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EX-32.2 - CERTIFICATION OF PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL OFFICER - GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.ex32-2.htm
EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION OF PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER - GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.ex32-1.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION OF PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL OFFICER - GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.ex31-2.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION OF PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER - GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.ex31-1.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.ex23-1.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

☒ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended: September 30, 2018

 

or

 

☐ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from ___ to ___

 

Commission File No. 000-51638

 

GULFSLOPE ENERGY, INC.

(Exact name of the issuer as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware 16-1689008
(State or Other Jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer I.D. No.)
incorporation or organization)  

 

1331 Lamar St., Suite 1665

Houston, Texas 77010

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(281) 918-4100

(Issuer’s Telephone Number)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act: None

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act: Common Stock, par value $0.001

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒

 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐ No☒

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act 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 ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to item 405 of Regulation S-K 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. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company:

       
Large accelerated filer ☐  Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer ☐  Smaller reporting company
  Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒

 

State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common stock was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common stock, as of the last business day of the Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter.

 

The market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates was $26,889,251 based on 440,807,388 shares held by non-affiliates. These computations are based upon the closing sales price of $0.061 for the common stock of the Company on the OTC Bulletin Board of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) on March 31, 2018.

 

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the Registrant’s classes of common equity, as of the latest practicable date:

 

Class   Outstanding as of December 29, 2018
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share   832,013,272

 

Documents incorporated by reference: None

 

 

1 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART 1      
  Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements   3
ITEM 1. Business   3
ITEM 1A. Risk Factors   10
ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments   17
ITEM 2. Properties   17
ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings   18
ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures   18
       
PART II      
ITEM 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   19
ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data   19
ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   20
ITEM 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   24
ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   25
ITEM 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   43
ITEM 9A. Controls and Procedures   43
ITEM 9B. Other Information   44
       
PART III      
ITEM 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance   45
ITEM 11. Executive Compensation   47
ITEM 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   48
ITEM 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   48
ITEM 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services   49
       
PART IV      
ITEM 15. Exhibits and Financial Statements Schedules   50
ITEM 16. Form 10-K Summary   51
  Signatures   52

 

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PART I

 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

In this Annual Report, references to “GulfSlope Energy,” “GulfSlope,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to GulfSlope Energy, Inc., the Registrant.

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Annual Report” or this “Report”) contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this Annual report are forward looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our strategy, future operations, financial position, estimated revenues and losses, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management. These forward-looking statements may be, but are not always, identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “project,” “plan,” “will,” “shall,” “should,” “could” and “potential,” and similar terms and phrases, including when used in the negative. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. You should consider carefully the risks described under the “Risk Factors” section of this Annual Report and other sections of this report, which describe factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements in this paragraph and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Other than as required under the securities laws, we do not assume a duty to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or circumstances, changes in expectations or otherwise.

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

Business Development

 

General

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company whose interests are concentrated in the United States Gulf of Mexico (“GOM”) federal waters offshore Louisiana. The Company currently has under lease fourteen federal Outer Continental Shelf blocks (referred to as “prospect,” “portfolio” or “leases” in this Report) and has licensed 2.2 million acres of three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data in its area of concentration. Two of the fourteen lease blocks were awarded in October and November of 2018.

 

Competitive Advantages

 

Experienced management. Our management has significant experience in finding and developing oil and natural gas. Our team has a track record of discovering and developing multi-billion dollar projects worldwide. The Company’s management team has over 200 years of combined industry experience exploring, discovering, and developing oil and natural gas. We successfully deployed a technical team with over 150 years of combined industry experience exploring for and developing oil and natural gas in the development and execution of our technical strategy. We believe the application of advanced geophysical techniques on a specific geographic area with unique geologic features such as conventional reservoirs whose trapping configurations have been obscured by overlying salt layers distinguishes us from most exploration and production (“E&P”) companies today.

 

Advanced seismic image processing. Commercial improvements in 3-D seismic data imaging and the development of advanced processing algorithms, including pre-stack depth, beam, and reverse time migration have allowed the industry to better distinguish hydrocarbon traps and identify previously unknown prospects. Specifically, advanced processing techniques improve the definition of the seismic data from a scale of time to a scale of depth, thus correctly locating the images in three dimensions. Our technical team has significant experience utilizing advanced seismic image processing techniques in our area of concentration.

 

Industry leading position in our area of concentration. We currently have fourteen blocks under lease. We believe the proprietary reprocessing and contiguous nature of our licensed 3-D seismic data gives us an advantage over other E&P companies operating in our focus area. We will continue to identify additional leasing opportunities in our focus area that would further enhance our exploration drilling portfolio.

 

Efficient capital utilization. Our strategy has been to maximize efficiency of our capital utilization by obtaining and reprocessing 3-D seismic data in areas we believe offer significant opportunities at low entry costs. Substantially all of our capital deployed since March 2013 has been for the acquisition of leases in the Gulf of Mexico, licensing of seismic data, expenses related to the salaries of the technical staff who interpret the data, acquisition of the workstation hardware and software used to interpret that data, and the leasing of required office space. We have licensed our 3-D seismic data covering approximately 2.2 million acres on what we believe to be favorable terms.

 

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Technical Strategy

 

We believe that a major obstacle to identifying potential hydrocarbon accumulations globally has been the inability of seismic technology to accurately image the geologic formations as a result of complex subsurface stratigraphy and structure. Certain subsurface layers can highly distort the seismic ray paths, potentially causing a misinterpretation of the underlying geology. Thus, we believe that the opportunity exists for a technology-driven petroleum exploration company to extensively apply the most advanced seismic technologies possible, with the goal of achieving higher commercial discovery rates for exploratory wells, and their subsequent appraisal and development, potentially having a positive impact on returns on invested capital. These tools and techniques have been proven to be effective in deep water exploration and production worldwide, and we have chosen to use them in an area of the shallower waters of the GOM where industry activity has been absent for over 20 years.

 

Our technical approach to exploration and development is to deploy a team of highly experienced geo-scientists who have current and extensive understanding of the geology and geophysics of the petroleum system within our focus area, thereby decreasing the traditional timing and execution risks of advancing up a learning curve. For data purchases, re-processing and interpretation, our technical staff has prioritized specific geographic areas, with the goal to optimize initial capital outlays.

 

Modern 3-D seismic datasets with acquisition parameters suitable for improved imaging at various depths are readily available in many of these basins, and can be licensed on commercially reasonable terms. Critical to the technical success is the application of the best seismic imaging technology available, in order to optimize delineation of prospective structures and to detect the presence of hydrocarbon-charged reservoirs below many complex geologic features. An example of such a seismic technology is reverse time migration, which we believe to be the most accurate, fastest, and yet affordable, seismic imaging technology for critical depth imaging available today.

 

Lease and Acquisition Strategy

 

Our prospect identification and analytical approach is based on a thorough understanding of the geologic trends within our focus areas. Exploration efforts have been focused in areas where lease acquisition opportunities are readily available. We entered into two master 3-D license agreements, together covering approximately 2.2 million acres and we have completed advanced processing on select areas within this licensed seismic area exceeding one million acres. We can expand this coverage and perform further advanced processing, both with currently licensed seismic data and seismic data to be acquired. We have sought to acquire and reprocess the highest resolution data available in the potential prospect’s direct vicinity. This includes advanced imaging information to further our understanding of a particular reservoir’s characteristics, including both trapping mechanics and fluid migration patterns. Reprocessing is accomplished through a series of model building steps that incorporate the geometry of the geology to optimize the final image. Our integration of existing geologic understanding and enhanced seismic interpretation provides us with unique perspectives on existing producing areas and underexplored formations prospective for hydrocarbon production.

 

We currently hold fourteen leases that comprise nine prospects and we will evaluate additional sources of growth opportunities with companies that hold active leases in our focus area. Our leases have a five-year primary term, expiring in 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023. BOEM’s regulatory framework provides multiple options for leaseholders to apply to receive extensions of lease terms under specified conditions. GulfSlope is exploring all options contained in BOEM’s regulatory framework. Additional prospective acreage can be obtained through lease sales, farm-in, or purchase. As is consistent with a prudent and successful exploration approach, we believe that additional seismic acquisition, processing, and/or interpretation may become highly advantageous, in order to more precisely define the most optimal drillable location(s), particularly for development of discoveries.

 

We continue to evaluate potential producing property acquisitions in the offshore GOM, taking advantage of our highly specialized subsurface and engineering capabilities to identify attractive opportunities. Any merger or acquisition is likely to be financed through a combination of debt and equity.

 

Drilling and other Exploratory and Development Strategies

 

With our success in the leasing of our targeted prospects, our plan has been to partner with other entities which could include oil and gas companies and/or financial investors. Our goal is to diversify risk and minimize capital exposure to exploration drilling costs. We expect a portion of our exploration costs to be paid by our partners through these transactions, in return for our delivery of an identified prospect on acreage we control. Such arrangements are a commonly accepted industry method of proportionately recouping pre-drill cost outlays for seismic, land, and associated interpretation expenses. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to enter into any such arrangements on satisfactory terms. In any drilling, we expect that our retained working interest will be adjusted based upon factors such as geologic risk and well cost. Early monetization of a discovered asset or a portion of a discovered asset is an option for the Company as a means to fund development or additional exploration projects as an alternative to potential equity or debt offerings. However, if a reasonable value were not received from the market at the discovery stage, then we may elect to retain (subject to lease terms) the discovery asset undeveloped, until a reasonable offer is received in line with our perceived market value, or we may elect to seek development partners on a promoted basis in order to substantially reduce capital development requirements. We will also evaluate and seek to acquire producing properties that have a strategic relationship to our focus area.

 

4 

 

 

Oil and Natural Gas Industry

 

The oil and natural gas industry is a complex, multi-disciplinary sector that varies greatly across geographies. As a heavily regulated industry, operating conditions are subject to political regimes and changing legislation. Governments can either induce or deter investment in exploration and production, depending on legal requirements, fiscal and royalty structures and regulation. Beyond political considerations, exploration and production for hydrocarbons is an extremely risky business with multiple failure modes. Exploration and production wells require substantial investment and are long-term projects, sometimes exceeding twenty to thirty years. Regardless of the effort spent on an exploration or production prospect, success is difficult to attain. Even though modern equipment, including seismic equipment and advanced software has helped geologists find producing structures and map reservoirs, they do not guarantee any outcome. Drilling is the only method to ultimately determine whether a prospect will be productive, and even then, many complications can arise during drilling (e.g., those relating to drilling depths, pressure, porosity, weather conditions, permeability of the formation and rock hardness, among others).

 

Typically, there is a significant chance that exploratory wells will result in non-producing dry holes, leaving investors with the cost of seismic data and a dry well, which can total millions of dollars. Even if oil or gas is produced from a particular well, there is always the possibility that treatment, at additional cost, may be required to make production commercially viable. Further, production profiles decline over time. In summary, oil and gas exploration and production is an industry with high risks and high entry barriers.

 

Oil and natural gas prices can have a significant impact on the commercial feasibility of a project. Certain projects may become feasible with higher prices or, conversely, may falter with lower prices. Volatility in the price of oil, natural gas and other commodities has increased and is likely to continue in the future. Beginning in late 2014, a significant decline in oil prices occurred, the decline continued into 2016, and somewhat stabilized in mid-2017 near $50/bbl. 2018 brought additional volatility with prices increasing to near $78/bbl and then falling in December to near $50/bbl. This volatility complicates the assessment of the commercial viability of many oil and gas projects. Most governments have enforced strict regulations to uphold high standards of environmental awareness; thus, holding companies to a high degree of responsibility vis-а-vis protecting the environment. Aside from such environmental factors, oil and natural gas drilling is often conducted near populated areas. For a company to be successful in its drilling endeavors, working relationships with local communities are crucial to promote business strategies and to avoid the repercussions of disputes that might arise over local business operations. At this time, the Company does not have any production or proved oil or natural gas reserves.

 

Governmental Regulation

 

Our future oil and natural gas operations will be subject to various federal, state, and local governmental regulations. Matters subject to regulation include discharge permits for drilling operations, drilling and abandonment bonds, reports concerning operations, the spacing of wells, pooling of properties, occupational health and safety, 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 in order to conserve supplies of oil and natural gas. The production, handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of oil and gas, by-products thereof, and other substances and materials produced or used in connection with oil and gas operations are also subject to regulation under federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating primarily to the protection of human health and the environment. State and local laws and regulations may affect the prices at which royalty owners are paid for their leases by requiring more stringent disclosure and certification requirements, adjusting interest rates for late payments, raising legal and administrative costs and imposing more costly default contractual terms. The requirements imposed by such laws and regulations are frequently changed and subject to interpretation, and we are unable to predict the ultimate cost of compliance with these requirements or their effect on our operations. 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 others in our industry with similar business models.

 

Environmental laws provide for, among other things, restrictions and prohibitions on spills, releases, or emissions of various substances produced in association with oil and natural gas operations. The laws also require that wells and facility sites be operated, maintained, abandoned, and reclaimed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authorities. Compliance with such laws can require significant expenditures and a breach may result in the imposition of fines and penalties, the payment of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner expected to result in stricter standards and enforcement, larger fines and liability, and potentially increased capital expenditures and operating costs. The discharge of oil or natural gas or other pollutants into the air, soil, or water may give rise to liabilities to governments and third parties and may require us to incur costs to remedy such discharge. No assurance can be given that environmental laws will not result in a curtailment of any future production or a material increase in the costs of production, development, or exploration activities or otherwise adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, or prospects. We could incur significant liability for damages, clean-up costs, and penalties in the event of discharges into the environment, environmental damage caused by us, or previous owners of our property, or non-compliance with environmental laws or regulations. In addition to actions brought by governmental agencies, we could face actions brought by private parties or citizens groups. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

 

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Numerous departments and agencies, both federal and state, are authorized by statute to issue, and have issued, rules and regulations binding upon the oil and natural gas industry and its individual members. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) regulations, pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (“OCSLA”), apply to our operations on Federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) hold statutory authority to monitor certain segments of the physical and futures energy commodities markets. These agencies have imposed broad regulations prohibiting fraud and manipulation of such markets. With regard to our future physical sales of crude oil or other energy commodities, and any related hedging activities that we undertake, we are required to observe the market-related regulations enforced by these agencies, which hold substantial enforcement authority.

 

These departments and agencies have authority to grant and suspend operations, and have authority to levy substantial penalties for non-compliance. Failure to comply with such regulations, as interpreted and enforced, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

On April 22, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible deep water drilling rig operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, sank after a blowout and fire resulting in a significant flow of hydrocarbons from the BP Macondo well. Subsequent to the Deepwater Horizon incident, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) issued a series of Notice to Lessees (“NTLs”) imposing new regulatory requirements and permitting procedures for new wells to be drilled in federal waters of the outer continental shelf (“OCS”). These new regulatory requirements include the following:

 

  the Environmental NTL, which imposes new and more stringent requirements for documenting the environmental impacts potentially associated with the drilling of a new offshore well and significantly increases oil spill response requirements;

 

  the Compliance and Review NTL, which imposes requirements for operators to secure independent reviews of well design, construction and flow intervention processes and also requires certifications of compliance from senior corporate officers;

 

  the Drilling Safety Rule, which prescribes tighter cementing and casing practices, imposes standards for the use of drilling fluids to maintain well bore integrity and stiffens oversight requirements relating to blowout preventers and their components, including shear and pipe rams; and

 

  the Workplace Safety Rule, which requires operators to employ a comprehensive safety and environmental management system (“SEMS”) to reduce human and organizational errors as root causes of work-related accidents and offshore spills and to have their SEMS periodically audited by an independent third party auditor approved by the Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”).

 

Since the adoption of these new regulatory requirements, the BOEM has been taking much longer to review and approve permits for new wells than was common prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The new rules also increase the cost of preparing each permit application and will increase the cost of each new well, particularly for wells drilled in deeper waters on the OCS.

 

Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico can have a significant impact on oil and gas operations on the OCS. The effects from past hurricanes have included structural damage to fixed production facilities, semi-submersibles and jack-up drilling rigs. The BOEM and the BSEE continue to be concerned about the loss of these facilities and rigs as well as the potential for catastrophic damage to key infrastructure and the resultant pollution from future storms. In an effort to reduce the potential for future damage, the BOEM and the BSEE have periodically issued guidance aimed at improving platform survivability by taking into account environmental and oceanic conditions in the design of platforms and related structures.

 

The BOEM, BSEE and Office of National Resources Revenue are expected to continue to issue new safety and environmental guidelines or regulations for drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and other regulatory agencies could potentially issue new safety and environmental guidelines or regulations in other geographic regions, and may take other steps that could increase the costs of exploration and production, reduce the area of operations and result in permitting delays. We are monitoring legislation and regulatory developments; however, it is difficult to predict the ultimate impact of any new guidelines, regulations or legislation.

 

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Environmental Regulation

 

The operation of our future oil and natural gas properties will be subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to environmental protection. Applicable U.S. federal environmental laws include, but are not limited to, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). These laws and regulations govern environmental cleanup standards, require permits for air, water, underground injection, waste disposal and set environmental compliance criteria. In addition, state and local laws and regulations set forth specific standards for drilling wells, the maintenance of bonding requirements in order to drill or operate wells, the spacing and location of wells, the method of drilling and casing wells, the surface use and restoration of properties upon which wells are drilled, the plugging and abandoning of wells, and the prevention and cleanup of pollutants and other matters. Typically, operators maintain insurance against costs of clean-up operations, but are not fully insured against all such risks. Additionally, Congress and federal and state agencies frequently revise the environmental laws and regulations, and any changes that result in delay or more stringent and costly permitting, waste handling, disposal and clean-up requirements for the oil and gas industry could have a significant impact on our operating costs. There can be no assurance that future developments, such as increasingly stringent environmental laws or enforcement thereof, will not cause us to incur material environmental liabilities or costs.

 

Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of administrative, civil and criminal fines and penalties and the imposition of injunctive relief. Accidental releases or spills may occur in the course of the operations of our properties, and we cannot assure you that we will not incur significant costs and liabilities as a result of such releases or spills, including any third-party claims for damage to property, natural resources or persons.

 

Among the environmental laws and regulations that could have a material impact on the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry and our business are the following:

 

Waste Discharges. The CWA and analogous state laws impose restrictions and strict controls with respect to the discharge of pollutants, including spills and leaks of oil and other substances, into waters of the United States. The discharge of pollutants into regulated waters is prohibited, except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) or an analogous state agency. The CWA 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 requirements of federal laws mandate preparation of detailed plans that address spill response, including appropriate containment berms and similar structures to help prevent the contamination of navigable waters by a petroleum hydrocarbon tank spill, rupture or leak. In addition, the CWA and analogous state laws require individual permits or coverage under general permits for discharges of storm water runoff from certain types of facilities. Federal and state regulatory agencies can impose administrative, civil and criminal penalties as well as other enforcement mechanisms for noncompliance with discharge permits or other requirements of the CWA and analogous state laws and regulations.

 

Air Emissions and Climate Change. Air emissions from our operations are subject to the Federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”) and comparable state and local requirements. We may be required to incur certain capital expenditures in the future for air pollution control equipment in connection with obtaining and maintaining operating permits and approvals for air emissions. In addition, the EPA has developed, and continues to develop, stringent regulations governing emissions of toxic air pollutants at specified sources.

 

Moreover, the U.S. Congress and the EPA in addition to some state and regional efforts have in recent years considered legislation or regulations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. These efforts have included consideration of cap-and-trade programs, carbon taxes, and greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting programs. In the absence of federal greenhouse gas limitations, the EPA has determined that greenhouse gas emissions present a danger to public health and the environment, and it has adopted regulations that, among other things, restrict emissions of greenhouse gases under existing provisions of the CAA and may require the installation of control technologies to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. These regulations would apply to any new or significantly modified facilities that we construct in the future that would otherwise emit large volumes of greenhouse gases together with other criteria pollutants. Also, certain of our operations are subject to EPA rules requiring the monitoring and annual reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from specified offshore production sources.

 

Oil Pollution Act. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA”) and regulations thereunder impose a variety of requirements on “responsible parties” related to the prevention of oil spills and liability for damages resulting from such spills in United States waters. A “responsible party” includes the owner or operator of an onshore facility, pipeline or vessel, or the lessee or permittee of the area in which an offshore facility is located. OPA assigns liability to each responsible party for oil cleanup costs and a variety of public and private damages. While liability limits apply in some circumstances, a party cannot take advantage of liability limits if the spill was caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct or resulted from violation of a federal safety, construction or operating regulation. If the party fails to report a spill or to cooperate fully in the cleanup, liability limits likewise do not apply. Few defenses exist to the liability imposed by OPA. OPA imposes ongoing requirements on a responsible party, including the preparation of oil spill response plans and proof of financial responsibility to cover environmental cleanup and restoration costs that could be incurred in connection with an oil spill.

 

National Environmental Policy Act. Oil and natural gas exploration and production activities on federal lands are subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). NEPA requires federal agencies, including the Department of Interior, to evaluate major agency actions having the potential to significantly impact the environment. The process involves the preparation of either an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement depending on whether the specific circumstances surrounding the proposed federal action will have a significant impact on the human environment. The NEPA process involves public input through comments, which can alter the nature of a proposed project either by limiting the scope of the project or requiring resource-specific mitigation. NEPA decisions can be appealed through the court system, by process participants. This process may result in delaying the permitting and development of projects, increase the costs of permitting and developing some facilities and could result in certain instances in the cancellation of existing leases.

 

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Worker Safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) and comparable state statutes regulate the protection of the health and safety of workers. The OSH Act’s hazard communication standard requires maintenance of information about hazardous materials used or produced in operations and provision of such information to employees. Other OSH Act standards regulate specific worker safety aspects of our operations. Failure to comply with OSH Act requirements can lead to the imposition of penalties.

 

Safe Drinking Water Act. The Safe Drinking Water Act and comparable state statutes may restrict the disposal, treatment or release of water produced or used during oil and gas development. Subsurface emplacement of fluids (including disposal wells or enhanced oil recovery) is governed by federal or state regulatory authorities, that in some cases, includes the state oil and gas regulatory authority or the state’s environmental authority. These regulations may increase the costs of compliance.

 

Offshore Drilling. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Interior issued new rules designed to improve drilling and workplace safety in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and various congressional committees began pursuing legislation to regulate drilling activities and increase liability. The BOEM, BSEE and Office of National Resources Revenue are expected to continue to issue new safety and environmental guidelines or regulations for drilling in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and other regulatory agencies could potentially issue new safety and environmental guidelines or regulations in other geographic regions, and may take other steps that could increase the costs of exploration and production, reduce the area of operations and result in permitting delays. We are monitoring legislation and regulatory developments; however, it is difficult to predict the ultimate impact of any new guidelines, regulations or legislation. A prolonged suspension of drilling activity or permitting delays in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and new regulations and increased liability for companies operating in this sector, whether or not caused by a new incident in the region, could adversely affect the business and planned operations of oil and gas companies.

 

Hazardous Substances and Wastes. CERCLA, also known as the “Superfund law,” imposes liability, without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct, on certain classes of persons that are considered to be responsible for the release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment. These persons include the owner or operator of the disposal site or sites where the release occurred and companies that transported or disposed or arranged for the transport or disposal of the hazardous substances found at the site. Persons who are or were responsible for releases of hazardous substances under CERCLA may be subject to joint and several liability for the costs of cleaning up the hazardous substances that have been released into the environment and for damages to natural resources, and it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file corresponding common law claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the hazardous substances released into the environment.

 

Protected and Endangered Species. Executive Order 13158, issued in May 2000, directs federal agencies to safeguard existing Marine Protected Areas (“MPAs”) in the United States and establish new MPAs. The order requires federal agencies to avoid harm to MPAs to the extent permitted by law and to the maximum extent practicable. It also directs the EPA to propose new regulations under the Clean Water Act to ensure appropriate levels of protection for the marine environment. This order has the potential to adversely affect our operations by restricting areas in which we may carry out future development and exploration projects and/or causing us to incur increased operating expenses.

 

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

 

As an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act, we are permitted to, and intend to, rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements. In particular, for so long as we are an emerging growth company, we will not be required to have an auditor report on our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or submit certain executive compensation matters to shareholder advisory votes, such as “say on pay” and “say on frequency.”

 

In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. An emerging growth company can therefore delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. However, we have elected not to take advantage of such extended transition period, and as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that our decision to not take advantage of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards is irrevocable.

 

Although we intend to rely on the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act, the exact implications of the JOBS Act for us are still subject to interpretations and guidance by the SEC and other regulatory agencies. Also, as our business grows, we may no longer satisfy the conditions of an emerging growth company. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) September 30, 2019; (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the Exchange Act. We will be deemed a large accelerated filer on the first day of the fiscal year after the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million, measured on March 31 of each year. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these new rules and we cannot assure you that we will be able to enjoy part or all of the benefits from the JOBS Act. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive to the extent we rely on the exemptions available to emerging growth companies. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

 

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Competition

 

We operate in a highly competitive environment for generating, evaluating and drilling prospects and for acquiring properties. Many of our competitors are major or large independent oil and natural gas companies that possess and employ financial resources well in excess of the Company’s resources. We believe that we may have to compete with other companies when acquiring leases or oil and gas properties. These additional resources can be particularly important in reviewing prospects and purchasing properties. Competitors may be able to evaluate and purchase a greater number of properties and prospects than our financial or personnel resources permit. Competitors may also be able to pay more for prospects than we are able or willing to pay. Further, our competitors may be able to expend greater resources on the existing and changing technologies that we believe will impact attaining success in the industry. If we are unable to compete successfully in these areas in the future, our future growth may be diminished or restricted. Furthermore, these companies may also be better able to withstand the financial pressures of unsuccessful drill attempts, delays, sustained periods of volatility in financial or commodity markets and generally adverse global and industry-wide economic conditions, and may be better able to absorb the burdens resulting from changes in relevant laws and regulations, which would adversely affect our operations.

 

Employees

 

We currently have seven employees. We utilize consultants, as needed, to perform strategic, technical, operational and administrative functions, and as advisors.

 

Historical Background

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc., a Delaware corporation, is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company whose interests are concentrated in the United States Gulf of Mexico (“GOM”) federal waters offshore Louisiana in less than 450 feet of water depth. The Company currently has under lease fourteen federal Outer Continental Shelf blocks (referred to as “prospect,” “portfolio” or “leases” in this Report) and has licensed 2.2 million acres of three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data in its area of concentration.

 

General

 

Our address is 1331 Lamar St., Suite 1665, Houston, Texas 77010 and our telephone number is (281) 918-4100. Our web site can be accessed at www.gulfslope.com. You may access and read our SEC filings through the SEC’s web site (www.sec.gov). This site contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding registrants, including us, that file electronically with the SEC.

 

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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Risks Related to Our Business and Financial Condition

 

Our business plan requires substantial additional capital, which we may be unable to raise on acceptable terms, if at all, in the future, which may in turn limit our ability to execute our business strategy.

 

We expect our capital outlays and operating expenditures to increase substantially over at least the next several years as we expand our operations. Lease acquisition costs, as well as drilling operations, are very expensive, and we will need to raise substantial additional capital, through equity offerings, strategic alliances or debt financing in early calendar 2019.

 

Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

  the number, location, terms and pricing of our anticipated lease acquisitions;
  our financing of the lease acquisitions and associated bonding;
  our ability to enter into partnerships and farm-outs with other oil and gas E&P companies and/or financial investors on satisfactory terms;
  location of any drilling activities, whether onshore or offshore, as well as the depth of any wells to be drilled;
  cost of additional seismic data to license as well as the reprocessing cost;
  the scope, rate of progress and cost of any exploration and production activities;
  oil and natural gas prices;
  our ability to locate and acquire hydrocarbon reserves;
  our ability to produce those oil or natural gas reserves;
  access to oil and gas services and existing pipeline infrastructure;
  the terms and timing of any drilling and other production-related arrangements that we may enter into;
  the cost and timing of governmental approvals and/or concessions;
  the cost, number, and access to qualified industry professionals we employ; and
  the effects of competition by larger companies operating in the oil and gas industry.

 

We have planned operating expenditures through December 2019 of approximately $8 million, which includes $1.0 million of bonus payments for new leases and lease rentals to the BOEM, and $7.0 million in operating and exploration costs and general and administrative expenses. We will need to raise funds to cover these and other planned operating expenditures.

 

To the extent we are able to raise capital through equity financings, they may be dilutive to our stockholders. Alternative forms of future financings may include preferred stock with preferences or rights superior to our common stock. Debt financings may involve a pledge of assets and will rank senior to our common stock. We have historically financed our operations through best efforts private equity and debt financings. We do not have any credit or equity facilities available with financial institutions, stockholders or third party investors, and will continue to rely on best efforts financings. There is no assurance that we can raise the capital necessary to fund our business plan. Failure to raise the required capital to fund operations, on favorable terms or at all, will have a material adverse effect on our operations, and will likely cause us to curtail or cease operations.

 

Our fiscal 2018 financial statements express substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, raising questions as to our continued existence.

 

We have incurred losses since our inception resulting in an accumulated deficit of approximately $41.9 million at September 30, 2018, and we have a net capital deficiency. Further losses are anticipated as we continue to develop our business. To continue as a going concern, we estimate that we will need approximately $8 million to meet our obligations and planned operating expenditures through December 2019. These expenditures include lease rentals to the BOEM, general and administrative expenses, and costs associated with IT and seismic acquisition and processing. In addition, we plan to extend the agreements associated with our loans from related parties, the accrued interest payable on these loans, as well as the Company’s accrued liabilities. We plan to finance our operations through equity and/or debt financings, and farm-out agreements. There are no assurances that financing will be available with acceptable terms, if at all. If we are not successful in obtaining financing, our operations would need to be curtailed or ceased or the Company would need to sell assets or consider alterative plans up to and including restructuring.

 

We have no proved reserves and areas that we decide to drill may not yield oil and natural gas in commercial quantities or quality, or at all.

 

We have no proved reserves. We have identified prospects based on available seismic and geological information that indicates the potential presence of oil and natural gas. However, the areas we decide to drill may not yield oil and natural gas in commercial quantities or quality, or at all. Most of our current prospects are in various stages of evaluation that will require substantial additional seismic data reprocessing and interpretation. Even when properly used and interpreted, 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. We have drilled one well that is being evaluated and we are drilling a second exploratory well. Accordingly, we do not know if our prospects will contain oil and natural gas in sufficient quantities or quality to recover drilling and completion costs or to be economically viable. Even if oil and natural gas is found on our prospects in commercial quantities, construction costs of pipelines and other transportation costs may prevent such prospects from being economically viable. If one or more of our prospects do not prove to be successful, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be materially adversely affected.

 

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We are substantially dependent on certain members of our management and technical team.

 

Investors in our common stock must rely upon the ability, expertise, judgment and discretion of our management and the success of our technical team in identifying and acquiring leasehold interests, as well as discovering and developing any oil and gas reserves. Our performance and success are dependent, in part, upon key members of our management and technical team, and their loss or departure could be detrimental to our future success. In making a decision to invest in our common stock, you must be willing to rely to a significant extent on our management’s discretion and judgment. The loss of any of our management and technical team members could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, results of operations and financial condition, as well as on the market price of our common stock. We may not be able to find replacement personnel with comparable skills. If we are unable to attract and retain key personnel, our business may be adversely affected. We do not currently maintain key-man insurance on any member of the management team.

 

The seismic data we use are subject to non-exclusive license arrangements and may be licensed to our competitors, which could adversely affect the execution of our acquisition strategy and business plan.

 

Our 3-D seismic license agreements are non-exclusive, industry-standard agreements. Accordingly, the licensor of such seismic data has the right to license the same data that we acquired to our competitors, which could adversely affect our acquisition strategy and the execution of our business plan. We are not authorized to assign any of our rights under our license agreements, including a transaction with a potential joint venture partner or acquirer, without complying with the terms of the license agreements and a payment to the licensor (by us or the acquirer in the event of a change of control transaction or our partner in a joint venture transaction). However, our interpretation of this seismic data and importantly, reprocessing and the modeling of certain seismic data utilized to identify and technically support oil and gas prospects, is unique and proprietary to the Company.

 

We are an oil and natural gas exploration company with limited operating history, and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in executing our business plan. We may never attain profitability.

 

We commenced our business activity in March 2013, when we entered into 3-D license agreements covering approximately 2.2 million acres, and have entered into additional 3-D license agreements with seismic companies to acquire additional data and reprocess seismic data. While we intend to engage in the drilling, development, and production of oil and natural gas in the future, we currently have no reserves or production. As we are a relatively new business, we are subject to all the risks and uncertainties, which are characteristic of a new business enterprise, including the substantial problems, expenses and other difficulties typically encountered in the course of its business, in addition to normal business risks, as well as those risks that are specific to the oil and gas industry. Investors should evaluate us in light of the delays, expenses, problems and uncertainties frequently encountered by companies developing markets for new products, services and technologies. We may never overcome these obstacles.

 

We may be unable to access the capital markets to obtain additional capital that we will require to implement our business plan, which would restrict our ability to grow.

 

Our current capital on hand is insufficient to enable us to fully execute our business strategy beyond the first quarter of calendar 2019. Because we are a company with limited resources, we may not be able to compete in the capital markets with much larger, established companies that have ready access to capital. Our ability to obtain needed financing may be impaired by conditions and instability in the capital markets (both generally and in the oil and gas industry in particular), our status as a new enterprise without a demonstrated operating history, the location of our leases and prices of oil and natural gas on the commodities markets (which will impact the amount of financing available to us), and/or the loss of key consultants and management. Further, if oil and/or natural gas prices on the commodities markets continue to decrease, then potential revenues, if any, will decrease, which may increase our requirements for capital. Some of the future contractual arrangements governing our operations may require us to maintain minimum capital (both from a legal and practical perspective), and we may lose our contractual rights if we do not have the required minimum capital. If the amount of capital we can raise is not sufficient, we may be required to curtail or cease our operations.

 

We have a limited operating history with significant losses and expect losses to continue for the foreseeable future.

 

We have incurred annual operating losses since our inception. As a result, at September 30, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $41.9 million. We had no revenues in 2018 and do not anticipate generating revenues in fiscal 2019, or in subsequent periods unless we are successful in discovering economically recoverable oil or gas reserves. We expect that our operating expenses will increase as we develop our projects. We expect continued losses in fiscal year 2019, and thereafter until future discoveries are brought online and we begin producing oil and gas.

 

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The majority of our existing debt outstanding is payable on demand. If we are unable to repay our existing or future debt as it becomes due, we may be unable to continue as a going concern.

 

As of September 30, 2018, we owed John Seitz, our chief executive officer, a total of $8.7 million in notes, payable on demand and bearing interest at the rate of 5% per annum. Unpaid interest associated with these notes was $1.6 million as of September 30, 2018. In addition, approximately 24% of our outstanding common stock is controlled by Mr. Seitz. We remain dependent upon Mr. Seitz for continued financial support while we seek external financing from potential investors. If demand for immediate payment of some or all of these notes were to occur, it will threaten our ability to continue as a going concern.

 

Our lack of diversification increases the risk of an investment in our common stock.

 

Our business will focus on the oil and gas industry in commercially advantageous offshore areas of the United States. Larger companies have the ability to manage their risk by diversification. However, we lack diversification, in terms of both the nature and geographic scope of our business. As a result, factors affecting our industry, or the regions in which we operate, will likely impact us more acutely than if our business were diversified.

 

Strategic relationships upon which we rely are subject to change, which may diminish our ability to conduct our operations.

 

Our ability to successfully bid on and acquire properties, to discover resources, to participate in drilling opportunities and to identify and enter into commercial arrangements with customers and partners, depends on developing and maintaining close working relationships with industry participants and on our ability to select and evaluate suitable properties. Further, we must consummate transactions in a highly competitive environment. These realities are subject to change and may impair our ability to grow.

 

To develop our business, we will endeavor to use the relationships of our management and to enter into strategic relationships, which may take the form of joint ventures with other private parties or with local government bodies or contractual arrangements with other oil and gas companies, including those that supply equipment and other resources that we will use in our business. We may not be able to establish these strategic relationships, or if established, we may not be able to maintain them. In addition, the dynamics of our relationships with strategic partners may require that we incur expenses or undertake activities we would not otherwise incur or undertake in order to fulfill our obligations to these partners or maintain our relationships. If our strategic relationships are not established or maintained, our business prospects may be limited, which could diminish our ability to conduct our operations.

 

Competition in obtaining rights to explore and develop oil and gas reserves may impair our business.

 

The oil and gas industry is extremely competitive. Present levels of competition for oil and gas leases and drilling rights are high worldwide. Other oil and gas companies with greater resources may compete with us by bidding for leases and drilling rights, as well as other properties and services we may need to operate our business. Additionally, other companies may compete with us in obtaining capital from investors. Competitors include larger, established exploration and production companies, which have access to greater financial and other resources than we have currently, and may be more successful in the recruitment and retention of qualified employees and may conduct their own refining and petroleum marketing operations, giving them a competitive advantage. In addition, actual or potential competitors may be strengthened through the acquisition of additional assets and interests. Because of some or all of these factors, we may not be able to compete.

 

We may not be able to effectively manage our growth, which may harm our profitability.

 

Our strategy envisions building and expanding our business. If we fail to effectively manage our growth, our financial results will be adversely affected. Growth may place a strain on our management systems and resources. We must continue to refine and expand our business development capabilities, our systems, processes, and our access to financing sources. As we grow, we must continue to hire, train, supervise and manage new employees. We cannot assure you that we will be able to:

 

  expand our systems effectively or efficiently or in a timely manner;
  optimally allocate our human resources; or
  identify and hire qualified employees or retain valued employees.

 

If we are unable to manage our growth and our operations, our financial results could be adversely affected, which could prevent us from ever attaining profitability.

 

Any change to government regulation/administrative practices may have a negative impact on our ability to operate profitably.

 

The laws, regulations, policies or current administrative practices of any government body, organization or regulatory agency impacting any jurisdiction where we might conduct our business activities, including the BOEM and EPA, may be changed, applied or interpreted in a manner which may fundamentally alter the ability of the Company to conduct business. The actions, policies or regulations, or changes thereto, of any government body or regulatory agency or other special interest groups, may have a detrimental effect on us. Any or all of these situations may have a negative impact on our ability to operate profitably.

 

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Additionally, certain bonding and/or insurance may be required in jurisdictions in which we chose to have operations, increasing our costs to operate.

 

Risks Related to Our Industry in Which We Intend to Compete

 

An extended decline in oil prices and significant fluctuations in energy prices may continue indefinitely, affecting the commercial viability of our projects and negatively affecting our business prospects and viability.

 

The commercial viability of our projects is highly dependent on the price of oil and natural gas. Prices also affect our ability to borrow money or raise additional capital. We will need to obtain additional financing to fund our activities. Our ability to do so may be adversely affected by an extended decline in oil prices. If we are unable to obtain such financing when needed, on commercially reasonable terms, we may be required to cease our operations, which could have a materially adverse impact on the market price of our stock. An extended decline in oil prices may have a material adverse effect on our planned operations, financial condition and level of expenditures that we may ultimately have to make for the development of any oil and natural gas reserves we may acquire.

 

The oil and gas markets are very volatile, and we cannot predict future oil and natural gas prices. 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. In addition, the prices we receive for any future production and the levels of any future production and reserves will depend on numerous factors beyond our control. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  changes in global supply and demand for oil and natural gas by both refineries and end users;
  the ability of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to and maintain oil price and production controls;
  the price and volume of imports of foreign oil and natural gas;
  political and economic conditions, including embargoes, in oil-producing countries or affecting other oil-producing activity;
  the level of global oil and gas exploration and production activity;
  the level of global oil and gas inventories;
  weather conditions;
  government policies to discourage use of fuels that emit GHGs and encourage use of alternative energy;
  technological advances affecting energy consumption;
  domestic and foreign governmental regulations and taxes;
  proximity and capacity of oil and gas pipelines and other transportation facilities;
  the price and availability of competitors’ supplies of oil and gas in captive market areas;
  the introduction, price and availability of alternative forms of fuel to replace or compete with oil and natural gas;
  import and export regulations for LNG and/or refined products derived from oil and gas production from the US;
  speculation in the price of commodities in the commodity futures market;
  the availability of drilling rigs and completion equipment; and
  the overall economic environment.

 

Further, oil and natural gas prices do not necessarily fluctuate in direct relationship to each other. The price of oil has been extremely volatile, and we expect this volatility to continue for the foreseeable future. For example, during the period from January 1, 2014 to September 30, 2018, NYMEX West Texas Intermediate oil prices ranged from a high of $107.95 per bbl to a low of $26.19 per bbl. Average daily prices for NYMEX Henry Hub gas ranged from a high of $8.15 per MMBtu to a low of $1.49 per MMBtu during the same period. This near term volatility may affect future prices in 2019 and beyond. The volatility of the energy markets make it difficult to predict future oil and natural gas price movements with any certainty.

 

Exploration for oil and natural gas is risky and may not be commercially successful, impairing our ability to generate revenues.

 

Oil and natural gas exploration involves a high degree of risk. These risks are more acute in the early stages of exploration. We may not discover oil or natural gas in commercially viable quantities. It is difficult to project the costs of implementing an exploratory drilling program due to the inherent uncertainties of drilling in unknown formations, the costs associated with encountering various drilling conditions, such as over pressured zones (which may lead to blowouts, fires, and explosions) and tools lost in the hole, and changes in drilling plans, locations as a result of prior exploratory wells or additional seismic data and interpretations thereof, and final commercial terms negotiated with partners. Developing exploratory oil and gas properties requires significant capital expenditures and involves a high degree of financial risk. The budgeted costs of drilling, completing, and operating exploratory wells are often exceeded and can increase significantly when drilling costs rise. Drilling may be unsuccessful for many reasons, including title problems, adverse weather conditions (which may be more frequent as climate changes), cost overruns, equipment shortages, mechanical difficulties, and environmental hazards (including spills and toxic gas releases). There is no assurance that we will successfully complete any wells or if successful, that the wells would be economically successful. Moreover, the successful drilling or completion of any oil or gas well does not ensure a profit on investment. Exploratory wells bear a much greater risk of loss than development wells. We cannot assure you that our exploration, exploitation and development activities will result in profitable operations, the result of which will materially adversely affect our business.

 

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Oil and natural gas operations are subject to comprehensive regulation which may cause substantial delays or require capital outlays in excess of those anticipated, causing an adverse effect on the Company.

 

Oil and natural gas operations are subject to national, state, and local laws relating to the protection of the environment, including laws regulating removal of natural resources from the ground, spill response capabilities, and the discharge of materials into the environment. Oil and natural gas operations are also subject to national, state, and local laws and regulations, which seek to maintain health and safety standards by regulating the design and use of drilling methods and equipment. Environmental standards imposed by national, state or local authorities may be changed and any such changes may have material adverse effects on our activities. Moreover, compliance with such laws may cause substantial delays or require capital outlays in excess of those anticipated, thus causing an adverse effect on us. Additionally, we may be subject to liability for pollution or other environmental damages which we are unlikely to insure against fully due to prohibitive premium costs and other reasons. To date, we have not been required to spend any amounts on compliance with environmental regulations; however, we may be required to expend substantial sums in the future as we develop projects, and this may affect our ability to begin, maintain, or expand our operations.

 

We may be dependent upon third party operators of any oil and natural gas properties we may acquire.

 

Third parties may act as the operators of our oil and natural gas wells and control the drilling and operating activities to be conducted on our properties, if and when such assets are acquired. Therefore, we may have limited control over certain decisions related to activities on our properties relating to the timing, costs, procedure, and location of drilling or production activities, which could affect the Company’s results.

 

Our leases may be terminated if we are unable to make future lease payments or if we do not drill in a timely manner.

 

The failure to timely affect all lease related payments could cause the leases to be terminated by the BOEM. Net lease rental obligations on our existing prospects are expected to be approximately $0.5 million in fiscal year 2019. Our leases have a five-year primary term, expiring in 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023. Each lease may be extended, by drilling a well capable of producing hydrocarbons and submitting a Plan of Production approved by the regulatory authorities. In addition, the terms of our leases may be extended for an additional three years, provided a well is spud targeting hydrocarbons below 25,000’ “true vertical depth (TVD)” within the primary term of the lease. In addition, the terms of our leases may also be extended by the granting of a Subsalt Lease Term Extension, should we elect to apply and qualify for said extension on any lease(s). If we are not successful in raising additional capital, we may be unable to successfully exploit our properties, and we may lose the rights to develop these properties upon the expiration of our leases. If not successful in securing extensions, those leases will be subject to the competitive bid process in the twice a year BOEM OCS Lease Sales.

 

We may not be able to develop oil and natural gas reserves on an economically viable basis.

 

To the extent that we succeed in discovering oil and/or natural gas reserves, we cannot assure that these reserves will be capable of production levels we project or in sufficient quantities to be commercially viable. On a long-term basis, our viability depends on our ability to find, develop and commercially produce oil and gas reserves, assuming we acquire leases or drilling rights. Our future reserves, if any, will depend not only on our ability to develop then-existing properties, but also on our ability to identify and acquire additional suitable producing properties or prospects, to find markets for the oil and natural gas we develop and to effectively distribute our production into markets.

 

Future oil and gas exploration may involve unprofitable efforts, not only from dry wells, but from wells that are productive but do not produce sufficient net revenues to return a profit after drilling, operating and other costs. Completion of a well does not assure a profit on the investment or recovery of drilling, completion and operating costs. In addition, drilling hazards or environmental damage could greatly increase the cost of operations and various field operating conditions may adversely affect the production from successful wells. These conditions include delays in obtaining governmental approvals or consents, shut-downs of wells resulting from extreme weather conditions, problems in storage and distribution and adverse geological and mechanical conditions. While we will endeavor to effectively manage these conditions, we cannot be assured of doing so optimally, and we will not be able to eliminate them completely in any case. Therefore, these conditions could adversely impact our operations.

 

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We may not be able to obtain drilling rigs and other equipment and geophysical service crews necessary to exploit any oil and natural gas resources we may acquire.

 

We may not be able to procure the necessary drilling rigs and related services and equipment or the cost of such items may be prohibitive. Our ability to comply with future license obligations or otherwise generate revenues from the production of operating oil and natural gas wells could be hampered as a result of this, and our business could suffer.

 

Environmental risks may adversely affect our business.

 

All phases of the oil and natural gas business present environmental risks and hazards and are subject to environmental regulation pursuant to a variety of federal, state and local laws and regulations. Environmental legislation provides for, among other things, restrictions and prohibitions on spills, releases or emissions of various substances produced in association with oil and natural gas operations, including products, byproducts, and wastes. The legislation also requires that wells and facility location be sited, operated, maintained, abandoned and reclaimed to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory authorities. Compliance with such legislation can require significant expenditures, and a breach may result in the imposition of fines and penalties, some of which may be material. Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner we expect may result in stricter standards and enforcement, larger fines and liability, prevention of the right to operate or participate in leasing, and potentially increased capital expenditures and operating costs. The discharge of oil, natural gas or other pollutants into the air, soil or water may give rise to liabilities to foreign governments and third parties and may require us to incur costs to remedy such discharge. The application of environmental laws to our business may cause us to curtail our production or increase the costs of our production, development or exploration activities.

 

Any insurance that we may acquire will likely be inadequate to cover liabilities we may incur.

 

Our involvement in the exploration for, and development of, oil and natural gas properties may result in our becoming subject to liability for pollution, blow-outs, property damage, personal injury or other hazards. Although we intend to obtain insurance in accordance with industry standards to address such risks, such insurance has limitations and so will be unlikely to cover the full extent of such liabilities. In addition, such risks may not, in all circumstances be insurable or, in certain circumstances, we may choose not to obtain insurance to protect against specific risks due to the high premiums associated with such insurance or for other reasons. The payment of such uninsured liabilities would reduce the funds available to us. If we suffer a significant event that is not fully insured or if the insurer of such event is not solvent or denies coverage, we could be required to divert funds from capital investment or other uses towards covering our liability for such events.

 

We are subject to cyber security risks. A cyber incident could occur and result in information theft, data corruption, operational disruption or financial loss.

 

The oil and natural gas industry has become increasingly dependent on digital technologies to conduct certain exploration, development, production, processing and distribution activities. For example, we depend on digital technologies to interpret seismic data, conduct reservoir modeling and record financial and other data. Our industry faces various security threats, including cyber-security threats. Cyber-security attacks in particular are increasing and include, but are not limited to, malicious software, attempts to gain unauthorized access to data, and other electronic security breaches that could lead to disruptions in critical systems, unauthorized release of confidential or otherwise protected information and corruption of data. Although to date we have not experienced any material losses related to cyber-security attacks, we may suffer such losses in the future. Moreover, the various procedures and controls we use to monitor and protect against these threats and to mitigate our exposure to such threats may not be sufficient in preventing security threats from materializing. If any of these events were to materialize, they could lead to losses of intellectual property and other sensitive information essential to our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, reputation and financial position.

 

Risks Related to our Common Stock

 

There is a limited trading market for our shares. You may not be able to sell your shares if you need money.

 

Our common stock is traded on the OTC Markets (QB Marketplace Tier), an inter-dealer automated quotation system for equity securities. During the three calendar months preceding filing of this report, the average daily trading volume of our common stock was approximately 1,433,000 shares. As of December 26, 2018, we had approximately 188 record holders of our common stock (not including an indeterminate number of stockholders whose shares are held by brokers in “street name”). There has been limited trading activity in our stock, and when it has traded, the price has fluctuated widely. We consider our common stock to be “thinly traded” and any last reported sale prices may not be a true market-based valuation of the common stock. Stockholders may experience difficulty selling their shares if they choose to do so because of the illiquid market and limited public float for our common stock. This situation is attributable to a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

we are a small company that is relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume; and

 

stock analysts, stock brokers and institutional investors may be risk-averse and reluctant to follow a company such as ours that faces substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern or to purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we become more viable.

 

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As a result, an investor may find it difficult to dispose of, or to obtain accurate quotations of the price of our common stock. Accordingly, investors must assume they may have to bear the economic risk of an investment in our common stock for an indefinite period of time, and may lose their entire investment. There can be no assurance that a more active market for our common stock will develop, or if one should develop, there is no assurance that it will be sustained. This severely limits the liquidity of our common stock and would likely have a material adverse effect on the market price of our common stock and on our ability to raise additional capital.

 

We may issue preferred stock.

 

Our Certificate of Incorporation authorizes the issuance of up to 50 million shares of “blank check” preferred stock with designations, rights and preferences determined from time to time by the Board of Directors. Accordingly, our Board of Directors is empowered, without stockholder approval, to issue preferred stock with dividend, liquidation, conversion, voting, or other rights, which could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of the common stock. In the event of issuance, the preferred stock could be utilized, under certain circumstances, as a method of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change in control of the Company. Although we have no present intention to issue any shares of its authorized preferred stock, there can be no assurance that we will not do so in the future.

 

Future sales of our common stock could lower our stock price.

 

We will likely sell additional shares of common stock to fund working capital obligations in future periods. We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our common stock or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our common stock will have on the market price of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock, or the perception that such sales could occur, may adversely affect prevailing market prices for our common stock. Moreover, sales of our common stock by existing shareholders could also depress the price of our common stock.

 

Our common stock is subject to the “penny stock” rules of the SEC and FINRA, which makes transactions in our common stock cumbersome and may reduce the value of an investment in the stock.

 

The SEC has adopted Rule 15g-9 which establishes the definition of a “penny stock,” for the purposes relevant to us, as any equity security that has a market price of less than $5.00 per share or with an exercise price of less than $5.00 per share, subject to certain exceptions. For any transaction involving a penny stock, unless exempt, the rules require:

 

that a broker or dealer approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks; and

the broker or dealer receives from the investor a written agreement to the transaction, setting forth the identity and quantity of the penny stock to be purchased.

 

In order to approve a person’s account for transactions in penny stocks, the broker or dealer must:

 

obtain financial information and investment experience and objectives of the person; and

  make a reasonable determination that the transactions in penny stocks are suitable for that person and the person has sufficient knowledge and experience in financial matters to be capable of evaluating the risks of transactions in penny stocks.

 

The broker or dealer must also deliver, prior to any transaction in a penny stock, a disclosure schedule prescribed by the SEC relating to the penny stock market, which, in highlight form sets forth:

 

  the basis on which the broker or dealer made the suitability determination; and

  that the broker or dealer received a signed, written agreement from the investor prior to the transaction.

 

Generally, brokers may be less willing to execute transactions in securities subject to the “penny stock” rules. This may make it more difficult for investors to dispose of common stock and cause a decline in the market value of stock.

 

Disclosure also has to be made about the risks of investing in penny stocks in both public offerings and in secondary trading and about the commissions payable to both the broker-dealer and the registered representative, current quotations for the securities and the rights and remedies available to an investor in cases of fraud in penny stock transactions. Finally, monthly statements have to be sent disclosing recent price information for the penny stock held in the account and information on the limited market in penny stocks.

 

In addition to the “penny stock” rules promulgated by the SEC, FINRA has adopted rules that require a broker-dealer to have reasonable grounds for believing that an investment is suitable for a customer when recommending the investment to that customer. Prior to recommending speculative low-priced securities to their non-institutional customers, broker-dealers must make reasonable efforts to obtain information about the customer’s financial status, tax status, investment objectives and other information. Under interpretations of these rules, FINRA believes that there is a high probability that speculative low priced securities will not be suitable for at least some customers. FINRA requirements make it more difficult for broker-dealers to recommend that their customers buy our common stock, which may limit investors’ ability to buy and sell our stock and have an adverse effect on the market for our shares.

 

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The price of our common stock will remain volatile, which could lead to losses by investors and costly securities litigation.

 

The trading price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could fluctuate in response to factors such as:

 

  actual or anticipated variations in our operating results including but not limited to leasing, drilling, and discovery of oil and gas;
  the price of oil and gas;
  announcements of developments by us, our strategic partners or our competitors;
  announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
  adoption of new accounting standards affecting our Company’s industry;
  additions or departures of key personnel;
  sales of our common stock or other securities in the open market;
  our ability to acquire seismic data and other intellectual property on commercially reasonable terms and to defend such intellectual property from third party claims;
  the effects of government regulation, permitting and other legal requirements, including new legislation or regulation;
  litigation; and
  other events or factors, many of which are beyond our control.

 

The stock market is subject to significant price and volume fluctuations. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of companies’ securities, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against those companies. Litigation initiated against us, whether or not successful, could result in substantial costs and diversion of our management’s attention and resources, which could harm our business and financial condition.

 

We do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common stock.

 

Cash dividends have never been declared or paid on our common stock, and we do not anticipate such a declaration or payment for the foreseeable future. We cannot assure stockholders of a positive return on their investment when they sell their shares, nor can we assure that stockholders will not lose the entire amount of their investment in the Company.

 

Our certificate of incorporation could make a merger, tender offer, or proxy contest difficult.

 

At the annual shareholder meeting in May 2014, shareholders approved an amendment and restatement of our certificate of incorporation to (i) eliminate the ability of stockholders to act by written consent and (ii) to classify the board of directors into three classes with staggered terms. These amendments may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control.

 

Any of the risk factors discussed herein could have a significant material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity. Readers of this Report should not consider any descriptions of these risk factors to be a complete set of all potential risks that could affect GulfSlope. These factors should be carefully considered together with the other information contained in this Report and the other reports and materials filed by us with the SEC. Further, any of these risks are interrelated and could occur under similar business and economic conditions, and the occurrence of certain of them may in turn cause the emergence or exacerbate the effect of others. Such a combination could materially increase the severity of the impact of these risks on our business, results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

For a discussion of our oil and gas properties, see Item 1. Business.

 

We lease 4,957 square feet of office space at our corporate headquarters at 1331 Lamar St., Suite 1665, Houston, Texas 77010. We own office equipment, office furniture, and computer equipment.

 

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ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

From time to time, the Company may become involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of its operations in the normal course of business. No legal proceedings, government actions, administrative actions, investigations or claims are currently pending against us or involve the Company.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

Market Information

 

Our common stock, $0.001 par value per share, is quoted on the OTCBB and the OTCQB under the symbol “GSPE.” Shares of our common stock have historically been thinly traded. As a result, our stock price as quoted by the OTCBB or OTCQB may not reflect an actual or perceived value.

 

Holders

 

The number of record holders of the Company’s common stock, as of December 26, 2018, is approximately 188.

 

Dividends

 

The Company has not declared any dividends with respect to its common stock and does not intend to declare any dividends in the foreseeable future. The future dividend policy of the Company cannot be ascertained with any certainty. There are no material restrictions limiting the Company’s ability to pay cash dividends on its common stock.

 

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

 

Effective May 18, 2018, the Company’s stockholders approved and adopted the Company’s 2018 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “Plan”). The total number of shares that are available for awards under the Plan are 110,000,000 shares. 68 million stock options have been awarded under the 2018 Plan as of September 30, 2018. 3,030,000 shares of restricted stock and 33,500,000 stock options have been awarded under the 2014 Plan as of September 30, 2018.

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information as of September 30, 2018

 

Plan category Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights

Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights

 

Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in column
2018 Equity compensations plans approved by security holders 68,000,000 $0.0749 per share 42,000,000
2014 Equity compensations plans approved by security holders 33,500,000 $0.0278 per share 970,000
2013 Equity compensations award not approved by security holders 2,000,000 $0.12 per share 0

 

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

As previously reported in the Corporation’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2017, the Company issued two convertible promissory notes, each with 1 million shares of restricted stock and 1.1 million warrants in a private placement to an accredited investor for $100,000 in proceeds. The warrants have a five year term and an exercise price of $0.10. The promissory notes have a face value of $110,000 and incur a one-time upfront interest charge of six percent. The holder of the note has the option to convert the note into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.02 per share. Approximately $100,000 of additional funding is available under similar terms if the Company and the lender mutually agree to further tranches.

 

The offer and sale of the securities described above were made without registration under the Securities Act, and the applicable securities laws of certain states, in reliance upon exemptions provided by Section 4(a)(2) and Regulation D under the Securities Act and in reliance upon similar exemptions under applicable state laws with regard to the offer and sale of securities that are made solely to “accredited investors,” as that term is defined under Rule 501(a) of Regulation D, and do not involve any general solicitation.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

Not required for smaller reporting companies.

 

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATION

 

The following discussion highlights the principal factors that have affected our financial condition and results of operations as well as our liquidity and capital resources for the periods described. This discussion contains forward-looking statements. Please see “Forward-Looking Statements” above for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these forward-looking statements. The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting, whereby revenues are recognized when earned, and expenses are recognized when incurred. You should read this management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our historical financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. In addition to the impact of the matters discussed in “Risk Factors,” our future results could differ materially from our historical results due to a variety of factors, many of which are out of our control.

 

Overview

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc. is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company whose interests are concentrated in the United States, Gulf of Mexico federal waters offshore Louisiana in 450 feet or less of water depth. The Company has under lease fourteen federal Outer Continental Shelf blocks (referred to as “leases” in this report) and licensed 2.2 million acres of three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data in its area of concentration. Approximately half this data has been reprocessed utilizing Reverse Time Migration (RTM) to more accurately define the imaging below salt.

 

The Company has invested significant technical person hours in the proprietary interpretation of seismic data and the associated reprocessing of this data. The result of this proprietary interpretation has been the identification of multiple prospects that we believe may have substantial potential hydrocarbon deposits. Our objective has been to define and acquire multiple prospects comprising a portfolio of drilling opportunities. With the acquisition of multiple targeted lease blocks, we intend to cause exploration wells to be drilled from our portfolio. We anticipate limiting our capital exposure to exploration drilling costs by seeking to enter into a series of partnerships whereby partners will pay a disproportionate share of exploration drilling costs. In return, we plan to deliver our seismic and geologic interpretation justifying the exploration drilling and a proportionate ownership interest in the leases.

 

In March 2014 and 2015, we participated in the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales 231 and 235 and were awarded twenty-three blocks through a competitive bid process. After evaluating our leasehold position we relinquished six lease blocks in 2016 and six lease blocks in 2017. In August 2017 we competitively bid at the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 249 and were awarded one block, leaving the Company with twelve Outer Continental Shelf blocks, and nine prospects that we believe may contain economically recoverable hydrocarbon deposits. In August 2018 we bid on two blocks and were awarded those blocks in October and November 2018.

 

For much of 2015 to 2018, E&P company budgets have been under severe pressure due to the sharp decline and volatility in commodity prices. The decline in drilling activity in the US for these years shows the extreme challenge facing upstream companies as they search for oil and gas projects that make economic sense in the new “lower for longer” environment. We believe this should make our projects more desirable for industry participation, because the large size of our targets, the enhanced risk reduction from our technical efforts and the natural advantages of nearby infrastructure and shallow waters provide an attractive alternative to deep water or unconventional plays. The company has been very selective in its licensing of 3D seismic data, the reprocessing of that data and the resulting interpretation of that data. The Company’s drill ready opportunities are located in relatively shallow water (250 to 450 feet) and at drilling depths of 15,000 to 26,000 feet. Lower costs to drill and develop when combined with the large size of the targets, results in attractive potential economic returns, even with today’s depressed commodity prices.

 

The lower commodity price environment has forced E&P companies to slash spending, there is less support for exploration projects and our projects may have to compete with those generated internally by our prospective industry partners. Commodity prices did recover in 2018 however, volatility in those prices continues to adversely impact capital budgets.

 

The Company continues to be active in the evaluation of potential mergers and acquisitions that it deems to be attractive opportunities. Any such merger or acquisition is likely to be financed through a combination of debt and equity.

 

On January 8, 2018, the Company signed comprehensive documents related to partnering with Delek Group Ltd. and Texas South Energy, Inc. to participate in the drilling of nine prospects. The initial phase (Phase I) consists of a commitment to drill the Canoe Prospect (VR378) and the Tau Prospect (SS336 and SS351). The Company will fund 8% of the well costs and retain a 20% working interest that is subject to a 0.8% Net Profits Interest. The Company will be required to fund 20% of any well costs in excess of 115% of budget. The Company is the operator for the exploratory wells. Delek has the option to participate in three subsequent phases of drilling under the same terms. It also has the right to purchase up to 5% of the outstanding shares of GulfSlope common stock after each drilling phase for a cumulative right to purchase 20% of the shares outstanding. The Company will receive a partial recoupment of sunk costs of $1.1 million for each prospect to be drilled.

 

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During 2018, the Canoe well was drilled to a TD of 5765 feet (5,670 feet TVD) and encountered shallow oil sands. Multiple open hole plugs were set across several intervals and the well is equipped with a mud-line suspension system for possible future re-entry. Calibration of seismic amplitudes, petrophysical analysis, reservoir engineering and scoping of development is currently underway to determine the commerciality of these sands and that work is expected to be completed in the first calendar quarter of 2019.

 

Drilling operations commenced September 13, 2018 at the Tau Prospect, which is a subsalt prospect. Tau is located approximately six miles northeast of the Mahogany Field, which was discovered in 1993. Mahogany Field is recognized as the first commercial discovery below allocthonous salt in the Gulf of Mexico. The Tau Prospect is defined by mapping of 3D seismic reprocessed by RTM methods, which has been further enhanced utilizing TGS’s latest state-of-the-art RTM depth imaging technology. Further refinement of the salt flank and reflective lithlogic layers was enhanced to optimize exploratory potential. The wellbore is planned to drill through approximately 10,000 feet of salt with a deviated well path designed to test multiple Miocene horizons trapped against a well-defined salt flank, including equivalent reservoir sands discovered and developed at Mahogany Field nearby. In 1994, an offset well two miles to the west of the Tau location penetrated four of these horizons off structure, and these intervals are expected to be trapped against salt at the Tau location. The surface location for Tau is located in 305 feet of water. The well is expected to be drilling in the targeted prospective section in January 2019. 

 

GulfSlope was active in bidding at the August 2018 BOEM Federal offshore lease sale with bids on two key blocks. We bid and were awarded Vermilion block 376 for a bid amount of $191,011. We also successfully bid and were awarded a lease on Eugene Island block 371 for a bid amount of $131,011. Both leases have a five year primary term and carry a 12.5% royalty to BOEM. Both leases have similar trapping styles related to salt flanks like most prospects in our portfolio, as well as similar Miocene oil reservoir pay sand objectives.

 

The Company has incurred accumulated losses for the period from inception to September 30, 2018 of approximately $41.9 million, and has a net capital deficiency. Further losses are anticipated in developing its business. As a result, there exists substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. As of September 30, 2018, the Company had approximately $5.6 million of unrestricted cash on hand, $4.5 million of this amount is for the payment of joint payables from drilling operations. The Company estimates that it will need to raise a minimum of $8 million to meet its obligations and planned expenditures through December 2019. These expenditures include lease rentals to the BOEM, general and administrative expenses, and costs associated with IT and seismic acquisition and processing. The Company plans to finance the Company through best-efforts equity and/or debt financings and farm-out agreements. The Company also plans to extend the agreements associated with loans from related parties, the accrued interest payable on these loans, as well as the Company’s accrued liabilities. Though, it is uncertain as to whether the Company will be able to successfully implement these plans or that acceptable financing terms will be obtained. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

The Company uses the full cost method of accounting for its oil and gas exploration and development activities as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Under the full cost method of accounting, all costs associated with successful and unsuccessful exploration and development activities are capitalized on a country-by-country basis into a single cost center (“full cost pool”). Such costs include property acquisition costs, geological and geophysical (“G&G”) costs, carrying charges on non-producing properties, costs of drilling both productive and non-productive wells and overhead charges directly related to acquisition, exploration and development activities. Proceeds from property sales will generally be credited to the full cost pool, with no gain or loss recognized, unless such a sale would significantly alter the relationship between capitalized costs and the proved reserves attributable to these costs. A significant alteration would typically involve a sale of 25% or more of the proved reserves related to a single full cost pool.

 

Proved properties are amortized on a country-by-country basis using the units of production method (“UOP”), whereby capitalized costs are amortized over total proved reserves. The amortization base in the UOP calculation includes the sum of proved property, net of accumulated depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A), estimated future development costs (future costs to access and develop proved reserves), and asset retirement costs, less related salvage value.

 

The costs of unproved properties and related capitalized costs (such as G&G costs) are withheld from the amortization calculation until such time as they are either developed or abandoned. Unproved properties and properties under development are reviewed for impairment at least quarterly and are determined through an evaluation considering, among other factors, seismic data, requirements to relinquish acreage, drilling results, remaining time in the commitment period, remaining capital plan, and political, economic, and market conditions. In countries where proved reserves exist, exploratory drilling costs associated with dry holes are transferred to proved properties immediately upon determination that a well is dry and amortized accordingly. In countries where a reserve base has not yet been established, impairments are charged to earnings.

 

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Companies that use the full cost method of accounting for oil and natural gas exploration and development activities are required to perform a ceiling test calculation each quarter. The full cost ceiling test is an impairment test prescribed by SEC Regulation S-X Rule 4-10. The ceiling test is performed quarterly, on a country-by-country basis, utilizing the average of prices in effect on the first day of the month for the preceding twelve-month period. The cost center ceiling is defined as the sum of (a) estimated future net revenues, discounted at 10% per annum, from proved reserves, (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. If such capitalized costs exceed the ceiling, the Company will record a write-down to the extent of such excess as a non-cash charge to earnings. Any such write-down will reduce earnings in the period of occurrence and results in a lower depreciation, depletion and amortization rate in future periods. A write-down may not be reversed in future periods even though higher oil and natural gas prices may subsequently increase the ceiling.

 

As of September 30, 2018, the Company’s oil and gas properties consisted of capitalized exploration for unproved properties, wells in process, but no proved reserves.

 

Results of Operations for the Year Ended September 30, 2018 compared to September 30, 2017

 

We had no sales during the year ended September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017. There was no impairment of oil and gas properties and capitalized exploration costs for the year ended September 30, 2018 and $3.3 million for the year ended September 30, 2017. The decrease of approximately $3.3 million of impairment costs is primarily due to the fact that no leases were relinquished in the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018 compared to the capitalized costs and lease acquisition costs of the six lease blocks that were relinquished during fiscal year ended September 30, 2017. General and administrative expenses were approximately $1.2 million for the year ended September 30, 2018 compared to approximately $1.0 million for the year ended September 30, 2017. This increase in general and administrative expenses of approximately $0.2 million was primarily due to an increase in consulting, accounting and legal fees. Interest expense was approximately $0.8 million for the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to $1.3 million for the year ended September 30, 2017. The decrease can be attributed to the decrease in the convertible notes outstanding. Loss on extinguishment of debt was approximately $0.5 million for the year ended September 30, 2018, as compared to $0.09 million for the year ended September 30, 2017. The loss on derivative financial instrument of $0.1 million during the year ended September 30, 2018. There was no such derivative financial instrument during the year ended September 30, 2017.

 

We had a net loss of approximately $2.6 million for the year ended September 30, 2018, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million for the year ended September 30, 2017. The decrease in net loss of approximately $3.1 million was primarily attributable to the aforementioned $3.3 million decrease in impairment of oil and natural gas properties.

 

The basic loss per share for the year ended September 30, 2018 was $0.00, compared to a net loss per share of $0.01 for the year ended September 30, 2017.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2018, cash provided by operating activities totaled $4.9 million compared to $0.3 million used in operating activities in fiscal 2017. The increase in cash provided by operating activities is primarily due to the funds received from the joint interest owners for the payment of joint operating expenses.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2018, cash provided by investing activities was $0.7 million compared to $0.4 million used in investing activities in fiscal 2017. Spending for exploration, wells in process and lease acquisition was $1.7 million higher than in fiscal 2017. Proceeds from the sale of working interests was $2.9 million higher than in fiscal 2017.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2018, cash provided by financing activities was $0.05 million, which was $0.6 million lower than fiscal 2017. There was no proceeds from related party debt in fiscal 2018 compared to $0.7 million in fiscal 2017. Convertible debt proceeds increased by $0.06 million in fiscal 2018.

 

As of September 30, 2018, the Company’s unrestricted cash balance was $5.6 million compared to an unrestricted cash balance of $0.006 million as of September 30, 2017. The Company’s fiscal 2018 unrestricted cash increase of approximately $5.6 million was primarily due to its net cash provided in operating activities of $4.9 million and an approximate $0.7 million increase in cash provided by investing and financing activities.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

As of September 30, 2018, we had approximately $5.6 million of cash on hand, $4.5 million of this amount is for the payment of joint payables from drilling operations. As of this date, we owed our chief executive officer $8.68 million in notes, payable on demand and bearing interest at the rate of 5% per annum, $5.3 million of these notes are convertible into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.12 per share.

 

As of the date hereof, we believe that cash on hand and additional debt will be sufficient to fund operations through the first calendar quarter of 2019. We have planned operating expenses for fiscal year 2019 of approximately $8.0 million. These expenses are projections only and will vary depending upon a number of factors, including our ability to acquire additional leases, enter into farm-in and farm-out arrangements, and attract partners that are willing to bear some or all of our portion of the costs of conducting exploration drilling activities on the leases we currently own and other leases which we will ultimately acquire. Additionally, depending upon the execution of our business plan, we may determine to acquire additional leasehold interests and fund the acquisition of additional seismic data and seismic processing, through future equity offerings, debt or a combination of both.

 

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With our success in the leasing of our targeted prospects, our plan is to initially enter into farm-in and farm-out arrangements with other oil and gas companies and/or financial investors. Our goal in these transactions will be to diversify risk and minimize capital exposure to exploration drilling costs. We expect much of our exploration drilling cost to be paid by our partners through these transactions in return for our delivery of an identified prospect on acreage we control. Such arrangements are a commonly accepted industry method of proportionately recouping pre-drill cost outlays for seismic, land, and associated interpretation expenses. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to enter into any such arrangements on satisfactory terms or at all. In any drilling, we expect that our retained working interest will be adjusted based upon factors such as geologic risk and well cost.

 

Early monetization of a discovered asset or a portion of a discovered asset is an option for the Company as a means to fund development or additional exploration projects as an alternative to potential equity or debt offerings. However, if a reasonable value were not received from the market at the discovery stage, then we may elect to retain (subject to lease terms) the discovered asset undeveloped, until a reasonable offer is received in line with our perceived market value, or we may elect to seek development partners on a promoted basis in order to substantially reduce capital development requirements. We may also evaluate and seek to acquire producing properties that have a strategic relationship to our focus area.

 

In addition to companies with current GOM activities, we are engaged in partnering discussions with multiple entities, domestic and international, that are seeking exposure to the U.S. GOM.

 

Future equity financings may be dilutive to our stockholders. Alternative forms of future financings may include preferred stock with preferences or rights superior to our common stock. Debt financings may involve a pledge of assets and will rank senior to our common stock. We have historically financed our operations through private equity and debt financings. We do not have any credit or equity facilities available with financial institutions, stockholders or third party investors, and will continue to rely on best efforts financings. The failure to raise sufficient capital could result in the inability to maintain our leases and seismic licenses or cause us to cease operations.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We had no off-balance sheet arrangements as of September 30, 2018.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606),which was amended several times(collectively, the amended ASU 2014-09). The amended ASU 2014-09 provides a single comprehensive model for the recognition of revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. It requires an entity to recognize revenue when the entity transfers promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The amended ASU 2014-09 creates a five-step model that requires entities to exercise judgment when considering the terms of contract(s), which includes (1) identifying the contract(s) with the customer, (2) identifying the separate performance obligations in the contract, (3) determining the transaction price, (4) allocating the transaction price to the separate performance obligations, and (5) recognizing revenue as each performance obligation is satisfied. The amended ASU 2014-09 requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, including qualitative and quantitative information about contracts with customers, significant judgments and changes in judgments and assets recognized from costs incurred to obtain or fulfill a contract. The effective date for the amended ASU 2014-09 for the Company is October 1, 2018. Once implemented, the Company can use one of two retrospective application methods for prior periods. The Company has completed its evaluation of the provisions of this standard and concluded that the adoption will not result in any adjustment to beginning accumulated deficit as the Company does not have any revenues. The Company will adopt this new standard effective October 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective method of adoption as permitted by the standard. The adoption of Topic 606 will have no material impact on our financial position, results of operations, stockholders’ equity, or cash flows, but will impact disclosures when the Company has revenue.

 

On February 25, 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The new guidance establishes the principles to report transparent and economically neutral information about the assets and liabilities that arise from leases. The new guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early application is permitted for all organizations. The Company has not yet selected the period during which it will implement this pronouncement, and it is currently evaluating the impact the adoption of ASU 2016-02 will have on its financial statements.

 

The Company has evaluated all other recent accounting pronouncements and believes that none of them will have a significant effect on the Company’s financial statements.

 

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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Not required for smaller reporting companies.

 

24 

 

 

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Page

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

26

 

Balance Sheets as of September 30, 2018 and 2017

 

27

 

Statements of Operations for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017

 

28

 

Statement of Stockholders’ Deficit for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017

 

29

 

Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017

 

30

 

25 

 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

Shareholders and Board of Directors

GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

Houston, Texas

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying balance sheets of GulfSlope Energy, Inc. (the “Company”) as of September 30, 2018 and 2017, the related statements of operations, stockholders’ deficit, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at September 30, 2018 and 2017, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Going Concern Uncertainty

 

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern. As described in Note 2 to the financial statements, the Company has a net capital deficiency, and further losses are anticipated in developing the Company’s business, which raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. Management’s plans in regard to these matters are also described in Note 2. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“PCAOB”) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ BDO USA, LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2016.

 

Salt Lake City, Utah

December 31, 2018

 

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GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

BALANCE SHEETS

 

   As of September 30, 
  2018   2017 
Assets          
Current Assets          
Cash  $5,621,814   $6,426 
Accounts Receivable, Net   6,286,796     
Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets   32,042    40,573 
Total Current Assets   11,940,652    46,999 
Property and Equipment, net of depreciation   14,786    3,484 
Oil and Natural Gas Properties, Full Cost Method of Accounting, Unproved Properties   8,112,784    1,887,879 
Other Non-Current Assets   24,785     
Total Non-Current Assets   8,152,355    1,891,363 
Total Assets  $20,093,007   $1,938,362 
           
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Deficit          
Current Liabilities          
Accounts Payable  $7,591,236   $476,244 
Deposits from Joint Interest Owners   4,078,786     
Related Party Payable   306,386    298,458 
Accrued Interest Payable   1,732,239    1,318,188 
Accrued Expenses and Other Payables   268,862    1,321,927 
Loans from Related Parties   9,084,500    9,155,581 
Notes Payable       3,690 
Convertible Promissory Notes Payable   135,000    669,419 
Derivative Financial Instrument   271,710     
Funds Received from Capital Raise   965,800     
Other   44,723    11,605 
Total Current Liabilities   24,479,242    13,255,112 
Total Liabilities   24,479,242    13,255,112 
Commitments and Contingencies (Note 11)          
Stockholders’ Deficit          
Preferred Stock; par value ($0.001); Authorized 50,000,000 shares, none issued or outstanding        
Common Stock; par value ($0.001); Authorized 1,500,000,000 as of September 30, 2018 and 975,000,000 as of September 30, 2017; issued and outstanding 832,013,272 and 692,196,625, as of September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively   832,013    692,196 
Additional Paid-in Capital   36,640,009    27,212,577 
Accumulated Deficit   (41,858,257)   (39,221,523)
Total Stockholders’ Deficit   (4,386,235)   (11,316,750)
Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Deficit  $20,093,007   $1,938,362 
           

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part to these financial statements.

 

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GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

  

For the years ended

September 30,

 
   2018   2017 
Revenues  $   $ 
           
Impairment of Oil and Natural Gas Properties       3,316,212 
General & Administrative Expenses   1,220,247    964,309 
Net Loss from Operations   (1,220,247)   (4,280,521)
Other Income/(Expenses):          
Interest Expense   (780,513)   (1,324,127)
Interest Income   27,312     
Loss on Derivative Financial Instrument   (136,827)    
Loss on Debt Extinguishment   (526,459)   (89,701)
Net Loss Before Income Taxes   (2,636,734)   (5,694,349)
Provision for Income Taxes        
Net Loss  $(2,636,734)  $(5,694,349)
Loss Per Share – Basic and Diluted  $(0.00)  $(0.01)
Weighted Average Shares Outstanding – Basic and Diluted   768,365,759    684,935,344 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part to these financial statements.

 

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GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT

 

          Additional           Net  
    Common     Paid-in     Accumulated     Stockholders’  
    Shares     Amount     Capital     Deficit     Deficit  
Balance September 30, 2016     682,402,225     $ 682,402     $ 26,151,376     $ (33,527,174 )   $ (6,693,396 )
Common stock issued for services     1,250,000       1,250       (1,250 )            
Common stock issued for cash received in prior period                 653,670             653,670  
Common stock issued resulting from anti-dilution provision                 131,165             131,165  
Restricted common stock issued to employees                 81,861             81,861  
Value of warrants in conjunction with convertible promissory notes     1,500,000       1,500       24,210             25,710  
Value of beneficial conversion feature in conjunction with convertible promissory notes     7,044,400       7,044       120,844             127,888  
Loss from extension of due date and issuance of Bridge Note extensions                 50,701           (50,701 ) 
Net loss                       (5,694,349 )     (5,694,349 )
Balance at September 30, 2017     692,196,625       692,196       27,212,577       (39,221,523 )     (11,316,750 )
Common stock issued for services     84,348,985       84,349       5,122,404             5,206,753  
Amortization of employee stock options                 1,857,531             1,857,531  
Value of beneficial conversion feature in conjunction with convertible promissory notes                 103,519             103,519  
Value of warrants in conjunction with convertible promissory notes                 47,387             47,387  
Common stock issued for convertible promissory notes     2,000,000       2,000       47,093             49,093  
Common stock issued for conversion of convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest     41,850,996       41,851       924,474             966,325  
Common stock issued for warrants exercised     416,666       417       12,083             12,500  
Common stock issued to settle debt     11,200,000       11,200       1,095,800             1,107,000  
Value of warrants issued in conjunction with Bridge Note extensions                 217,141             217,141  
Net loss                       (2,636,734 )     (2, 636,734 )
Balance at September 30, 2018     832,013,272     $ 832,013      $ 36,640,009     $ (41,858,257 )   $  (4, 386,235 )

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part to these financial statements.

 

29 

 

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 

   September 30, 
   2018   2017 
OPERATING ACTIVITIES          
Net Loss  $(2,636,734)  $(5,694,349)
Adjustments to Reconcile Net Loss to Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities:          
Impairment of Oil and Natural Gas Properties       3,316,212 
Change in Allowance For Doubtful Accounts Receivable       (128,024)
Depreciation   4,724    20,804 
Debt Discount Amortization   254,501    810,540 
Loss on Debt Extinguishment   526,459    89,701 
Stock Based Compensation   1,036,654    458,543 
Stock Issued for Services   503,076     
Change in fair value of Derivatives   136,827     
Changes in Operating Assets and Liabilities:          
(Increase) Decrease in Accounts Receivable   (6,286,796)   191,171
(Increase) Decrease in Prepaid Expenses and Other Current Assets   146,488    156,927 
Increase (Decrease) in Deposits from Joint Interest Owners   4,078,786     
Increase (Decrease) in Accounts Payable   5,914,705    (30,205)
Increase (Decrease) in Related Party Payable   7,928    32,626 
Increase (Decrease) in Accrued Interest Payable   520,375    509,139 
Increase (Decrease) in Accrued Liabilities and Other Payables   633,865    
Increase (Decrease) in Other    44,723     
Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities   4,885,581    (266,915)
           
INVESTING ACTIVITIES          
Leases Purchased / Lease Rentals Paid   (280,268)   (284,089)
Proceeds From Sale of Working Interest   2,884,651    26,400 
Capitalized Exploration and Wells In Process Costs   (1,904,618)   (175,931)
Deposits and Equipment Purchases   (22,050)    
Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities   677,715    (433,620)
           
FINANCING ACTIVITIES          
Proceeds from Related Party Loans       652,500 
Payments on Note Payable   (160,408)   (159,653)
Proceeds from Convertible Promissory Notes and Warrants   212,500    150,000 
Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities   52,092    642,847 
           
Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash   5,615,388    (57,688)
Beginning Cash Balance   6,426    64,114 
           
Ending Cash Balance  $5,621,814   $6,426 
           
Supplemental Schedule of Cash Flow Activities          
           
Cash Paid for Interest  $5,636   $4,448 
           
Non-Cash Investing and Financing Activities          
Prepaid Asset Financed Through Notes Payable  $156,718   $159,188 
Accrued Liabilities, Convertible Notes and Accrued Interest Settled Through Issuance of Common Stock   1,896,999     
Purchase of Capital Expenditures          
Included in Accounts Payable   1,223,792    49,177 
Through Stock Based Compensation to Employees   820,877    195,127 
Through Issuance of Common Stock   4,880,000     

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part to these financial statements.

 

 

30 

 

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

 

Notes to the Financial Statements

 

NOTE 1 – ORGANIZATION AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

(a) Organization

 

GulfSlope Energy, Inc. (the “Company” or “GulfSlope”) is an independent oil and natural gas exploration company whose interests are concentrated in the United States Gulf of Mexico federal waters offshore Louisiana. The Company has leased 14 federal Outer Continental Shelf blocks (referred to as “prospect,” “portfolio” or “leases”) and licensed three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data in its area of concentration.

 

(b) Basis of Presentation

 

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and the instructions to Form 10-K and Regulation S-X published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The accompanying financial statements include the accounts of the Company.

 

(c) Going Concern

 

The Company’s financial statements have been presented on the basis that it is a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and the satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company has incurred net losses through September 30, 2018 of $41.9 million, has a lack of cash on-hand not from joint interest owners, and a working capital deficit. These factors raise substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Management intends to raise additional operating funds through equity and/or debt offerings. Management also plans to extend the agreements associated with loans from related parties, the accrued interest payable on these loans, as well as the Company’s accrued liabilities. However there can be no assurance that additional financing will be available, or if available, will be on terms acceptable to the Company. If adequate working capital is not available, the Company may be required to curtail or cease operations or the Company would need to sell assets or consider alternative plans up to and including restructuring.

 

(d) Cash

 

The Company considers all short-term highly liquid investments with an original maturity at the date of purchase of three months or less to be cash equivalents. There were no cash equivalents at September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

(e) Accounts Receivable

 

The Company records an accounts receivable for operations expense reimbursements due from joint interest partners. The Company estimates allowances for doubtful accounts based on the aged receivable balances and historical losses. If the Company determines any account to be uncollectible based on significant delinquency or other factors, it is immediately written off. As of September 30, 2018 and 2017, no allowance was recorded. Accounts receivable from joint operations are $6.7 million at September 30, 2018.

 

(f) Full Cost Method

 

The Company uses the full cost method of accounting for its oil and gas exploration and development activities. Under the full cost method of accounting, all costs associated with successful and unsuccessful exploration and development activities are capitalized on a country-by-country basis into a single cost center (“full cost pool”). Such costs include property acquisition costs, geological and geophysical (“G&G”) costs, carrying charges on non-producing properties, costs of drilling both productive and non-productive wells and overhead charges directly related to acquisition, exploration and development activities. Proceeds from property sales will generally be credited to the full cost pool, with no gain or loss recognized, unless such a sale would significantly alter the relationship between capitalized costs and the proved reserves attributable to these costs. A significant alteration would typically involve a sale of 25% or more of the proved reserves related to a single full cost pool.

 

Proved properties are amortized on a country-by-country basis using the units of production method (“UOP”), whereby capitalized costs are amortized over total proved reserves. The amortization base in the UOP calculation includes the sum of proved property, net of accumulated depreciation, depletion and amortization (“DD&A”), estimated future development costs (future costs to access and develop proved reserves), and asset retirement costs, less related salvage value.

 

The costs of unproved properties and related capitalized costs (such as G&G costs) are withheld from the amortization calculation until such time as they are either developed or abandoned. Unproved properties and properties under development are reviewed for impairment at least quarterly and are determined through an evaluation considering, among other factors, seismic data, requirements to relinquish acreage, drilling results, remaining time in the commitment period, remaining capital plan, and political, economic, and market conditions. In countries where proved reserves exist, exploratory drilling costs associated with dry holes are transferred to proved properties immediately upon determination that a well is dry and amortized accordingly. In countries where a reserve base has not yet been established, impairments are charged to earnings.

 

31 

 

 

Companies that use the full cost method of accounting for oil and natural gas exploration and development activities are required to perform a ceiling test calculation each quarter. The full cost ceiling test is an impairment test prescribed by SEC Regulation S-X Rule 4-10. The ceiling test is performed quarterly, on a country-by-country basis, utilizing the average of prices in effect on the first day of the month for the preceding twelve month period. The cost center ceiling is defined as the sum of (a) estimated future net revenues, discounted at 10% per annum, from proved reserves, (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. If such capitalized costs exceed the ceiling, the Company will record a write-down to the extent of such excess as a non-cash charge to earnings. Any such write-down will reduce earnings in the period of occurrence and results in a lower depreciation, depletion and amortization rate in future periods. A write-down may not be reversed in future periods even though higher oil and natural gas prices may subsequently increase the ceiling.

 

As of September 30, 2018, the Company’s oil and gas properties consisted of unproved properties, wells in process and no proved reserves.

 

(g) Property and Equipment

 

Property and equipment are carried at cost and include expenditures for new equipment and those expenditures that substantially increase the productive lives of existing equipment and leasehold improvements. Maintenance and repair costs are expensed as incurred. Property and equipment are depreciated on a straight-line basis over the assets’ estimated useful lives. Fully depreciated property and equipment still in use are not eliminated from the accounts.

 

The Company assesses the carrying value of its property and equipment for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability is measured by comparing estimated undiscounted cash flows, expected to be generated from such assets, to their net book value. If net book value exceeds estimated cash flows, the asset is written down to its fair value, determined by the estimated discounted cash flows from such asset. When an asset is retired or sold, its cost and related accumulated depreciation and amortization are removed from the accounts. The difference between the net book value of the asset and proceeds on disposition is recorded as a gain or loss in our statements of operations in the period in which they occur. 

 

(h) Income Taxes

 

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the temporary differences between the financial reporting basis and tax basis of the Company’s assets and liabilities at enacted tax rates expected to be in effect when such amounts are realized or settled. A valuation allowance is provided if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The Company’s policy is to recognize potential interest and penalties accrued related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense.

 

(i) Stock-Based Compensation

 

The Company records expenses associated with the fair value of stock-based compensation. For fully vested and restricted stock grants, the Company calculates the stock based compensation expense based upon estimated fair value on the date of grant. For stock warrants and options, the Company uses the Black-Scholes option valuation model to calculate stock based compensation at the date of grant. Option pricing models require the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the expected price volatility. Changes in these assumptions can materially affect the fair value estimate.

 

(j) Stock Issuance

 

The Company records the stock-based compensation awards issued to non-employees and other external entities for goods and services at either the fair market value of the goods received or services rendered or the instruments issued in exchange for such services, whichever is more readily determinable.

 

(k) Earnings per Share

 

Basic earnings per share (“EPS”) is computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the period. Diluted EPS is computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted average number of common shares and potential common shares outstanding (if dilutive) during each period. Potential common shares include stock options, warrants, convertible notes and restricted stock. The number of potential common shares outstanding relating to stock options, warrants, and restricted stock is computed using the treasury stock or if-converted method. As the Company has incurred losses for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, the potentially dilutive shares are anti-dilutive and thus not added into the EPS calculations. As of September 30, 2018 and 2017, there were 213,089,281 and 164,345,443 potentially dilutive shares, respectively.

 

32 

 

 

(l) Use of Estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

(m) Impact of New Accounting Standards

 

In May 2014, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09 (“ASU No. 2014-09”), which requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The ASU replaces most existing revenue recognition guidance. ASU 2014-09 will be effective for us October 1, 2018. Once implemented, the Company can use one of two retrospective application methods for prior periods. The Company has completed its evaluation of the provisions of this standard and concluded that the adoption will not result in any adjustment to beginning accumulated deficit as the Company does not have any revenues. The Company will adopt this new standard effective October 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective method of adoption as permitted by the standard. The adoption of Topic 606 will have no material impact on our financial position, results of operations, stockholders’ equity, or cash flows, but will impact disclosures when the Company has revenue.

 

On February 25, 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The new guidance establishes the principles to report transparent and economically neutral information about the assets and liabilities that arise from leases. The new guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early application is permitted for all organizations. The Company has not yet selected the period during which it will implement this pronouncement, and it is currently evaluating the impact the adoption of ASU 2016-02 will have on its financial statements.

 

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. An emerging growth company can therefore delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. However, the Company has elected not to take advantage of such extended transition period, and as a result, will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies.

 

The Company has evaluated all other recent accounting pronouncements and believes that none of them will have a significant effect on the Company’s financial statements.

 

NOTE 2 – LIQUIDITY/GOING CONCERN

 

The Company has incurred accumulated losses as of September 30, 2018 of $41.9 million, and has a net capital deficiency. Further losses are anticipated in developing our business, and there exists substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. As of September 30, 2018, the Company had $5.6 million of unrestricted cash on hand, $4.5 million of this amount is for the payment of joint payables from drilling operations. The Company estimates that it will need to raise a minimum of $8 million to meet its obligations and planned expenditures through December 2019. The Company plans to finance operations and planned expenditures through equity and/or debt financings and/or farm-out agreements. The Company also plans to extend the agreements associated with all loans, the accrued interest payable on these loans, as well as the Company’s accrued liabilities. There are no assurances that financing will be available with acceptable terms, if at all. If the Company is not successful in obtaining financing, operations would need to be curtailed or ceased or the Company would need to sell assets or consider alternative plans up to and including restructuring. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.

 

NOTE 3 – OIL AND NATURAL GAS PROPERTIES

 

In January 2018, the Company entered into a strategic partnership with Delek Group Ltd. (“Delek”), and Texas South Energy, Inc. (“Texas South”) (collectively, the “Parties”) and executed a participation agreement for a multi-phase exploration program. Under the terms of the Agreement, the Parties have committed to drill the Company’s “Canoe” and “Tau” prospects (the “Initial Phase”) with Delek having the option to participate in two additional two-well drilling phases and a final, three-well drilling phase (collectively, the “Phases”). In each Phase, Delek will earn a 75% working interest upon paying 90% of the exploratory costs associated with drilling each exploratory well. The Company will retain a 20% working interest while paying 8% of the exploratory costs associated with drilling each well. The Company will be required to fund 20% of any well costs in excess of 115% of budget. In addition, Delek will pay the Company approximately $1.1 million in cash for each Prospect when the respective exploration plan is filed with BOEM. Also, each Party will be responsible for their pro rata share (based on working interest) of delay rentals associated with the Prospects. The Company will be the Operator during exploratory drilling of the Prospect, however, subsequent to a commercial discovery, Delek will have the right to become the Operator. Delek will have the right to terminate this Agreement at the conclusion of any drilling Phase. Delek will also have the option to purchase up to 5% of the Company’s common stock, par value $0.001 per share (the “Common Stock”), upon fulfilling its obligation for each Phase (maximum of 20% in the aggregate) at a price per share equal to a 10% discount to the 30-day weighted average closing price for the Common Stock preceding the acquisition. This option will expire January 8, 2020.

 

33 

 

 

The Company will assign an eight-tenths of one percent of eight/eights net profits interest in certain of the Company’s oil and gas leases to include Vermilion Area, South Addition 378, Ship Shoal Area, South Addition 336, and Ship Shoal Area, South Addition 351, to Hi-View Investment Partners, LLC (“Hi-View”) in consideration for oil and gas consulting services provided pursuant to a non-exclusive consulting engagement dated October 25, 2017, by and between Hi-View, the Company, and Texas South (the “Advisory Agreement”). Hi-View will be entitled to additional assignments on the same terms and conditions as described above related to any of the Leases whereby Delek elects to participate in drilling of an exploratory well. In addition, the Company issued an aggregate of eighty million shares of Common Stock to Hi-View in consideration for oil and gas consulting services provided in facilitating the Delek farm out agreement. The value of the shares of $4.8 million determined using the share price on March 29, 2018, the date the shares were owed to Hi-View per the agreement which was the date of the funding obligation of the first well, was capitalized to unproved properties.

 

The Company, as the operator of two wells being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, has incurred tangible and intangible drilling costs for the wells in process and has billed its working interest partners for their respective shares of the drilling costs to date. The first of the two wells has been drilled and is being evaluated. The second well was spud in September 2018 and is currently being drilled.

 

The Company paid $376,368 in gross annual lease rental payments to the BOEM for the year ended September 30, 2017. The Company’s share of these amounts are included in unproved properties. In August 2017, the Company competitively bid on one block in the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 249 conducted by BOEM. The Company was the high bidder on the block and paid $26,398, which represents 20% of the total lease bonus amount. On September 29, 2017 the Company’s bid was accepted. After payment in October 2017 of $140,591, which represents the remaining 80% lease bonus and first year rentals, the Company was awarded the lease block in October 2017.

 

In August 2017, the Company entered into a letter agreement with Texas South that sets out the terms of an agreement for the Company’s Tau prospect. In exchange for $166,989, Texas South acquired an undivided 20% interest in the prospect. In accordance with full cost requirements, the Company recorded the proceeds from the transaction as an adjustment to the capitalized costs of its oil and gas properties with no gain or loss recognition.

 

In October 2017, the Company executed the second amendment to the March 2014 farm-out agreement with Texas South under which Texas South acquired 20% of Gulfslope’s interest in two prospects for $329,062.

 

On January 1, 2018, the Company executed the third amendment to the March 2014 farm-out agreement with Texas South under which Texas South acquired 20% of GulfSlope’s interest in two prospects for $225,000.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2017, the Company incurred $172,094 in consulting fees, salaries and benefits, $195,127 in stock option costs associated with geoscientists, and $53,014 associated with technological infrastructure and third party hosting services. As these G&G costs relate to specific company-owned unevaluated properties, the Company capitalized these G&G costs to unproved properties.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2018, the Company incurred $229,267 in consulting fees, salaries and benefits associated with geoscientists, $820,877 in stock option costs associated with geoscientists and engineers, $53,934 associated with technological infrastructure and third party hosting, and $138,729 in capitalized acquisition costs. The Company capitalized these G&G costs to unproved properties.

 

NOTE 4 – PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

 

Property and equipment consist of the following as of September 30, 2018 and 2017:

   2018   2017 
Office equipment and computers  $133,089   $143,897 
Furniture and fixtures   16,280    16,280 
Leasehold improvements   5,756    4,054 
Total   155,125    164,231 
Less: accumulated depreciation   (140,339)   (160,747)
           
Net property and equipment  $14,786   $3,484 

 

Depreciation is computed on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which were as follows:

 

  Life
Office equipment and computers 3 years
Furniture and fixtures 5 years
Leasehold improvements Shorter of 5 years or related lease term

 

Depreciation expense was $4,724 and $20,804 for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

34 

 

 

NOTE 5 – INCOME TAXES

 

The provision for income taxes consists of the following as of September 30, 2018 and 2017:

 

    9/30/2018    9/30/2017 
FEDERAL          
Current  $   $ 
Deferred        
STATE          
Current        
Deferred        
TOTAL PROVISION  $   $ 

 

The difference between the actual income tax provision versus tax computed at the statutory rate is as follows for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively:

 

   9/30/2018   9/30/2017 
Expected provision (based on statutory rate of 21% in 2018 and 15% in 2017)  $(553,714)  $(854,152)
Effect of:          
Increase in valuation allowance   2,696,631    732,562 
Non-deductible expense   53,493    121,590 
Rate change   (2,305,270)    
Other, net   108,860     
Total actual provision  $   $ 

 

On December 22, 2017, the President of the United States (“the President”) signed into law the tax bill commonly referred to as the “Tax Cuts and Job Act” (“TCJA”), significantly changing federal income tax laws. According to ASC section 740, “Income Taxes,” a company is required to record the effects of an enacted tax law or rate change in the period of enactment, which is the date the bill is signed by the President and becomes law. The TCJA did not have a significant impact on the financial statements as the change in the deferred income tax assets and liabilities was fully offset by a change in the valuation allowance.

 

The Company does not have any material uncertain tax positions. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties accrued related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense (benefit). For the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, the Company did not recognize any interest or penalties, nor did we have any interest or penalties accrued as of September 30, 2018 and 2017 relating to unrecognized benefits. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities at September 30, 2018 and 2017 consist of the following:

 

   9/30/2018   9/30/2017 
DEFERRED TAX ASSETS (LIABILITIES)          
Net operating losses  $7,131,636   $5,611,276 
Exploration costs   (1,503,472)   (931,289)
Oil and natural gas leases   2,192,654    691,336 
Stock based compensation   411,287    138,278 
Accrued interest and expenses not paid   271,190    246,360 
Derivative financial instrument   (57,059)    
Differences in book/tax depreciation   13,573    7,215 
Net deferred tax asset  $8,459,809   $5,763,176 
Valuation allowance   (8,459,809)   (5,763,176)
NET DEFERRED TAXES  $   $ 

 

The Company’s valuation allowance increased $2,696,633 during the year ended September 30, 2018 and $732,562 during the year ended September 30, 2017.

 

At September 30, 2018, the Company had approximately $34.0 million of NOLs, 95% of which will expire from 2032 to 2037. All of the Company’s NOLs are allowable as a deduction against 100 percent of future taxable income since they were generated prior to the effective date of limitations imposed by the TCJA. 

 

The tax years ended September 30, 2015 through 2018 are open for examination for federal income tax purposes and by other major taxing jurisdictions to which we are subject.

 

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NOTE 6 – RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

During April through September 2013, the Company entered into convertible promissory notes whereby it borrowed a total of $6,500,000 from John Seitz, its current chief executive officer. The notes are due on demand, bear interest at the rate of 5% per annum, and are convertible into shares of common stock at a conversion price equal to $0.12 per share of common stock (the then offering price of shares of common stock to unaffiliated investors). In May 2013, John Seitz converted $1,200,000 of the aforementioned debt into 10,000,000 shares of common stock, which shares were issued in July 2013. Between June of 2014 and December 2015, the Company entered into promissory notes whereby it borrowed a total of $2,410,000 from Mr. Seitz. The notes are not convertible, due on demand and bear interest at a rate of 5% per annum. During January through September 2016, the Company entered into promissory notes whereby it borrowed a total of $363,000 from Mr. Seitz. The notes are due on demand, bear interest at the rate of 5% per annum, and the outstanding principal and interest is convertible at the option of the holder into securities issued by the Company in a future offering, at the same price and terms received by unaffiliated investors. Additionally, during the year ended September 30, 2017, the Company entered into promissory notes with John Seitz whereby it borrowed a total of $602,500. The notes are due on demand, bear interest at the rate of 5% per annum, and the outstanding principal and interest is convertible at the option of the holder into securities issued by the Company in a future offering, at the same price and terms received by unaffiliated investors. As of September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 the total amount owed to John Seitz, our CEO, is $8,675,500. There was a total of $1,641,086 and $1,201,286 of unpaid interest associated with these loans included in accrued interest within our balance sheet as of September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

From August 2015 through February 2016 the Company entered into promissory notes whereby it borrowed a total of $267,000 from Dr. Ronald Bain, its former president and chief operating officer, and his affiliate ConRon Consulting, Inc. These notes are not convertible, due on demand and bear interest at the rate of 5% per annum. As of September 30, 2018, the total amount owed to Dr. Bain and his affiliate was $267,000. There was a total of $42,706 and $27,171 of accrued interest associated with these loans included within our balance sheet as of September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. In June of 2016, Dr. Ronald Bain also entered into a $92,000 convertible promissory note with associated warrants under the same terms received by other investors (see Note 7).

 

On November 15, 2016, a family member of the CEO, a related party, entered into a $50,000 convertible promissory note with associated warrants under the same terms received by other investors (see Note 7).

 

Domenica Seitz CPA, related to John Seitz, has provided accounting consulting services to the Company. During the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, the services provided were valued at $23,660 and $32,625, respectively. The Company has accrued these amounts within accrued expenses and other payables, and they have been reflected in the September 30, 2018 and 2017 financial statements.

 

John Seitz has not received a salary since May 31, 2013, the date he commenced serving as our CEO and accordingly, no amount has been accrued on our financial statements.

 

NOTE 7 – NOTES PAYABLE

 

Between June and November 2016, the Company issued eleven convertible promissory notes (“Bridge Financing Notes”) with associated warrants in a private placement to accredited investors for total gross proceeds of $837,000. Three of the notes were to related parties for proceeds totaling $222,000, including the extinguishment of $70,000 worth of related party payables. The convertible notes had a maturity of one year (prior to extension), bear an annual interest rate of 8% and can be converted at the option of the holder at a conversion price of $0.025 per share. In addition, the convertible notes will automatically convert if a qualified equity financing of at least $3 million occurs before maturity and such mandatory conversion price will equal the effective price per share paid in the qualified equity financing. In addition to the convertible notes, the investors received 27.9 million warrants (7.4 million to the above mentioned related parties) with an exercise price of $0.03 and a term of the earlier of three years or upon a change of control. The Company evaluated the various financial instruments under ASC 480 and ASC 815 and determined no instruments or features represented embedded derivatives. Therefore, in accordance with ASC 470-20-25-2, the Company allocated the proceeds between the convertible notes and warrants based on their relative fair values. This resulted in an allocation of approximately $452,000 to the warrants and approximately $385,000 to the convertible notes. After such allocation, the Company evaluated the conversion option to discern whether a beneficial conversion feature existed based upon comparing the effective exercise price of the convertible notes to the fair value of the shares they are convertible into. The Company concluded a beneficial conversion feature existed and measured such beneficial conversion feature at approximately $385,000. Accordingly, the debt discount associated with these notes was approximately $837,000. Such discount was amortized using the effective interest rate method over the term (one year) of the convertible notes.

 

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Upon maturity of eight of the eleven promissory notes in June 2017, the Company issued 3,225,000 extension warrants with an exercise price of $0.03 per share (equal to 25% of the original warrant amount) to the holders of the notes to extend the terms to January 15, 2018. The Company evaluated this modification including considering the fair value of the warrants issued and concluded that extinguishment accounting was required as the present value of future cash flows from the new note, including the fair value of the warrants issued to extend, exceeded the present value of future cash flows of the old note by more than 10%. The fair value of the warrants was deemed to be approximately $51,000 and such amount was recognized immediately as a loss on extinguishment of debt. The fair value of the warrants was determined using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. In July and August 2017, the three remaining promissory notes issued in July, August and November 2016 were extended until January 15, 2018 and issued 3,750,000 extension warrants (equal to 25% of the original warrant amount). The Company evaluated this transaction including considering the fair value of the warrants issued and concluded that modification accounting was required as the present value of future cash flows from the new note, including the fair value of the warrants issued to extend, was less than 10% of the present value of future cash flows of the old note. When an instrument is modified, any incremental increase in value (in this case the warrants) should be added to the discount of the notes and such discount should be amortized to interest expense using the effective interest rate method over the new remaining life of the note. The fair value of the warrants, approximately $39,000, was determined using the Black-Scholes option pricing model.

 

Upon revised maturity of the eleven promissory notes on January 15, 2018, the Company issued 2,790,000 extension warrants with an exercise price of $0.10 per share (equal to 10% of the original warrant amount) to the holders of the notes to extend the term to April 16, 2018. The Company evaluated this transaction including considering the fair value of the warrants issued and concluded that extinguishment accounting was required as the present value of future cash flows from the new note, including the fair value of the warrants issued to extend, exceeded the present value of future cash flows of the old note by more than 10%. The fair value of the warrants was deemed to be approximately $217,000 and such amount was recognized immediately as a loss on extinguishment of debt. The fair value of the warrants was determined using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. In June 2018, the maturity date of all of the notes was extended to January 15, 2019.

 

For the year ended September 30, 2018, the amortization of the discounts associated with the Bridge Financing Notes was approximately $30,000. Six of the Bridge Financing Notes with a principal balance of $560,000 plus accrued interest of $86,525 were converted during the year ended September 30, 2018. The remaining note balance at September 30, 2018 is $277,000. See Note 9 for a summary of the warrants outstanding relating to the Bridge Financing Notes.

 

On December 28, 2016, the Company issued a convertible promissory note (together with the convertible promissory notes issued below, the “Financing Notes”) with 500,000 shares of restricted stock and 550,000 warrants in a private placement to an accredited investor for $50,000 in proceeds. The warrants have a five year term and an exercise price of $0.10. The promissory note has a face value of approximately $56,000, which includes 10% original issue discount (“OID”) and incurs a one-time upfront interest charge of six percent. The holder of the note has the option to convert the note into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.02 per share. Approximately $450,000 of additional funding is available under similar terms if the Company and the lender mutually agree to further tranches. The Company evaluated the various financial instruments under ASC 480 and ASC 815 and determined no material instruments or features represented embedded derivatives. Therefore, in accordance with ASC 470-20-25-2, the Company allocated the proceeds between the convertible note, restricted common stock, and warrants based on their relative fair values. This resulted in an allocation of approximately $8,000 to the restricted stock, approximately $8,000 to the warrants and approximately $34,000 to the convertible note. After such allocation, the Company evaluated the conversion option to discern whether a beneficial conversion feature existed based upon comparing the effective exercise price of the convertible note to the fair value of the shares it is convertible into. The Company concluded a beneficial conversion feature existed and measured such beneficial conversion feature at approximately $34,000. Accordingly, at December 28, 2016, the debt discount associated with these notes was approximately $56,000. Such discount was amortized using the effective interest rate method over the term (seven months) of the convertible note. For the year ended September 30, 2017 amortization of this discount totaled $56,000 and is included in interest expense in the statement of operations. The note, related OID and accrued interest were converted into approximately 5.5 million shares of GulfSlope Energy common stock in a series of conversions beginning on July 10, 2017 and ending with a conversion on September 18, 2017 on which date all were paid in full.

 

On March 14, 2017, the Company issued a convertible promissory note with 1,000,000 shares of restricted stock and 1,100,000 warrants in a private placement to an accredited investor for $100,000 in proceeds. The warrants have a five-year term and an exercise price of $0.10. The promissory note has a face value of approximately $111,000, which includes 10% original issue discount (“OID”), and incurs a one-time upfront interest charge of six percent. The holder of the note has the option to convert the note into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.02 per share. Approximately $350,000 of additional funding is available under similar terms if the Company and the lender mutually agree to further tranches. The Company evaluated the various financial instruments under ASC 480 and ASC 815 and determined no material instruments or features represented embedded derivatives. Therefore, in accordance with ASC 470-20-25-2, the Company allocated the proceeds between the convertible note, restricted common stock, and warrants based on their relative fair values. This resulted in an allocation of approximately $17,000 to the restricted stock, approximately $14,000 to the warrants and approximately $69,000 to the convertible note. After such allocation, the Company evaluated the conversion option to discern whether a beneficial conversion feature existed based upon comparing the effective exercise price of the convertible note to the fair value of the shares it is convertible into. The Company concluded a beneficial conversion feature existed and measured such beneficial conversion feature at approximately $69,000. Accordingly, at March 14, 2017, the debt discount associated with these notes was approximately $111,000. Such discount will be amortized using the effective interest rate method over the term (seven months) of the convertible note. For the year ended September 30, 2017 amortization of this discount totaled approximately $106,000 and is included in interest expense in the statement of operations. In September 2017, $30,000 was converted into 1.5 million shares of stock, leaving a note balance of $81,111 at September 30, 2017. The remaining balance and accrued interest were converted in October 2017 at which time all was paid in full.

 

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On October 16, 2017, the Company issued a convertible promissory note with 1,000,000 shares of restricted stock and 1,100,000 warrants in a private placement to an accredited investor for $100,000 in proceeds. The warrants have a five-year term and an exercise price of $0.10. The promissory note has a face value of $110,000, which includes 10% original issue discount (“OID”), and incurs a one-time upfront interest charge of six percent. The holder of the note has the option to convert the note into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.02 per share. Approximately $250,000 of additional funding is available under similar terms if the Company and the lender mutually agree to further tranches. The Company evaluated the various financial instruments under ASC 480 and ASC 815 and determined no material instruments or features represented embedded derivatives. Therefore, in accordance with ASC 470-20-25-2, the Company allocated the proceeds between the convertible note, restricted common stock, and warrants based on their relative fair values. This resulted in an allocation of approximately $21,000 to the restricted stock, approximately $20,000 to the warrants and approximately $59,000 to the convertible note. After such allocation, the Company evaluated the conversion option to discern whether a beneficial conversion feature existed based upon comparing the effective exercise price of the convertible note to the fair value of the shares it is convertible into. The Company concluded a beneficial conversion feature existed and measured such beneficial conversion feature at approximately $59,000. Accordingly, at October 16, 2017, the debt discount associated with these notes was $110,000. Such discount was amortized using the effective interest rate method over the term (seven months) of the convertible note. In April 2018 the note and accrued interest was converted into 5.8 million shares of common stock and paid in full.

 

On December 15, 2017, the Company issued a convertible promissory note with 1,000,000 shares of restricted stock and 1,100,000 warrants in a private placement to an accredited investor for $100,000 in proceeds. The warrants have a five-year term and an exercise price of $0.10. The promissory note has a face value of $110,000, which includes 10% original issue discount (“OID”), and incurs a one-time upfront interest charge of six percent. The holder of the note has the option to convert the note into shares of common stock at a conversion price of $0.02 per share. Approximately $150,000 of additional funding is available under similar terms if the Company and the lender mutually agree to further tranches. The Company evaluated the various financial instruments under ASC 480 and ASC 815 and determined no material instruments or features represented embedded derivatives. Therefore, in accordance with ASC 470-20-25-2, the Company allocated the proceeds between the convertible note, restricted common stock, and warrants based on their relative fair values. This resulted in an allocation of approximately $28,000 to the restricted stock, approximately $27,000 to the warrants and approximately $45,000 to the convertible note. After such allocation, the Company evaluated the conversion option to discern whether a beneficial conversion feature existed based upon comparing the effective exercise price of the convertible note to the fair value of the shares it is convertible into. The Company concluded a beneficial conversion feature existed and measured such beneficial conversion feature at approximately $45,000. Accordingly, at December 15, 2017, the debt discount associated with these notes was $110,000. Such discount was amortized using the effective interest rate method over the term (seven months) of the convertible note. In June 2018 the note and accrued interest was converted into 5.8 million shares of common stock and paid in full.

 

See Note 9 for a summary of the warrants outstanding relating to the Financing Notes.

 

NOTE 8 – Fair Value Measurement

 

Fair value is defined as the price that would be received upon the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Fair value measurements are classified and disclosed in one of the following categories:

 

Level 1: Unadjusted quoted prices in active markets that are accessible at the measurement date for identical, unrestricted assets or liabilities. GulfSlope considers active markets as those in which transactions for the assets or liabilities occur in sufficient frequency and volume to provide pricing information on an ongoing basis.
Level 2: Quoted prices in markets that are not active, or inputs which are observable, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability. This category includes those derivative instruments that GulfSlope values using observable market data. Substantially all of these inputs are observable in the marketplace throughout the term of the derivative instrument, can be derived from observable data, or are supported by observable levels at which transactions are executed in the marketplace. Instruments in this category include non-exchange traded derivative financial instruments as well as long-term incentive plan liabilities calculated using the Black-Scholes model to estimate the fair value as of the measurement date.
Level 3: Measured based on prices or valuation models that require inputs that are both significant to the fair value measurement and less observable from objective sources (i.e. supported by little or no market activity).

 

Financial assets and liabilities are classified based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement requires judgment, and may affect the valuation of the fair value of assets and liabilities and their placement within the fair value hierarchy levels.

 

38 

 

 

Fair Value on a Recurring Basis

 

The following table sets forth by level within the fair value hierarchy GulfSlope Energy, Inc.’s liabilities that were accounted for at fair value on a recurring basis as of September 30, 2018 (no financial assets or liabilities were accounted for at fair value on a recurring basis as of September 30, 2017):

 

     Fair Value Measurements Using
  

Quoted Prices in
Active Markets for
Identical Assets

   

Significant Other
Observable
Inputs

  

Significant
Unobservable
Inputs

   Total Carrying 
Description  (Level 1)    (Level 2)   (Level 3)   Value as of 
     (In thousands)
Derivative Financial Instrument  $     $(271,710)  $   $(271,710)
Total as of Total as of September 30, 2018  $     $(271,710)  $   $(271,710)

  

During the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, the Company did not have any assets or liabilities measured at fair value on a non-recurring basis.

 

NOTE 9 - COMMON STOCK/PAID IN CAPITAL

 

At our annual shareholder meeting in May of 2018 our shareholders approved increasing the number of authorized shares of common stock from 975,000,000 to 1,500,000,000. The number of authorized shares of preferred stock was not changed and is 50,000,000.

 

As discussed in Note 7, during the year ended September 30, 2016, the Company issued 26.2 million warrants in conjunction with the Bridge Financing Notes. The warrants have an exercise price of $0.03 and a term of the earlier of 3 years or upon a change of control. In November 2016, the Company issued 1.7 million warrants in conjunction with the Bridge Financing Notes. The warrants have an exercise price of $0.03 and a term of the earlier of 3 years or upon a change of control. In June through August 2017, the maturity date of all of the Bridge Financing Notes was extended to January 15, 2018 in exchange for the issuance of 25% additional warrants. The warrants have an exercise price of $0.03 and the same expiration date (three years from original transaction) as the original warrants. In January 2018, the maturity date of all of the Bridge Financing Notes was extended to April 16, 2018 in exchange for the issuance of 10% additional warrants. The warrants have an exercise price of $0.10 and the same expiration date (three years from original transaction) as the original warrants. In June 2018, a majority of the Bridge Note holders extended their notes to January 15, 2019, thus extending all the remaining Bridge Notes to this date. The fair value of the warrants were determined using the Black Scholes valuation model with the following key assumptions:

 

The fair value of the warrants were determined using the Black Scholes valuation model with the following key assumptions: 

 

    June 2016     July 2016     August 2016     November 2016     June 2017     July 2017     August 2017       January 2018  
Warrants Issued   12.9 million     10.0 million     3.3 million     1.7 million     3.2 million     2.5 million     1.25 million       2.8 Million  
Stock Price:   $ 0.054 (1)   $ 0.040 (1)   $ 0.032 (1)   $ 0.029 (1)   $ 0.025 (1)   $ 0.019 (1)   $ 0.016 (1)   $ 0.11 (1)
Exercise Price   $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.03     $ 0.10  
Term     3 years       3 years       3 years       3 years       2 years       2 years       2 years       1.5 years  
Risk Free Rate     .87 %     .80 %     .88 %     1.28 %     1.35 %     1.35 %     1.33 %     1.89%  
Volatility     135 %     138 %     137 %     131 %     135 %     136 %     135 %     163%  

 

(1)Fair market value on the date of agreement.

 

 

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A summary of warrants, issued in conjunction with the Bridge Financing Notes and outstanding at September 30, 2018:

 

          Warrants Outstanding     Warrants Exercisable  
Date Issued   Exercise Price     Number Outstanding     Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Life (Yrs)     Weighted Average Exercise Price     Number Exercisable     Weighted Average Exercise Price  
June 2016   $ 0.03       12,566,667       .69     $ 0.03       12,566,667     $ 0.03  
July 2016   $ 0.03       10,000,000       .79     $ 0.03       10,000,000     $ 0.03  
August 2016   $ 0.03       3,333,333       .88     $ 0.03       3,333,333     $ 0.03  
November 2016   $ 0.03       1,666,667       1.13     $ 0.03       1,666,667     $ 0.03  
June 2017   $ 0.03       3,141,667       .69     $ 0.03       3,141,667     $ 0.03  
July 2017   $ 0.03       2,500,000       .79     $ 0.03       2,500,000     $ 0.03  
August 2017   $ 0.03       833,333       .88     $ 0.03       833,333     $ 0.03  
August 2017   $ 0.03       416,667       1.13     $ 0.03       416,667     $ 0.03  
January 2018   $ 0.10       2,790,000        .78     $ 0.10       2,790,000     $ 0.10  

 

In December 2016 and March 2017 the Company issued 500,000 and 1,000,000 shares of GulfSlope Energy stock, respectively to an investor as part of a financing transaction (see Financing Notes in Note 7). In December 2016 and March 2017 the Company issued 550,000 and 1,100,000 warrants to purchase stock at $0.10 per share to an investor as part of a financing transaction (see Financing Notes in Note 7). The warrants have a term of 5 years.

 

In October 2017 and December 2017 the Company issued 1,000,000 and 1,000,000 shares of GulfSlope Energy stock, respectively to an investor as part of a financing transaction (see Financing Notes in Note 7). In October 2017 and December 2017 the Company issued 1,100,000 and 1,100,000 warrants to purchase stock at $0.10 per share to an investor as part of a financing transaction (see Financing Notes in Note 7). The warrants have a term of 5 years.

 

A summary of the Financing Note warrants, issued in conjunction with the Financing Notes and outstanding at September 30, 2018:

 

      Warrants Outstanding     Warrants Exercisable  
Exercise Price     Number Outstanding     Remaining Contractual Life (Yrs)     Weighted Average Exercise Price     Number Exercisable     Weighted Average Exercise Price  
 $ 0.10       550,000       3.25     $ 0.10       550,000     $ 0.10  
 $ 0.10       1,100,000       3.46     $ 0.10       1,100,000     $ 0.10  
 $ 0.10       1,100,000       4.04     $ 0.10       1,100,000     $ 0.10  
 $ 0.10       1,100,000       4.21     $ 0.10       1,100,000     $ 0.10  

 

Beginning in August 2018, the Company began negotiating a capital raise which is expected to consist of the issuance of common shares and warrants. The specific terms of the capital raise have not been finalized including the number of shares and warrants to be received by each investor. Through September 30, 2018, approximately $970,000 has been received from investors related to this capital raise; however, the agreements have not been finalized, and no shares or equity have been issued. As such, the funds received have been recorded as a liability on the balance sheet as of September 30, 2018.

 

In September 2018, the Company issued approximately 4 million shares of common stock valued at approximately $231,000 on the date of grant and 2 million warrants valued at $80,000 utilizing the Black Scholes model with an exercise price of $0.15 per share in settlement of a liability for services rendered.

 

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NOTE 10 – STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION

 

On January 1, 2017, 33.5 million stock options were granted to employees, officers and directors of the Company. The CEO was not included in the award. The stock options vested 50% on January 1, 2017 and 50% on January 1, 2018. The stock options are exercisable for seven years from the original grant date of January 1, 2017, until January 1, 2024.

 

In May 2018, 500,000 stock options were granted to an employee. In June 2018, 33.5 million stock options were granted to employees, officers and directors of the Company. The CEO was not included in the award. Approximately 33% of the stock options vested on June 1, 2018 and approximately 33% will vest on June 1, 2019 and 2020, respectively, provided that the option holder continues to serve as an employee or director on the vesting date. The stock options are exercisable from the original grant date until December 31, 2025.

 

Stock-based compensation cost is measured at the grant date, based on the estimated fair value of the award, and is recognized over the vesting period. The Company recognized $1,857,531 and $653,669 in stock-based compensation expense for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. A portion of these costs allocable to the Company’s exploration activities, $820,877 and $195,125 were capitalized to unproved properties and the remainder was recorded as general and administrative expenses, for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

The following table summarizes the Company’s stock option activity during the year ended September 30, 2018:

 

    Number of
Options
    Weighted Average Exercise Price     Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Term (Years)     Average Intrinsic Value  
Outstanding at beginning of period   35,500,000     $ 0.033                  
Granted     68,000,000       0.075                
Exercised                          
Cancelled                          
Outstanding at end of period     103,500,000     $ 0.0605       3.32     $ 1.2 million  
Vested and expected to vest     103,500,000     $ 0.0605       3.32     $ 1.2 million  
Exercisable at end of period     54,500,000     $ 0.0475           $ 1.3 million  

 

The Company uses the Black-Scholes option-pricing model to estimate the fair value of options granted. The weighted-average fair values of stock options granted for the years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 were based on the following assumptions at the date of grant as follows:

 

  2018   2017 
Expected dividend yield  0%  0%
Expected stock price volatility   145.2%   127.2%
Risk-free interest rate   2.7%   1.71%
Expected life of options   7 years    4 years 
Weighted-average grant date fair value  $0.065   $0.022 

 

The Company used its historical stock trading price volatility for the last four years. The Company has no historical data regarding the expected life of the options and therefore used the simplified method of calculating the expected life. The risk free rate was calculated using the U.S. Treasury constant maturity rates similar to the expected life of the options, as published by the Federal Reserve. The Company has no plans to declare any future dividends.

 

As of September 30, 2018 there was $2.7 million of unrecognized stock-based compensation cost related to the stock option grants expected to be amortized over a weighted average period of three years.

 

NOTE 11 – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

 

From time to time, the Company may become involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of its operations in the normal course of business. No legal proceedings, government actions, administrative actions, investigations or claims are currently pending against us or involve the Company.

 

In July 2018 the Company entered into a 39 month lease for approximately 5,000 square feet of office space in 4 Houston Center in downtown Houston. Annual base rent is approximately $94 thousand for the first 18 months, increasing to approximately $97 thousand and $99 thousand, respectively during the remaining term of the lease.

 

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The Company reached an agreement with a vendor in August 2018 for the settlement of approximately $1 million in debt. The vendor was paid $150,000 in cash, future cash payments of $7,500 and 10 million shares of GulfSlope common stock. The agreement contains a provision that upon the sale of the common stock if the original debt is not fully satisfied, full payment will be made, under a mutually agreed payment plan. If the stock is sold for a gain any surplus in excess of $1.3 million shall be a credit against future purchases from the vendor. The agreement was determined to meet the definition of a derivative in accordance with ASC 815. At September 30, 2018 there is a fair value liability of $271,710.

 

NOTE 12 – SUBSEQUENT EVENTS

 

In October 2018, the Company purchased an insurance policy for $159,995 and financed $146,310 of the premium by executing a note payable.

 

In October 2018, the Company paid the 80% lease bonus payment and the first year rentals in the amount of $139,809 and was awarded Gulf of Mexico lease block Eugene Island, South Addition 371.

 

In November 2018, the Company paid the 80% lease bonus payment and the first year rentals in the amount of $187,809 and was awarded Gulf of Mexico lease block Vermillion, South Addition 376.

 

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ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None

 

ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

We maintain disclosure controls and procedures, as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in the reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act, is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified by the Commission’s rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act are properly recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods required by the Commission’s rules and forms.

We carried out an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of these disclosure controls and procedures, as such term is defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e), as of September 30, 2018. Based on this evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective as of September 30, 2018, the end of the period covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K, due to the material weaknesses described below.

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) under the Exchange Act). Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. All control systems contain inherent limitations, no matter how well designed. As a result, our management acknowledges that its internal controls over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their control objectives.

Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2018. In making this assessment, management used the criteria established by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013). Based on this evaluation, our management concluded that, as of September 30, 2018, our internal control over financial reporting was not effective due to the material weaknesses described below.

A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

The design and operating effectiveness of our controls were inadequate to ensure that all complex accounting matters are properly accounted for and reviewed in a timely manner. As a result, we failed to accurately record interest on an interest bearing payable and failed to accurately identify and value a fair value financial instrument issued in settlement of a liability. These errors are a result of insufficient control activities related to the review and monitoring of Company contracts to ensure the proper accounting for such contracts.

Our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer are in the preliminary stage of a review of our controls relating to such accounting matters. Although our analysis is not complete, we believe that adding additional resources with expertise in accounting for complex accounting matters, including timely review, may be warranted.

Notwithstanding the identified material weaknesses, the Company believes the financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K fairly represent in all material respects our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows at and for the periods presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

This Annual Report does not include an attestation report of our registered public accounting firm regarding our internal control over financial reporting due to an exemption established by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, for emerging growth companies.

 

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Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

 

There have been no changes in internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the most recent fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION

 

Not Applicable.

 

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PART III

 

ITEM 10.  DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

Identification of Directors and Executive Officers

 

Our executive officers and directors and their respective ages, positions and biographical information are set forth below.

 

Name   Age   Title
John N. Seitz   66   Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
John H. Malanga   51   Chief Financial Officer
Dwight M. Moore   62   Vice President, Secretary
Charles G. Hughes   61   Vice President, Land
Richard S. Langdon   68   Director
Paul L. Morris   76   Director

 

John N. Seitz. Mr. Seitz has served as the Company’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board and director since May 31, 2013, and served as a consultant to the Company from March 2013 through May 2013. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Seitz held positions of increasing responsibility at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC), serving most recently as a director and as president and chief executive officer until 2003. Mr. Seitz also serves on the board of ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO), a leading technology focused seismic solutions company. Mr. Seitz is a Certified Professional Geological Scientist from the American Institute of Professional Geologists and a licensed professional geoscientist with the State of Texas. Mr. Seitz also serves as a trustee for the American Geological Institute Foundation. In 2000, the Houston Geological Society honored Mr. Seitz as a “Legend in Wildcatting,” and he is a member of the All American Wildcatters. Mr. Seitz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science degree in Geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School.

 

John H. Malanga. Mr. Malanga has served as chief financial officer since July 2014 and is responsible for leading the financial function of the organization, overseeing strategic planning and analysis, accounting and reporting, treasury, tax, audit and risk management. From 2005 to 2014, Mr. Malanga worked as a senior investment banker with the energy firms of Weisser, Johnson & Co. and Sanders Morris Harris Inc. Mr. Malanga began his investment banking career with Jefferies & Co. Over his career, he has participated in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and financial advisory transactions with particular emphasis on providing strategic and financial advice to emerging growth companies. Mr. Malanga holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Texas A&M University and a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Rice University.

 

Dwight M. Moore. Mr. Moore has served as vice president and secretary of the Company since May 2013, and most recently served as vice president- corporate development for ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) from 2008 to 2013. From 2006-07, Mr. Moore was manager of offshore business development at Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE: MUR). From 1987 to 2003, Mr. Moore held positions at Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) and from 1978 to 1987, at Diamond Shamrock/Maxus Energy (NYSE: YPF). Mr. Moore has served as president of the Houston Geological Society, as treasurer of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), and recently served as the chairman of the AAPG Investment Committee. Mr. Moore is also a licensed professional geoscientist with the State of Texas, an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist, and holds two bachelor degrees with Honors, in Geology and Business Administration-Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University and its Cox School of Business.

 

Charles G. Hughes. Mr. Hughes has served as vice president land since April 2014. Mr. Hughes’ executive responsibilities include all land and industry partner related matters. He formerly served as general manager – land and business development for Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. from 2007 to 2014. From 1980 to 2007, Mr. Hughes served in roles of increasing responsibility both onshore and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Mr. Hughes is a member and former Chairman of the OCS Advisory Board, a member of the Association of Professional Landmen, the Houston Association of Professional Landmen and the Professional Landmen’s Association of New Orleans. Mr. Hughes received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Texas.

 

Richard S. Langdon. Richard S. Langdon has served as a director of the Company since March 2014. Mr. Langdon is currently the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Altamont Energy, Inc., a newly formed privately held exploration and production company. Mr. Langdon served as the president, chief executive officer and outside director of Badlands Energy, Inc. and its predecessor entity, Gasco Energy, Inc. since May 2013 and Debtor-in Possession since August 2017. Prior to assuming the President and CEO role, Mr. Langdon had served as a Gasco Energy Inc. outside board member since 2003. Mr. Langdon serves as a member of the board of managers of Sanchez Midstream Partners, LP, and is a member of its Audit, Nominating and Corporate Governance and Conflicts Committees. Mr. Langdon was the president and chief executive officer of KMD Operating Company, LLC (“KMD Operating”), and its predecessor entity, Matris Exploration Company LP (“Matris Exploration”), both privately held exploration and production companies, from July 2004 through December 2015. Mr. Langdon was executive vice president and chief operating officer of KMD Operating, from August 2009, until the merger of Matris Exploration into KMD Operating in November 2011. From 1997 until 2002, Mr. Langdon served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of EEX Corporation, a publicly traded exploration and production company that merged with Newfield Exploration Company in 2002. Prior to that, he held various positions with the Pennzoil Companies from 1991 to 1996, including executive vice president - International Marketing - Pennzoil Products Company; senior vice president - Business Development - Pennzoil Company and senior vice president - Commercial & Control - Pennzoil Exploration & Production Company. Mr. Langdon graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1974.

 

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Paul L. Morris. Mr. Morris has served as a director of the Company since March 2014. Mr. Morris founded Elk River Resources, LLC in August 2013 to explore and develop oil and gas potential in the oil-producing regions of the southwest United States. Mr. Morris has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Elk River Resources since inception. Prior to Elk River Resources, Mr. Morris served as president and chief executive officer from 1988 to September 2013 of Wagner & Brown, Ltd., an independent oil and gas company headquartered in Midland, Texas. With Wagner & Brown, Mr. Morris oversaw all company operations, including exploration and production activities, in eight states as well as in France, England and Australia. Mr. Morris also oversaw affiliates involved in natural gas gathering and marketing, crude oil purchasing and reselling, pipeline development, construction and operation, and compressed natural gas (CNG) design, fabrication and operations. Mr. Morris served as president of Banner Energy from 1981 until 1988. Mr. Morris graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1964. Mr. Morris has also completed the Executive Management Program in the College of Business Administration of Penn State University.

 

Board Committees and Meetings

 

Our Board currently consists of three directors. Vacancies on the Board may be filled by a vote of a majority of the remaining directors, although less than a quorum is present. A director elected by the Board to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term of that director and until the director’s successor is elected and qualified. This includes vacancies created by an increase in the number of directors. Our Board of Directors has three standing committees: the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Compensation Committee, and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee.

 

The Company has no formal policy with regard to Board members’ attendance at annual meetings of security holders. The Company held an annual shareholder meeting in May of 2018. During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018, the Board of Directors held 4 meetings and acted by written consent five times.

 

Compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act

 

Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires our directors and executive officers, and persons who beneficially own more than 10% of our common stock, to file with the SEC initial reports of ownership and reports of changes in ownership of our common stock. Directors, executive officers and more than 10% stockholders are required by SEC regulations to provide us with copies of all Section 16(a) forms they file. To our knowledge, based solely on a review of the copies of the reports furnished to us, all Section 16(a) filing requirements applicable to our directors, officers and more than 10% beneficial owners were complied with during the year ended September 30, 2018.

 

Code of Ethics

 

We have adopted a written code of ethics and whistleblower policy (the “Code of Ethics”) that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, and persons performing similar functions. We believe that the Code of Ethics is reasonably designed to deter wrongdoing and promote honest and ethical conduct; provide full, fair, accurate, timely and understandable disclosure in public reports; comply with applicable laws; ensure prompt internal reporting of code violations; and provide accountability for adherence to the code. A copy of our Code of Ethics was previously filed as an exhibit to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended 2012, and can be found at www.sec.gov. Our Code of Ethics can also be found on our website at www.gulfslope.com. A copy of the Code of Ethics will be provided to any person, without charge, upon request to the Secretary at 1331 Lamar St., Suite 1665, Houston, Texas 77010..

 

Involvement in Certain Legal Proceedings

 

There are currently no material pending legal proceedings to which the Company is a party or of which any of its property is the subject, in which any of the above referenced directors or officers is a party adverse to the Company or has a material interest adverse to the Company. Furthermore, during the past ten years, none of the Company’s officers or directors described above were involved in any legal proceedings that are material to an evaluation of the ability or integrity of such directors and officers.

 

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ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

Compensation to Officers of the Company

 

The following tables contain compensation data for our named executive officers for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017:

 

Summary Compensation Table                    
Name and
Principal Position
  Year     Salary     Bonus     Stock
Awards
    Stock
Option Awards
    All Other
Compensation
    Total  
John N. Seitz   2018     $     $     $     $     $     $  
CEO   2017                         (1)          
                                                       
John H. Malanga   2018       36,000                   560,250             596,250  
CFO   2017       24,000                   167,250             191,250  

 

(1)  Mr. Seitz is not currently receiving or accruing any compensation as of the date of this Annual Report.

 

Employment and Consulting Arrangements

 

Mr. Seitz is not currently receiving or accruing any compensation as of the date of this Annual Report.

 

On January 1, 2016 all officers and all employees salaries were reduced due to budgetary constraints. A reduced annual salary of approximately $24,000 plus benefits has been paid through May 2018. Beginning in May 2018 a monthly salary of approximately $5,000 plus benefits was paid to all employees and officers. In January 2017, Mr. Malanga was awarded fifteen million stock options, 50% vested immediately the remainder vested in January of 2018. In June of 2018 Mr. Malanga was awarded eighteen million stock options, 6 million vested immediately, 6 million will vest in June of 2019 and 6 million in June of 2020. The Company has seven current employees and officers.

 

In January 2017, 33,500,000 stock options were issued to employees, officers and board members. The options have an exercise price of $0.0278 and 50% vested upon grant and 50% vested in January 2018, The options will expire in January 2024.

 

In May 2018, 500,000 stock options with an exercise price of $0.065 were issued and in June 2018, 67,500,000 stock options with an exercise price of $0.075 were issued to employees, officers and board members. 19 million stock options vested upon grant and 24 million will vest in June 2019, and 25 million will vest in June 2020 The options will expire on December 31, 2025.

 

Compensation Policies and Practices as they Relate to the Company’s Risk Management

 

We conducted a review of our compensation policies and procedures as they relate to an overall risk management policy. We do not believe that any of our compensation policies and practices create risks that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on the Company.

 

Director Compensation

 

During 2018, the directors of the Company were not compensated for their services as directors. In January of 2017 the Company’s nonemployee directors were each awarded 2,500,000 stock options for the Company’s stock at an exercise price of $0.0278 per share, 50% vested in January 2017 and 50% vested in January of 2018. The stock options will expire in January 2024. In June of 2018 the Company’s nonemployee directors were each awarded 4,500,000 stock options for the Company’s stock at an exercise price of $0.075 per share, 1.5 million vested in June 2018, and 1.5 million will vest in June 2019 and June 2020, respectively. The stock options will expire in December 2025.

 

Grants of Plan-Based Awards

 

The Company shareholders approved the 2018 Omnibus Incentive Plan in May of 2018. Restricted stock and stock option awards made after this date, to executives, employees, and directors were made pursuant to the plan.

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year End

 

In January 2017, 22 million stock options were awarded to GulfSlope Energy executives, 5 million to directors, and 6.5 million to employees. The exercise price of the stock options is $0.0278 and they expire in January 2024. Fifty percent of these options vested upon grant in January 2017 and fifty percent will vested in January 2018. In May 2018, 0.5 million stock options were awarded and in June 2018, 67.5 million stock options were awarded to GulfSlope Energy executives, employees and directors. The exercise price of the stock options is $0.075 and they expire in December 2025. 19 million of these options vested upon grant in June 2018, 24 million will vest in June 2019, and 25 million will vest in June 2020, provided the recipient remains employed at the Company.

 

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ITEM 12.  SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

The following table sets forth the number and percentage of outstanding shares of common stock owned by: (a) each person who is known by us to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of our outstanding shares of common stock; (b) each of our directors; (c) each of our named executive officers as defined in Item 402 of Regulation S-K; and (d) all current directors and executive officers, as a group as of December 15, 2018. As of the date of this Annual Report, there were 832,013,272 shares of common stock deemed issued and outstanding.

 

Unless otherwise stated, beneficial ownership has been determined in accordance with Rule 13d-3 under the Exchange Act. Under this rule, certain shares may be deemed to be beneficially owned by more than one person (if, for example, persons share the power to vote or the power to dispose of the shares). In addition, shares are deemed to be beneficially owned by a person if the person has the right to acquire shares (for example, upon exercise of an option or warrant) within 60 days of the date as of which the information is provided. In computing the percentage ownership of any person or group of persons, the number of shares beneficially owned by such person or group of persons is deemed to include the number of shares beneficially owned by such person or the members of such group by reason of such acquisition rights, and the total number of shares outstanding is also deemed to include such shares (but not shares subject to similar acquisition rights held by any other person or group) for purposes of that calculation. As a result, the percentage of outstanding shares of any person as shown in the following table does not necessarily reflect the person’s actual voting power at any particular date. To our knowledge, except as indicated in the footnotes to this table and pursuant to applicable community property laws, the persons named in the table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares of common stock shown as beneficially owned by them. The address for each of the beneficial owners is the Company’s address.

 

Name of Beneficial Owner   Number of Shares of Common
Stock Beneficially Owned
    Percentage of Class
Beneficially Owned
 
Named Executive Officers and Directors:        
John N. Seitz (1)     252,993,523       30.4 %
John H. Malanga (3)     35,666,667       4.3 %
Dwight M. Moore (4)     21,045,555       2.5 %
Richard S. Langdon (5)     7,916,667       1.0 %
Paul L. Morris (2)     9,170,834       1.1 %
All directors & executive officers as a group (5 persons)     326,793,246       39.3 %
                 
Shareholders of Greater Than 5%: Hi-View Investment Partners     48,000,000       5.8  %

 

(1)Includes 44,166,667 shares of common stock underlying the convertible demand note in the principal amount of $5.3 million and 9,241,300 shares underlying the convertible accrued interest in the amount of $1,108,956.
(2)Includes 4,167 shares of common stock held by the Morris Family Limited Partnership LP, a partnership of which an entity controlled by Mr. Morris is the general partner and 2,500,000 stock options awarded in January 2017, one-half vested in January of 2017 and one-half vested in January 2018. Includes 4,500,000 stock options awarded in June 2018, one-third vested in June of 2018, one-third will vest in June 2019 and one-third will vest in June 2020.
(3)Includes 15,000,000 stock options awarded in January 2017, one-half vested in January of 2017 and one-half vested in January 2018. Includes 18,000,000 stock options awarded in June 2018, one-third vested in June of 2018, one-third will vest in June 2019 and one-third will vest in June 2020.
(4)Includes 3,000,000 stock options awarded in January 2017, one-half vested in January of 2017 and one-half vested in January 2018. Includes 8,000,000 stock options awarded in June 2018, 2 million vested in June of 2018, 3 million will vest in June 2019 and 3 million will vest in June 2020.
(5)Includes 2,500,000 stock options awarded in January 2017, one-half vested in January of 2017 and one-half vested in January 2018. Includes 4,500,000 stock options awarded in June 2018, one-third vested in June of 2018, one-third will vest in June 2019 and one-third will vest in June 2020.

 

ITEM 13.  CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

For a discussion of related party transactions, see Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 6 Related Party Transactions.

 

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Director Independence

 

For purposes of determining director independence, we have applied the NYSE MKT standards for independence. The OTCBB, on which shares of our common stock are quoted, does not have any director independence requirements. The NYSE MKT definition of independent director means a person other than an executive officer or employee of the Company or any other individual having a relationship which, in the opinion of the our Board of Directors, would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director.

 

The members of the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Compensation Committee, and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee are Messrs. Morris and Langdon, each, of whom, is independent.

 

ITEM 14.  PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

Audit Fees and Services

 

For the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017 professional services were performed by BDO USA, LLP. The aggregate fees billed by BDO USA, LLP for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 were as follows:

 

    September 30, 2018     September 30, 2017  
Audit Fees(1)     215,417        102,600  
Audit-Related Fees(2)            
Tax Fees(3)            
All Other Fees            

 

(1)Audit services include fees for professional services rendered for the audit of the Company’s annual financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017, and reviews of the financial statements included in the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. In addition, services include statutory audits required, and accounting consultations on matters related to the annual audits or interim reviews.
(2)Audit-related services primarily include fees for assurance and related services by our principal accountants that are reasonably related to the performance of the audit or review of our financial statements.
(3)Tax services include fees for consultation and assistance with tax preparation and compliance during the years ended September 30, 2018 and September 30, 2017.

 

Audit Committee Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

 

The Audit and Compliance Committee has adopted policies and procedures that will require the Company to obtain the Committee’s pre-approval of all audit and permissible non-audit services to be provided by the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm. The Committee pre-approved 100% of the non-audit services provided to the Company by BDO USA, LLP.

 

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PART IV

 

ITEM 15.  EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

(a) (1) Financial Statements (included under Item 8):

 

  Page
   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 26
   
Balance Sheets as of September 30, 2018 and 2017 27
   
Statements of Operations for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 28
   
Statements of Stockholders’ Deficit for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 29
   
Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended September 30, 2018 and 2017 30
   
Notes to the Financial Statements 31 - 42

 

(3) Exhibits. The following exhibits are filed as part of this Annual Report:

 

Exhibit No. Description

 

3.1 Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of GulfSlope Energy, Inc., incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 of the Company’s Form 8-K filed May 30, 2014
3.2 Bylaws of GulfSlope Energy, Inc., incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.2 of the Company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014
4.1 Common Stock Specimen, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012
10.1(3) Form of Restricted Stock Agreement, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014
10.2(3) Form of Indemnification Agreement, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 of Form 8-K filed October 31, 2013
10.3 Form of Convertible Promissory Note between the Company and John N. Seitz, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 of Form 8-K filed October 31, 2013
10.4(1) Form of Promissory Note between the Company and John N. Seitz; Dr. Ronald Bain and an affiliate
10.5(3) GulfSlope Energy, Inc. 2014 Omnibus Incentive Plan dated effective May 24, 2014, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 of Form 8-K filed May 30, 2014
10.6(3) Option Agreement between the Company and Brady Rodgers dated October 21, 2013, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.12 of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2013
14.1 Code of Ethics, incorporated by reference to Exhibit 14.1 of the Company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012
23.1(1) Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
31.1(1) Certification of Principal Executive Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
31.2(1) Certification of Principal Financial Officer pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
32.1(1) Certification of Principal Executive Officer pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
32.2(1) Certification of Principal Financial Officer pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
101.INS XBRL Instance Document Documents
101.SCH XBRL Schema Document
101.CAL XBRL Calculation Linkbase Document
101.DEF XBRL Definition Linkbase Document
101.LAB XBRL Label Linkbase Document
101.PRE XBRL Presentation Linkbase Document

 

(1) Filed herewith.
(2) Pursuant to Rule 406T of Regulation S-T, the Interactive Data Files on Exhibit 101 hereto are deemed not filed or part of a registration statement or prospectus for purposes of Sections 11 or 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, are deemed not filed for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and otherwise are not subject to liability under those sections.
(3) Management contract or compensatory plan or arrangement required to be filed as an exhibit hereto pursuant to Item 15(b).

 

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ITEM 16.  FORM 10-K SUMMARY

 

None.

 

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SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

Date: December 31, 2018

GulfSlope Energy, Inc.

(Registrant)

 

  By: /s/ John N. Seitz  
  John N. Seitz  
  Chief Executive Officer and Chairman  

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Signature Title Date
     
/s/ John N. Seitz Chief Executive Officer and Chairman December 31, 2018
John N. Seitz (Principal Executive Officer)  
     
/s/ John H. Malanga Chief Financial Officer
(Principal Financial Officer)
(Principal Accounting Officer)
December 31, 2018
John H. Malanga  
/s/ Richard S. Langdon

 

Director

December 31, 2018
Richard S. Langdon    
     
/s/ Paul L. Morris Director December 31, 2018
Paul L. Morris    

  

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