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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 December 31, 2021
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number: 001-35380
Laredo Petroleum, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware45-3007926
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
15 W. Sixth Street Suite 900 
TulsaOklahoma74119
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip code)
(918513-4570
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading symbolName of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, $0.01 par value per shareLPINew York Stock Exchange
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes     No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes     No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes     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 whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filerAccelerated 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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes     No 
Aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates was approximately $1.2 billion on June 30, 2021, based on $92.79 per share, the last reported sales price of the common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on such date.
Number of shares of registrant's common stock outstanding as of February 22, 2022: 17,304,100
Documents Incorporated by Reference:
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement for its 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report for the year ended December 31, 2021.


Laredo Petroleum, Inc.
Table of Contents
Page
F-1
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Table of Contents
Glossary of Oil and Natural Gas Terms
The following terms are used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this "Annual Report"):
"2D"—Method for collecting, processing and interpreting seismic data in two dimensions.
"3D"—Method for collecting, processing and interpreting seismic data in three dimensions.
"Allocation well"—A horizontal well drilled by an oil and gas producer under two or more leaseholds that are not pooled, under a permit issued by the RRC.
"Basin"—A large natural depression on the earth's surface in which sediments, generally brought by water, accumulate.
"Bbl" or "barrel"—One stock tank barrel, of 42 U.S. gallons liquid volume, used herein in reference to crude oil, condensate, natural gas liquids or water.
"Benchmark Prices"—The unweighted arithmetic average first-day-of-the-month price for each month within the 12-month period prior to the end of the reporting period before differentials, as required by SEC guidelines.
"BOE"—One barrel of oil equivalent, calculated by converting natural gas to oil equivalent barrels at a ratio of six Mcf of natural gas to one Bbl of oil.
"BOE/D"—BOE per day.
"Brent"—A light (low density) and sweet (low sulfur) crude oil sourced from the North Sea, used as a pricing benchmark for ICE oil futures contracts.
"Btu"—British thermal unit, the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a one pound mass of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
"Completion"—The process of treating a drilled well followed by the installation of permanent equipment for the production of oil or natural gas, or in the case of a dry hole, the reporting of abandonment to the appropriate agency.
"Developed acreage"—The number of acres that are allocated or assignable to productive wells or wells capable of production.
"Development well"—A well drilled within the proved area of an oil or natural gas reservoir to the depth of a stratigraphic horizon known to be productive.
"Dry hole"—A well found to be incapable of producing hydrocarbons in sufficient quantities such that proceeds from the sale of such production exceed production expenses and taxes.
"Exploratory well"—A well drilled to find a new field or to find a new reservoir in a field previously found to be productive of oil or natural gas in another reservoir.
"Field"—An area consisting of a single reservoir or multiple reservoirs all grouped on, or related to, the same individual geological structural feature or stratigraphic condition. The field name refers to the surface area, although it may refer to both the surface and the underground productive formations.
"Formation"—A layer of rock which has distinct characteristics that differ from nearby rock.
"Fracturing" or "Frac"—The propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid. This technique is used to release petroleum and natural gas for extraction.
"GAAP"—Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States.
"Gross acres" or "gross wells"—The total acres or wells, as the case may be, in which a working interest is owned.
"HBP"—Acreage that is held by production.
"Henry Hub"—A natural gas pipeline delivery point in south Louisiana that serves as the benchmark natural gas price underlying NYMEX natural gas futures contracts.
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"Horizon"—A term used to denote a surface in or of rock, or a distinctive layer of rock that might be represented by a reflection in seismic data.
"Horizontal drilling"—A drilling technique used in certain formations where a well is drilled vertically to a certain depth and then drilled at a right angle within a specified interval.
"ICE"—The Intercontinental Exchange.
"Initial Production"The measurement of production from an oil or gas well when first brought on stream. Often stated in terms of production during the first thirty days.
"Liquids"—Describes oil, condensate and natural gas liquids.
"MBbl"—One thousand barrels of crude oil, condensate or natural gas liquids.
"MBOE"—One thousand BOE.
"MMBOE"—One million BOE.
"Mcf"—One thousand cubic feet of natural gas.
"MMBtu"—One million Btu.
"MMcf"—One million cubic feet of natural gas.
"Natural gas liquids" or "NGL"—Components of natural gas that are separated from the gas state in the form of liquids, which include propane, butanes and ethane, among others.
"Net acres"—The percentage of gross acres an owner has out of a particular number of acres, or a specified tract. An owner who has 50% interest in 100 acres owns 50 net acres.
"Net revenue interest"—An owner's interest in the revenues of a well after deduction proceeds allocated to royalty and overriding interests.
"NYMEX"—The New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Overriding royalty interest"—A fractional undivided interest or right to production or revenues, free of costs, of a lessee with respect to an oil or natural gas well, that overrides a working interest.
"Productive well"—A well that is found to be capable of producing hydrocarbons in sufficient quantities such that proceeds from the sale of the production exceed production expenses and taxes.
"Proved developed non-producing reserves" or "PDNP"—Developed non-producing reserves.
"Proved developed reserves" or "PDP"—Reserves that can be expected to be recovered through existing wells with existing equipment and operating methods.
"Proved reserves"—The estimated quantities of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions.
"Proved undeveloped reserves" or "PUD"—Proved reserves that are expected to be recovered within five years from new wells on undrilled locations and for which a specific capital commitment has been made or from existing wells where a relatively major expenditure is required for recompletion.
"Realized Prices"—Prices which reflect adjustments to the Benchmark Prices for quality, transportation fees, geographical differentials, marketing bonuses or deductions and other factors affecting the price received at the delivery point without giving effect to our commodity derivative transactions.
"Recompletion"—The process of re-entering an existing wellbore that is either producing or not producing and completing in new reservoirs in an attempt to establish or increase existing production.
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"Reservoir"—A porous and permeable underground formation containing a natural accumulation of producible oil and/or natural gas that is confined by impermeable rock or water barriers and is separate from other reservoirs.
"Royalty interest"—An interest that gives an owner the right to receive a portion of the resources or revenues without having to carry any development costs, which may be subject to expiration.
"RRC"—The Railroad Commission of Texas.
"Spacing"—The distance between wells producing from the same reservoir.
"Standardized measure"—Discounted future net cash flows estimated by applying Realized Prices to the estimated future production of year-end proved reserves. Future cash inflows are reduced by estimated future production and development costs based on period end costs to determine pre-tax cash inflows. Future income taxes, if applicable, are computed by applying the statutory tax rate to the excess of pre-tax cash inflows over our tax basis in the oil and natural gas properties. Future net cash inflows after income taxes are discounted using a 10% annual discount rate.
"Three stream"—Production or reserve volumes of oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas, where the natural gas liquids have been removed from the natural gas stream and the economic value of the natural gas liquids is separated from the wellhead natural gas price.
"Undeveloped acreage"—Lease acreage on which wells have not been drilled or completed to a point that would permit the production of commercial quantities of oil and natural gas regardless of whether such acreage contains proved reserves.
"Wellhead natural gas"—Natural gas produced at or near the well.
"Wolfberry Play"—A general industry term that applies to the vertical stratigraphic interval that can include both the shallow Spraberry formation and the deeper Wolfcamp formation throughout the Permian Basin.
"Working interest" or "WI"—The right granted to the lessee of a property to explore for and to produce and own crude oil, natural gas liquids, natural gas or other minerals. The working interest owners bear the exploration, development and operating costs on either a cash, penalty or carried basis.
"WTI"—West Texas Intermediate grade crude oil. A light (low density) and sweet (low sulfur) crude oil, used as a pricing benchmark for NYMEX oil futures contracts.
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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements contained in or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). These forward-looking statements include statements, projections and estimates concerning our operations, performance, business strategy, oil, NGL and natural gas reserves, drilling program capital expenditures, liquidity and capital resources, the timing and success of specific projects, outcomes and effects of litigation, claims and disputes, derivative activities and potential financing. Forward-looking statements are generally accompanied by words such as "estimate," "project," "predict," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "potential," "could," "may," "will," "foresee," "plan," "goal," "should," "intend," "pursue," "target," "continue," "suggest" or the negative thereof or other variations thereof or other words that convey the uncertainty of future events or outcomes. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors we believe are appropriate under the circumstances. Among the factors that significantly impact our business and could impact our business in the future are:
the effects, duration, government response or other implications of the coronavirus ("COVID-19"), or the threat and occurrence of other epidemic or pandemic diseases;
changes in domestic and global production, supply and demand for oil, NGL and natural gas, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and actions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members and other oil exporting nations ("OPEC+");
the volatility of oil, NGL and natural gas prices, including in our area of operation in the Permian Basin;
the potential impact of suspending drilling programs and completions activities or shutting in a portion of our wells, as well as costs to later restart, and co-development considerations such as horizontal spacing, vertical spacing and parent-child interactions on production of oil, NGL and natural gas from our wells;
United States ("U.S.") and international economic conditions and legal, tax, political and administrative developments, including the effects of energy, trade and environmental policies and existing and future laws and government regulations;
possible war and political instability in Ukraine and possible Russian efforts to destabilize the government of Ukraine and the global hydrocarbon market;
our ability to comply with federal, state and local regulatory requirements;
the ongoing instability and uncertainty in the U.S. and international energy, financial and consumer markets that could adversely affect the liquidity available to us and our customers and the demand for commodities, including oil, NGL and natural gas;
our ability to execute our strategies, including our ability to successfully identify and consummate strategic acquisitions at purchase prices that are accretive to our financial results and to successfully integrate acquired businesses, assets and properties; our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Sabalo/Shad Acquisition and the Pioneer Acquisition (as defined below), including effectively managing our expanded acreage;
competition in the oil and natural gas industry;
our ability to discover, estimate, develop and replace oil, NGL and natural gas reserves and inventory;
drilling and operating risks, including risks related to hydraulic fracturing activities and those related to inclement or extreme weather, impacting our ability to produce existing wells and/or drill and complete new wells over an extended period of time;
the long-term performance of wells that were completed using different technologies;
revisions to our reserve estimates as a result of changes in commodity prices, decline curves and other uncertainties;
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impacts of impairment write-downs on our financial statements;
capital requirements for our operations and projects;
our ability to continue to maintain the borrowing capacity under our Senior Secured Credit Facility (as defined below) or access other means of obtaining capital and liquidity, especially during periods of sustained low commodity prices;
our ability to comply with restrictions contained in our debt agreements, including our Senior Secured Credit Facility and the indentures governing our senior unsecured notes, as well as debt that could be incurred in the future;
our ability to generate sufficient cash to service our indebtedness, fund our capital requirements and generate future profits;
our ability to hedge, and regulations that affect our ability to hedge;
the availability and costs of drilling and production equipment, supplies, labor and oil and natural gas processing and other services;
the availability and costs of sufficient gathering, processing, storage and export capacity in the Permian Basin and refining capacity in the U.S. Gulf Coast;
the impact of repurchases, if any, of securities from time to time;
the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting and our ability to remediate a material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting;
our ability to maintain the health and safety of, as well as recruit and retain, qualified personnel necessary to operate our business;
risks related to the geographic concentration of our assets; and
our ability to secure or generate sufficient electricity to produce our wells without limitations.
These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should therefore be considered in light of various factors, including those set forth in this Annual Report under "Item 1A. Risk Factors," in "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and elsewhere in this Annual Report. In light of such risks and uncertainties, we caution you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report, or if earlier, as of the date they were made. We do not intend to, and disclaim any obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements unless required by securities law.
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Part I
Item 1.Business
Except where the context indicates otherwise, amounts, numbers, dollars and percentages presented in this Annual Report are rounded and therefore approximate. Unless the context otherwise requires, references in this Annual Report to "Laredo," the "Company," "we," "our," "us," or similar terms refer to Laredo Petroleum, Inc. and its subsidiaries at the applicable time, including former subsidiaries and predecessor companies, as applicable. For a full discussion of the development of our business, see "Part I, Item 1. Business" in our 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Overview
Laredo Petroleum, Inc., a Delaware corporation formed in 2011, is an independent energy company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties, primarily in the Permian Basin of West Texas. The oil and liquids-rich Permian Basin is characterized by multiple target horizons, extensive production histories, long-lived reserves, high drilling success rates and high initial production rates. As of December 31, 2021, we had assembled 166,064 net acres in the Permian Basin, all of which were held in 398 sections. Our acreage is largely contiguous in the neighboring Texas counties of Borden, Howard, Glasscock, Reagan, Sterling and Irion. We have two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Laredo Midstream Services, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company ("LMS"), and Garden City Minerals, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company ("GCM"), and have identified one operating segment: exploration and production.
Business Strategy and 2021 Operational Highlights
Our strategy is to create long-term value through the acquisition of high-margin properties and the efficient development of those properties, combined with prudent balance sheet management and sustainable environmental practices. Beginning in late 2019, we began acquiring oil-weighted properties to the north and west of our existing Permian Basin acreage with the intention of quickly transitioning our development activities to these areas. We have significantly increased our oil production as a percentage of total production and improved our operating margin and, as a result, are on track for sustainable Free Cash Flow generation.
Our extensive operational history in the Permian Basin is a competitive advantage, enabling the efficient integration of acquired properties and attractive rates of return on development capital. Our geologic understanding of the Permian Basin allows us to safely maintain low drilling and completions and operating costs. Efficiencies are further improved by our contiguous acreage base and high working interest, enabling the drilling of longer horizontal wells and operational control of our development plans. Our development plan, driven by data gathered on more than 600 operated horizontal wells, employs conservative well-spacing that seeks to maximize both location count and well productivity.
In 2021, we made substantial progress executing our strategy, adding approximately 41,000 net acres of oil-weighted, high-margin inventory in Borden, Howard, and Glasscock counties, which are adjacent to our existing acreage in Howard and Glasscock counties. At year-end 2021, we held interests in approximately 66,500 net acres of oil-weighted inventory across such counties and have fully transitioned our development program to the more capital efficient acreage acquired since 2019. During the year, we also divested 37.5%, or approximately 94 million BOE, of our gas-weighted reserves primarily in Reagan and Glasscock counties, using the proceeds to fund a portion of the aforementioned acquisitions. Such moves optimize our capital investments by putting our low-cost structure to work on our oiliest acreage to produce the highest rate of return. With the sustained strength of commodity prices in 2021 and the realization of a long-term positive trend in drilling and completions efficiencies that have helped offset industry-wide service cost inflation, we have maintained a consistent development pace and realized improved expected returns on development capital.
We proactively manage our financial risks and maintain a strong capital structure. In 2021, we extended the maturity date of our Senior Secured Credit Facility to July 2025 and increased the borrowing base to $1 billion, substantially increasing our liquidity and flexibility. Additionally, we issued $400 million of senior notes maturing in 2029 at interest rates more than two percent lower than our notes due 2028 and used the proceeds to reduce the balance on our credit facility. We have historically hedged our production to protect cash flows, achieve strong rates of return on our capital investments and protect the Company in times of declining commodity prices. We entered 2021 with approximately 78% of our expected oil
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production protected and we will continue to seek hedging opportunities on a multi-year basis to further protect our capital plan, interest payments, and free cash flow generation.
We integrate best-in-class environmental, social and governance ("ESG") practices into our operations. In 2021, we enhanced our disclosure of key ESG metrics, publishing our inaugural ESG and Climate Risk Report, which covered 2019 operations and was aligned to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures and the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association frameworks. The report announced ambitious emissions reductions targets and outlined goals for reducing both greenhouse gas intensity and methane emissions, as well as eliminating routine flaring by 2025. Additionally, we published our 2021 ESG and Climate Risk Report, which covered 2020 operations, and further expanded our reporting to include industry frameworks provided by the American Petroleum Institute and the American Exploration and Production Council. In our 2021 report, we enhanced our disclosures by including climate-related scenario analysis, Scope 3 emissions estimates, and EEO-1 workforce diversity data. Furthermore, we described our pilot program for continuous emissions monitoring and began efforts to certify portions of our Howard and Glasscock County natural gas production as responsibly sourced through the Project Canary TrustWellTM Certification pilot project. Relatedly, for the second consecutive year, we incorporated environmental measures into our executive compensation program.
Our business strategy is both clear and sustainable. We will continue to focus on safely developing our highest return oil-weighted inventory while opportunistically adding more high-margin acreage as we seek to increase oil as a percentage of our production and improve our margins and profitability by taking advantage of our low-cost structure on more productive acreage. We are highly selective in the projects that we consider, and we will continue to monitor the market for strategic opportunities that we believe could be accretive and enhance shareholder value. These opportunities may take the form of acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, redemptions, equity or debt repurchases, or other similar transactions, any of which could result in the utilization of our Senior Secured Credit Facility and/or further accessing the capital markets.
Operating Areas
We focus our exploration, development and production efforts in one geographic operating area, the Permian Basin.
Well Data
We are currently focusing our development activities on horizontal drilling targets in the Wolfcamp A, Wolfcamp B and Lower Spraberry formations. Other targets for possible future development include the Upper Spraberry, Middle Spraberry, Wolfcamp C, and Wolfcamp D formations. As of December 31, 2021, we had an average working interest of 70% in Laredo-operated active productive wells and 66% in all wells in which Laredo has an interest, and our leases are 98% held by production. Laredo's working interest in operated active productive wells decreased significantly from previous years as a result of the 37.5% wellbore interest divestiture to an affiliate of Sixth Street Partners, LLC.
The following table sets forth certain information regarding productive wells as of December 31, 2021. Wells are classified as oil or natural gas wells according to the predominant production stream. All but thirteen of our wells are classified as oil wells, all of which also produce liquids-rich natural gas and condensate when in a producing status. We also own royalty and overriding royalty interests in a small number of wells in which we do not own a working interest.
 Total producing wellsAverage WI %
 GrossNet
 VerticalHorizontalTotalTotal
Permian-Midland Basin:
Operated948 696 1,644 1,202 73 %
Non-operated163 110 273 58 21 %
Total1,111 806 1,917 1,260 66 %

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Drilling Activity
On December 31, 2021, we had three drilling rigs drilling horizontal wells and two completions crews. We anticipate releasing one drilling rig and one completions crew by the end of first-quarter 2022 and remaining at two drilling rigs and one completions crew through year-end 2022. We will adjust our drilling rig count and/or completion crews to maximize efficiencies and cash flow. If we decrease our drilling rig count and/or completion crews, it will have a negative impact on our production. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and capital resources" and Note 15.b to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional information.
The following table summarizes our drilling activity with respect to the number of wells completed and turned-in line for the periods presented. Gross wells reflect the sum of all wells in which we own an interest. Net wells reflect the sum of our working interests in gross wells.
Years ended December 31,
 202120202019
 GrossNetGrossNetGrossNet
Development wells:
Productive71 70.1 48 47.3 59 56.2 
Dry— — — — — — 
Total development wells71 70.1 48 47.3 59 56.2 
Exploratory wells:
Productive— — — — — — 
Dry— — — — — — 
Total exploratory wells— — — — — — 
Sales volumes, revenues, prices and expenses history
The following table presents information regarding our oil, NGL and natural gas sales volumes, sales revenues, average sales prices, and selected average costs and expenses per BOE sold for the periods presented and corresponding changes for such periods. Our reserves and sales volumes are reported in three streams: crude oil, NGL and natural gas. For additional information on price calculations, see the information in "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."
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Years ended December 31,2021 compared to 2020
(unaudited)202120202019Change (#)Change (%)
Sales volumes:
Oil (MBbl)11,619 9,827 10,376 1,792 18 %
NGL (MBbl)8,678 10,615 9,118 (1,937)(18)%
Natural gas (MMcf)57,175 70,049 60,169 (12,874)(18)%
Oil equivalents (MBOE)(1)(2)
29,827 32,117 29,522 (2,290)(7)%
Average daily oil equivalent sales volumes (BOE/D)(2)
81,717 87,750 80,883 (6,033)(7)%
Average daily oil sales volumes (Bbl/D)(2)
31,833 26,849 28,429 4,984 19 %
Sales revenues (in thousands):
Oil$805,448 $367,792 $572,918 $437,656 119 %
NGL$191,591 $78,246 $100,330 $113,345 145 %
Natural gas$150,104 $50,317 $33,300 $99,787 198 %
Average sales prices(2):
Oil ($/Bbl)(3)
$69.32 $37.43 $55.21 $31.89 85 %
NGL ($/Bbl)(3)
$22.08 $7.37 $11.00 $14.71 200 %
Natural gas ($/Mcf)(3)
$2.63 $0.72 $0.55 $1.91 265 %
Average sales price ($/BOE)(3)
$38.46 $15.45 $23.93 $23.01 149 %
Oil, with commodity derivatives ($/Bbl)(4)
$52.09 $56.41 $54.37 $(4.32)(8)%
NGL, with commodity derivatives ($/Bbl)(4)
$10.55 $9.12 $13.61 $1.43 16 %
Natural gas, with commodity derivatives ($/Mcf)(4)
$1.56 $1.02 $1.05 $0.54 53 %
Average sales price, with commodity derivatives ($/BOE)(4)
$26.36 $22.50 $25.45 $3.86 17 %
Selected average costs and expenses per BOE sold(1)(2)
Lease operating expenses$3.42 $2.55 $3.08 $0.87 34 %
Production and ad valorem taxes2.30 1.03 1.38 1.27 123 %
Transportation and marketing expenses1.61 1.55 0.86 0.06 %
Midstream service expenses0.12 0.12 0.15 — — %
General and administrative (excluding LTIP)1.54 1.29 1.63 0.25 19 %
Total selected operating expenses$8.99 $6.54 $7.10 $2.45 37 %
General and administrative (LTIP):
LTIP cash$0.35 $0.06 $— $0.29 483 %
LTIP non-cash$0.22 $0.22 $0.22 $— — %
Depletion, depreciation and amortization$7.22 $6.76 $9.00 $0.46 %
_______________________________________________________________________________
(1)BOE is calculated using a conversion rate of six Mcf per one Bbl.
(2)The numbers presented in the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 columns are based on actual amounts and are not calculated using the rounded numbers presented in the table above.
(3)Price reflects the average of actual sales prices received when control passes to the purchaser/customer adjusted for quality, certain transportation fees, geographical differentials, marketing bonuses or deductions and other factors affecting the price received at the delivery point.
(4)Price reflects the after-effects of our commodity derivative transactions on our average sales prices. Our calculation of such after-effects includes settlements of matured commodity derivatives during the respective periods in accordance with GAAP and an adjustment to reflect premiums incurred previously or upon settlement that are attributable to commodity derivatives that settled during the respective periods.
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Reserves
In this Annual Report, the information with respect to our estimated proved reserves has been prepared by Ryder Scott Company, L.P. ("Ryder Scott"), our independent reserve engineers, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") applicable to the reporting dates presented.
The following table summarizes our total estimated net proved reserves presented on a three-stream basis, net acreage and producing wells as of the date presented, and net average daily production presented on a three-stream basis for the period presented.
December 31, 2021Year ended December 31, 2021
Estimated proved reserves(1)
Producing wellsAverage daily production
MBOE% OilNet
acreage
GrossNet(BOE/D)% Oil% NGL% Natural gas
Permian-Midland Basin318,640 38 %166,064 1,917 1,260 81,717 39 %29 %32 %
_____________________________________________________________________________
(1)See "—Our operations—Estimated proved reserves" for discussion of the prices utilized to estimate our reserves.
Our estimated proved reserves as of December 31, 2021 assume our ability to fund the capital costs necessary for their development and are affected by pricing assumptions. See Note 6 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional discussion of our Realized Prices. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks related to our business—Estimating reserves and future net cash flows involves uncertainties. Negative revisions to reserve estimates, decreases in oil, NGL and natural gas prices or increases in service costs, may lead to decreased earnings and increased losses or impairment of oil and natural gas properties. The following table sets forth additional information regarding our estimated proved reserves as of the dates presented:
December 31, 2021December 31, 2020
Proved developed:
Oil (MBbl)70,727 51,751 
NGL (MBbl)78,908 96,251 
Natural gas (MMcf)494,476 633,503 
Total proved developed (MBOE)232,048 253,586 
Proved undeveloped:
Oil (MBbl)50,175 16,008 
NGL (MBbl)21,139 4,671 
Natural gas (MMcf)91,669 23,781 
Total proved undeveloped (MBOE)86,592 24,642 
Estimated proved reserves:
Oil (MBbl)120,902 67,759 
NGL (MBbl)100,047 100,922 
Natural gas (MMcf)586,145 657,284 
Total estimated proved reserves (MBOE)318,640 278,228 
Percent developed73 %91 %
Technology used to establish proved reserves
Under SEC rules, proved reserves are those quantities of oil, NGL and natural gas that by analysis of geoscience and engineering data can be estimated with "reasonable certainty" to be economically producible from a given date forward from known reservoirs, and under existing economic conditions, operating methods and government regulations. Reasonable certainty implies a high degree of confidence that the quantities of oil, NGL and/or natural gas actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate. Reasonable certainty can be established using techniques that have been proven effective by actual
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production from projects in the same reservoir or an analogous reservoir or by other evidence using reliable technology that establishes reasonable certainty. Reliable technology is a grouping of one or more technologies (including computational methods) that has been field tested and has been demonstrated to provide reasonably certain results with consistency and repeatability in the formation being evaluated or in an analogous formation.
To establish reasonable certainty with respect to our estimated proved reserves, our internal reserve engineers and Ryder Scott, our independent reserve engineers, employed reliable technologies that have been demonstrated to yield results with consistency and repeatability.
Qualifications of technical persons and internal controls over reserves estimation process
In accordance with the Standards Pertaining to the Estimating and Auditing of Oil and Gas Reserves Information promulgated by the Society of Petroleum Engineers ("SPE Reserves Auditing Standards") and guidelines established by the SEC, Ryder Scott, our independent reserve engineers, estimated 100% of our proved reserve information as of December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 included in this Annual Report. The technical persons responsible for preparing the reserve estimates presented herein meet the requirements regarding qualifications, independence, objectivity and confidentiality set forth in the SPE Reserves Auditing Standards.
We maintain an internal staff of petroleum engineers and geoscience professionals who work closely with our independent reserve engineers to ensure the integrity, accuracy and timeliness of data furnished to Ryder Scott in their reserves estimation process. Our technical team meets regularly with representatives of Ryder Scott to review properties and discuss methods and assumptions used in Ryder Scott's preparation of the year-end reserve estimates. The Ryder Scott reserve report is reviewed with representatives of Ryder Scott and our internal technical staff before dissemination of the information.
From January through June of 2021, our Vice President of Planning and Business Development was the technical person primarily responsible for overseeing the preparation of our reserve estimates. He had more than 30 years of practical experience, with 30 years of this experience being in the estimation and evaluation of reserves. He held a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. From July through December 31, 2021, following the departure of our Vice President of Planning and Business Development, our Director of Reserves became and continues to serve as the technical person primarily responsible for overseeing the preparation of our reserves estimates. She has more than 20 years of practical experience, with 7 years of this experience being in the estimation and evaluation of reserves. She has a Bachelors of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Both our former Vice President of Planning and Business Development and our Director of Reserves report to our Chief Financial Officer. Reserve estimates are reviewed and approved by our senior engineering staff, other members of senior management and our technical staff, our audit committee and our Chief Executive Officer.
Proved undeveloped reserves
We limit the portion of reserves categorized as "proved undeveloped" or "PUD" in order to emphasize operations on our most economic investments, maximize operational flexibility and maintain conservative assurance that all PUD locations will be converted despite potential commodity price volatility.
Our proved undeveloped reserves increased from 24,642 MBOE as of December 31, 2020 to 86,592 MBOE as of December 31, 2021. We estimate that we incurred $196 million of costs to convert 15,882 MBOE of proved undeveloped reserves from 38 locations into proved developed reserves in 2021. New proved undeveloped reserves of 65,621 MBOE were added during the year from (i) 12,645 MBOE from seven Spraberry and 22 new Wolfcamp locations and (ii) 52,976 MBOE from acquisitions in Borden, Howard, and Glasscock counties. 12,210 MBOE of positive revisions consisted of a net (i) 1,700 MBOE of negative revisions due to proved undeveloped locations that were removed due to change in the development plan, (ii) 7,609 MBOE of positive revisions from an increase in previously estimated quantities due to performance and price and (iii) 6,301 MBOE of positive revisions due to the inclusion of twelve undeveloped locations that were removed from reserves in a previous year due to pricing. A final investment decision has been made on all 155 proved undeveloped locations, and they are scheduled to be developed within five years from the date they were initially recorded.
Estimated total future development and abandonment costs related to the development of proved undeveloped reserves as shown in our December 31, 2021 reserve report are $961.6 million. Based on this report and our PUD booking methodology, the capital estimated to be spent to develop the proved undeveloped reserves from spud date through production is $347.5 million in 2022, $202.2 million in 2023, $205.0 million in 2024, $172.7 million in 2025 and $16.3 million in 2026. Based on our
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anticipated cash flows and capital expenditures, as well as the availability of capital markets transactions, all of the proved undeveloped locations are expected to be drilled and completed from 2022 to 2026. Reserve calculations at any end-of-year period are representative of our development plans at that time. Changes in circumstance, including commodity pricing, oilfield service costs, drilling and production results, technology, acreage position and availability and other economic and regulatory factors may lead to changes in development plans.
Acreage
The following table sets forth our developed and undeveloped acreage as of December 31, 2021, including acreage HBP. A majority of our developed acreage is subject to liens securing our Senior Secured Credit Facility.
Developed acresUndeveloped acresTotal acres%
HBP
GrossNetGrossNetGrossNet
Permian-Midland Basin198,783 163,128 4,384 2,936 203,167 166,064 98 %
The following table sets forth our gross and net undeveloped acreage as of December 31, 2021 that will expire over the next four years unless production is established within the spacing units covering the acreage or the lease is renewed, renegotiated or extended under continuous drilling provisions prior to the primary term expiration dates.
Years ended December 31,
  2022202320242025
  Gross Net Gross NetGross Net Gross Net
Permian-Midland Basin 1,519 1,048 374 414 1,026 979 — — 
Of the total undeveloped acreage identified as potentially expiring over the next five years as of December 31, 2021, 2,355 net acres have associated PUD reserves included in our reserve report as of December 31, 2021, which we anticipate drilling to hold or renewing the associated leases. These PUD reserves represent 1% of our total PUD reserves as of December 31, 2021.
Of the total undeveloped acreage identified as potentially expiring over the next three years as of December 31, 2020, 3,642 net acres had associated PUD reserves included in our reserve report as of December 31, 2020. Of the total undeveloped acreage potentially expiring in 2021, 261 net acres were not retained through lease renewals or operations.
Marketing
We market the majority of production from properties we operate for both our account and the account of the other working interest owners. We sell substantially all of our production under contracts ranging from terms of one month to multiple years, all at monthly calculated market prices. We typically sell production to a relatively limited number of customers, as is customary in the exploration, development and production business; however, we believe that our customer diversification affords us optionality in our sales destination.

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We are committed to deliver, for sale or transportation, fixed volumes of product under certain contractual arrangements that specify the delivery of a fixed and determinable quantity. The following table presents our material firm sale and transportation commitments as of December 31, 2021:
Total2022202320242025 and after
Crude oil (MBbl):
Sales commitments10,470 8,660 1,810 — — 
Transportation commitments:
Field32,880 10,950 10,950 10,980 — 
To U.S. Gulf Coast67,960 13,675 12,775 12,810 28,700 
Natural gas (MMcf):
Sales commitments69,188 15,466 11,300 8,332 34,090 
Total commitments (MBOE)(1)
122,841 35,863 27,418 25,179 34,382 
_____________________________________________________________________________
(1)BOE is calculated using a conversion rate of six Mcf per one Bbl.
We have firm field transportation agreements that enable us or the purchasers of our oil production to move oil from our production area to major market hubs, including Colorado City, Texas; Midland, Texas; and Crane, Texas. If not fulfilled, we are subject to firm transportation payments on excess pipeline capacity and other contractual penalties. These commitments are normal and customary for our business. A portion of our commitments are related to transportation commitments extending into 2024 with Medallion Pipeline Company, LLC ("Medallion") under which Medallion provides firm transportation capacity from our established Reagan County and Glasscock County acreage for redelivery to various major market hubs. We also have a firm transportation agreement with BridgeTex Pipeline Company, LLC to move oil from Colorado City, Texas to the U.S. Gulf Coast. In 2018, we signed an agreement with Gray Oak Pipeline, LLC to initially transport 25,000 barrels of oil per day increasing to 35,000 barrels of oil per day of our production from Crane, Texas to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Our shipments under this contract began in the fourth quarter of 2019. We believe these commitments enhance our ability to move our crude oil out of the Permian Basin and give us access to multiple pricing points for the sale of our crude oil.
We have committed to deliver, for sale or transportation, fixed volumes of product under certain contractual arrangements that specify the delivery of a fixed and determinable quantity. See Note 15.c to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion of our transportation commitments.
We believe that we could sell our production to numerous companies, so that the loss of any one of our major purchasers would not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations solely by reason of such loss. For discussion on purchasers that individually accounted for 10% or more of each (i) oil, NGL and natural gas sales and (ii) sales of purchased oil in at least one of the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, see Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report. See also "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks related to our business—The inability of our significant customers to meet their obligations to us may materially adversely affect our financial results."
Title to properties
We believe that we have satisfactory title to all of our producing properties in accordance with generally accepted industry standards. As is customary in the industry, in the case of undeveloped properties, often cursory investigation of record title is made at the time of lease acquisition. Investigations are made before the consummation of an acquisition of producing properties and before commencement of drilling operations on undeveloped properties. Individual properties may be subject to burdens that we believe do not materially interfere with the use or affect the value of the properties. Burdens on properties may include customary royalty interests, liens incident to operating agreements and for current taxes, obligations or duties under applicable laws, development obligations under oil and gas leases or net profit interests.
The typical oil and natural gas lease agreement covering our properties provides for the payment of royalties to the mineral owner for all oil, NGL and natural gas produced from any wells drilled on the leased premises. The lessor royalties and other leasehold burdens on our properties generally range from 12.5% to 25%, resulting in a net revenue interest to us generally ranging from 75% to 87.5%.
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Seasonality
Demand for oil and natural gas generally decreases during the spring and fall months and increases during the summer and winter months. However, seasonal anomalies such as mild winters or mild summers sometimes lessen this fluctuation. In addition, certain natural gas users utilize natural gas storage facilities and purchase some of their anticipated winter requirements during the summer. This can also lessen seasonal demand fluctuations. These seasonal anomalies can increase competition for equipment, supplies and personnel during the spring and summer months, which could lead to shortages and increase costs or delay our operations.
Regulation of the oil and natural gas industry
Our operations are substantially affected by federal, state and local laws and regulations. In particular, the production of oil and natural gas is subject to regulation under a wide range of local, state and federal statutes, rules, orders and regulations. Federal, state and local statutes and regulations require permits for drilling operations, drilling bonds and reports concerning operations. The State of Texas has regulations governing environmental and conservation matters, including provisions for the pooling of oil and natural gas properties, the permitting of allocation wells, the establishment of maximum allowable rates of production from oil and natural gas wells (including the proration of production to the market demand for oil, NGL and natural gas), the regulation of well spacing, the handling and disposal or discharge of waste materials and plugging and abandonment of wells. The effect of these regulations is to limit the amount of oil, NGL and natural gas that we can produce from our wells and to limit the number of wells or the locations at which we can drill, although we can apply for exceptions to such regulations or to have reductions in well spacing. Moreover, Texas imposes a production or severance tax with respect to the production and sale of oil, NGL and natural gas within its jurisdiction. Texas further regulates drilling and operating activities by, among other things, requiring permits and bonds for the drilling and operation of wells and regulating the location of wells, method of drilling and casing wells, surface use and restoration of properties upon which wells are drilled and plugging and abandonment of wells. The failure to comply with these rules and regulations can result in substantial penalties. Our competitors in the oil and natural gas industry are subject to the same regulatory requirements and restrictions that affect our operations.
The regulatory burden on the industry increases the cost of doing business and affects profitability. Additional proposals and proceedings that affect the natural gas industry are regularly considered by the current administration, Congress, the states, the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") and the courts. We cannot predict when or whether any such proposals may become effective, under the current or any future administration.
Oil and gas pipelines
Our oil and gas pipelines are subject to construction, installation, operation and safety regulation by the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") and various other federal, state and local agencies. Congress has enacted several pipeline safety acts over the years. Currently, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ("PHMSA") under DOT administers pipeline safety requirements for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. These regulations, among other things, address pipeline integrity management and pipeline operator qualification rules. In June 2016, Congress approved new pipeline safety legislation, the "Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016", which provides the PHMSA with additional authority to address imminent hazards by imposing emergency restrictions, prohibitions and safety measures on owners and operators of gas or hazardous liquids pipeline facilities. On October 1, 2019, the PHMSA published final rules to expand its integrity management requirements and impose new pressure testing requirements on regulated pipelines, including certain segments outside high consequence areas. The rules, once effective, also extend reporting requirements to certain previously unregulated hazardous liquid gravity and rural gathering lines. Also, on November 15, 2021, the PHMSA published a final rule extending reporting requirements to all onshore gas gathering operators and establishing a set of minimum safety requirements for certain gas gathering pipelines with large diameters and high operating pressures. Additional rulemakings are anticipated, including rulemakings to adjust repair criteria for gas transmission lines, to require inspection of gas pipelines following extreme events, and to strengthen integrity management assessment requirements. Also, on June 7, 2021, the PHMSA issued an advisory bulletin reminding pipeline owners and operators that, pursuant to legislation signed into law in December 2020, they must take several steps to eliminate hazardous leaks and minimize releases of natural gas by December 27, 2021. These requirements could require us to install new or modified safety controls, pursue additional capital projects or conduct maintenance programs on an accelerated basis, any or all of which tasks could result in
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our incurring increased operating costs that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operation or financial position. In addition, any material penalties or fines issued to us under these or other statutes, rules, regulations or orders could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flow.
States are largely pre-empted by federal law from regulating pipeline safety but may assume responsibility for enforcing intrastate pipeline regulations at least as stringent as the federal standards, and many states have undertaken responsibility to enforce the federal standards. The RRC is the agency vested with intrastate natural gas pipeline regulatory and enforcement authority in Texas. The Commission's regulations adopt by reference the minimum federal safety standards for the transportation of natural gas. In addition, on December 17, 2019, the Commission adopted rules requiring that operators of gathering lines take "appropriate" actions to fix safety hazards.
Environmental and occupational health and safety matters
Our operations are subject to numerous stringent federal, state and local statutes and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to protection of the environment or occupational health and safety. Numerous governmental agencies, such as the EPA, issue regulations that often require difficult and costly compliance measures, the noncompliance with which carries substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties and may result in injunctive obligations to remediate noncompliance. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of a permit before drilling commences, restrict the types, quantities and concentrations of various substances that can be released into the environment in connection with drilling, production and transporting through pipelines, govern the sourcing and disposal of water used in the drilling, completion and production process, limit or prohibit drilling activities in certain areas and on certain lands lying within wilderness, wetlands, frontier, seismically active areas and other protected areas, require some form of remedial action to prevent or mitigate pollution from current or former operations such as plugging abandoned wells or closing earthen pits, result in the suspension or revocation of necessary permits, licenses and authorizations, require that additional pollution controls be installed and impose substantial liabilities for pollution resulting from operations or failure to comply with regulatory filings. In addition, these laws and regulations may restrict the rate of production.
Certain of these laws and regulations impose strict liability (i.e., no showing of "fault" is required) that, in some circumstances, may be joint and several. Public interest in the protection of the environment has tended to increase over time. The trend of more expansive and stringent environmental legislation and regulations applied to the oil and natural gas industry could continue, resulting in increased costs of doing business and consequently affecting profitability. Changes in environmental laws and regulations occur frequently, and to the extent laws are enacted or other governmental action is taken that restricts drilling or imposes more stringent and costly operating, waste handling, disposal and clean-up requirements, our business and prospects, as well as the oil and natural gas industry in general, could be materially adversely affected.
Hazardous substance and waste handling
Our operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations relating to the management and release of hazardous substances, solid and hazardous wastes, and petroleum hydrocarbons. These laws generally regulate the generation, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of solid and hazardous waste and may impose strict and, in some cases, joint and several liability for the investigation and remediation of affected areas where hazardous substances may have been released or disposed. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended (referred to as "CERCLA" or the "Superfund law") and comparable state laws, impose liability, without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct, on certain classes of persons deemed "responsible parties." These persons include current owners or operators of the site where a release of hazardous substances occurred, prior owners or operators that owned or operated the site at the time of the release or disposal of hazardous substances, and companies that disposed or arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substances found at the site. Under CERCLA, these persons may be subject to strict and joint and several liability for the costs of cleaning up the hazardous substances that have been released into the environment, for damages to natural resources and for the costs of certain health studies. CERCLA also authorizes the EPA and, in some instances, third parties to act in response to threats to the public health or the environment and to seek to recover the costs they incur from the responsible classes of persons. Despite the "petroleum exclusion" of Section 101(14) of CERCLA, which currently encompasses natural gas, we may nonetheless handle hazardous substances within the meaning of CERCLA, or similar state statutes, in the course of our ordinary operations and, as a result, may be jointly and severally liable under CERCLA for all or part of the costs required to clean up sites at which these hazardous substances have been released into the
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environment. In addition, we may have liability for releases of hazardous substances at our properties by prior owners or operators or other third parties. Finally, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file common law based claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by hazardous substances or other pollutants released into the environment.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (the "OPA") is the primary federal law imposing oil spill liability. The OPA contains numerous requirements relating to the prevention of and response to petroleum releases into waters of the United States, including the requirement that operators of offshore facilities and certain onshore facilities near or crossing waterways must maintain certain significant levels of financial assurance to cover potential environmental cleanup and restoration costs. Under the OPA, strict, joint and several liability may be imposed on "responsible parties" for all containment and clean-up costs and certain other damages arising from a release, including, but not limited to, the costs of responding to a release of oil to surface waters and natural resource damages, resulting from oil spills into or upon navigable waters, adjoining shorelines or in the exclusive economic zone of the United States. A "responsible party" includes the owner or operator of an onshore facility. The OPA establishes a liability limit for onshore facilities, but these liability limits may not apply if: a spill is caused by a party's gross negligence or willful misconduct; the spill resulted from a violation of a federal safety, construction or operating regulation; or a party fails to report a spill or to cooperate fully in a clean-up. We are also subject to analogous state statutes that impose liabilities with respect to oil spills.
We also generate solid wastes, including hazardous wastes, which are subject to the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA") and comparable state statutes. Although RCRA regulates both solid and hazardous wastes, it imposes strict requirements on the generation, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of hazardous wastes. Certain petroleum production wastes are excluded from RCRA's hazardous waste regulations. These wastes, instead, are regulated under RCRA's less stringent solid waste provisions, state laws or other federal laws. It is also possible that these wastes, which could include wastes currently generated during our operations, will be designated as "hazardous wastes" in the future and, therefore, be subject to more rigorous and costly disposal requirements. Indeed, legislation has been proposed from time to time in Congress to re-categorize certain oil and natural gas exploration and production wastes as "hazardous wastes." Also, in December 2016, the EPA agreed in a consent decree to review its regulation of oil and gas waste. However, in April 2019, the EPA concluded that revisions to the federal regulations for the management of oil and gas waste are not necessary at this time. Any such changes in the laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our maintenance capital expenditures and operating expenses.
Water and other waste discharges and spills
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, also known as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act ("SDWA"), the OPA and comparable state laws impose restrictions and strict controls regarding the discharge of pollutants, including produced waters and other natural gas wastes, into federal and state waters. The discharge of pollutants into regulated waters is prohibited, except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the EPA or the state. The discharge of dredge and fill material in regulated waters, including wetlands, is also prohibited, unless authorized by a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps").
The scope of waters regulated under the CWA has fluctuated in recent years. On June 29, 2015, the EPA and the Corps jointly promulgated final rules redefining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. However, on October 22, 2019, the agencies repealed the 2015 rules, and on April 21, 2020, the EPA and the Corps published a final rule replacing the 2015 rules, and significantly reduced the waters subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. On August 30, 2021, a federal court struck down the replacement rule and on December 7, 2021, the EPA and the Corps published a proposed rule that would put back into place the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States,” updated to reflect Supreme Court decisions, while the agencies continue to consult with stakeholders on future regulatory actions. As a result of such recent developments, substantial uncertainty exists regarding the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. To the extent the rules expand the range of properties subject to the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction, we could face increased costs and delays with respect to obtaining permits for dredge and fill activities in wetland areas.
The EPA has also adopted regulations requiring certain oil and natural gas exploration and production facilities to obtain individual permits or coverage under general permits for storm water discharges. Costs may be associated with the treatment of wastewater or developing and implementing storm water pollution prevention plans, as well as for monitoring and sampling the storm water runoff from certain of our facilities. The State of Texas also maintains groundwater protection
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programs that require permits for discharges or operations that may impact groundwater conditions. The underground injection of fluids is subject to permitting and other requirements under state laws and regulation. Obtaining permits has the potential to delay the development of oil and natural gas projects. These same regulatory programs also limit the total volume of water that can be discharged, hence limiting the rate of development, and require us to incur compliance costs.
These laws and any implementing regulations provide for administrative, civil and criminal penalties for any unauthorized discharges of oil and other substances and may impose substantial potential liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages. Pursuant to these laws and regulations, we may be required to obtain and maintain approvals or permits for the discharge of wastewater or storm water and the underground injection of fluids and are required to develop and implement spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans, also referred to as "SPCC plans," in connection with on-site storage of significant quantities of oil.
Hydraulic fracturing
We use hydraulic fracturing as a means to maximize the productivity of almost every well that we drill and complete. Hydraulic fracturing is a necessary part of the completion process for our producing properties in Texas because our properties are dependent upon our ability to effectively fracture the producing formations in order to produce at economic rates. While hydraulic fracturing is not required to maintain any of our leasehold acreage that is currently held by production from existing wells, it will be required in the future to develop the provided non-producing and proved undeveloped reserves associated with this acreage. Nearly all of our proved undeveloped reserves associated with future completion, recompletion and refracture stimulation projects require hydraulic fracturing.
Hydraulic fracturing is a practice that is used to stimulate production of hydrocarbons from tight formations. The process involves the injection of water, sand and chemicals under pressure into the formation to fracture the surrounding rock and stimulate production. We have and continue to follow standard industry practices and applicable legal requirements. These protective measures include setting surface casing at a depth sufficient to protect fresh water formations and cementing the well to create a permanent isolating barrier between the casing pipe and surrounding geological formations. This well design is intended to eliminate a pathway for the fracturing fluid to contact any aquifers. For recompletions of existing wells, the production casing is pressure tested prior to perforating the new completion interval. Injections rates and pressures are monitored in real time at the surface during our hydraulic fracturing operations. Pressure is monitored on both the injection string and the immediate annulus to the injection string. Our hydraulic fracturing operations are designed to be shut down immediately if an abrupt change occurred to the injection pressure or annular pressure.
Approximately 99% of the hydraulic fracturing fluids we use are made up of water and sand. The remainder of the constituents in the fracturing fluid are managed and used in accordance with applicable requirements. In accordance with Texas regulations, we report the constituents of the hydraulic fracturing fluids utilized in our well completions on FracFocus (www.fracfocus.org). Hydraulic fracture stimulation requires the use of a significant volume of water. Upon flowback of the water, we dispose of it by recycling or by discharging into the approved disposal wells. We currently do not discharge water to the surface. Based upon results of testing the performance of recycled flowback/produced water in our fracking operations, we endeavor to maximize the utilization of recycled flowback/produced water via our owned and operated recycling facilities in Glasscock and Reagan County or via contractual arrangements with third parties in Howard County.
The SDWA regulates the underground injection of substances through the Underground Injection Control Program (the "UIC"). However, hydraulic fracturing is generally exempt from regulation under the UIC, and thus the process is typically regulated by state oil and gas commissions. Nevertheless, the EPA has asserted federal regulatory authority over hydraulic fracturing involving diesel additives under the UIC. On February 12, 2014, the EPA published a revised UIC Program permitting guidance for oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuel. The guidance document describes how Class II regulations may be tailored to address the purported unique risks of diesel fuel injection during the hydraulic fracturing process. Although the EPA is not the permitting authority for UIC Class II programs in Texas, where we maintain acreage, the EPA is encouraging state programs to review and consider use of this permit guidance. Furthermore, legislation has been proposed in recent sessions of Congress to repeal the hydraulic fracturing exemption from the SDWA, provide for federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing and require public disclosure of the chemicals used in the fracturing process.
In addition, on June 28, 2016, the EPA published a final rule prohibiting the discharge of wastewater from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction facilities to publicly owned wastewater treatment plants. The EPA is also conducting a
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study of private wastewater treatment facilities (also known as centralized waste treatment, or CWT, facilities) accepting oil and gas extraction wastewater. The EPA is collecting data and information related to the extent to which CWT facilities accept such wastewater, available treatment technologies (and their associated costs), discharge characteristics, financial characteristics of CWT facilities, and the environmental impacts of discharges from CWT facilities. We cannot predict the impact that these actions may have on our business at this time, but further regulation of hydraulic fracturing activities could have a material impact on our business, financial condition and results of operation.
Also, on March 26, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (the "BLM") published a final rule governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The rule requires public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, implementation of a casing and cementing program, management of recovered fluids, and submission to the BLM of detailed information about the proposed operation, including wellbore geology, the location of faults and fractures, and the depths of all usable water. On March 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order directing the BLM to review the rule, and, if appropriate, to initiate a rulemaking to rescind or revise it. Accordingly, on December 29, 2017, the BLM published a final rule to rescind the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule; however, a coalition of environmentalists, tribal advocates and the State of California filed lawsuits challenging the rule rescission. At this time, it is uncertain when, or if, the hydraulic fracturing rule will be implemented, and what impact it would have on our operations.
Furthermore, there are certain governmental reviews either under way or being proposed that focus on environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing practices. On December 13, 2016, the EPA released a study examining the potential for hydraulic fracturing activities to impact drinking water resources, finding that, under some circumstances, the use of water in hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources. Also, on February 6, 2015, the EPA released a report with findings and recommendations related to public concern about induced seismic activity from disposal wells. The report recommends strategies for managing and minimizing the potential for significant injection-induced seismic events. Other governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, have evaluated or are evaluating various other aspects of hydraulic fracturing. These ongoing or proposed studies, depending on their degree of pursuit and any meaningful results obtained, could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing under the SDWA or other regulatory mechanism.
Some states have adopted, and other states are considering adopting, regulations that could restrict hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances, impose additional requirements on hydraulic fracturing activities or otherwise require the public disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. For example, pursuant to legislation adopted by the State of Texas in June 2011, beginning February 1, 2012, companies were required to disclose to the RRC and the public the chemical components used in the hydraulic fracturing process, as well as the volume of water used. Also, in May 2013, the RRC adopted new rules governing well casing, cementing and other standards for ensuring that hydraulic fracturing operations do not contaminate nearby water resources. The new rules took effect in January 2014. Additionally, on October 28, 2014, the RRC adopted disposal well rule amendments designed, among other things, to require applicants for new disposal wells that will receive non-hazardous produced water and hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid to conduct seismic activity searches utilizing the U.S. Geological Survey. The searches are intended to determine the potential for earthquakes within a circular area of 100 square miles around a proposed, new disposal well. The disposal well rule amendments, which became effective on November 17, 2014, also clarify the RRC's authority to modify, suspend or terminate a disposal well permit if scientific data indicates a disposal well is likely to contribute to seismic activity. The RRC has used this authority to deny permits and temporarily suspend operations for waste disposal wells and, in September 2021, the RRC curtailed the amount of water companies were permitted to inject into some wells near Midland and Odessa in the Permian Basin and has since indefinitely suspended some permits there and expanded the restrictions to other areas. These restrictions on the disposal of produced water could result in increased operating costs, forcing us or our service providers to truck produced water, recycle it or pump it through the pipeline network or other means, all of which could be costly. In addition, local land use restrictions, such as city ordinances, may restrict or prohibit the performance of well drilling in general and/or hydraulic fracturing in particular.
A number of lawsuits and enforcement actions have been initiated across the country alleging that hydraulic fracturing practices have induced seismic activity and adversely impacted drinking water supplies, use of surface water, and the environment generally. Several states and municipalities have adopted, or are considering adopting, regulations that could restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances. If these or any other new laws or regulations that significantly restrict hydraulic fracturing are adopted, such laws could make it more difficult or costly for us to drill and produce from tight formations as well as make it easier for third parties opposing the hydraulic fracturing process to initiate legal proceedings. In addition, if hydraulic fracturing is regulated at the federal level, fracturing activities could become subject to additional
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permitting and financial assurance requirements, more stringent construction specifications, increased monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping obligations, plugging and abandonment requirements and also to attendant permitting delays and potential increases in costs. These developments, as well as new laws or regulations, could cause us to incur substantial compliance costs, and compliance or the consequences of failure to comply by us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the potential impact on our business that may arise if federal or state legislation governing hydraulic fracturing is enacted into law.
Air quality
The federal Clean Air Act, as amended, and comparable state laws restrict the emission of air pollutants from many sources, including production facilities, salt water disposal facilities, and compressor stations, through the issuance of permits and the imposition of other requirements. In addition, the EPA has developed, and continues to develop, stringent regulations governing emissions of toxic air pollutants at specified sources and emissions from specific sources such as tanks, engines, dehydration units, and heaters. Also, on June 3, 2016, the EPA published a final rule regarding the criteria for aggregating multiple small surface sites into a single source for air-quality permitting purposes applicable to the oil and gas industry. This rule clarified the term “adjacent” and defined when sources are required to be aggregated. The consequences of these requirements are that smaller sites may need to be combined, triggering more stringent air permitting processes and requirements. Current air permitting regulations require us to obtain pre-approval for the construction or modification of projects or facilities expected to produce or increase air emissions. Once obtained these air permits require compliance with strict and stringent requirements and utilize specific equipment or technologies to control emissions of certain pollutants. The need to obtain air permits and emission control equipment prior to construction requires timely planning to ensure that the development of oil and natural gas projects is not delayed.
In August 2012, the EPA published New Source Performance Standards ("NSPS") and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, and storage operations. The rules include NSPS for completions of hydraulically fractured gas wells and establish specific new requirements for emissions from compressors, pneumatic controllers, dehydrators, storage vessels, natural gas processing plants and certain other equipment. This rule was promulgated and implemented to reduce emissions from volatile organic compounds ("VOC"). On June 3, 2016 the EPA published additional standards for methane and VOC emissions for certain new, modified, and reconstructed equipment, processes, and activities across the oil and natural gas sector, including Leak Detection and Repair ("LDAR") programs, emission controls for tanks, verification of closed vent systems, and compressor requirements. Regulation of oil and natural gas facilities continues to expand and become more rigorous. Most recently, on November 15, 2021, the EPA published a proposed rule for oil and natural gas facilities that will expand control requirements, increase LDAR inspection frequencies, prohibit venting of natural gas in certain situations, require equipment retrofits, and regulate older facilities.
In addition, on November 18, 2016, the BLM finalized a waste prevention rule to reduce the flaring, venting and leaking of methane from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands. The rule requires operators to use currently available technologies and equipment to reduce flaring, periodically inspect their operations for leaks, and replace outdated equipment that vents large quantities of gas into the air. The rule also clarifies when operators owe the government royalties for flared gas. On March 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order directing the BLM to review the above rule and, if appropriate, to initiate a rulemaking to rescind or revise it. On September 28, 2018, the BLM finalized revisions to the waste prevention rule to reduce "unnecessary compliance burdens." However, a federal court struck down the scaled-back rule on July 15, 2020, and shortly thereafter, on October 8, 2020, another federal court struck down the 2016 waste prevention rule. At this time, it is uncertain when, and to what extent, the waste prevention rule will be implemented, and what impact it will have on our operations.
The above standards, as well as any future laws and their implementing regulations, require us to obtain pre-approval for the expansion or modification of existing facilities or the construction of new facilities expected to produce air emissions and impose stringent air permit requirements. These regulations also mandate the use of specific equipment or technologies to minimize, eliminate, or control emissions. Our failure to comply with these requirements could subject us to monetary penalties, injunctions, conditions or restrictions on operations and, potentially, criminal enforcement actions.
We have incurred additional capital expenditures to ensure compliance with these new regulations as they come into effect. We may also be required to incur additional capital expenditures in the next few years for air pollution control equipment in connection with complying with new air regulations, maintaining or obtaining operating permits addressing other air emission
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related issues, which may have a material adverse effect on our operations and has the potential to delay the development of oil and natural gas projects.
"Greenhouse gas" emissions
In recent years, federal, state and local governments have taken steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases ("GHGs"). The EPA has finalized a series of GHG monitoring, reporting and emission control rules for the oil and natural gas industry, and Congress has, from time to time, considered adopting legislation to reduce emissions. Almost one-half of the states have already taken measures to reduce GHG emissions primarily through the development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap-and-trade programs. Also, states have imposed increasingly stringent requirements related to the venting or flaring of gas during oil and gas operations. In addition, some states have enacted renewable portfolio standards, which require utilities to purchase a certain percentage of their energy from renewable fuel sources.
At the international level, in December 2015, the United States participated in the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. The resulting Paris Agreement calls for the parties to undertake "ambitious efforts" to limit the average global temperature and to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of GHGs. The Paris Agreement went into effect on November 4, 2016. Although the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement, effective November 4, 2020, President Biden issued an Executive Order on January 20, 2021 to rejoin the Paris Agreement, which took effect on February 19, 2021. On April 21, 2021, the United States announced that it was setting an economy-wide target of reducing its GHG emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. In November 2021, in connection with the 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow, Scotland, the United States and other world leaders made further commitments to reduce GHGs, including reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. Relatedly, many state and local leaders have stated their intent to intensify efforts to support the international climate commitments.
Restrictions on GHG emissions that may be imposed could adversely affect the oil and gas industry. The adoption of legislation or regulatory programs to reduce GHG emissions could require us to incur increased operating costs, such as costs to purchase and operate emissions control systems, to acquire emissions allowances or comply with new regulatory requirements. Any GHG emissions legislation or regulatory programs applicable to power plants or refineries could also increase the cost of consuming, and thereby reduce demand for, the oil, NGL and natural gas we produce. Consequently, legislation and regulatory programs to reduce GHG emissions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, there have also been efforts in recent years to influence the investment community, including investment advisors and certain sovereign wealth, pension and endowment funds promoting divestment of fossil fuel equities and pressuring lenders to limit funding to companies engaged in the extraction of fossil fuel reserves. Such environmental activism and initiatives aimed at limiting climate change and reducing air pollution could interfere with our business activities, operations and ability to access capital. Furthermore, claims have been made against certain energy companies alleging that greenhouse gas emissions from oil and natural gas operations constitute a public nuisance under federal and/or state common law. As a result, private individuals or public entities may seek to enforce environmental laws and regulations against us and could allege personal injury, property damages or other liabilities. While our business is not a party to any such litigation, we could be named in actions making similar allegations. An unfavorable ruling in any such case could significantly impact our operations and could have an adverse impact on our financial condition.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
Certain of our operations are subject to applicable requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, as amended ("OSHA") and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of the health and safety of employees. In addition, OSHA's hazard communication standard requires that information be maintained about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations and that certain information be provided to employees, state and local government authorities and citizens.
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 Departments of Interior and Agriculture, to evaluate major agency
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actions having the potential to significantly impact the environment. In the course of such evaluations, an agency prepares an environmental assessment to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of a proposed project. If impacts are considered significant, the agency will prepare a more detailed environmental impact study that is made available for public review and comment. Any exploration and production activities, as well as proposed exploration and development plans, on federal lands would require governmental permits that are subject to the requirements of NEPA. This environmental impact assessment process has the potential to delay the development of oil and natural gas projects. Authorizations under NEPA also are subject to protest, appeal or litigation, which can delay or halt projects.
Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act ("ESA") was established to protect endangered and threatened species. Pursuant to the ESA, if a species is listed as threatened or endangered, restrictions may be imposed on activities adversely affecting that species or its habitat. Similar protections are offered to migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may designate critical habitat and suitable habitat areas that it believes are necessary for survival of a threatened or endangered species. A critical habitat or suitable habitat designation could result in further material restrictions to federal land use and may materially delay or prohibit land access for oil and natural gas development. If previously unprotected species, such as the dunes sagebrush lizard, are designated as endangered or threatened, or if we were to have a portion of our leases designated as critical or suitable habitat, it could cause us to incur additional costs or become subject to operating restrictions or bans in the affected areas, which could adversely impact the value of our leases.
Summary
We believe we are in substantial compliance with currently applicable environmental federal, state and local laws and regulations and that we hold all necessary, valid and up-to-date permits, registrations and other authorizations required under such laws and regulations or are in the process of obtaining such items. However, current regulatory requirements may change, currently unforeseen incidents may occur or past non-compliance with laws or regulations may be discovered, and such laws and regulations are frequently amended or reinterpreted. Therefore, we are unable to predict the future costs or impacts of compliance. Although we have not experienced any material adverse effect from compliance with environmental requirements and believe that the current costs of compliance are appropriately reflected in our budget, there is no assurance that this will continue. We did not have any material capital or other non-recurring expenditures in connection with complying with environmental laws and regulations or environmental remediation matters during the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 or 2019.
Regulation of derivatives
The July 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act") provides for federal oversight of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities that participate in that market and mandates that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the "CFTC"), the SEC, and federal regulators of financial institutions (the "Prudential Regulators") adopt rules or regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank Act and providing definitions of terms used in the Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act establishes margin requirements and requires clearing and trade execution practices for certain market participants and may result in certain market participants needing to curtail or cease their derivatives activities.
The CFTC, the SEC and the Prudential Regulators have issued many rules to implement the Dodd-Frank Act, including rules (the "Adopted Derivatives Rules") (i) requiring clearing of hedges, or swaps, that are subject to the Dodd-Frank Act (currently, only certain interest rate and credit default swaps, which we do not presently have (the "Mandatory Clearing Rule"), and also establishing an "end user" exception to the Mandatory Clearing Rule (the "End User Exception"), (ii) setting forth collateral requirements in connection with swaps that are not cleared (the "Margin Rule") and also an exception to the Margin Rule for end users that are not financial end users (the "Non-Financial End User Exception") and (iii) imposing position limits on certain futures contracts, including the NYMEX "Henry Hub" gas contract and "Light Sweet Crude" oil contract, and economically equivalent swaps (the "Position Limit Rule"). The Position Limit Rule took effect March 15, 2021 and the position limits, other than those for economically equivalent swaps provided for in the Position Limit Rule, took effect on January 1, 2022; the position limits for economically equivalent swaps will take effect on January 1, 2023. The Position Limit Rule provides an exemption from the position limits for swaps that constitute "bona fide hedging positions" within the definition of such term
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under the Position Limit Rule, subject to the party claiming the exemption complying with the applicable filing, recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Position Limit Rule.
We qualify for the End User Exception and will utilize it if the Mandatory Clearing Rule is expanded to cover swaps in which we participate, we qualify for the Non-Financial End User Exception and will not be required to post margin in connection with uncleared swaps under the Margin Rule, and our existing and anticipated hedging positions constitute "bona fide hedging positions" under the Position Limit Rule, and we intend to undertake the filing, recordkeeping and reporting necessary to utilize the bona fide hedging position exemption under the Position Limit Rule, so we do not expect to be directly affected by any such rules. However, most if not all of our hedge counterparties will be subject to mandatory clearing in connection with their hedging activities with parties who do not qualify for the End User Exception and will be required to post margin in connection with their hedging activities with other swap dealers, major swap participants, financial end users and other persons that do not qualify for the Non-Financial End User Exception. In addition, the European Union and other non-U.S. jurisdictions have enacted laws and regulations (including laws and regulations giving the European Union financial authorities the power to write down amounts we may be owed on hedging agreements with counterparties subject to such laws and regulations and/or require that we accept equity interests in such counterparties in lieu of cash in satisfaction of such amounts, collectively the "Foreign Regulations"), which may apply to our transactions with counterparties subject to such Foreign Regulations (the "Foreign Counterparties") and the U.S. adopted law and rules (the "U.S. Resolution Stay Rules") clarifying similar rights of U.S. banking authorities with respect to banking institutions subject to their regulation.
Human Capital
The Laredo Way is a path designed for our employees to experience mutual respect, openness, honesty and a spirit of trust and collaboration while employed by Laredo. Laredo's key human capital objectives are to attract, retain, motivate and develop the highest quality talent possible. To support these objectives, we support and encourage an inclusive work environment to help our employees attain their highest level of productivity, creativity and efficiency. Diverse and sound ideas, approaches and individual experiences are essential features of inclusion. We foster an environment of safety and inclusion through the implementation of our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics and annual anti-harassment training. We firmly believe that everyone at Laredo contributes to our success.
Workforce Composition
As of December 31, 2021, we employed 273 full-time employees, 133 of which were based in our field offices. The remaining (nearly one-half) of our employees possess technical and professional backgrounds, often holding advanced degrees. Our professional staff includes geoscientists, petroleum and chemical engineers, land women and men, accountants, computer and data scientists, financial analysts, lawyers, human resource specialists and many more.
Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that a diverse workforce will help our organization better accomplish our mission. To increase our hiring of traditionally underrepresented personnel and women, Laredo proactively sources open positions on job sites specifically focused on diversity. This allows us to gain candidates from underrepresented talent pools to help fill our positions. At the end of our fiscal year 2021, our workforce consisted of:
26% diverse based on ethnicity
27% diverse based on gender
4% US military veterans
34% women in professional roles or higher
Laredo strives to provide a comfortable and progressive workplace where communication is open and problems can be discussed and resolved in a mutually respectful atmosphere. We take into account individual circumstances and the individual employee. Working together, we are stronger, and we will continue to honor diversity and inclusion as key values of the Laredo Way.

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Health and Safety
Most importantly, we know that an engaged, healthy, safe and well-trained workforce is key to our world-class culture and helps us accomplish our strategic goals. Safety is a core part of Laredo's culture, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to conduct all operations in a safe manner. As we continue to adapt to new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to operate responsibly while always putting the safety and well-being of our employees, their families and our communities first. We have implemented several measures for all employees, such as keeping pay and benefits whole for those who are finding their work routines disrupted by the pandemic and keeping in-person or onsite gatherings for essential and safety purposes only. We are monitoring the situation closely and are committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our people and communities above all else.
Safety is a core part of Laredo's culture, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to conduct all our operations in a safe manner. Although we are always striving for zero incidents, we are proud of our record of safe operations. Our safety best practices include: annual training, pre-job safety meetings, on-site contractor management and safety personnel, hazard hunts, bi-annual external safety audits, stop work authority, after action review and root cause analysis.
Total Rewards
To attract and retain exceptional talent, we provide our employees a comprehensive total rewards program, which includes a comprehensive benefits offering and competitive compensation package. We recognize that by offering relevant and innovative total rewards programs to our employees, we send a message that we are listening to their needs and promoting flexibility as well as sound health and wellness opportunities. In addition to competitive salaries, we offer both short and long term incentive programs, company-matched 401K contributions, flexible working schedules and many more employee-focused programs. Demonstrating our commitment to our employees' health and well-being, highlighted below are several benefits of our total rewards program.
Healthcare: We provide over 80% of health insurance premiums to ensure our employees and their families have access to affordable healthcare.
Fitness: We provide an onsite fitness center for our Tulsa employees and access to local fitness facilities for our field personnel.
Family: We provide flexible work schedules to enable our employees to attend important family events during the workday and onsite lactation rooms to provide mothers with a calm and private space.
Trust: We provide a hotline for employees and contractors to report grievances without retaliation and allow us to review and adjust policies, where necessary.
Training
We recognize and support our employees’ desire to continue to learn and develop. We offer opportunities both internally and externally to participate in learning programs. We offer tuition reimbursement benefits for extended educational learning opportunities. Additionally, we have a robust training program for our Lease Operators and Field Technicians that allows for consistency in our processes and gives the management team clarity when considering field employees for promotional opportunities. Administration of this program is a joint effort between leadership on the Production team and the Learning and Development staff that allows us to intentionally train our employees with the goal of promoting from within for all promotions in the field. Laredo prides itself on the ability to promote our great employees.
Attracting, retaining and developing our people is crucial to all aspects of our long-term success and is central to our long-term strategy. We will continue to invest in our employees to ensure that we continue building an inclusive culture that inspires loyalty and encourages innovation. By working together and focusing on our employees, we will continue to honor diversity and inclusion as key values of the Laredo Way.
Available information
We are required to file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC, which are available to the public from commercial document retrieval services and at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov. Our common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "LPI."
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We also make available on our website (http://www.laredopetro.com) all of the documents that we file with the SEC and amendments to those reports, including related exhibits and supplemental schedules, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with the SEC. Our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics, Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Policy Statement Regarding Related Party Transactions and the charters of our audit committee, compensation committee, finance committee, and nominating and corporate governance committee are also available on our website and in print free of charge to any stockholder who requests them. Requests should be sent by mail to our corporate secretary at our executive office. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report. We intend to disclose on our website any amendments or waivers to our Code of Conduct and Business Ethics or Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers that are required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 5.05 of Form 8-K.
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Item 1A.Risk Factors
Our business involves a high degree of risk. If any of the following risks, or any risks described elsewhere in this Annual Report, were actually to occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected and the trading price of our shares could decline resulting in the loss of part or all of your investment. The risks described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks not presently known to us or which we currently consider immaterial may also adversely affect us.
Summary Risk Factors
The following is a summary of the material risks and uncertainties we have identified, which should be read in conjunction with the more detailed description of each risk factor contained below.
Risks related to our business
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and responses;
Volatility in prices for oil, NGL and natural gas;
Risks associated with spacing, drilling and completions techniques;
Competition in the oil and gas industry;
Risks in connection with acquisitions and disposition of assets;
Risks associated with recent transactions and exposure to contingent liabilities;
Changes in market/investor priorities;
Uncertainties associated with estimating reserves and future net cash flows;
Our ability to replace our oil and natural gas reserves;
Insufficient transportation capacity in the Permian Basin and other risks associated with transportation and storage;
Our level of success in development and production activities;
The timing and occurrence of drilling future wells;
Uncertainties associated with our use of 2D and 3D seismic analytics and other data;
Inability of significant customers to meet their obligations;
Unavailability or high cost of additional oilfield services;
Cybersecurity threats and other disruptions in our electronic systems;
Hydrocarbon price volatility as a result of Russian activities in Ukraine;
Our ability to attract, train and retain qualified personnel;
New operational and technical issues;
Conservation measures and market perception towards the Oil and Natural Gas Industry;
The geographic concentration of our operations;
Uncertainties associated with an ownership change;
Incurrence of substantial losses and liability claims as a result of our oil and gas operations, and risks our insurance may be inadequate to protect us against these losses;
Failure to effectively and timely address the energy transition; and
Risks associated with our targets and initiatives related to sustainability and emissions reduction.
Risks related to our financing and indebtedness
Our ability to obtain needed capital or financing;
Our ability to obtain future hedges and effectiveness of our commodity derivative activities;
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Incurrence of significant additional amounts of debt;
Cost and ability to access capital;
Interest rate risk as a result of borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility;
Our ability to generate cash;
Reductions in our borrowing base under our Senior Secured Credit Facility;
Losses from operations; and
Debt covenants that limit our flexibility in operating our business.
Risks related to regulation of our business
Our ability to drill new allocation wells;
Federal and state legislation and regulatory initiatives relating to hydraulic fracturing and water disposal wells;
Availability, use and disposal of water;
Legislation or regulatory initiatives addressing seismic activity;
Potential changes in the jurisdictional characterization of some of our assets;
Adoption of climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of “greenhouse gases” and potential physical effects of climate change;
Significant delays, costs and liabilities as a result of environmental, health and safety requirements;
Designation as “critical infrastructure” could subject us to additional regulation;
Derivatives reform legislation and related regulations;
Changes in tax laws and regulations; and
Restrictions on drilling activities intended to protect certain species of wildlife.
Risks related to our common stock
Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and Delaware state law potentially delaying a change in control;
Availability of shares for sale in the future; and
We have no plans to pay and are currently restricted from paying dividends on our common stock.
Risks related to our business
Our business and operations have been and will likely continue to be affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and responses.
The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus caused, and is continuing to cause, disruptions in the worldwide and U.S. economy. There are many variables and uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including the emergence, contagiousness and threat of new and different strains of the virus and their severity; the effectiveness of treatments or vaccines against the virus or its new strains; the extent of travel restrictions, business closures and other measures that are or may be imposed in affected areas or countries by governmental authorities; disruptions in the supply chain; an increasingly competitive labor market due to a sustained labor shortage or increased turnover caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; increased logistics costs; additional costs due to remote working arrangements, adherence to social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19-related challenges; and decreases in the price of oil due to remote working arrangements. Further, there remain increased risks of cyberattacks on information technology systems used in remote working environment; increased privacy-related risks due to processing health-related personal information; absence of workforce due to illness; the impact of the pandemic on any of our contractual counterparties; and other factors that are currently unknown or considered immaterial. It is difficult to assess the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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As a result of the volatility in prices for oil, NGL and natural gas, we have taken and may be required to take further write-downs of the carrying values of our properties.
Accounting rules require that we periodically review the carrying value of our properties for possible impairment. Based on prevailing commodity prices and specific market factors and circumstances at the time of prospective impairment reviews, and the continuing evaluation of development plans, production data, economics and other factors, we have been required to, and may be required to further, write-down the carrying value of our properties. A write-down constitutes a non-cash charge to earnings. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations–Pricing and reserves" and Note 6.a to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional information.
Oil, NGL and natural gas prices are volatile. Volatility in oil, NGL and natural gas prices has adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, our business, financial condition and results of operations and may in the future affect our ability to meet our capital expenditure obligations and financial commitments as well as negatively impact our stock price.
The prices we receive for our oil, NGL and natural gas production heavily influence our revenue, profitability, access to capital and future rate of growth. Commodity prices are subject to wide fluctuations in response to relatively minor changes in supply and demand. Historically, the market for oil, NGL and natural gas has been volatile and will likely continue to be volatile in the future. The prices we receive for our production, and the levels of our production, depend on numerous factors beyond our control. See "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” for a list of the factors that significantly impact our business and could impact our business in the future, including those specifically related to pricing and production.
Lower oil, NGL and natural gas prices have reduced, and may in the future continue to reduce, our cash flows and borrowing ability. We may be unable to obtain needed capital or financing on satisfactory terms, which could lead to a decline in our oil, NGL and natural gas reserves as existing reserves are depleted. A further decrease in oil, NGL and natural gas prices could render uneconomic a large portion of our exploration, development and exploitation projects. This has already resulted in us having to make significant downward adjustments to our estimated proved reserves, and we may need to make further downward adjustments in the future. Furthermore, under our Senior Secured Credit Facility, scheduled borrowing base redeterminations occur by May 1 and November 1 of each year, and the lenders have the right to call for an interim redetermination of the borrowing base one time between any two scheduled redetermination dates and in other specified circumstances. A reduced borrowing base could trigger repayment obligations under our Senior Secured Credit Facility. Also, lower oil, NGL and natural gas prices would likely cause a decline in our stock price.
There is no guarantee that we will be successful in optimizing our spacing, drilling and completions techniques in order to maximize our rate of return, cash flows from operations and shareholder value.
As we accumulate and process geological and production data, we attempt to create a development plan, including well spacing and completion design, that maximizes our rate of return, cash flows from operations and shareholder value. However, due to many factors, including some beyond our control, there is no guarantee that we will be able to find the optimal plan or one that provides continuous improvement. If we are unable to design and implement an effective spacing, drilling and completions strategy, it may have a material adverse effect on our production results, financial performance, stock price and net asset value.
Competition in the oil and natural gas industry is intense, making it difficult for us to acquire properties, market oil, NGL and natural gas and secure trained personnel.
Our ability to acquire additional locations and to find and develop reserves in the future may depend on our ability to evaluate and select suitable properties and to consummate transactions in a highly competitive, concentrated geographic environment for acquiring properties, marketing oil, NGL and natural gas and securing trained personnel. Also, there is substantial competition for capital available for investment in the oil, NGL and natural gas industry, especially in our focus areas. Many of our competitors possess and employ financial, technical and personnel resources substantially greater than ours. Those companies may be able to pay more for productive oil, NGL and natural gas properties and exploratory locations and to evaluate, bid for and purchase a greater number of properties and locations than our financial or personnel resources permit. In addition, other companies may be able to offer better compensation packages to attract and retain qualified personnel than we are able to offer. We may not be able to compete successfully in the future in acquiring prospective
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reserves, developing reserves, marketing hydrocarbons, attracting and retaining quality personnel and raising additional capital, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may be subject to risks in connection with acquisitions and disposition of assets.
The successful acquisition of producing properties requires an assessment of several factors, including:
recoverable reserves;
future oil, NGL and natural gas prices and their applicable differentials;
timing of development;
capital and operating costs; and
potential environmental and other liabilities.
The successful disposition of assets requires an assessment of several factors, including historical operations, potential environmental and other liabilities and impact on our business. The accuracy of these assessments is inherently uncertain. Our assessment will not reveal all existing or potential problems nor will it permit us to become sufficiently familiar with the properties to fully assess their deficiencies and capabilities. Inspections may not always be performed on every well, and environmental problems are not necessarily observable even when an inspection is undertaken. Even when problems are identified, the seller or buyer may be unwilling or unable to provide effective contractual protection against all or part of the problems. We often are not entitled to contractual indemnification for environmental liabilities and acquire or sell assets on an "as is" basis. Even in those circumstances in which we have contractual indemnification rights for pre-closing liabilities, it remains possible that the seller or buyer will not be able to fulfill its contractual obligations. Problems with assets we acquire or dispose of could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Acquisitions may not achieve the intended results and our results may suffer if we do not effectively manage our expanded operations following such transactions.
Some of the assumptions that we have made, such as the nature of assets to be acquired, may not be realized. There could also be undisclosed or unknown liabilities and unforeseen expenses associated with the acquisition that were not discovered in the due diligence review conducted by us prior to entering into the transaction agreements.
We may use more cash and other financial resources on integration and implementation activities than we expect. We may not be able to successfully integrate the assets acquired into our existing operations or realize the expected economic benefits of the acquisition, which may have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In instances where a portion of the acreage we are acquiring is undeveloped, our plans, development schedule and production schedule associated with the acreage may fail to materialize. As a result, our investment in these areas may not be as economic as we anticipate, and we could incur material write-downs of unevaluated properties.
Recent transactions may expose us to contingent liabilities.
We have agreed to indemnify the sellers of assets in recent transactions against certain liabilities related to (i) production, processing and other imbalances, (ii) obligations to pay working interests and related payments, (iii) obligations for plugging and abandonment of applicable wells and (iv) certain other items. In addition, we have agreed to indemnify the buyer of assets for breaches of certain specified fundamental representations and warranties and failure to perform covenants or obligations contained in the respective transaction agreement, subject to certain limitations, and certain other indemnities.
Our indemnification obligations are, in some cases, subject to limitations, but the amount of our maximum exposure could be material. In some instances, our indemnification obligations are not subject to any limitations. Significant indemnification claims by such sellers or buyers could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may be unable to quickly adapt to changes in market/investor priorities.
Historically, one of the key drivers in the unconventional resource industry has been growth in production and reserves. With historical volatility in oil and natural gas prices and the likelihood that rising interest rates will increase the cost of borrowing,
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capital efficiency and free cash flow from earnings have become the key drivers for energy companies, particularly shale producers. Such shifts in focus sometimes require changes in planning and resource management, which may not occur instantaneously. Any delay in responding to such changes in market sentiment or perception may result in the investment community having a negative sentiment regarding our business plan, potential profitability and our ability to operate in a manner deemed "efficient," which may have a negative impact on the price of our common stock.
Estimating reserves and future net cash flows involves uncertainties. Negative revisions to reserve estimates, decreases in oil, NGL and natural gas prices or increases in service costs, may lead to decreased earnings and increased losses or impairment of oil and natural gas properties.
The reserves data included in this Annual Report represent estimates. Reserves estimation is a subjective process of evaluating underground accumulations of oil, NGL and natural gas that cannot be measured in an exact manner. Reserves that are "proved reserves" are those estimated quantities of oil, NGL and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty are recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions and that relate to specific locations for which the extraction of hydrocarbons must have commenced or the operator must be reasonably certain will commence within a five-year period.    
The estimation process relies on interpretations of available geological, geophysical, engineering and production data. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities of proved reserves and in projecting future rates of production and timing of developmental expenditures, including more rapid production declines than previously expected and many other factors beyond the control of the operator. Further, initial production rates reported by us or other operators may not be indicative of future or long-term production rates. Production declines may be rapid and irregular when compared to a well's initial production or initial estimates. In addition, the estimates of future net cash flows from our proved reserves and the present value of such estimates are based upon certain assumptions about future production levels, prices and costs that may not prove to be correct.
Negative revisions in the estimated quantities of proved reserves have the effect of increasing the rates of depletion on the affected properties, which decrease earnings or result in losses through higher depletion expense. These revisions, as well as revisions in the assumptions of future cash flows of these reserves, may also trigger impairment losses on certain properties, which would result in a non-cash charge to earnings. See Note 19.d to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Unless we replace our oil, NGL and natural gas production, our reserves and production will continue to decline, which would adversely affect our future cash flows and results of operations.
Producing oil, NGL and natural gas reservoirs are generally characterized by rapidly declining production rates that vary depending upon reservoir characteristics and other factors. Unless we conduct successful ongoing exploration, development and exploitation activities and/or continually acquire properties containing proved reserves, our proved reserves will continue to decline as those reserves are produced. Our future oil, NGL and natural gas reserves and production, and therefore our future cash flow and results of operations, are highly dependent on our success in efficiently developing and exploiting our current reserves and economically finding or acquiring additional recoverable reserves. We may not be able to develop, exploit, find or acquire sufficient additional reserves to replace our current and future production. If we are unable to replace our current and future production, the value of our reserves will decrease, and our business, financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.
Insufficient transportation capacity in the Permian Basin, and the challenges to alleviating such transportation constraints, could cause significant fluctuations in our realized oil prices and our results of operations.
In our area of operation, the Permian Basin has been characterized by periods when oil and/or natural gas production has surpassed local transportation capacity, resulting in substantial discounts to the price received for commodity prices quoted for WTI oil and Henry Hub natural gas. The expansion and construction of pipeline facilities are affected by the availability and costs of necessary equipment, supplies, labor and other services, as well as the length of time to complete such projects. In addition, these projects can be affected by changes in international trade relationships, including the imposition of trade restrictions or tariffs relating to crude oil and natural gas and any materials or products used to expand or construct pipeline facilities, such as certain imported steel mill products that may be subject to a 25% tariff. All of these factors could negatively impact our realized oil prices, as well as actual results of our operations.
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The marketability of our production is dependent upon transportation, processing and storage, certain of which we do not control. If these services are unavailable, our operations could be interrupted and our revenues reduced.
The marketability of our oil, NGL and natural gas production depends on a variety of factors, including the availability, proximity, capacity and quality constraints of transportation, compression, natural gas processing, fractionation, export terminals and storage facilities owned by us or third parties. We do not control third-party facilities and pipelines that may be utilized for the transportation to market of the products originating at our leases. Our failure to provide or obtain such services on acceptable terms could materially harm our business.
Insufficient production from our wells to support the construction of pipeline facilities by third parties or a significant disruption in the availability of our or third-party transportation facilities or other production facilities could adversely impact our ability to deliver to market or produce our oil, NGL and natural gas and thereby cause a significant interruption in our operations. If we are unable, for any sustained period, to implement acceptable delivery or transportation arrangements or specifications or encounter production-related difficulties, we may be required to shut in or curtail production. Any such shut-in or curtailment, or an inability to obtain favorable terms for delivery of the oil, NGL and natural gas produced from our fields, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
A decrease in our production of oil, NGL and natural gas could negatively impact our ability to meet our contractual obligations to deliver oil, NGL and natural gas and our ability to retain our leases.
A portion of our oil, NGL and gas production in any region may be interrupted, or shut in, from time to time for numerous reasons, including as a result of extreme weather conditions, such as the freezing of wells and pipelines in the Permian Basin or a decision by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ("ERCOT") to implement statewide electricity blackouts due to supply/demand imbalances in the electricity grid caused by the extreme cold weather, accidents, loss or unavailability of pipeline or gathering system access and capacity, field labor issues or strikes. Alternatively, we might voluntarily curtail production in response to market conditions, including low oil, NGL and gas prices. If a substantial amount of our production is interrupted at the same time, it could temporarily adversely affect our cash flow. Furthermore, if we were required to shut in wells, we might also be obligated to pay shut-in royalties to certain mineral interest owners to maintain our leases.
In addition, we have entered into agreements with third party pipelines and purchasers that require us to deliver for transportation or sale minimum amounts of oil and natural gas. Pursuant to these agreements, we must deliver specific amounts of oil or gas over the next eight years. If we are unable to fulfill all of our contractual delivery obligations from our own production, we may be required to pay penalties or damages pursuant to these agreements or we may have to purchase oil from third parties to fulfill our delivery obligations. This could adversely impact our cash flows, profit margins and net income.
The potential drilling locations that we have tentatively internally identified for our future wells will be drilled, if at all, over many years. This makes them susceptible to uncertainties that could materially alter the occurrence or timing of their drilling.
Although our management team has established certain potential drilling locations as a part of our long-range development plan, our ability to drill and develop these locations depends on a number of uncertainties, including oil, NGL and natural gas prices, the availability and cost of capital, drilling and production costs, our ability to leverage our data and development experience, the availability of drilling services and equipment, lease expirations, gathering systems, marketing and pipeline transportation constraints, regulatory approvals and other factors. Because of these uncertainties, we do not know if the numerous potential drilling locations we have currently identified will ever be drilled or if we will be able to produce oil, NGL or natural gas from these or any other potential drilling locations. As such, it is likely that our actual drilling activities, especially in the long term, could materially differ from those presently anticipated.
Our use of 2D and 3D seismic, analytics and other data is subject to interpretation and may not accurately identify the presence of oil, NGL and natural gas, which could adversely affect the results of our drilling operations.
Even when properly used and interpreted, 2D and 3D seismic data, analytics and other data that provide either visualization techniques and/or statistical analyses are only probability and estimation tools and do not ensure the existence of or the amount of hydrocarbons. We employ 3D seismic technology on certain of our projects, which is still relatively unproven. In addition, the use of 3D seismic and other advanced technologies requires greater pre-drilling expenditures than traditional
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drilling strategies, which may result in a reduction in our returns. As a result, our drilling activities may not be successful or economical, and our overall drilling success rate or our drilling success rate for activities in a particular area could decline.
The inability of our significant customers to meet their obligations to us may materially adversely affect our financial results.
Our oil, NGL and natural gas production sales are made to a variety of purchasers, including intrastate and interstate pipelines or their marketing affiliates and independent marketing companies. Certain purchasers individually account for 10% or more of our oil, NGL and natural gas sales in a given year. The inability or failure of our significant customers to meet their obligations to us or their insolvency or liquidation may adversely affect our financial results. See Notes 2.d and 14 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for further discussion of our accounts receivable and credit risk, respectively.
The unavailability or high cost of additional oilfield services, including personnel, drilling rigs, equipment and supplies, as well as fees for the cancellation of such services, could adversely affect our ability to execute our exploration and development plans within our budget and on a timely basis.
The demand for and availability of qualified and experienced personnel to drill and complete wells and conduct field operations, including, but not limited to, frac crews, geologists, geophysicists, engineers and other professionals in the oil and natural gas industry can fluctuate significantly, often in correlation with oil, NGL and natural gas prices, causing periodic shortages. From time to time, there have also been shortages of drilling and workover rigs, pipe, sand, water and equipment as demand for such items has increased along with the number of wells being drilled. We have committed in the past, and we may in the future commit, to drilling rig contracts with various third parties that contain penalties for early terminations. These penalties could negatively impact our financial statements upon contract termination. Shortages in rigs, crews, supplies and equipment, as well as related fees could result in delays or cause us to incur significant expenditures that are not provided for in our capital budget, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our business could be negatively impacted by disruption of electronic systems, security threats, including cyber-security threats, and other disruptions.
We are heavily dependent on our information systems and computer-based programs, including our well operations information, seismic data, electronic data processing and accounting data. If any of such systems or programs were to fail or we were subject to cyberspace breaches or attacks, possible consequences include our loss of communication links, inability to find, produce, process and sell oil, NGL and natural gas and inability to automatically process commercial transactions or engage in similar automated or computerized business activities. Any such consequence could have a material adverse effect on our business.
As an oil and natural gas producer, we face various security threats, including cyber-security threats to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or to render data or systems unusable, threats to the safety of our employees, threats to the security of our or third-party facilities and infrastructure, and threats from terrorist acts. In particular, cyber-security attacks are evolving 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 we utilize various procedures and controls to monitor and protect against these threats and to mitigate our exposure to such threats, there can be no assurance that these procedures and controls will be sufficient in preventing security threats from materializing. If any of these events were to materialize, they could lead to losses of sensitive information, critical infrastructure, personnel or capabilities essential to our operations and could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Our business could be negatively impacted by hydrocarbon price volatility as the result of, or as a result of the threat of, Russian activities in Ukraine and as the result of, or as a result of the threat of, Russia expanding its production of oil and gas to finance its activities in Ukraine and destabilize world energy markets.
Our revenues and our profitability are heavily dependent on the prices we receive from our sales of oil and natural gas. Oil prices are particularly sensitive to actual and perceived threats to global political stability and to changes in production from OPEC member states. An actual increase, or the threat of an increase, in Russian activities in Ukraine could lead to increased volatility in global oil and gas prices and increases in oil production by Russia to finance its activities in Ukraine or to
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destabilize global oil and gas prices could reduce the price we receive from our sales of oil and natural gas and adversely affect our profitability.
The loss of senior management or technical personnel and the failure to attract, train and retain qualified personnel could adversely affect our operations.
Effective succession planning is important to our long-term success. Failure to ensure effective transfer of knowledge and smooth transitions involving senior management and technical personnel could hinder our strategic planning and execution and could have a material adverse impact on our operations. We do not maintain any key-man or similar insurance for any officer or other employee.
We may not always foresee new operational/technical issues as new technology enables greater operational capabilities.
The unconventional oil and natural gas industry has seen a large increase in new technologies to enhance all aspects of operations. This has arguably accelerated as a result of the extended downturn in commodity prices, forcing companies to find new ways to more efficiently produce oil and natural gas. While such technologies can and often ultimately enhance operations, production and profitability, the utilization of such technologies, especially in their early phases, may result in unforeseen consequences and operational issues, resulting in negative consequences.
Conservation measures, technological advances and negative shift in market perception towards the oil and natural gas industry could reduce demand for oil and natural gas.
Fuel conservation measures, alternative fuel requirements, increasing consumer demand for alternatives to oil and natural gas, technological advances in fuel economy and energy generation devices, and the increased competitiveness of alternative energy sources such as electric vehicles, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, fuel cells and biofuels) could reduce demand for oil and natural gas and, therefore, our revenues.
Additionally, certain segments of the investor community have recently expressed negative sentiment towards investing in the oil and natural gas industry. In the past, equity returns in the sector versus other industry sectors have led to lower oil and natural gas representation in certain key equity market indices. Some investors, including certain pension funds, university endowments and family foundations, have stated policies to reduce or eliminate their investments in the oil and natural gas sector based on social and environmental considerations. Furthermore, certain other stakeholders have pressured commercial and investment banks to stop funding oil and gas projects. With the volatility in oil and natural gas prices, and the likelihood that interest rates will rise in the near term, increasing the cost of borrowing, certain investors have emphasized capital efficiency and free cash flow from earnings as key drivers for energy companies, especially shale producers. This may also result in a reduction of available capital funding for potential development projects, further impacting our future financial results.
The impact of the changing demand for oil and natural gas services and products, together with a change in investor sentiment, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Furthermore, if we are unable to achieve the desired level of capital efficiency or free cash flow within the timeframe expected by the market, our stock price may be adversely affected.
Our producing properties are in a concentrated geographic area, making us vulnerable to risks associated with operating in one major geographic area.
Our producing properties are geographically concentrated in the Permian Basin. As of December 31, 2021, all of our total estimated proved reserves were attributable to properties located in this area. As a result of this concentration, we may be disproportionately exposed to the impact of regional transportation constraints, supply and demand factors, delays or interruptions of production from wells in this area caused by governmental regulation, processing and storage capacity constraints, market limitations, water shortages, interruption of the processing or transportation of oil or natural gas, as well as impacts from extreme weather or other natural disasters impacting the Permian Basin, such as the freezing of wells and pipelines in the Permian Basin or a decision by ERCOT to implement statewide electricity blackouts due to supply/demand imbalances in the electricity grid caused by the extreme cold weather.
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If we were to experience an ownership change, we could be limited in our ability to use net operating losses arising prior to the ownership change to offset future taxable income. In addition, our ability to use net operating loss carryforwards to reduce future tax payments may be limited if our taxable income does not reach sufficient levels.
As of December 31, 2021, we had federal net operating loss ("NOL") carryforwards totaling $2.1 billion and state of Oklahoma NOL carryforwards totaling $34.6 million. If we were to experience an "ownership change," as determined under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, to which Oklahoma conforms, our ability to offset taxable income arising after the ownership change with NOLs arising prior to the ownership change would be limited, possibly substantially. An ownership change would establish an annual limitation on the amount of our pre-change NOLs we could utilize to offset our taxable income in any future taxable year to an amount generally equal to the value of our stock immediately prior to the ownership change multiplied by the long-term tax-exempt rate. In general, an ownership change will occur if there is a cumulative increase in our ownership of more than 50 percentage points by one or more "5% shareholders" (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code) at any time during a rolling three-year period.
In addition, as a result of a comprehensive tax reform bill commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and the Jobs Act (the "Tax Act"), NOLs arising before January 1, 2018, and NOLs arising on or after January 1, 2018, are subject to different rules. NOLs arising before January 1, 2018, can generally be carried forward to offset future taxable income for a period of 20 years. Any NOL arising on or after January 1, 2018, while subject to additional limitations, can generally be carried forward indefinitely. Our ability to use our NOLs during this period will be dependent on our ability to generate taxable income, and the NOLs could expire before we generate sufficient taxable income. As of December 31, 2021, based on evidence available to us, including projected future cash flows from our oil, NGL and natural gas reserves and the timing of those cash flows, we believe a portion of our NOLs is not fully realizable. As a result, as of December 31, 2021, a valuation allowance has been recorded against our net deferred tax assets. See Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional information.
We may incur substantial losses and be subject to substantial liability claims as a result of our operations. Additionally, we may not be insured for, or our insurance may be inadequate to protect us against, these risks.
We could be impacted by the outcome of pending litigation as well as unexpected litigation or proceedings. Certain litigation claims may not be covered under our insurance policies, or our insurance carriers may seek to deny coverage. Because we cannot accurately predict the outcome of any action, it is possible that, as a result of pending and/or unexpected litigation, we will be subject to adverse judgments or settlements that could significantly reduce our earnings or result in losses. See "Item 3. Legal Proceedings" for a description of our pending litigation.
We are not insured against all risks. Losses and liabilities arising from uninsured and underinsured events could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. Our oil, NGL and natural gas exploration and production activities are subject to all of the operating risks associated with drilling for and producing oil, NGL and natural gas, including the possibility of:
environmental hazards, such as uncontrollable flows of oil, natural gas, brine, well fluids, toxic gas or other pollution into the environment, including groundwater and shoreline contamination;
abnormally pressured formations;
mechanical difficulties, such as stuck oilfield drilling and service tools and casing collapse;
fires, explosions and ruptures of pipelines;
disagreements regarding the royalty due to our royalty owners;
personal injuries and death;
electronic system disruption and cyber-security threats;
natural disasters; and
terrorist attacks targeting oil, NGL and natural gas related facilities and infrastructure.
Any of these risks could adversely affect our ability to conduct operations or result in substantial losses to us as a result of:
injury or loss of life;
damage to and destruction of property, natural resources and equipment;
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pollution and other environmental damage and associated clean-up responsibilities;
regulatory investigations, penalties or other sanctions;
suspension of our operations; and
repair and remediation costs.
We may elect not to obtain insurance if we believe that the cost of available insurance is excessive relative to the risks presented. In addition, pollution and environmental risks generally are not fully insurable. The impact of litigation as well as the occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to effectively and timely address the energy transition could negatively impact our operations, business and financial condition.
Effectively addressing the energy transition may require adapting our operations to changing local, state and federal requirements. While soliciting feedback from investors and other stakeholders to develop solutions to achieve our emissions targets may aide in effectively addressing the energy transition, should the transition occur faster than anticipated, or in a manner that we do not anticipate, demand for our products may be adversely affected. Furthermore, if we fail to effectively implement our emissions reduction strategy, or if investors or financial institutions shift funding away from companies in the oil and natural gas industry, our access to capital or the market for our securities may be negatively impacted.
Our targets related to sustainability and emissions reduction initiatives, including our public statements and disclosures regarding them, may expose us to numerous risks.
We have developed, and will continue to develop, targets related to ESG initiatives, including our emissions reduction targets and strategy. Public statements related to these initiatives reflect our current plans and are not a guarantee the targets will be achieved or achieved on the stated timeline. Our efforts to research, establish, accomplish, and accurately report on these targets may expose us to operational, reputational, financial, legal, and other risks. Our ability to achieve our stated targets, including emissions reductions, is subject to numerous factors and conditions, some of which are outside of our control.
Our business may face increased scrutiny from investors and other stakeholders related to our ESG initiatives, including our publicly announced targets, as well as our methodologies and timelines for pursuing those initiatives. If our ESG initiatives do not meet evolving investor or other stakeholder expectations and standards, our reputation, ability to attract or retain employees, and attractiveness as an investment or business partner may be negatively impacted. Similarly, our failure to achieve our announced targets or comply with ethical, environmental, or other standards, including reporting standards, may adversely impact our business. Furthermore, failure to achieve these targets within the announced timelines, or at all, may adversely affect our business or reputation, or may expose us to government enforcement actions or private litigation.
Risks related to our financing and indebtedness
Our business requires significant capital expenditures and we may be unable to obtain needed capital or financing on satisfactory terms or at all.
Our exploration, development, marketing, transportation and acquisition activities require substantial capital expenditures. Historically, we have funded our capital expenditures through a combination of cash flows from operations, proceeds from equity offerings, proceeds from senior unsecured note offerings, borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility and proceeds from asset dispositions. We do not have commitments from anyone to contribute equity capital to us. Future cash flows are subject to a number of variables, including the level of production from existing wells, prices of oil, NGL and natural gas and our success in developing and producing new reserves. If our cash flow from operations is not sufficient to fund our capital expenditure budget, we may have limited ability to obtain the additional capital necessary to sustain our operations at current levels. We may not be able to obtain debt or equity financing on terms favorable to us or at all. The failure to obtain additional capital could result in a curtailment of our operations relating to exploration and development of our prospects, which in turn could lead to a decline in our oil, NGL and natural gas production or reserves and, in some areas, a loss of properties.

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Currently, we receive a level of cash flow stability as a result of our hedging activity. To the extent we are unable to obtain future hedges at beneficial prices or our commodity derivative activities are not effective, our cash flows and financial condition may be adversely impacted.
To achieve more predictable cash flows and reduce our exposure to adverse fluctuations in the prices of oil, NGL and natural gas, we enter into commodity derivative instrument contracts for a portion of our oil, NGL and natural gas production, including puts, swaps, collars, basis swaps and, in the past, call spreads. In accordance with applicable accounting principles, we are required to record our derivatives at fair market value, and they are included on our consolidated balance sheet as assets or liabilities and in our consolidated statements of operations as gain (loss) on derivatives. Gain (loss) on derivatives are included in our cash flows from operating activities. Accordingly, our earnings may fluctuate significantly as a result of changes in the fair market value of our derivative instruments, including a decrease in earnings if the price of commodities increases above the price of hedges that we have in place. As our current hedges expire, there is a significant uncertainty that we will be able to put new hedges in place that satisfy our hedge philosophy.
Derivative instruments also expose us to the risk of financial loss in some circumstances, including when:
production is less than the volume covered by the commodity derivative instruments;
the counter-party to the commodity derivative instrument defaults on its contractual obligations;
there is an increase in the differential between the underlying price in the derivative instrument and actual prices received; or
there are issues with regard to legal enforceability of such instruments.
In addition, government regulation may adversely impact our ability to hedge these risks.
For additional information regarding our hedging activities, please see "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and Notes 10 and 11 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
We may incur significant additional amounts of debt.
As of December 31, 2021, we had total long-term indebtedness of $1.44 billion. We may be able to incur substantial additional indebtedness, including secured indebtedness, in the future. The restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness contained in the indentures governing our senior unsecured notes and in our Senior Secured Credit Facility are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions, and under certain circumstances, the amount of indebtedness that could be incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. If new debt is added to our existing debt levels, the related risks that we face would increase and may make it more difficult to satisfy our existing financial obligations. In addition, the restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness contained in the indentures governing the senior unsecured notes apply only to debt that constitutes indebtedness under the indentures. However, such increased debt may reduce the amount of outstanding debt allowed under the Senior Secured Credit Facility.
Increases in our cost of and ability to access capital could adversely affect our business.
Our business and operating results can be harmed by factors such as the availability, terms of and cost of capital, increases in interest rates or a reduction in credit rating. These changes could cause our cost of doing business to increase, limit our ability to pursue acquisition opportunities, reduce our cash flow and/or liquidity available for drilling and place us at a competitive disadvantage. An increase in interest rates on borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility would result in increased annual interest expense and a decrease in our income before income taxes. Disruptions and volatility in the global financial markets may lead to a contraction in credit availability impacting our ability to finance our operations. We require continued access to capital. A downgrade in our credit ratings could negatively impact our costs of capital and our ability to effectively execute aspects of our strategy. Further, a downgrade in our credit ratings could affect our ability to raise debt in the public debt markets, and the cost of any new debt could be much higher than our outstanding debt. A significant reduction in our cash flows from operations or the availability of credit could materially and adversely affect our ability to achieve our planned growth and operating results. See "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk—Interest rate risk" for additional information regarding interest rate risk. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional information regarding our debt and borrowing base.
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Borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility expose us to interest rate risk.
Our earnings are exposed to interest rate risk associated with borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility. The terms of our Senior Secured Credit Facility provide for interest on borrowings at a floating rate equal to an adjusted base rate tied to U.S. dollar (“USD”) London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). USD LIBOR tends to fluctuate based on multiple factors, including general short-term interest rates, rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which indicated plans for multiple interest rate increases in 2022, and other central banks, the supply of and demand for credit in the London interbank market and general economic conditions. From time to time, we use interest rate swaps to reduce interest rate exposure with respect to our fixed and/or floating rate debt. If interest rates increase, so will our interest costs, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
On July 27, 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”), the authority that regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. On March 5, 2021, the ICE Benchmark Administration, which administers LIBOR, and the FCA announced that all LIBOR settings will either cease to be provided by any administrator, or no longer be representative immediately after 2021, for all non-USD LIBOR settings and one-week and two-month USD LIBOR settings, and immediately after June 30, 2023 for the remaining USD LIBOR settings. In light of these recent announcements, the future of USD LIBOR at this time is uncertain and any changes in the methods by which USD LIBOR is determined or regulatory activity related to USD LIBOR’s phase-out could cause USD LIBOR to perform differently than in the past or cease to exist. Our current credit agreement provides for any changes away from USD LIBOR to a successor rate to be based on prevailing or equivalent standards, however, changes in the method of calculating USD LIBOR, or the discontinuation, reform, or replacement of LIBOR or any other benchmark rates may adversely affect interest rates and result in higher borrowing costs. This could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, cash flow and liquidity.
We require a significant amount of cash to service our indebtedness. Our ability to generate cash depends on many factors beyond our control.
Our ability to make payments on and to refinance our indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures depends on our ability to generate cash in the future. This, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure that we will generate sufficient cash flows from operations or that future funding will be available to us under our Senior Secured Credit Facility, equity offerings or other actions in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs. We may need to refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness at or before maturity. We cannot assure that we will be able to refinance any of our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
Any significant reduction in our borrowing base under our Senior Secured Credit Facility as a result of a periodic borrowing base redetermination or otherwise will negatively impact our liquidity and, consequently, our ability to fund our operations, and we may not have sufficient funds to repay borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility or any other obligation if required as a result of a borrowing base redetermination.
Availability under our Senior Secured Credit Facility is currently subject to a borrowing base which is subject to scheduled semiannual (May 1 and November 1) and other elective borrowing base redeterminations based upon, among other things, projected revenues from, and asset values of, the oil and natural gas properties securing the Senior Secured Credit Facility. The lenders under our Senior Secured Credit Facility can unilaterally adjust the borrowing base and the borrowings permitted to be outstanding under our Senior Secured Credit Facility. Reductions in estimates of our oil, NGL and natural gas reserves will result in a reduction in our borrowing base (if prices are kept constant). Reductions in our borrowing base could also arise from other factors, including but not limited to:
lower commodity prices or production;
increased leverage ratios;
inability to drill or unfavorable drilling results;
changes in oil, NGL and natural gas reserves engineering;
increased operating and/or capital costs;
the lenders' inability to agree to an adequate borrowing base; or
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adverse changes in the lenders' practices (including required regulatory changes) regarding estimation of reserves.
We anticipate borrowing under our Senior Secured Credit Facility in the future. Any significant reduction in our borrowing base as a result of such borrowing base redeterminations or otherwise will negatively impact our liquidity and our ability to fund our operations and, as a result, would have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operation and cash flow. Further, if the outstanding borrowings under our Senior Secured Credit Facility were to exceed the borrowing base as a result of any such redetermination, we could be required to repay the excess. We may not have sufficient funds to make such repayments. If we do not have sufficient funds and we are otherwise unable to negotiate renewals of our borrowings or arrange new financing, we may have to sell significant assets. Any such sale could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. In addition, we keep cash at certain banks that are not FDIC insured or such deposits that exceed the FDIC insured amount. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and capital resources" for additional information regarding our liquidity. See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report for additional information regarding our debt and borrowing base.
We have incurred losses from operations for various periods since our inception and may do so in the future.
We incurred net losses in certain years of operation since our inception. Our development of and participation in an increasingly larger number of locations has required and will continue to require substantial capital expenditures. The uncertainty and factors described throughout this section may impede our ability to economically find, develop, exploit and acquire oil, NGL and natural gas reserves. As a result, we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability or positive cash flows from operating activities in the future. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical accounting estimates."
Our debt agreements contain restrictions that limit our flexibility in operating our business.
Our Senior Secured Credit Facility and the indentures governing our senior unsecured notes each contain, and any future indebtedness we incur may contain, various covenants that limit our ability to engage in specified types of transactions. These covenants limit our ability to, among other things:
incur additional indebtedness;
pay dividends on, repurchase or make distributions in respect of our capital stock or make other restricted payments;
make certain investments;
sell certain assets;
create liens;
consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets; and
enter into certain transactions with our affiliates.
As a result of these covenants and a covenant in our Senior Secured Credit Facility that limits our ability to hedge, we are limited in the manner in which we may conduct our business, and we may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance future operations or our capital needs. In addition, the covenants in our Senior Secured Credit Facility require us to maintain a minimum current ratio and maximum leverage ratio and also limit our capital expenditures. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under one or more of these agreements, including as a result of cross-default provisions and, in the case of our Senior Secured Credit Facility, permit the lenders to cease making loans to us. Upon the occurrence of an event of default under our Senior Secured Credit Facility, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under our Senior Secured Credit Facility to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit. Such actions by those lenders could cause cross defaults under our other indebtedness, including the senior unsecured notes. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under our Senior Secured Credit Facility could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure that indebtedness. We have pledged substantially all of our assets as collateral under our Senior Secured Credit Facility. If the lenders under our Senior Secured Credit Facility accelerate the repayment of the borrowings thereunder, the proceeds from the sale or foreclosure upon such assets will first be used to repay debt under our Senior Secured Credit Facility, and we may not have sufficient assets to repay our unsecured
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indebtedness thereafter. Our Senior Secured Credit Facility matures on July 16, 2025 (subject to a springing maturity date of July 29, 2024 if any of the January 2025 Notes are outstanding on such date).
Risks related to regulation of our business
If we are unable to drill new allocation wells, it could have a material adverse impact on our future production results.
In the State of Texas, allocation wells allow an oil and gas producer to drill a horizontal well under two or more leaseholds that are not pooled. We are active in drilling and producing allocation wells. If regulations regarding allocation wells are made, the RRC denies or significantly delays the permitting of allocation wells or if legislation is enacted that negatively impacts the current process under which allocation wells are permitted, it could have an adverse impact on our ability to drill long horizontal lateral wells on some of our leases, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our anticipated future production, rates of return and other projected capital efficiencies.
Federal and state legislation and regulatory initiatives relating to hydraulic fracturing and water disposal wells could prohibit projects or result in materially increased costs and additional operating restrictions or delays because of the significance of hydraulic fracturing and water disposal wells in our business.
Hydraulic fracturing is a practice that is used to stimulate production of oil and/or natural gas from tight formations. The process, which involves the injection of water, proppants and chemicals under pressure into the formation to fracture the surrounding rock and stimulate production, is typically regulated by state oil and natural gas commissions. However, federal, state and local jurisdictions have adopted, or are considering adopting, regulations that could further restrict or prohibit hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances, impose more stringent operating standards and/or require the disclosure of the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids. See "Item 1. Business—Regulation of the oil and natural gas industry—Hydraulic fracturing" for a further description of federal and state regulations addressing hydraulic fracturing. Additionally, there are certain governmental reviews either under way or being proposed that focus on environmental aspects of hydraulic fracturing practices, which could spur initiatives to further regulate hydraulic fracturing. Additional levels of regulation and permits required through the adoption of new laws and regulations at the federal, state or local level could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the potential impact on our business that may arise if federal or state legislation or regulations governing hydraulic fracturing or water disposal wells are enacted into law.
Our operations are substantially dependent on the availability, use and disposal of water. New legislation and regulatory initiatives or restrictions relating to water disposal wells could have a material adverse effect on our future business, financial condition, operating results and prospects.
Water is an essential component of both the drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes. Historically, we have been able to purchase water from local land owners and other sources for use in our operations. Texas has previously experienced, and may experience again, low inflows of water. As a result of these conditions, some local water districts may begin restricting the use of water subject to their jurisdiction for drilling and hydraulic fracturing in order to protect the local water supply. If we are unable to obtain water to use in our operations from local sources, we may be unable to economically produce oil, NGL and natural gas, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Additionally, our operational and production procedures produce large volumes of water that we must properly dispose. The Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, and comparable state laws impose restrictions and strict controls regarding the discharge of pollutants, including produced waters and other natural gas wastes, into federal and state waters. The discharge of pollutants into regulated waters is prohibited, except in accordance with the terms of a permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA") or the state. Furthermore, the State of Texas maintains groundwater protection programs that require permits for discharges or operations that may impact groundwater conditions.
Because of the necessity to safely dispose of water produced during operational and production activities, these regulations, or others like them, could have a material adverse effect on our future business, financial condition, operating results and prospects. See "Item 1. Business—Regulation of the oil and natural gas industry" for a further description of the laws and regulations that affect us.

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Legislation or regulatory initiatives intended to address seismic activity could restrict our drilling and production activities, as well as our ability to dispose of produced water gathered from such activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
State and federal regulatory agencies have recently focused on a possible connection between hydraulic fracturing-related activities, particularly the underground injection of wastewater into disposal wells, and the increased occurrence of seismic activity, and regulatory agencies at all levels are continuing to study the possible linkage between oil and gas activity and induced seismicity. In addition, a number of lawsuits have been filed in some states alleging that disposal well operations have caused damage to neighboring properties or otherwise violated state and federal rules regulating waste disposal. In an effort to control induced seismic activity and recent increase in earthquakes in the Permian Basin, which have been linked by the U.S. and local seismologist to wastewater disposal in oil fields, in September 2021, the RRC curtailed the amount of produced water companies were permitted to inject into some wells in the Permian Basin, and has since indefinitely suspended some permits there and expanded the restrictions to other areas.
Because we dispose of large volumes of produced water gathered from our drilling and production operations, these restrictions on the use of produced water and a moratorium on new produced water wells, together with the adoption and implementation of any new laws or regulations, could result in increased operating costs, requiring us or our service providers to truck produced water, recycle it or pump it through the pipeline network or other means, all of which could be costly. We or our service providers may also need to limit disposal well volumes, disposal rates and pressures or locations, which may require us or our service providers to shut down or curtail the injection of produced water into disposal wells. These factors may make drilling activity in the affected parts of the Permian Basin less economical and adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. See "Item 1. Business—Regulation of the oil and natural gas industry—Hydraulic fracturing" for a further description of local regulations addressing seismic activity.
A change in the jurisdictional characterization of some of our assets by federal, state or local regulatory agencies or a change in policy by those agencies may result in increased regulation of our assets, which may cause our revenues to decline and operating expenses to increase.
Section 1(b) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938 (the "NGA") exempts natural gas gathering facilities from regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"). We believe that the natural gas pipelines in our gathering systems meet the traditional tests FERC has used to establish whether a pipeline performs a gathering function and, therefore, are exempt from the FERC's jurisdiction under the NGA. However, the distinction between FERC-regulated transmission services and federally unregulated gathering services is a fact-based determination. The classification of facilities as unregulated gathering is the subject of ongoing litigation, so the classification and regulation of our gathering facilities are subject to change based on future determinations by FERC, the courts or Congress, which could cause our revenues to decline and operating expenses to increase and may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, FERC has adopted regulations that may subject certain of our otherwise non-FERC jurisdictional facilities to FERC annual reporting and daily scheduled flow and capacity posting requirements. Additional rules and legislation pertaining to those and other matters may be considered or adopted by FERC from time to time. Failure to comply with those regulations in the future could subject us to civil penalty liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
The adoption of climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of "greenhouse gases" could result in increased operating costs and reduced demand for the oil, NGL and natural gas we produce, while potential physical effects of climate change could disrupt our operations and cause us to incur significant costs in preparing for or responding to those effects.
Restrictions on GHG emissions that may be imposed could adversely affect the oil and gas industry. The adoption of legislation or regulatory programs to reduce GHG emissions could require us to incur increased operating costs, such as costs to purchase and operate emissions control systems, acquire emissions allowances or comply with new regulatory requirements. Any GHG emissions legislation or regulatory programs applicable to power plants or refineries could also increase the cost of consuming, and thereby reduce demand for, the oil, NGL and natural gas we produce. Consequently, legislation and regulatory programs to reduce GHG emissions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.