activities and increase our exposure to penalties or fines for non-compliance with such additional legal requirements. Further, the success of any completed acquisition will depend on our ability to integrate effectively the acquired business into our existing operations. The process of integrating acquired businesses may involve unforeseen difficulties and may require a disproportionate amount of our managerial and

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financial resources. In addition, possible future acquisitions may be larger and for purchase prices significantly higher than those paid for earlier acquisitions.
No assurance can be given that we will be able to identify additional suitable acquisition opportunities, negotiate acceptable terms, obtain financing for acquisitions on acceptable terms or successfully acquire identified targets. Our failure to achieve consolidation savings, to integrate the acquired businesses and assets into our existing operations successfully or to minimize any unforeseen operational difficulties could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The inability to effectively manage the integration of acquisitions could reduce our focus on subsequent acquisitions and current operations, which, in turn, could negatively impact our earnings and growth. Our financial position and results of operations may fluctuate significantly from period to period, based on whether or not significant acquisitions are completed in particular periods.
Properties we acquire may not produce as projected, and we may be unable to determine reserve potential, identify liabilities associated with the properties that we acquire or obtain protection from sellers against such liabilities.
Acquiring oil and natural gas properties requires us to assess reservoir and infrastructure characteristics, including recoverable reserves, development and operating costs and potential environmental and other liabilities. Such assessments are inexact and inherently uncertain. In connection with the assessments, we perform a review of the subject properties, but such a review will not necessarily reveal all existing or potential problems. In the course of our due diligence, we may not inspect every well or pipeline. We cannot necessarily observe structural and environmental problems, such as pipe corrosion, when an inspection is made. We may not be able to obtain contractual indemnities from the seller for liabilities created prior to our purchase of the property. We may be required to assume the risk of the physical condition of the properties in addition to the risk that the properties may not perform in accordance with our expectations.
We may incur losses as a result of title defects in the properties in which we invest.
It is our practice in acquiring oil and natural gas leases or interests not to incur the expense of retaining lawyers to examine the title to the mineral interest. Rather, we rely upon the judgment of oil and gas lease brokers or landmen who perform the fieldwork in examining records in the appropriate governmental office before attempting to acquire a lease in a specific mineral interest. The existence of a material title deficiency can render a lease worthless and can adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Prior to the drilling of an oil or natural gas well, however, it is the normal practice in our industry for the person or company acting as the operator of the well to obtain a preliminary title review to ensure there are no obvious defects in title to the well. Frequently, as a result of such examinations, certain curative work must be done to correct defects in the marketability of the title, and such curative work entails expense. Our failure to cure any title defects may delay or prevent us from utilizing the associated mineral interest, which may adversely impact our ability in the future to increase production and reserves. Additionally, undeveloped acreage has greater risk of title defects than developed acreage. If there are any title defects or defects in the assignment of leasehold rights in properties in which we hold an interest, we will suffer a financial loss.
If we are unable to complete capital projects in a timely manner, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
Delays related to capital spending programs involving engineering, procurement and construction of facilities (including improvements and repairs to our existing facilities) could adversely affect our ability to achieve forecasted internal rates of return and operating results. Delays in making required changes or upgrades to our facilities could subject us to fines or penalties as well as affect our ability to supply certain products we produce. Such delays may arise as a result of unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
denial of or delay in receiving requisite regulatory approvals and/or permits;
unplanned increases in the cost of construction materials or labor;
disruptions in transportation of components or construction materials;
adverse weather conditions, natural disasters or other events (such as equipment malfunctions, explosions, fires or spills) affecting our facilities, or those of vendors or suppliers;
shortages of sufficiently skilled labor, or labor disagreements resulting in unplanned work stoppages;

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market-related increases in a project's debt or equity financing costs; and
nonperformance by, or disputes with, vendors, suppliers, contractors or subcontractors.
Any one or more of these factors could have a significant impact on our ongoing capital projects.
Our Canadian oil sands projects are complex undertakings and may not be completed at our estimated cost or at all.
We, through our wholly-owned subsidiary Grizzly Holdings Inc., own a 24.9% interest in Grizzly. As of December 31, 2015, Grizzly had approximately 830,000 net acres under lease in the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake oil sands regions of Alberta, Canada. Grizzly has three oil sands projects in various stages of development. Grizzly commenced commercial production from its Algar Lake Phase 1 steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD, oil sand project during the second quarter of 2014 and has received regulatory approval for up to 11,300 barrels per day of bitumen production. Grizzly produced approximately 900 barrels of bitumen per day at its Algar Lake SAGD project during the first quarter of 2015. In April 2015, Grizzly determined to cease bitumen production at its Algar Lake facility due to the level of commodity prices. Grizzly continues to monitor market conditions as it assesses future plans for the facility. We reviewed our investment in Grizzly at September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015 for impairment, resulting in an aggregate other than temporary impairment write down of $101.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  If commodity prices continue to decline, further impairment of our investment in Grizzly may result in the future. The Algar Lake and other pending and proposed projects are complex, subject to extensive governmental regulation and will require significant additional financing. There can be no assurance that the necessary governmental approvals will be granted or that such financing could be obtained on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or that if one or more of these projects are completed that they will be successful or that we realize a return on our investment.

The unavailability, high cost or shortages of rigs, equipment, raw materials, supplies, oilfield services or personnel may restrict our operations.
The oil and natural gas industry is cyclical, which can result in shortages of drilling rigs, equipment, raw materials (particularly sand and other proppants), supplies and personnel. When shortages occur, the costs and delivery times of rigs, equipment and supplies increase and demand for and wage rates of qualified drilling rig crews also rise with increases in demand. In accordance with customary industry practice, we rely on independent third party service providers to provide most of the services necessary to drill new wells. If we are unable to secure a sufficient number of drilling rigs at reasonable costs, our financial condition and results of operations could suffer, and we may not be able to drill all of our acreage before our leases expire. Shortages of drilling rigs, equipment, raw materials (particularly sand and other proppants), supplies, personnel, trucking services, tubulars, fracking and completion services and production equipment could delay or restrict our exploration and development operations, which in turn could impair our financial condition and results of operations.
Oil and natural gas production operations, especially those using hydraulic fracturing, are substantially dependent on the availability of water. Restrictions on the ability to obtain water may impact our operations.

Water is an essential component of oil and natural gas production during the drilling, and in particular, hydraulic fracturing, process. Our inability to locate sufficient amounts of water, or dispose of or recycle water used in our exploration and production operations, could adversely impact our operations.
We rely on a few key employees whose absence or loss could disrupt our operations resulting in a loss of revenues.
Many key responsibilities within our business have been assigned to a small number of employees. The loss of their services, particularly the loss of Michael G. Moore, our Chief Executive Officer and President, or our other senior management and technical personnel, could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Our executives are not restricted from competing with us if they cease to be employed by us, except under certain limited circumstances prohibiting competition while making use of our trade secrets. We are party to an employment agreement with three of our executive officers. As a practical matter, however, employment agreements may not assure the retention of our employees. Further, we do not maintain “key person” life insurance policies on any of our employees. As a result, we are not insured against any losses resulting from the death of our key employees.

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Estimates of oil and natural gas reserves are uncertain and may vary substantially from actual production.
There are numerous uncertainties associated with estimating quantities of proved reserves and in projecting future rates of production and timing of expenditures. The reserve information herein represents estimates prepared by (i) Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., or NSAI, with respect to our Utica Shale acreage at December 31, 2015 and our WCBB, Hackberry and Niobrara fields at each of December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, (ii) Ryder Scott with respect to our Utica Shale acreage at December 31, 2014 and 2013 and (iii) our personnel with respect to our overriding royalty and non-operated interests at December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Petroleum engineering is not an exact science. Information relating to our proved oil and natural gas reserves is based upon engineering estimates. Estimates of economically recoverable oil and natural gas reserves and of future net cash flows necessarily depend upon a number of variable factors and assumptions, such as historical production from the area compared with production from other producing areas, future site restoration and abandonment costs, the assumed effects of regulations by governmental agencies and assumptions concerning future oil and natural gas prices, future operating costs, severance and excise taxes, capital expenditures and workover and remedial costs, all of which may in fact vary considerably from actual results. For these reasons, estimates of the economically recoverable quantities of oil and natural gas attributable to any particular group of properties, classifications of such reserves based on risk of recovery and estimates of the future net cash flows expected therefrom prepared by different engineers or by the same engineers at different times may vary substantially. Actual production, revenues and expenditures with respect to our reserves will likely vary from estimates, and such variances may be material.
Estimates of reserves as of year-end 2015, 2014 and 2013 were prepared using an average price equal to the unweighted arithmetic average of hydrocarbon prices received on a field-by-field basis on the first day of each month within the 12-month period ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, in accordance with the revised guidelines of the SEC applicable to reserves estimates for such years. Reserve estimates do not include any value for probable or possible reserves that may exist, nor do they include any value for undeveloped acreage. The reserve estimates represent our net revenue interest in our properties.
The present value of future net revenues from our proved reserves is not necessarily the same as the current market value of our estimated oil and natural gas reserves. We base the estimated discounted future net revenue from our proved reserves for 2015, 2014 and 2013 on an average price equal to the unweighted arithmetic average of prices received on a field-by-field basis on the first day of each month within the 12-month period ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, in accordance with the revised guidelines of the SEC applicable to reserves estimates for such years. Commodity prices have deteriorated significantly since that time and, accordingly, using more recent prices in estimating our proved reserves, without giving effect to any acquisition or development activities we have executed during 2016, would result in a reduction in proved reserve volumes due to economic limits. Furthermore, any such reduction in proved reserve volumes combined with lower commodity prices would substantially reduce the PV-10 and standardized measure of discounted future net cash flows from our proved reserves as of a more recent date.
Actual future net revenues from our oil and natural gas properties will also be affected by factors such as:
actual prices we receive for oil and natural gas;
the amount and timing of actual production;
supply of and demand for oil and natural gas; and
changes in governmental regulations or taxation.
The timing of both our production and our incurrence of costs in connection with the development and production of oil and natural gas properties will affect the timing of actual future net revenues from proved reserves, and thus their actual present value. In addition, the 10% discount factor we use when calculating discounted future net cash flows may not be the most appropriate discount factor based on interest rates in effect from time to time and risks associated with us or the oil and natural gas industry in general.
SEC rules could limit our ability to book additional proved undeveloped reserves in the future.
SEC rules require that, subject to limited exceptions, proved undeveloped reserves may only be booked if they relate to wells scheduled to be drilled within five years after the date of booking. This requirement has limited and may continue to limit our ability to book additional proved undeveloped reserves as we pursue our drilling program. Moreover, we may be required to

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write down our proved undeveloped reserves if we do not drill those wells within the required five-year timeframe, because they have become uneconomic or otherwise.
The development of our proved undeveloped reserves may take longer and may require higher levels of capital expenditures than we currently anticipate.
Approximately 55.0% of our total estimated proved reserves at December 31, 2015, were proved undeveloped reserves and may not be ultimately developed or produced. Recovery of proved undeveloped reserves requires significant capital expenditures and successful drilling operations. The reserve data included in the reserve reports of our independent petroleum engineers assume that substantial capital expenditures are required to develop such reserves. We cannot be certain that the estimated costs of the development of these reserves are accurate, that development will occur as scheduled or that the results of such development will be as estimated. Delays in the development of our reserves, further decreases in commodity prices or increases in costs to drill and develop such reserves will reduce the future net revenues of our estimated proved undeveloped reserves and may result in some projects becoming uneconomical. In addition, delays in the development of reserves could force us to reclassify certain of our proved reserves as unproved reserves.
There are numerous uncertainties in estimating quantities of bitumen reserves and resources in connection with our equity investment in Grizzly and the indicated level of reserves or recovery of bitumen may not be realized.
There are numerous uncertainties in estimating quantities of bitumen reserves and resources, and the indicated level of reserves or recovery of bitumen may not be realized. In general, estimates of economically recoverable bitumen reserves and the future net cash flow from such reserves are based upon a number of factors and assumptions made as of the date on which the reserve and resource estimates were determined, such as geological and engineering estimates which have uncertainties, the assumed effects of regulation by governmental agencies and estimates of future commodity prices and operating costs, all of which may vary considerably from actual results. All such estimates are, to some degree, uncertain and classifications of reserves are only attempts to define the degree of uncertainty involved. For these reasons, estimates of the economically recoverable bitumen, the classification of such reserves based on risk of recovery and estimates of future net revenues expected therefrom, prepared by different engineers or by the same engineers at different times, may vary substantially.
Estimates with respect to reserves and resources that may be developed and produced in the future are often based upon volumetric calculations and upon analogy to similar types of reserves, rather than upon actual production history. Estimates based on these methods generally are less reliable than those based on actual production history. Subsequent evaluation of the same reserves based upon production history may result in variations in the estimated reserves. Reserve and resource estimates may require revision based on actual production experience. Reserve and resources estimates are determined with reference to assumed oil prices and operating costs. Market price fluctuations of oil prices may render uneconomic the recovery of certain grades of bitumen. The actual gravity or quality of bitumen to be produced from Grizzly's lands cannot be determined at this time.
The marketability of our production is dependent upon compressors, gathering lines, transportation barges and other facilities, certain of which we do not control. When these facilities are unavailable, our operations can be interrupted and our revenues reduced.
The marketability of our oil and natural gas production depends in part upon the availability, proximity and capacity of natural gas lines and transportation barges owned by third parties. In general, we do not control these transportation facilities and our access to them may be limited or denied. A significant disruption in the availability of these transportation facilities or our compression and other production facilities could adversely impact our ability to deliver to market or produce our oil and natural gas and thereby cause a significant interruption in our operations. With respect to our Utica Shale acreage where we are focusing substantially all of our exploration and development activity, historically there has been no or only limited infrastructure in this area and the commencement of production from our initial and subsequent wells on our Utica Shale acreage has been delayed due to challenges in obtaining rights-of-way and acquiring necessary state and federal permitting and the completion of facilities by our midstream service provider. We are also at risk with respect to oil and natural gas produced at our Southern Louisiana fields. In October 2006, for example, a natural gas line in our WCBB field operated by our natural gas purchaser was ruptured by a third party contractor, requiring the field to be shut in for approximately seven weeks until the line could be repaired. Further, we are dependent on our oil purchaser to provide the barges necessary to transport our oil production from the WCBB field. If we are unable, for any sustained period, to have access to acceptable delivery or transportation arrangements or encounter compression or other production related difficulties, we will be required to shut in or curtail production from the impacted fields. Any such shut in or curtailment, or an inability to obtain favorable terms for

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delivery of the oil and natural gas produced from our fields, would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
If production from our Utica Shale acreage decreases due to decreased developmental activities, production related difficulties or otherwise, we may fail to meet our firm commitment delivery obligations under our firm transportation contracts, which will result in fees and may have a material adverse effect on our operations.
As of December 31, 2015, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to sell approximately 725,000 MMBtu to 775,000 MMBtu per day for 2016. For 2017, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to sell approximately 775,000 MMBtu to 1,125,000 MMBtu per day. For 2018 through 2020, we had entered into firm transportation contracts to sell approximately 1,125,000 MMBtu per day. See Item 1. “Business-Transportation and Takeaway Capacity.” Under these firm transportation contracts, we are obligated to deliver minimum daily volumes or pay fees for any deficiencies in deliveries. If production from our Utica Shale acreage decreases due to decreased developmental activities, taking into consideration the current low commodity price environment, production related difficulties or otherwise, we may be unable to meet our obligations under the existing firm transportation contracts, resulting in fees, which may be significant and may have a material adverse effect on our operations.
Substantially all of our producing properties are located in Eastern Ohio and Louisiana, making us vulnerable to risks associated with operating in these regions.
Our largest fields by production are located in Eastern Ohio and approximately five miles off the coast of Louisiana in a shallow bay with water depths averaging eight to ten feet. As a result, we may be disproportionately exposed to the impact of delays or interruptions of production in these geographic regions caused by weather conditions such as snow, ice, fog, rain, hurricanes or other natural disasters or lack of field infrastructure. Losses could occur for uninsured risks or in amounts in excess of any existing insurance coverage. We may not be able to obtain and maintain adequate insurance at rates we consider reasonable and it is possible that certain types of coverage may not be available.
Our identified drilling locations, which are part of our anticipated future drilling plans, are susceptible to uncertainties that could materially alter the occurrence or timing of their drilling.
We have identified over 1,000 drilling locations on our Ohio, Louisiana and Western Colorado properties assuming full development of all of our acreage. These drilling locations represent a significant part of our growth strategy. Our ability to drill and develop these locations depends on a number of uncertainties, including the availability of capital, oil and natural gas prices, inclement weather, costs, drilling results and regulatory changes. Because of these uncertainties, we do not know if the numerous potential drilling locations we have identified will ever be drilled or if we will be able to produce oil or natural gas from these or any other potential drilling locations. As such, our actual drilling activities may materially differ from those presently identified, which could adversely affect our business.
Drilling for and producing oil and natural gas are high-risk activities with many uncertainties that may result in a total loss of investment and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our drilling activities are subject to many risks. For example, we cannot assure you that new wells drilled by us will be productive or that we will recover all or any portion of our investment in such wells. Drilling for oil and natural gas often involves unprofitable efforts, not only from dry wells but also from wells that are productive but do not produce sufficient oil or natural gas to return a profit at then realized prices after deducting drilling, operating and other costs. The seismic data and other technologies we use do not allow us to know conclusively prior to drilling a well that oil or natural gas is present or that it can be produced economically. The costs of exploration, exploitation and development activities are subject to numerous uncertainties beyond our control, and increases in those costs can adversely affect the economics of a project. Further, our drilling and producing operations may be curtailed, delayed, canceled or otherwise negatively impacted as a result of other factors, including:
unusual or unexpected geological formations;
loss of drilling fluid circulation;
title problems;
facility or equipment malfunctions;

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unexpected operational events;
shortages or delivery delays of equipment and services;
compliance with environmental and other governmental requirements; and
adverse weather conditions.
Any of these risks can cause substantial losses, including personal injury or loss of life, damage to or destruction of property, natural resources and equipment, pollution, environmental contamination or loss of wells and other regulatory penalties.
Operating hazards and uninsured risks may result in substantial losses and could prevent us from realizing profits.
Our operations are subject to all of the hazards and operating risks associated with drilling for and production of oil and natural gas, including the risk of fire, explosions, blowouts, surface cratering, uncontrollable flows of natural gas, oil and formation water, pipe or pipeline failures, abnormally pressured formations, casing collapses and environmental hazards such as oil spills, gas leaks, ruptures or discharges of toxic gases. In addition, our operations are subject to risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, including any mishandling, surface spillage or potential underground migration of fracturing fluids, including chemical additives. We may face liability for environmental damage caused by previous owners of properties purchased by us, which liabilities may or may not be covered by insurance. The occurrence of any of these events could result in substantial losses to us due to injury or loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property, natural resources and equipment, pollution or other environmental damage, clean-up responsibilities, regulatory investigations and penalties, suspension of operations and repairs required to resume operations.
In accordance with what we believe to be customary industry practice, we historically have maintained insurance against some, but not all, of our business risks. Our insurance may not be adequate to cover any losses or liabilities we may suffer. Also, insurance may no longer be available to us or, if it is, its availability may be at premium levels that do not justify its purchase. The occurrence of a significant uninsured claim, a claim in excess of the insurance coverage limits maintained by us or a claim at a time when we are not able to obtain liability insurance could have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct normal business operations and on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flow. We may not be able to secure additional insurance or bonding that might be required by new governmental regulations. This may cause us to restrict our operations, which might severely impact our financial position. A loss not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Our operations may be exposed to significant delays, costs and liabilities as a result of environmental, health and safety requirements applicable to our business activities.
We may incur significant delays, costs and liabilities as a result of federal, state and local environmental, health and safety requirements applicable to our exploration, development and production activities. These laws and regulations may, among other things: (i) require us to obtain a variety of permits or other authorizations governing our air emissions, water discharges, waste disposal or other environmental impacts associated with drilling, producing and other operations; (ii) regulate the sourcing and disposal of water used in the drilling, fracturing and completion processes; (iii) limit or prohibit drilling activities in certain areas and on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, frontier, seismically active areas and other protected areas; (iv) require remedial action to prevent or mitigate pollution from former operations such as plugging abandoned wells or closing earthen pits; and/or (v) impose substantial liabilities for spills, pollution or failure to comply with regulatory filings. In addition, these laws and regulations may restrict the rate of oil or natural gas production. These laws and regulations are complex, change frequently and have tended to become increasingly stringent over time. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of administrative, civil and criminal penalties, imposition of cleanup and site restoration costs and liens, the suspension or revocation of necessary permits, licenses and authorizations, the requirement that additional pollution controls be installed and, in some instances, issuance of orders or injunctions limiting or requiring discontinuation of certain operations. Under certain environmental laws that impose strict as well as joint and several liability, we may be required to remediate contaminated properties currently or formerly operated by us or facilities of third parties that received waste generated by our operations regardless of whether such contamination resulted from the conduct of others or from consequences of our own actions that were in compliance with all applicable laws at the time those actions were taken. In addition, claims for damages to persons or property, including natural resources, may result from the environmental, health and safety impacts of our operations. In addition, the risk of accidental and/or unpermitted spills or releases from our operations could expose us to significant liabilities, penalties and other sanctions under applicable laws.

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Moreover, public interest in the protection of the environment has increased dramatically in recent years. The trend of more expansive and stringent environmental legislation and regulations applied to the crude oil and natural gas industry could continue, resulting in increased costs of doing business and consequently affecting profitability. To the extent laws are enacted or other governmental action is taken that restricts drilling or imposes more stringent and costly operating, waste handling, disposal and cleanup requirements, our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
We have entered into a compliance agreement with the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management and, if we fail to comply with the conditions of the compliance agreement or any potential future agreements, all or part of our drilling and producing operations in the State of Ohio may be suspended.
In September 2013, we entered into a compliance agreement with the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, or the Division, concerning aspects of our operations at seven drilling sites in Ohio. We had previously notified the Division of brine contamination at these drilling sites. After receipt of this notification, the Division conducted an investigation and determined that certain contaminants were escaping from underneath the containment liners at these locations. In the compliance agreement, we agreed, among other things, to conduct our production operations in compliance with all requirements of applicable regulations, implement a remediation plan and make a payment of $250,000. We have fulfilled our obligations under the compliance agreement and have been released from it by the Division. We cannot assure you that we will not be subject to compliance agreements with the Division or other regulatory bodies in the future. Our failure to comply with any such compliance agreements may result in the suspension of all or part of drilling and production operations for some specified period as well as the imposition of additional penalties and costs.
Our development and exploratory drilling efforts and our well operations may not be profitable or achieve our targeted returns.
We acquire significant amounts of unproved property in order to further our development efforts and expect to continue to undertake acquisitions in the future. Development and exploratory drilling and production activities are subject to many risks, including the risk that no commercially productive reservoirs will be discovered. We acquire unproved properties and lease undeveloped acreage that we believe will enhance our growth potential and increase our earnings over time. However, we cannot assure you that all prospects will be economically viable or that we will not abandon our investments. Additionally, we cannot assure you that unproved property acquired by us or undeveloped acreage leased by us will be profitably developed, that new wells drilled by us in prospects that we pursue will be productive or that we will recover all or any portion of our investment in such unproved property or wells.
Drilling for oil and natural gas may involve unprofitable efforts, not only from dry wells but also from wells that are productive but do not produce sufficient commercial quantities to cover the drilling, operating and other costs. The cost of drilling, completing and operating a well is often uncertain, and many factors can adversely affect the economics of a well or property. Drilling operations may be curtailed, delayed or canceled as a result of unexpected drilling conditions, equipment failures or accidents, shortages of equipment or personnel, environmental issues and for other reasons. In addition, wells that are profitable may not meet our internal return targets, which are dependent upon the current and expected future market prices for oil and natural gas, expected costs associated with producing oil and natural gas and our ability to add reserves at an acceptable cost. Drilling results in our newer oil and liquids-rich shale plays may be more uncertain than in shale plays that are more developed and have longer established production histories, and we can provide no assurance that drilling and completion techniques that have proven to be successful in other shale formations to maximize recoveries will be ultimately successful when used in newly developed shale formations.
Part of our strategy involves drilling in existing or emerging shale plays using the latest available horizontal drilling and completion techniques; therefore, the results of our planned exploratory drilling in these plays are subject to risks associated with drilling and completion techniques and drilling results may not meet our expectations for reserves or production.
Our operations involve utilizing the latest drilling and completion techniques as developed by us and our service providers. Risks that we face while drilling include, but are not limited to, landing our well bore in the desired drilling zone, staying in the desired drilling zone while drilling horizontally through the formation, running our casing the entire length of the well bore and being able to run tools and other equipment consistently through the horizontal well bore. Risks that we face while completing our wells include, but are not limited to, being able to fracture stimulate the planned number of stages, being able to run tools the entire length of the well bore during completion operations and successfully cleaning out the well bore after completion of the final fracture stimulation stage. In addition, to the extent we engage in horizontal drilling, those activities may adversely affect our ability to successfully drill in one or more of our identified vertical drilling locations. Furthermore, certain of the new

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techniques we are adopting, such as infill drilling and multi-well pad drilling, may cause irregularities or interruptions in production due to, in the case of infill drilling, offset wells being shut in and, in the case of multi-well pad drilling, the time required to drill and complete multiple wells before any such wells begin producing. The results of our drilling in new or emerging formations are more uncertain initially than drilling results in areas that are more developed and have a longer history of established production. Newer or emerging formations and areas often have limited or no production history and consequently we are less able to predict future drilling results in these areas.
Ultimately, the success of these drilling and completion techniques can only be evaluated over time as more wells are drilled and production profiles are established over a sufficiently long time period. If our drilling results are less than anticipated or we are unable to execute our drilling program because of capital constraints, lease expirations, access to gathering systems, and/or declines in natural gas and oil prices, the return on our investment in these areas may not be as attractive as we anticipate. Further, as a result of any of these developments we could incur material write-downs of our oil and natural gas properties and the value of our undeveloped acreage could decline in the future.
We have been an early entrant into the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio. As a result, our drilling results in this area may vary, and the value of our undeveloped acreage will decline if drilling results are unsuccessful.
We have been an early entrant into the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio. We spud our first well, the Wagner 1-28H, on our Utica Shale acreage in February 2012. As a developing play, our drilling results in this area are more uncertain than drilling results in areas that are more developed and have been producing for a longer period of time. Since the Utica Shale has limited production history and since we have limited experience drilling in this play, it is difficult to predict our future drilling results. Our cost of drilling, completing and operating wells in this area may be higher than initially expected, and the value of our undeveloped acreage in the Utica Shale may decline if drilling results are unsuccessful. We cannot assure you that unproved property acquired, or undeveloped acreage leased, by us in the Utica Shale or other emerging plays will be profitably developed, that wells drilled by us in prospects that we pursue will be productive or that we will recover all or any portion of our investment in such unproved property or wells.
A key part of our strategy involves using some of the latest available horizontal drilling and completion techniques, which involve risks and uncertainties in their application.
Our operations involve utilizing some of the latest drilling and completion techniques as developed by us and our service providers. Risks that we face while drilling include, but are not limited to, the following:
effectively controlling the level of pressure flowing from particular wells;
landing our wellbore in the desired drilling zone;
staying in the desired drilling zone while drilling horizontally through the formation;
running our casing the entire length of the wellbore; and
being able to run tools and other equipment consistently through the horizontal wellbore.
Risks that we face while completing our wells include, but are not limited to, the following:
the ability to fracture stimulate the planned number of stages;
the ability to run tools the entire length of the wellbore during completion operations; and
the ability to successfully clean out the wellbore after completion of the final fracture stimulation stage
The results of our drilling in new or emerging formations are more uncertain initially than drilling results in areas that are more developed and have a longer history of established production. Newer or emerging formations and areas have limited or no production history and, consequently, we are more limited in assessing future drilling results in these areas. If our drilling results are less than anticipated, the return on our investment for a particular project may not be as attractive as we anticipated and we could incur material write-downs of unevaluated properties and the value of our undeveloped acreage could decline in the future.

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We are not the operator of all of our oil and natural gas properties and therefore are not in a position to control the timing of development efforts, the associated costs or the rate of production of the reserves on such properties.
We are not the operator of all of the properties in which we have an interest, and have limited ability to exercise influence over the operations of such non-operated properties or their associated costs. Dependence on the operator and other working interest owners for these projects, and limited ability to influence operations and associated costs, could prevent the realization of targeted returns on capital in drilling or acquisition activities. The success and timing of development and exploitation activities on properties operated by others will depend upon a number of factors that will be largely outside of our control, including:
the timing and amount of capital expenditures;
the availability of suitable drilling equipment, production and transportation infrastructure and qualified operating personnel;
the operator's expertise and financial resources;
approval of other participants in drilling wells;
selection of technology; and
the rate of production of the reserves.
In addition, when we are not the majority owner or operator of a particular oil or natural gas project, if we are not willing or able to fund our capital expenditures relating to such projects when required by the majority owner or operator, our interests in these projects may be reduced or forfeited.
A significant portion of our net leasehold acreage is undeveloped, and that acreage may not ultimately be developed or become commercially productive, which could cause us to lose rights under our leases as well as have a material adverse effect on our oil and natural gas reserves and future production and, therefore, our future cash flow and income.
A significant portion of our net leasehold acreage is undeveloped, or acreage on which wells have not been drilled or completed to a point that would permit the production of commercial quantities of oil and natural gas regardless of whether such acreage contains proved reserves. In addition, many of our oil and natural gas leases require us to drill wells that are commercially productive, and if we are unsuccessful in drilling such wells, we could lose our rights under such leases. Our future oil and natural gas reserves and production and, therefore, our future cash flow and income are highly dependent on successfully developing our undeveloped leasehold acreage.
Our undeveloped acreage must be drilled before lease expiration to hold the acreage by production. In highly competitive markets for acreage, failure to drill sufficient wells to hold acreage could result in a substantial lease renewal cost or, if renewal is not feasible, loss of our lease and prospective drilling opportunities.
Unless production is established within the spacing units covering the undeveloped acres on which some of the locations are identified, the leases for such acreage will expire. Approximately 24% of our total Utica Shale undeveloped acreage will be subject to expiration in 2016, with 9% of such acreage expiring in 2017, 18% in 2018, 1% in 2019 and 12% thereafter, although our Utica Shale leases generally grant us the right to extend these leases for an additional five-year period. As of December 31, 2015, leases representing 36%, 7%, 8% and 39%, respectively, of our total Niobrara Formation undeveloped acreage are scheduled to expire in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The cost to renew expiring leases may increase significantly, and we may not be able to renew such leases on commercially reasonable terms or at all. If we are unable to fund renewals of expiring leases, we could lose portions of our acreage and our actual drilling activities may differ materially from our current expectations, which could adversely affect our business.
Conservation measures and technological advances could reduce demand for oil and natural gas.
Fuel conservation measures, alternative fuel requirements, increasing consumer demand for alternatives to oil and natural gas, technological advances in fuel economy and energy generation devices could reduce demand for oil and natural gas. The impact of the changing demand for oil and natural gas services and products may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Our operations are subject to various governmental laws and regulations which require compliance that can be burdensome and expensive and could expose us to significant liabilities.
Our oil and natural gas operations are subject to various federal, state and local governmental regulations that may be changed from time to time in response to economic and political conditions. Matters subject to regulation include discharge permits for drilling operations, drilling bonds, reports concerning operations, the spacing of wells, unitization and pooling of properties and taxation. From time to time, regulatory agencies have imposed price controls and limitations on production by restricting the rate of flow of oil and natural gas wells below actual production capacity to conserve supplies of oil and gas. In addition, the production, handling, storage, transportation, remediation, emission and disposal of oil and natural gas, by-products thereof and other substances and materials produced or used in connection with oil and natural gas operations are subject to regulation under federal, state and local laws and regulations, including those relating to protection of human health and the environment. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of sanctions, including administrative, civil or criminal penalties, permit revocations, requirements for additional pollution controls and injunctions limiting or prohibiting some or all of our operations. Moreover, these laws and regulations have continually imposed increasingly strict requirements for water and air pollution control and solid waste management. Significant expenditures may be required to comply with governmental laws and regulations applicable to us. We believe the trend of more expansive and stricter legislation and regulations of our industry will continue. See Item 1. “Business-Regulation-Environmental Matters and Regulation” and Item 1. “Business-Regulation-Other Regulation of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry” for a description of certain laws and regulations that affect us.
Federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to hydraulic fracturing could result in increased costs and additional operating restrictions or delays.
Hydraulic fracturing is an important common practice that is used to stimulate production of hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas, from tight formations, including shales. The process, which involves the injection of water, sand and chemicals under pressure into formations to fracture the surrounding rock and stimulate production, is typically regulated by state oil and natural gas commissions. However, several federal agencies have asserted regulatory authority over certain aspects of the process. For example, the EPA has in the past taken the position that hydraulic fracturing with fluids containing diesel fuel is subject to regulation under the Underground Injection Control, or UIC, program under the federal State Drinking Water Act, or the SDWA, specifically as “Class II” UIC wells. Furthermore, legislation to amend the SDWA to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing from the definition of “underground injection” and require federal permitting and regulatory control of hydraulic fracturing, as well as legislative proposals to require disclosure of the chemical constituents of the fluids used in the fracturing process, were proposed in recent sessions of Congress.
In addition, on May 9, 2014, the EPA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the development of regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act to require companies to disclose information regarding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. The EPA plans to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by December 2016, which would describe a proposed mechanism - regulatory, voluntary or a combination of both - to collect data on hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures. Also, on April 7, 2015, the EPA published a proposed rule establishing federal pre-treatment standards for wastewater discharged from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction facilities to publicly owned treatment works, or POTW. If adopted, the new pre-treatment rule would require unconventional oil and gas facilities to pre-treat wastewater before transferring it to a POTW. The EPA is also conducting a study of private wastewater treatment facilities (also known as centralized waste treatment, or CWT, facilities) accepting oil and natural gas extraction wastewater. The EPA is collecting data and information related to the extent to which CWT facilities accept such wastewater, available treatment technologies (and their associated costs), discharge characteristics, financial characteristics of CWT facilities and the environmental impacts of discharges from CWT facilities.
On August 16, 2012, the EPA published final regulations under the federal Clean Air Act that establish new air emission controls for oil and natural gas production and natural gas processing operations. Specifically, the EPA's rule package includes NSP standards to address emissions of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and a separate set of emission standards to address hazardous air pollutants frequently associated with oil and natural gas production and processing activities. The final rule seeks to achieve a 95% reduction in VOCs emitted by requiring the use of reduced emission completions or “green completions” on all hydraulically-fractured wells constructed or refractured after January 1, 2015. The rules also establish specific new requirements regarding emissions from compressors, controllers, dehydrators, storage tanks and other production equipment. The EPA received numerous requests for reconsideration of these rules from both industry and the environmental community, and court challenges to the rules were also filed. In response, the EPA has issued, and will likely continue to issue, revised rules responsive to some of the requests for reconsideration. At this point, we cannot predict the final regulatory requirements or the cost to comply with such requirements with any certainty.

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Furthermore, there are certain governmental reviews either underway or being proposed that focus on environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing practices. These ongoing or proposed studies, depending on their degree of pursuit and whether any meaningful results are obtained, could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing under the SDWA or other regulatory authorities. The EPA continues to evaluate the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources and the induced seismic activity from disposal wells and has recommended strategies for managing and minimizing the potential for significant injection-induced seismic events. Other governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, have evaluated or are evaluating various other aspects of hydraulic fracturing. These ongoing or proposed studies could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing, and could ultimately make it more difficult or costly for us to perform fracturing and increase our costs of compliance and doing business.
Several states and local jurisdictions in which we operate or hold oil and natural gas interests have adopted or are considering adopting regulations that could restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances, impose more stringent operating standards and/or require the disclosure of the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids. For a more detailed discussion of federal, state and local laws and initiatives concerning hydraulic fracturing, see Item 1. “Business-Regulation-Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing” above. We plan to use hydraulic fracturing extensively in connection with the development and production of certain of our oil and natural gas properties and any increased federal, state, local, foreign or international regulation of hydraulic fracturing or offshore drilling, including legislation and regulation in the states in which we operate, could reduce the volumes of oil and natural gas that we can economically recover, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.
There has been increasing public controversy regarding hydraulic fracturing with regard to the use of fracturing fluids, induced seismic activity, impacts on drinking water supplies, use of water and the potential for impacts to surface water, groundwater and the environment generally. A number of lawsuits and enforcement actions have been initiated across the country implicating hydraulic fracturing practices. If new laws or regulations are adopted that significantly restrict hydraulic fracturing, such laws could make it more difficult or costly for us to perform fracturing to stimulate production from tight formations as well as make it easier for third parties opposing the hydraulic fracturing process to initiate legal proceedings based on allegations that specific chemicals used in the fracturing process could adversely affect groundwater. In addition, if hydraulic fracturing is further regulated at the federal, state or local level, our fracturing activities could become subject to additional permitting and financial assurance requirements, more stringent construction specifications, increased monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping obligations, plugging and abandonment requirements and also to attendant permitting delays and potential increases in costs. Such legislative changes could cause us to incur substantial compliance costs, and compliance or the consequences of any failure to comply by us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the impact on our business of newly enacted or potential federal, state or local laws governing hydraulic fracturing.
Restrictions on drilling activities intended to protect certain species of wildlife may adversely affect our ability to conduct drilling activities in some of the areas where we operate.
Oil and natural gas operations in our operating areas can be adversely affected by seasonal or permanent restrictions on drilling activities designed to protect various wildlife. Seasonal restrictions may limit our ability to operate in protected areas and can intensify competition for drilling rigs, oilfield equipment, services, supplies and qualified personnel, which may lead to periodic shortages when drilling is allowed. These constraints and the resulting shortages or high costs could delay our operations and materially increase our operating and capital costs. Permanent restrictions imposed to protect endangered species could prohibit drilling in certain areas or require the implementation of expensive mitigation measures. The designation of previously unprotected species in areas where we operate as threatened or endangered could cause us to incur increased costs arising from species protection measures or could result in limitations on our exploration and production activities that could have an adverse impact on our ability to develop and produce our reserves.
The adoption of derivatives legislation by the U.S. Congress could have an adverse effect on our ability to use derivative instruments to reduce the effect of commodity price, interest rate and other risks associated with our business.
The adoption of derivatives legislation by the U.S. Congress could have an adverse effect on our ability to use derivative instruments to reduce the effect of commodity price, interest rate and other risks associated with our business. The U.S. Congress adopted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (HR 4173), or Dodd-Frank Act, which, among other provisions, establishes federal oversight and regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities that participate in that market. The legislation was signed into law by the President on July 21, 2010. In its rulemaking under the legislation, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, has issued a final rule on position limits for certain

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futures and option contracts in the major energy markets and for swaps that are their economic equivalents (with exemptions for certain bona fide hedging transactions). The CFTC's final rule was set aside by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on September 28, 2012 and remanded to the CFTC to resolve ambiguity as to whether statutory requirements for such limits to be determined necessary and appropriate were satisfied. As a result, the rule has not yet taken effect, although the CFTC has indicated that it intends to appeal the court's decision and that it believes the Dodd-Frank Act requires it to impose position limits. The impact of such regulations upon our business is not yet clear. Certain of our hedging and trading activities and those of our counterparties may be subject to the position limits, which may reduce our ability to enter into hedging transactions.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act does not explicitly exempt end users (such as us) from the requirement to use cleared exchanges, rather than hedging over-the-counter, and the requirements to post margin in connection with hedging activities. While it is not possible at this time to predict when the CFTC will finalize certain other related rules and regulations, the Dodd-Frank Act and related regulations may require us to comply with margin requirements and with certain clearing and trade-execution requirements in connection with our derivative activities, although whether these requirements will apply to our business is uncertain at this time. If the regulations ultimately adopted require that we post margin for our hedging activities or require our counterparties to hold margin or maintain capital levels, the cost of which could be passed through to us, or impose other requirements that are more burdensome than current regulations, our hedging would become more expensive and we may decide to alter our hedging strategy.
The financial reform legislation may also require us to comply with margin requirements and with certain clearing and trade-execution requirements in connection with our existing or future derivative activities, although the application of those provisions to us is uncertain at this time. The financial reform legislation may also require the counterparties to our derivative instruments to spin off some of their derivatives activities to separate entities, which may not be as creditworthy as the current counterparties. The new legislation and any new regulations could significantly increase the cost of derivative contracts (including through requirements to post collateral which could adversely affect our available liquidity), materially alter the terms of derivative contracts, reduce the availability of derivatives to protect against risks we encounter, reduce our ability to monetize or restructure our derivative contracts in existence at that time, and increase our exposure to less creditworthy counterparties. If we reduce or change the way we use derivative instruments as a result of the legislation and regulations, our results of operations may become more volatile and our cash flows may be less predictable, which could adversely affect our ability to plan for and fund capital expenditures. Finally, the legislation was intended, in part, to reduce the volatility of oil and natural gas prices, which some legislators attributed to speculative trading in derivatives and commodity instruments related to oil and natural gas. Our revenues could therefore be adversely affected if a consequence of the legislation and regulations is to lower commodity prices. Any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Certain federal income tax deductions currently available with respect to natural gas and oil exploration and development may be eliminated, and additional state taxes on natural gas extraction may be imposed, as a result of future legislation.
From time to time, legislative proposals are made that would, if enacted, make significant changes to U.S. tax laws. These proposed changes have included, but are not limited to, (i) eliminating the immediate deduction for intangible drilling and development costs, (ii) eliminating the deduction from income for domestic production activities relating to oil and natural gas exploration and development, (iii) the repeal of the percentage depletion allowance for oil and natural gas properties; (iv) an extension of the amortization period for certain geological and geophysical expenditures and (v) implementing certain international tax reforms. Further, in February 2016, the Obama administration issued a proposed budget which includes, among other things, a proposed tax of $10.25 per barrel equivalent on petroleum products.
In February 2013, the Governor of the State of Ohio proposed a plan in the Ohio House to enact new severance taxes on the oil and gas industry. The proposal was part of the state budget bill. Due to pressure from the State Senate, the proposal was removed from the bill. The bill then passed without the severance tax on June 7, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. Later in 2013, the Ohio House introduced a stand-alone bill to address the severance tax. HB 375 was introduced on December 4, 2013 and after many hearings and amendments, contained a 2.5% severance tax on horizontal drillers with a percentage of the proceeds earmarked for affected communities in Southeastern Ohio. This bill passed the Ohio House on May 14, 2014 and was pending in the Ohio Senate. The Ohio State Senate held a hearing on the bill, but there was no further movement before the summer recess of the Ohio Legislature.
In February 2015, the Governor of Ohio proposed another plan to enact new severance taxes on the oil and gas industry as part of the state budget proposal to finance a reduction in personal income taxes and other initiatives. The proposal would have

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imposed a 6.5% tax on oil and gas sold at the wellhead. Although the severance tax increase was removed from the bill subsequently passed by the Ohio House, additional severance tax proposals are expected to be introduced in Ohio.
These proposed changes in the U.S. and applicable state tax law, if adopted, or other similar changes that tax our production or reduce or eliminate deductions currently available with respect to natural gas and oil exploration and development, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The adoption of climate change legislation by Congress could result in increased operating costs and reduced demand for the oil and natural gas we produce.
In recent years, federal, state and local governments have taken steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, or GHGs. The EPA has finalized a series of GHG monitoring, reporting and emissions control rules for oil and natural gas industry, and the U.S. Congress has, from time to time, considered adopting legislation to reduce emissions. Almost one-half of the states have already taken measures to reduce emissions of GHGs primarily through the development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap-and-trade programs. While we are subject to certain federal GHG monitoring and reporting requirements, our operations currently are not adversely impacted by existing federal, state and local climate change initiatives. For a description of GHG existing and proposed rules and regulations, see Item 1. “Business-Regulation-Environmental Regulation-Climate Change.”
In December 2015, the United States joined the international community at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. The resulting Paris Agreement calls for the parties to undertake “ambitious efforts” to limit the average global temperature, and to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of GHGs. The Agreement, if ratified, establishes a framework for the parties to cooperate and report actions to reduce GHG emissions.
Although it is not possible at this time to predict how legislation or new regulations that may be adopted to address GHG emissions would impact our business, any such future laws and regulations imposing reporting obligations on, or limiting emissions of GHGs from, our equipment and operations could require us to incur costs to reduce emissions of GHGs associated with our operations. In addition, substantial limitations on GHG emissions could adversely affect demand for the oil and natural gas we produce.
In addition, claims have been made against certain energy companies alleging that GHG emissions from oil and natural gas operations constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. As a result, private individuals may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury or property damages. While our business is not a party to this litigation, we could be named in actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could significantly impact our operations and could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.
A change in the jurisdictional characterization of some of our assets by federal, state or local regulatory agencies or a change in policy by those agencies may result in increased regulation of our assets, which may cause our revenues to decline and operating expenses to increase.
Section 1(b) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, or the NGA, exempts natural gas gathering facilities from regulation by FERC. We believe that the natural gas pipelines in our gathering systems meet the traditional tests FERC has used to establish whether a pipeline performs a gathering function and therefore a exempt from FERC's jurisdiction under the NGA. However, the distinction between FERC-regulated transmission services and federally unregulated gathering services is a fact-based determination. The classification of facilities as unregulated gathering is the subject of ongoing litigation, so the classification and regulation of our gathering facilities are subject to change based on future determinations by FERC, the courts or Congress, which could cause our revenues to decline and operating expenses to increase and may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Additional rules and legislation pertaining to those and other matters may be considered or adopted by FERC from time to time. Failure to comply with those regulations in the future could subject us to civil penalty liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We face extensive competition in our industry.
The oil and natural gas industry is intensely competitive, and we compete with other companies that have greater resources. Many of these companies not only explore for and produce oil and natural gas, but also carry on midstream and refining operations and market petroleum and other products on a regional, national or worldwide basis. These competitors may be better positioned to take advantage of industry opportunities and to withstand changes affecting the industry, such as

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fluctuations in oil and natural gas prices and production, the availability of alternative energy sources and the application of government regulation.
The loss of one or more of these purchasers could, among other factors, limit our access to suitable markets for the oil and natural gas we produce.
We depend upon a limited number of customers for the sale of most of our oil and natural gas production. During the year ended December 31, 2015, we sold approximately 90% and 10% of our oil production to Shell and Marathon Oil Corporation, respectively, 76% and 24% of our natural gas liquids production to MarkWest and Antero Resources, respectively, and 79%, 14% and 5% of our natural gas production to BP, DTE Energy Trading, Inc. and Hess, respectively. The loss of one or more of these purchasers could, among other factors, limit our access to suitable markets for the oil and natural gas we produce. If a purchaser is unable to satisfy its contractual obligations, we may be unable to sell such production to other customers on terms we consider acceptable. Further, the inability of one or more of our customers to pay amounts owed to us could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Our method of accounting for oil and natural gas properties may result in impairment of asset value.
We use the full cost method of accounting for oil and natural gas operations. Accordingly, all costs, including nonproductive costs and certain general and administrative costs associated with acquisition, exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties, are capitalized. Net capitalized costs are limited to the estimated future net revenues, after income taxes, discounted at 10% per year, from proven oil and natural gas reserves and the cost of the properties not subject to amortization. Such capitalized costs, including the estimated future development costs and site remediation costs, if any, are depleted by an equivalent units-of-production method, converting natural gas to barrels at the ratio of six Mcf of natural gas to one barrel of oil.
Companies that use the full cost method of accounting for oil and gas properties are required to perform a ceiling test each quarter. The test determines a limit, or ceiling, on the book value of the oil and gas properties. Net capitalized costs are limited to the lower of unamortized cost net of deferred income taxes or the cost center ceiling. The cost center ceiling is defined as the sum of (a) estimated future net revenues, discounted at 10% per annum, from proved reserves, based on the 12-month unweighted arithmetic average of the first-day-of-the-month prices for 2015, 2014 and 2013 adjusted for any contract provisions or financial derivatives, if any, that hedge oil and natural gas revenue, excluding the estimated abandonment costs for properties with asset retirement obligations recorded on the balance sheet, (b) the cost of properties not being amortized, if any, and (c) the lower of cost or market value of unproved properties included in the cost being amortized, less income tax effects related to differences between the book and tax basis of the oil and natural gas properties. If the net book value reduced by the related net deferred income tax liability exceeds the ceiling, an impairment or noncash writedown is required. A ceiling test impairment can give us a significant loss for a particular period. Once incurred, a write down of oil and natural gas properties is not reversible at a later date, even if oil or gas prices increase. As a result of the decline in commodity prices, we recognized a ceiling test impairment of $1.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. If prices of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids continue to decrease, we may be required to further write down the value of our oil and natural gas properties. Future non-cash asset impairments could negatively affect our results of operations.
Our use of 2-D and 3-D seismic data is subject to interpretation and may not accurately identify the presence of oil and natural gas, which could adversely affect the results of our drilling operations.
Even when properly used and interpreted, 2-D and 3-D seismic data and visualization techniques are only tools used to assist geoscientists in identifying subsurface structures and hydrocarbon indicators and do not enable the interpreter to know whether hydrocarbons are, in fact, present in those structures. In addition, the use of 3-D seismic and other advanced technologies requires greater predrilling expenditures than traditional drilling strategies, and we could incur losses as a result of such expenditures. As a result, our drilling activities may not be successful or economical.
We are exposed to fluctuations in the price of natural gas and oil. Although we have hedged a portion of our estimated 2016 production, we may still be adversely affected by continuing and prolonged declines in the price of natural gas and oil.
We use fixed price swaps to reduce price volatility associated with certain of our oil and natural gas sales, but these hedges may be inadequate to protect us from continuing and prolonged declines in the price of oil and natural gas. For information regarding these fixed price swaps, see Item 7A. "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk." Such arrangements may expose us to risk of financial loss in certain circumstances, including instances where production is less than expected or oil and natural gas prices increase. Further, to the extent that the price of oil and natural gas remains at current

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levels or declines further, we will not be able to hedge future production at the same level as our current hedges, and our results of operations and financial condition would be negatively impacted.
Our hedging transactions expose us to counterparty credit risk.
Our hedging transactions expose us to risk of financial loss if a counterparty fails to perform under a derivative contract. Disruptions in the financial markets could lead to sudden decreases in a counterparty's liquidity, which could make them unable to perform under the terms of the derivative contract and we may not be able to realize the benefit of the derivative contract.
A terrorist attack or armed conflict could harm our business.
Terrorist activities, anti-terrorist efforts and other armed conflicts involving the United States or other countries may adversely affect the United States and global economies and could prevent us from meeting our financial and other obligations. If any of these events occur, the resulting political instability and societal disruption could reduce overall demand for oil and natural gas, potentially putting downward pressure on demand for our services and causing a reduction in our revenues. Oil and natural gas related facilities could be direct targets of terrorist attacks, and our operations could be adversely impacted if infrastructure integral to our customers' operations is destroyed or damaged. Costs for insurance and other security may increase as a result of these threats, and some insurance coverage may become more difficult to obtain, if available at all.
Conservation measures and technological advances could reduce demand for oil and natural gas.
Fuel conservation measures, alternative fuel requirements, increasing consumer demand for alternatives to oil and natural gas, technological advances in fuel economy and energy generation devices could reduce demand for oil and natural gas. The impact of the changing demand for oil and gas services and products may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Loss of our information and computer systems could adversely affect our business.
We are dependent on our information systems and computer based programs, including our well operations information, seismic data, electronic data processing and accounting data. If any of such programs or systems were to fail or create erroneous information in our hardware or software network infrastructure, whether due to cyber attack or otherwise, possible consequences include our loss of communication links, inability to find, produce, process and sell oil and natural gas and inability to automatically process commercial transactions or engage in similar automated or computerized business activities. Any such consequence could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are subject to cyber security risks. A cyber incident could occur and result in information theft, data corruption, operational disruption and/or financial loss.
The oil and natural gas industry has become increasingly dependent on digital technologies to conduct certain exploration, development, production, and processing activities. For example, we depend on digital technologies to interpret seismic data, manage drilling rigs, production equipment and gathering systems, conduct reservoir modeling and reserves estimation, and process and record financial and operating data. At the same time, cyber incidents, including deliberate attacks or unintentional events, have increased. The U.S. government has issued public warnings that indicate that energy assets might be specific targets of cyber security threats. Our technologies, systems, networks, and those of its vendors, suppliers and other business partners, may become the target of cyberattacks or information security breaches that could result in the unauthorized release, gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss or destruction of proprietary and other information, or other disruption of its business operations. In addition, certain cyber incidents, such as surveillance, may remain undetected for an extended period. Our systems and insurance coverage for protecting against cyber security risks may not be sufficient. As cyber incidents continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any vulnerability to cyber incidents. We do not maintain specialized insurance for possible liability resulting from a cyberattack on our assets that may shut down all or part of our business.


39


Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness
Our substantial level of indebtedness could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
As of December 31, 2015, we had total indebtedness (net of associated accrued discount and premiums and unamortized debt issuance costs) of approximately $946.3 million, including $944.6 million attributable to our senior notes. We had borrowing base availability of $521.4 million under our secured revolving credit facility after giving effect to an aggregate of $178.6 million of letters of credit and no outstanding borrowings.
Our outstanding indebtedness could have important consequences to you, including the following:
our high level of indebtedness could make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness, and any failure to comply with the obligations under any of our debt instruments, including restrictive covenants, could result in a default under our secured revolving credit facility or the senior note indenture;
the restrictions imposed on the operation of our business by the terms of our debt agreements may hinder our ability to take advantage of strategic opportunities to grow our business;
our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, debt service requirements, restructuring, acquisitions or general corporate purposes may be impaired, which could be exacerbated by further volatility in the credit markets;
we must use a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to pay interest on the senior notes and our other indebtedness, which will reduce the funds available to us for operations and other purposes;
our level of indebtedness could place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that may have proportionately less debt;
our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate may be limited;
our high level of indebtedness makes us more vulnerable to economic downturns and adverse developments in our business; and
we may be vulnerable to interest rate increases, as our borrowings under our secured revolving credit facility are at variable interest rates.
Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In addition, if we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow and are otherwise unable to obtain funds necessary to meet required payments of principal, premium, if any, or interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants, including financial and operating covenants, in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of the agreements governing such indebtedness. In the event of such default, the holders of such indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest. More specifically, the lenders under our secured revolving credit facility could elect to terminate their commitments, cease making further loans and institute foreclosure proceedings against our assets, and we could be forced into bankruptcy or litigation.
Servicing our indebtedness requires a significant amount of cash, and we may not have sufficient cash flow from our business to pay our substantial indebtedness.
Our ability to make scheduled payments of the principal of, to pay interest on or to refinance our indebtedness, including the senior notes, depends on our future performance, which is subject to economic, financial, competitive and other factors beyond our control. Our business may not generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debt and make necessary capital expenditures. If we are unable to generate such cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as reducing or delaying capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring debt or obtaining additional equity

40


capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. However, we cannot assure you that undertaking alternative financing plans, if necessary, would allow us to meet our debt obligations. In the absence of such cash flows, we could have substantial liquidity problems and might be required to sell material assets or operations to attempt to meet our debt service and other obligations. Our revolving credit facility and the indenture governing the senior notes restrict our ability to use the proceeds from asset sales. We may not be able to consummate those asset sales to raise capital or sell assets at prices that we believe are fair, and proceeds that we do receive may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due. Our ability to refinance our indebtedness will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at the time. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our debt obligations and have an adverse effect on our financial condition.
Restrictive covenants in our secured revolving credit facility, the indenture governing the senior notes and in future debt instruments may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategies.
Our secured revolving credit facility and the indenture governing the senior notes limit, and the terms of any future indebtedness may limit, our ability, among other things, to:
incur or guarantee additional indebtedness;
make certain investments;
declare or pay dividends or make distributions on our capital stock;
prepay subordinated indebtedness;
sell assets including capital stock of restricted subsidiaries;
agree to payment restrictions affecting our restricted subsidiaries;
consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets;
enter into transactions with our affiliates;
incur liens;
engage in business other than the oil and gas business; and
designate certain of our subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries.
We may be prevented from taking advantage of business opportunities that arise because of the limitations imposed on us by the restrictive covenants contained in our revolving credit facility and the indenture governing the senior notes. In addition, our revolving credit facility requires us to maintain certain financial ratios and tests. The requirement that we comply with these provisions may materially adversely affect our ability to react to changes in market conditions, take advantage of business opportunities we believe to be desirable, obtain future financing, fund needed capital expenditures or withstand a continuing or future downturn in our business.
A breach of any of these restrictive covenants could result in default under our revolving credit facility. If default occurs, the lenders under our revolving credit facility may elect to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued interest and other fees, to be immediately due and payable, which would result in an event of default under the indenture governing the senior notes. The lenders will also have the right in these circumstances to terminate any commitments they have to provide further borrowings. If we are unable to repay outstanding borrowings when due, the lenders under our revolving credit facility will also have the right to proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure the indebtedness. If the indebtedness under our revolving credit facility and the senior notes were to be accelerated, we cannot assure you that our assets would be sufficient to repay in full that indebtedness.

41


Any significant reduction in our borrowing base under our revolving credit facility as a result of the periodic borrowing base redeterminations or otherwise may negatively impact our ability to fund our operations, and we may not have sufficient funds to repay borrowings under our revolving credit facility if required as a result of a borrowing base redetermination.
Availability under our revolving credit facility is currently subject to a borrowing base of $700.0 million. The borrowing base is subject to scheduled semiannual and other elective collateral borrowing base redeterminations based on our oil and natural gas reserves and other factors. As of December 31, 2015, we had no borrowings under our revolving credit facility. However, we intend to borrow under our revolving credit facility in the future. Any significant reduction in our borrowing base as a result of such borrowing base redeterminations or otherwise may negatively impact our liquidity and our ability to fund our operations and, as a result, may have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operation and cash flow. Further, if the outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility were to exceed the borrowing base as a result of any such redetermination, we would be required to repay the excess. We may not have sufficient funds to make such repayments. If we do not have sufficient funds and we are otherwise unable to negotiate renewals of our borrowings or arrange new financing, we may have to sell significant assets. Any such sale could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.
We may still be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future, which could further exacerbate the risks that we and our subsidiaries face.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness in the future. The terms of our revolving credit facility and the indenture governing the senior notes restrict, but in each case do not completely prohibit, us from doing so. As of December 31, 2015, our borrowing base under our revolving credit facility was set at $700.0 million and we had no borrowings outstanding under this facility. In addition, the indenture governing the senior notes allows us to issue additional notes under certain circumstances which will also be guaranteed by the guarantors. The indenture governing the senior notes also allows us to incur certain other additional secured debt and allows us to have subsidiaries that do not guarantee the senior notes and which may incur additional debt, which would be structurally senior to the senior notes. In addition, the indenture governing the senior notes does not prevent us from incurring other liabilities that do not constitute indebtedness. If we or a guarantor incur any additional indebtedness that ranks equally with the senior notes (or with the guarantees thereof), including additional unsecured indebtedness or trade payables, the holders of that indebtedness will be entitled to share ratably with holders of the senior notes in any proceeds distributed in connection with any insolvency, liquidation, reorganization, dissolution or other winding-up of us or a guarantor. If new debt or other liabilities are added to our current debt levels, the related risks that we and our subsidiaries now face could intensify.
Our borrowings under our revolving credit facility expose us to interest rate risk.
Our earnings are exposed to interest rate risk associated with borrowings under our revolving credit facility. Our revolving credit facility is structured under floating rate terms, as advances under this facility may be in the form of either base rate loans or eurodollar loans. As such, our interest expense is sensitive to fluctuations in the prime rates in the U.S. or, if the eurodollar rates are elected, the eurodollar rates. At December 31, 2015, we had no variable interest rate borrowings outstanding; therefore, an increase in interest rates would not have impacted our interest expense. However, any increase in our interest rate at the time we do have variable interest rate borrowings outstanding under our revolving credit facility will increase our costs, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. As of December 31, 2015, we did not hedge our interest rate risk.
If we experience liquidity concerns, we could face a downgrade in our debt ratings which could restrict our access to, and negatively impact the terms of, current or future financings or trade credit.
Our ability to obtain financings and trade credit and the terms of any financings or trade credit are, in part, dependent on the credit ratings assigned to our debt by independent credit rating agencies. We cannot provide assurance that any of our current ratings will remain in effect for any given period of time or that a rating will not be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in its judgment, circumstances so warrant. Factors that may impact our credit ratings include debt levels, planned asset purchases or sales and near-term and long-term production growth opportunities, liquidity, asset quality, cost structure, product mix and commodity pricing levels. A ratings downgrade could adversely impact our ability to access financings or trade credit and increase our borrowing costs.

42


Risks Related to Our Common Stock
If our quarterly revenues and operating results fluctuate significantly, the price of our common stock may be volatile.
Our revenues and operating results may in the future vary significantly from quarter to quarter. If our quarterly results fluctuate, it may cause our stock price to be volatile. We believe that a number of factors could cause these fluctuations, including:
changes in oil and natural gas prices;
changes in production levels;
changes in governmental regulations and taxes;
geopolitical developments;
the level of foreign imports of oil and natural gas; and
conditions in the oil and natural gas industry and the overall economic environment.
Because of the factors listed above, among others, we believe that our quarterly revenues, expenses and operating results may vary significantly in the future and that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results are not necessarily meaningful. You should not rely on the results of one quarter as an indication of our future performance. It is also possible that in some future quarters, our operating results will fall below our expectations or the expectations of market analysts and investors. If we do not meet these expectations, the price of our common stock may decline significantly.
We do not currently pay dividends on our common stock and do not anticipate doing so in the future.
We have paid no cash dividends on our common stock, and we may not pay cash dividends on our common stock in the future. We intend to retain any earnings to fund our operations. Therefore, we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. In addition, the terms of our credit agreement prohibit the payment of any dividends to the holders of our common stock.
A change of control could limit our use of net operating losses.
As of December 31, 2015, we had a net operating loss, or NOL, carry forward of approximately $132.0 million for federal income tax purposes. Transfers of our stock could result in an ownership change. In such a case, our ability to use the NOLs generated through the ownership change date could be limited. In general, the amount of NOLs we could use for any tax year after the date of the ownership change would be limited to the value of our stock (as of the ownership change date) multiplied by the long-term tax-exempt rate.
Future sales of our common stock may depress our stock price.
We have registered a substantial number of shares of our common stock under a registration statement filed with the SEC. Sales of these shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that these sales may occur, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. In addition, sales by certain of our stockholders of their shares could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of common or preferred stock. As of February 10, 2016, there were 108,324,750 shares of our common stock issued and outstanding, excluding 491,026 shares of unvested restricted stock awarded under our Amended and Restated 2005 Stock Incentive Plan.
We could issue preferred stock which could be entitled to dividend, liquidation and other special rights and preferences not shared by holders of our common stock or which could have anti-takeover effects.
We are authorized to issue up to 5,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share. Shares of preferred stock may be issued from time to time in one or more series as our board of directors, by resolution or resolutions, may from time to time determine each such series to be distinctively designated. The voting powers, preferences and relative, participating, optional and other special rights, and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions, if any, of each such series of preferred stock may differ from those of any and all other series of preferred stock at any time outstanding, and, subject to certain limitations of

43


our certificate of incorporation and the Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL, our board of directors may fix or alter, by resolution or resolutions, the designation, number, voting powers, preferences and relative, participating, optional and other special rights, and qualifications, limitations and restrictions thereof, of each such series preferred stock. The issuance of any such preferred stock could materially adversely affect the rights of holders of our common stock and, therefore, could reduce the value of our common stock.
In addition, specific rights granted to future holders of preferred stock could be used to restrict our ability to merge with, or sell our assets to, a third party. The ability of our board of directors to issue preferred stock could discourage, delay or prevent a takeover of us, thereby preserving control of the company by the current stockholders.
The existence of some provisions in our organizational documents could delay or prevent a change in control of our company, even if that change would be beneficial to our stockholders. Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that may make acquiring control of our company difficult.
ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.

ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES
Additional information regarding our properties is included in Item 1. "Business" above and in Note 3 of the notes to our consolidated financial statements included in this report, which information is incorporated herein by reference.
Proved Oil and Natural Gas Reserves
Evaluation and Review of Reserves.
Reserve estimates at December 31, 2015 were prepared by NSAI with respect to our assets in the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio (99% of our proved reserves at December 31, 2015) and our WCBB, Hackberry and Niobrara fields (1% of our proved reserves at December 31, 2015). Reserve estimates at December 31, 2014 and 2013 were prepared by Ryder Scott with respect to our assets in the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio and by NSAI with respect to our WCBB, Hackberry and Niobrara fields. Our personnel prepared reserve estimates with respect to our overriding royalty and non-operated interests (less than 1% of our proved reserves) at December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
NSAI is an independent petroleum engineering firm. A copy of the summary reserve reports is included as Exhibit 99.1 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The technical persons responsible for preparing our proved reserve estimates meet the requirements with regards to qualifications, independence, objectivity and confidentiality set forth in the Standards Pertaining to the Estimating and Auditing of Oil and Gas Reserves Information promulgated by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Our independent third-party engineers do not own an interest in any of our properties and are not employed by us on a contingent basis.
In 2015, we made the decision to transfer the engineering of our Utica Shale reserves from Ryder Scott to NSAI. NSAI prepares the reserve estimates for several of the other operators located in close proximity to our Utica Shale acreage and brings specific expertise in the Utica Shale. In addition, NSAI has historically engineered our other operated fields and we believe we will benefit from synergies having the majority of our reserves engineered by one firm.
We maintain an internal staff of petroleum engineers and geoscience professionals who work closely with NSAI, our independent reserve engineers, to ensure the integrity, accuracy and timeliness of the data used to calculate our proved reserves relating to our assets in the Utica Shale and our WCBB, Hackberry and Niobrara fields. Our internal technical team members meet with NSAI periodically throughout the year to discuss the assumptions and methods used in the proved reserve estimation process. We provide historical information to NSAI for our properties such as ownership interest, oil and gas production, well test data, commodity prices and operating and development costs and other considerations, including availability and costs of infrastructure and status of permits. Our proved reserves attributable to our other minority interests are prepared internally by our internal staff of petroleum engineers and geoscience professionals. Our Vice President of Reservoir Engineering is primarily responsible for overseeing the preparation of all of our reserve estimates. He is a petroleum engineer with over 35 years of reservoir and operations experience and our geophysical staff has over 60 years combined industry experience. Our

44


technical staff uses historical information for our properties such as ownership interest, oil and gas production, well test data, commodity prices and operating and development costs.
Our proved reserve estimates are prepared in accordance with our internal control procedures. These procedures, which are intended to ensure reliability of reserve estimations, include the following:
review and verification of historical production data, which data is based on actual production as reported by us;
verification of property ownership by our land department;
preparation of reserve estimates by our experienced reservoir engineers or under their direct supervision;
direct reporting responsibilities by our reservoir engineering department to our Chief Executive Officer;
review by our reservoir engineering department of all of our reported proved reserves at the close of each quarter, including the review of all significant reserve changes and all new proved undeveloped reserves additions;
provision of quarterly updates to our board of directors regarding operational data, including production, drilling and completion activity levels and any significant changes in our reserves;
annual review by our board of directors of our year-end reserve report and year-over-year changes in our proved reserves, as well as any changes to our previously adopted development plans;
annual review and approval by our senior management and our board of directors of a multi-year development plan; and
annual review by our senior management of adjustments to our previously adopted development plan and considerations involved in making such adjustments.
Further, during 2015, we implemented additional procedures in connection with our year-end reserve preparation and annual capital budget determination, including:
review by our board of directors of changes in our previously approved development plan made by senior management and technical staff during the year, including the substitution, removal or deferral of PUD locations.
The following table sets forth our estimated proved reserves at December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
Oil
(MBbls)
 
Natural
Gas
(MMcf)
 
Natural Gas Liquids (MBbls)
 
Oil
(MBbls)
 
Natural
Gas
(MMcf)
 
Natural Gas Liquids (MBbls)
 
Oil
(MBbls)
 
Natural
Gas
(MMcf)
 
Natural Gas Liquids (MBbls)
Proved developed
6,120

 
652,961

 
12,910

 
5,719

 
345,166

 
12,379

 
5,609

 
94,552

 
3,527

Proved undeveloped
338

 
907,184

 
4,826

 
3,778

 
373,840

 
13,889

 
2,737

 
51,894

 
2,148

Total (1)
6,458

 
1,560,145

 
17,736

 
9,497

 
719,006

 
26,268

 
8,346

 
146,446

 
5,675

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Total net proved oil and natural gas reserves (MMcfe) (1)
1,705,312

 
933,598

 
230,574

PV-10 value (in millions) (2)
$
765.8

 
$
1,840.8

 
$
696.9

Standardized measure (in millions) (3)
$
764.3

 
$
1,427.2

 
$
578.5

 _____________________
(1)
Estimates of reserves as of year-end 2015, 2014 and 2013 were prepared using an average price equal to the unweighted arithmetic average of hydrocarbon prices received on a field-by-field basis on the first day of each month within the 12-

45


month period ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, in accordance with revised guidelines of the SEC applicable to reserves estimates as of year-end 2015, 2014 and 2013. Reserve estimates do not include any value for probable or possible reserves that may exist, nor do they include any value for undeveloped acreage. The reserve estimates represent our net revenue interest in our properties. Although we believe these estimates are reasonable, actual future production, cash flows, taxes, development expenditures, operating expenses and quantities of recoverable oil and natural gas reserves may vary substantially from these estimates.
(2)
Represents present value, discounted at 10% per annum, of estimated future net revenue before income tax of our estimated proven reserves. The estimated future net revenues set forth above were determined by using reserve quantities of proved reserves and the periods in which they are expected to be developed and produced based on certain prevailing economic conditions. The estimated future production in our reserve reports for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 is priced based on the 12-month unweighted arithmetic average of the first-day-of-the month price for the period January through December of the applicable year, using $50.28 per barrel and $2.59 per MMBtu for 2015, $94.99 per barrel and $4.35 per MMBtu for 2014 and $96.78 per barrel and $3.67 per MMBtu for 2013, and in each case adjusted by lease for transportation fees and regional price differentials.
PV-10 is a non-GAAP measure because it excludes income tax effects. Management believes that the presentation of the non-GAAP financial measure of PV-10 provides useful information to investors because it is widely used by professional analysts and sophisticated investors in evaluating oil and gas companies. PV-10 is not a measure of financial or operating performance under GAAP. PV-10 should not be considered as an alternative to the standardized measure as defined under GAAP. We have included a reconciliation of PV-10 to the most directly comparable GAAP measure-standardized measure of discounted future net cash flows. The following table reconciles the standardized measure of future net cash flows to the PV-10 value:
 
December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
(In thousands)
Standardized measure of discounted future net cash flows
$
764,331

 
$
1,427,167

 
$
578,466

Add: Present value of future income tax discounted at 10%
1,432

 
413,671

 
118,445

PV-10 value
$
765,763

 
$
1,840,838

 
$
696,911

 
(3)
The standardized measure represents the present value of estimated future cash inflows from proved oil and natural gas reserves, less future development, abandonment, production, and income tax expenses, discounted at 10% per annum to reflect timing of future cash flows and using the same pricing assumptions as were used to calculate PV-10. Standardized measure differs from PV-10 because standardized measure includes the effect of future income taxes.
The above table does not include proved reserves net to our interest in Diamondback, Tatex II, Tatex III or Grizzly. For further discussion of our interest in Tatex II, Tatex III and Grizzly, see Item 1. “Business–Our Equity Investments.”
As noted above, our December 31, 2015 proved reserves were calculated using prices based on the 12-month unweighted arithmetic average of the first-day-of-the month price for the period January through December 2015 of $50.28 per barrel and $2.59 per MMBtu. Holding production and development costs constant, if our 2015 reserves were calculated using the December 31, 2015 price of $37.18 per barrel and $2.28 per MMBtu, our discounted future net cash flows before income taxes would have been approximately $453.0 million, or $312.8 million less than our actual PV-10 value of $765.8 million at December 31, 2015.
The foregoing reserves are all located within the continental United States. Reserve engineering is a subjective process of estimating volumes of economically recoverable oil and natural gas that cannot be measured in an exact manner. The accuracy of any reserve estimate is a function of the quality of available data and of engineering and geological interpretation. As a result, the estimates of different engineers often vary. In addition, the results of drilling, testing and production may justify revisions of such estimates. Accordingly, reserve estimates often differ from the quantities of oil and natural gas that are ultimately recovered. Estimates of economically recoverable oil and natural gas and of future net revenues are based on a number of variables and assumptions, all of which may vary from actual results, including geologic interpretation, prices and future production rates and costs. See Item 1A. “Risk Factors” contained elsewhere in this Form 10-K. We have not filed any estimates of total, proved net oil or gas reserves with any federal authority or agency other than the SEC since the beginning of our last fiscal year.

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Additional information regarding estimates of proved reserves, proved developed reserves and proved undeveloped reserves, or PUDs, at December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 and changes in proved reserves during the last three years are contained in the Supplemental Information on Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Activities, or Supplemental Information, in Note 18 to our consolidated financial statements included in this report. Also contained in the Supplemental Information are our estimates of future net cash flows and discounted future net cash flows from proved reserves. Additional information regarding our proved reserves can be found in Item 7. “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations–Results of Operations” and “–Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” included in this report.
Proved Undeveloped Reserves (PUDs)
As of December 31, 2015, our proved undeveloped reserves totaled 338 MBbls of oil, 907,184 MMcf of natural gas and 4,826 MBbls of NGLs, for a total of 938,168 MMcfe. Almost all of our PUDs at year-end 2015 were located in our Utica field. PUDs will be converted from undeveloped to developed as the applicable wells begin production.
We record PUD reserves only after a development plan has been approved by our senior management and board of directors to complete the associated development drilling within five years from the time of initial booking. The PUD locations identified in our development plan are determined based on an analysis of the information that we have available at that time. After a development plan has been adopted, we may periodically make adjustments to the approved development plan due to events and circumstances that have occurred subsequent to the time the plan was approved. These circumstances may include delays in the availability of infrastructure, well permitting delays, changes in commodity price outlook and costs, and new data from recently completed wells. During 2015, we made slight adjustments to our development plan with respect to our PUD locations booked in our reserve report for the year ended December 31, 2014 and scheduled to be drilled during 2015. Specifically, due to the continued significant decline in commodity prices during 2015, we did not drill six operated locations originally scheduled to be drilled in 2015, instead replacing these six locations with more economic non-PUD locations. In addition, one PUD location that was scheduled to be drilled by another operator in 2015 was not drilled and rescheduled to be drilled in 2016.
Changes in PUDs that occurred during 2015 were primarily due to:
Additions of 625.9 Bcfe primarily attributable to 2015 extensions in our Utica field;
Conversion of approximately 81.2 Bcfe attributable to 14 PUDs into proved developed reserves;
Additions of 13.9 Bcfe attributable to four PUDs drilled during 2015 that were waiting on completion and pipeline connection and, as such, remain categorized as PUDs at December 31, 2015;
Acquisition of approximately 271.8 Bcfe in our Paloma acquisition; and
Downward revisions of 372.1 Bcfe due to the exclusion of PUD locations in our Southern Louisiana and Utica fields due to lower commodity prices and changes in the drilling timeline due to lower commodity prices.
We drilled approximately 18.6% of our December 31, 2014 PUD locations during the year ended December 31, 2015.
Costs incurred relating to the development of PUDs were approximately $112.1 million in 2015. Estimated future development costs relating to the development of PUDs are projected to be approximately $170.3 million in 2016, $177.6 million in 2017, $158.4 million in 2018, $252.1 million in 2019 and $78.8 million in 2020.
All PUD drilling locations included in our 2015 reserve report are scheduled to be drilled within five years of initial booking.
As of December 31, 2015, 5% of our total proved reserves were classified as proved developed non-producing.
As noted above, our December 31, 2015 proved reserves were calculated using prices based on the 12-month unweighted arithmetic average of the first-day-of-the month price for the period January through December 2015 of $50.28 per barrel and $2.59 per MMBtu. Holding production and development costs constant, if SEC pricing were $40.00 per barrel and $2.00 per MMBtu, this would have resulted in a loss of 921.2 Bcfe of our PUD volumes at December 31, 2015. Holding production and

47


development costs constant, if SEC pricing were $30.00 per barrel and $1.75 per MMBtu, this would have resulted in a loss of 928.5 Bcfe of our PUD volumes at December 31, 2015.
Production, Prices and Production Costs
The following table presents our production volumes, average prices received and average production costs during the periods indicated:
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
Production Volumes:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oil (MBbls)
2,899

 
2,684

  
2,317

  
Gas (MMcf)
156,151

 
59,318

  
8,891

  
Natural gas liquids (MGal)
185,792

 
86,092

  
13,416

  
Gas equivalents (MMcfe)
200,089

 
87,719

  
24,709

  
Average Prices:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oil (per Bbl)
$
48.91

(1) 
$
92.18

(1) 
$
96.74

(1) 
Gas (per Mcf)
$
3.25

(1) 
$
5.55

(1) 
$
2.36

  
Natural gas liquids (per Gal)
$
0.32

(1) 
$
1.09

  
$
1.27

  
Gas equivalents (per Mcfe)
$
3.54

  
$
7.65

  
$
10.61

  
Production Costs:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average production costs (per Mcfe)
$
0.35

 
$
0.59

  
$
1.08

  
Average production taxes and midstream costs (per Mcfe)
$
0.77

 
$
1.01

  
$
1.54

  
Total production and midstream costs and production taxes (per Mcfe)
$
1.12

  
$
1.60

  
$
2.62

  
(1)
Includes various derivative contracts at a weighted average price of:

 
Per barrel
January – December 2015
$
62.36

January – December 2014
$
102.79

January – December 2013
$
100.90

 
Per MMBtu
January – December 2015
$
3.94

January – December 2014
$
4.06

January – December 2013
$
4.00

 
Per gallon
January – December 2015
$
0.48

Excluding the effect of fixed price swaps, the average price for 2015 would have been $42.29 per barrel of oil, $2.08 per Mcf of gas, $0.31 per gallon of NGL and $2.53 per Mcfe. The total volume hedged for 2015 represented approximately 46% of our total sales volumes for the year. Excluding the effect of fixed price swaps, the average price for 2014 would have been $89.88 per barrel of oil, $3.81 per Mcf of gas and $6.40 per Mcfe. The total volume hedged for 2014 represented approximately 62% of our total sales volumes for the year. Excluding the effect of fixed price swap contracts, the average price for 2013 would have been $104.51 per barrel of oil, $3.73 per Mcf of gas and $11.83 per Mcfe. The total volume hedged for 2013 represented approximately 48% of our total sales volumes for the year.
The following table provides a summary of our production, average sales prices and average production costs for oil and gas fields containing 15% or more of our total proved reserves as of December 31, 2015:

48


 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Utica Shale
 
 
 
 
 
Net Production
 
 
 
 
 
Oil (MBbls)
1,608

 
883

 
315

Gas (MMcf)
155,926

 
58,919

 
8,439

NGL (Mgal)
185,753

 
86,051

 
13,384

Total (MMcfe)
192,108

 
76,512

 
12,238

Average Sales Price:
 
 
 
 
 
Oil (per Bbl)
$
42.41

 
$
78.63

 
$
83.67

Gas (per Mcf)
$
3.25

 
$
5.56

 
$
2.29

NGL (per Gal)
$
0.32

 
$
1.09

 
$
1.27

Average Production Cost (per Mcfe)
$
0.25

 
$
0.38

 
$
0.59


Productive Wells and Acreage
The following table presents our total gross and net productive and non-productive wells, expressed separately for oil and gas, and the total gross and net developed and undeveloped acres as of December 31, 2015.
 
NRI/WI (1)
 
Productive
Oil Wells (2)
 
Productive
Gas Wells
 
Non-Productive
Oil Wells
 
Non-Productive
Gas Wells
 
Developed
Acreage (3)
 
Undeveloped
Acreage
Field
Percentages
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
Utica Shale (4)
39.11/48.15
 
82

 
36.96

 
224

 
110.53

 
3

 
2.66

 

 

 
36,549

 
32,110

 
203,931

 
201,469

West Cote Blanche Bay Field (5)
80.108/100
 
98

 
98

 

 

 
185

 
185

 
17

 
17

 
5,668

 
5,668

 

 

E. Hackberry Field (6)
79.91/100
 
21

 
21

 

 

 
124

 
124

 

 

 
2,910

 
2,910

 
1,206

 
1,206

W. Hackberry Field
80.00/100
 
5

 
5

 

 

 
8

 
8

 

 

 
1,192

 
1,192

 

 

Niobrara Formation (7)
38.94/46.77
 
4

 
2

 

 

 
2

 
1

 

 

 
2,740

 
1,370

 
7,415

 
3,624

Bakken Formation (8)
1.51/1.83
 
18

 
0.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
1,861

 
163

 
3,505

 
701

Overrides/Royalty Non-operated
Various
 
541

 
0.71

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total
 
 
769

 
163.97

 
224

 
110.53

 
322

 
320.66

 
17

 
17

 
50,920

 
43,413

 
216,057

 
207,000


(1)
Net Revenue Interest (NRI)/Working Interest (WI).
(2)
Includes two gross and net wells at WCBB that are producing intermittently.
(3)
Developed acres are acres spaced or assigned to productive wells. Approximately 17% of our acreage is developed acreage and has been perpetuated by production.
(4)
With respect to our total undeveloped Utica Shale acreage as of December 31, 2015, 24%, 9%, 18%, 1% and 12% is subject to expire in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and thereafter. Our Utica Shale leases generally grant us the right to extend these leases for an additional five-year period. NRI/WI is from wells that have been drilled or in which we have elected to participate. Includes 105 gross (12.03 net) gas wells and 36 gross (3.63 net) oil wells drilled by other operators on our acreage.

49


(5)
We have a 100% working interest (80.108% average NRI) from the surface to the base of the 13900 Sand which is located at 11,320 feet. Below the base of the 13900 Sand, we have a 40.40% non-operated working interest (29.95% NRI).
(6)
NRI shown is for producing wells.
(7)
The leases relating to our Niobrara Formation acreage will expire at the end of their respective primary terms unless the applicable leases are renewed or extended, we have commenced the necessary operations required by the terms of the applicable leases or we have obtained actual production from acreage subject to the applicable leases, in which event they will remain in effect until the cessation of production. Leases representing 36%, 7%, 8% and 39% of our total Niobrara undeveloped acreage are currently scheduled to expire in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.
(8)
NRI/WI is from wells that have been drilled or in which we have elected to participate.
Completed and Present Drilling and Recompletion Activities
The following table sets forth information with respect to operated wells completed during the periods indicated. The information should not be considered indicative of future performance, nor should it be assumed that there is necessarily any correlation between the number of productive wells drilled, quantities of reserves found or economic value. Productive wells are those that produce commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, whether or not they produce a reasonable rate of return.

 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
 
Gross
 
Net
Recompletions:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Productive
72

 
72

 
161

 
161

 
150

 
150

Dry

 

 

 

 

 

Total
72

 
72

 
161

 
161

 
150

 
150

Development:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      Productive
49

 
38

 
119

 
100

 
80

 
63.8

      Dry

 

 
7

 
6.8

 
2

 
2

Total
49

 
38

 
126

 
106.8

 
82

 
65.8

Exploratory:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Productive

 

 

 

 
3

 
2.7

Dry

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

 
3

 
2.7

Title to Oil and Natural Gas Properties
It is customary in the oil and natural gas industry to make only a cursory review of title to undeveloped oil and natural gas leases at the time they are acquired and to obtain more extensive title examinations when acquiring producing properties. In future acquisitions, we will conduct title examinations on material portions of such properties in a manner generally consistent with industry practice. Certain of our oil and natural gas properties may be subject to title defects, encumbrances, easements, servitudes or other restrictions, none of which, in management's opinion, will in the aggregate materially restrict our operations.
ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Due to the nature of our business, we are, from time to time, involved in routine litigation or subject to disputes or claims related to our business activities, including workers' compensation claims and employment related disputes. In the opinion of our management, none of the pending litigation, disputes or claims against us, if decided adversely, will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, cash flows or results of operations.
ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

50


PART II
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Price Range of Common Stock
Our common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “GPOR.” The following table sets forth the high and low sale prices of our common stock for the periods presented:
 
 
Price Range of
Common Stock
 
High
 
Low
2014
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
71.35

 
$
52.28

Second Quarter
75.75

 
58.90

Third Quarter
65.18

 
51.59

Fourth Quarter
56.72

 
36.56

2015
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
48.60

 
$
35.00

Second Quarter
52.28

 
39.29

Third Quarter
40.59

 
28.97

Fourth Quarter
36.12

 
20.21


Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
None.
Repurchases of Equity Securities
None.
Holders of Record
At the close of business on February 09, 2016, there were 310 stockholders of record holding 108,322,250 shares of our outstanding common stock. There were approximately 32,247 beneficial owners of our common stock as of February 09, 2016.
Dividend Policy
We have never paid dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all earnings to fund our operations. Therefore, we do not intend to pay any cash dividends on the common stock in the foreseeable future. In addition, the terms of our credit facility restrict the payment of any dividends to the holders of our common stock.


51


ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

You should read the following selected consolidated financial data in conjunction with "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this report. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2015December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2013 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this report. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2013December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements that are not included in this report. The historical data presented below is not indicative of future results. We did not pay any cash dividends on our common stock during any of the periods set forth in the following table.

52


 
Fiscal Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
(In thousands, except share data)
Selected Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
709,475

 
$
671,266

 
$
262,753

 
$
248,926

 
$
229,254

Costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lease operating expenses
69,475

 
52,191

 
26,703

 
24,308

 
20,897

Production taxes
14,740

 
24,006

 
26,933

 
28,957

 
26,054

Midstream gathering and processing
138,590

 
64,467

 
11,030

 
443

 
279

Depreciation, depletion and amortization
337,694

 
265,431

 
118,880

 
90,749

 
62,320

Impairment of oil and gas properties

1,440,418

 

 

 

 

General and administrative
41,967

 
38,290

 
22,519

 
13,808

 
8,074

Accretion expense
820

 
761

 
717

 
698

 
666

       (Gain) loss on sale of assets

 
(11
)
 
508

 
(7,300
)
 

 
2,043,704

 
445,135

 
207,290

 
151,663

 
118,290

(Loss) Income from Operations
(1,334,229
)
 
226,131

 
55,463

 
97,263

 
110,964

Other (Income) Expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense
51,221

 
23,986

 
17,490

 
7,458

 
1,400

Interest income
(643
)
 
(195
)
 
(297
)
 
(72
)
 
(186
)
Litigation settlement

 
25,500

 

 

 

Insurance proceeds
(10,015
)
 

 

 

 

Gain on contribution of investments

 
(84,470
)
 

 

 

Loss (income) from equity method investments
106,093

 
(139,434
)
 
(213,058
)
 
(8,322
)
 
1,418

 
146,656

 
(174,613
)
 
(195,865
)
 
(936
)
 
2,632

(Loss) Income from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes
(1,480,885
)
 
400,744

 
251,328

 
98,199

 
108,332

        Income Tax (Benefit) Expense
(256,001
)
 
153,341

 
98,136

 
26,363

 
(90
)
(Loss) Income from Continuing Operations
(1,224,884
)
 
247,403

 
153,192

 
71,836

 
108,422

Discontinued Operations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Loss on disposal of Belize properties, net of tax

 

 

 
3,465

 

Net (Loss) Income Available to Common Stockholders
$
(1,224,884
)
 
$
247,403

 
$
153,192

 
$
68,371

 
$
108,422

Net (Loss) Income Per Common Share—Basic:
$
(12.27
)
 
$
2.90

 
$
1.98

 
$
1.22

 
$
2.22

Net (Loss) Income Per Common Share—Diluted:
$
(12.27
)
 
$
2.88

 
$
1.97

 
$
1.21

 
$
2.20



53


 
At December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
(In thousands)
Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
3,334,734

 
$
3,619,473

 
$
2,685,039

 
$
1,569,431

 
$
691,158

Total debt, including current maturity
$
946,263