CHK » Topics » Natural Gas and Oil Properties - Ceiling Test

This excerpt taken from the CHK 10-Q filed May 11, 2009.

Natural Gas and Oil Properties – Ceiling Test

We review the carrying value of our natural gas and oil properties under the full-cost accounting rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission on a quarterly basis. This quarterly review is referred to as a ceiling test. Under the ceiling test, capitalized costs, less accumulated amortization and related deferred income taxes, may not exceed an amount equal to the sum of the present value of estimated future net revenues (adjusted for cash flow hedges) less estimated future expenditures to be incurred in developing and producing the proved reserves, less any related income tax effects. As of March 31, 2009, capitalized costs of natural gas and oil properties exceeded the estimated present value of future net revenues from our proved reserves, net of related income tax considerations, resulting in a write-down in the carrying value of natural gas and oil properties of $9.6 billion. In calculating future net revenues, current prices and costs used are those as of the end of the appropriate quarterly period. Such prices are utilized except where different prices are fixed and determinable from applicable contracts for the remaining term of those contracts, including the effects of derivatives qualifying as cash flow hedges. Based on spot prices for natural gas and oil as of March 31, 2009, these cash flow hedges increased the full-cost ceiling by $1.651 billion, thereby reducing the ceiling test write-down by the same amount. Our qualifying cash flow hedges as of March 31, 2009, which consisted of swaps and collars, covered 292 bcfe, 78 bcfe and 11 bcfe in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively. Our natural gas and oil hedging activities are discussed in Note 2 of these condensed consolidated financial statements. Further decreases in market prices from March 31, 2009 levels, as well as changes in production rates, levels of reserves, the evaluation of costs excluded from amortization, future development costs and service costs could result in future ceiling test impairments.

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