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Wiley GAAP 2008 by Colorado Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Ralph Nach American Express Tax and Business Inc., Barry J. Epstein

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Oil and Gas Producers: Perspective and Issues

Oil and gas producing activities are those activities that involve the acquisition of mineral interests in properties, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, including condensate and natural gas liquids, and natural gas. Specialized GAAP does not address refining, marketing, or transportation issues. The successful efforts method of accounting adheres to a traditional historical cost basis. Property acquisition costs, whether the property is proved or unproved, are capitalized as incurred. For other costs incurred under this method, a direct relationship between the costs incurred and specific reserves discovered is required before costs are permitted to be capitalized. Under the successful efforts method, costs that cannot be directly related to the discovery of specific oil and gas reserves are expensed immediately as incurred, analogous to research and development. Oil and gas producing companies are also subject to the requirements of FAS 143 regarding the recognition of asset retirement obligations.

The use of the successful efforts method is preferred, but not required by GAAP. An oil and gas producing company is permitted to use, as an alternative to the successful efforts method, a prescribed form of the full cost method permitted by the SEC. All enterprises are required to disclose the method used for accounting for costs incurred and the method of disposition used for capitalized costs. The SEC requires additional ...

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