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Ridgewood Energy U Fund

Filed: 9 Nov 20, 2:18pm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

 

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-Q

 

ýQUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020

or

oTRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 For the transition period from _______________________to____________________________

 

Commission File No. 000-52583

 

Ridgewood Energy U Fund, LLC

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

20-5464059

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

14 Philips Parkway, Montvale, NJ  07645

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)

 

(800) 942-5550

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

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

 

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 x No o

 

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 x     No o

 

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.

 

Large accelerated fileroAccelerated filero
Non-accelerated filerxSmaller reporting companyx
  Emerging growth companyo

 

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. o

 

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

 

As of November 9, 2020, there were 486.4825 shares of LLC Membership Interest outstanding.

 

 

  

 

Table of Contents

 

 PAGE
PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION 
Item 1.Financial Statements1
  Unaudited Condensed Balance Sheets as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 20191
  

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Operations for the three and nine months ended

September 30, 2020 and 2019

2
  

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Changes in Members’ Capital for the nine

months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019

3
  

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Cash Flows for the nine months ended

September 30, 2020 and 2019

4
  Notes to Unaudited Condensed Financial Statements5
Item 2.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations10
Item 3.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk16
Item 4.Controls and Procedures16
  
PART II - OTHER INFORMATION 
Item 1.Legal Proceedings17
Item 1A.Risk Factors17
Item 2.Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds17
Item 3.Defaults Upon Senior Securities17
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures17
Item 5.Other Information17
Item 6.      Exhibits17
   
 SIGNATURES18

 

   
 

 

PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands, except share data)

 

  September 30, 2020  December 31, 2019 
Assets      
Current assets:      
Cash and cash equivalents $1,358  $1,345 
Salvage fund  90   85 
Production receivable  220   552 
Other current assets  18   10 
Total current assets  1,686   1,992 
Salvage fund  1,552   1,597 
Investment in Delta House  119   119 
Oil and gas properties:        
Proved properties  9,464   9,497 
Less:  accumulated depletion and amortization  (6,522)  (6,045)
Total oil and gas properties, net  2,942   3,452 
Total assets $6,299  $7,160 
         
Liabilities and Members' Capital        
Current liabilities:        
Due to operators $113  $401 
Accrued expenses  52   45 
Asset retirement obligations  90   85 
Total current liabilities  255   531 
Asset retirement obligations  1,132   1,190 
Total liabilities  1,387   1,721 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 3)        
Members' capital:        
Manager:        
Distributions  (2,836)  (2,683)
Retained earnings  1,778   1,637 
Manager's total  (1,058)  (1,046)
Shareholders:        
Capital contributions (1,000 shares authorized;        
486.4825 issued and outstanding)  72,381   72,381 
Syndication costs  (8,541)  (8,541)
Distributions  (18,358)  (17,492)
Accumulated deficit  (39,512)  (39,863)
Shareholders' total  5,970   6,485 
Total members' capital  4,912   5,439 
Total liabilities and members' capital $6,299  $7,160 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited condensed financial statements.

 

 1 

 

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

  Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019  2020  2019 
Revenue            
Oil and gas revenue $423  $1,214  $1,954  $3,387 
Expenses                
Depletion and amortization  96   230   477   559 
Operating expenses  137   449   723   1,544 
Management fees to affiliate (Note 2)  59   59   176   177 
General and administrative expenses  35   61   114   171 
Total expenses  327   799   1,490   2,451 
Income from operations  96   415   464   936 
Other income                
Dividend income ��3   8   21   26 
Interest income  -   6   7   13 
Total other income  3   14   28   39 
Net income $99  $429  $492  $975 
                 
Manager Interest                
Net income $29  $96  $141  $224 
                 
Shareholder Interest                
Net income $70  $333  $351  $751 
Net income per share $145  $684  $721  $1,542 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited condensed financial statements.

 

 2 

 

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES

IN MEMBERS’ CAPITAL

(in thousands, except share data)

 

  Nine months ended September 30, 2020 
  # of Shares  Manager  Shareholders  Total 
Balances, December 31, 2019  486.4825  $(1,046) $6,485  $5,439 
Distributions  -   (116)  (660)  (776)
Net income  -   104   379   483 
Balances, March 31, 2020  486.4825  $(1,058) $6,204  $5,146 
Net income (loss)  -   8   (98)  (90)
Balances, June 30, 2020  486.4825  $(1,050) $6,106  $5,056 
Distributions  -   (37)  (206)  (243)
Net income  -   29   70   99 
Balances, September 30, 2020  486.4825  $(1,058) $5,970  $4,912 

 

  Nine months ended September 30, 2019 
  # of Shares  Manager  Shareholders  Total 
Balances, December 31, 2018  486.4825  $(1,040) $7,289  $6,249 
Distributions  -   (117)  (664)  (781)
Net income  -   53   147   200 
Balances, March 31, 2019  486.4825  $(1,104) $6,772  $5,668 
Distributions  -   (103)  (580)  (683)
Net income  -   75   271   346 
Balances, June 30, 2019  486.4825  $(1,132) $6,463  $5,331 
Distributions  -   (68)  (388)  (456)
Net income  -   96   333   429 
Balances, September 30, 2019  486.4825  $(1,104) $6,408  $5,304 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited condensed financial statements.

 

 3 

 

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands)

 

  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019 
       
Cash flows from operating activities      
Net income $492  $975 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash        
   provided by operating activities:        
Depletion and amortization  477   559 
Accretion expense  12   10 
Changes in assets and liabilities:        
Decrease (increase) in production receivable  332   (49)
(Increase) decrease in other current assets  (8)  175 
(Decrease) increase in due to operators  (121)  258 
Increase in accrued expenses  7   35 
Settlement of asset retirement obligations  (65)  (15)
Net cash provided by operating activities  1,126   1,948 
         
Cash flows from investing activities        
Capital expenditures for oil and gas properties  (134)  (387)
Decrease (increase) in salvage fund  40   (17)
Net cash used in investing activities  (94)  (404)
         
Cash flows from financing activities        
Distributions  (1,019)  (1,920)
Net cash used in financing activities  (1,019)  (1,920)
         
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents  13   (376)
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period  1,345   1,921 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $1,358  $1,545 
         
Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing activities        
Due to operators for accrued capital expenditures for
oil and gas properties
 $-  $223 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited condensed financial statements.

 

 4 

 

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

NOTES TO UNAUDITED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

1.Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

 

Organization

The Ridgewood Energy U Fund, LLC (the “Fund”), a Delaware limited liability company, was formed on August 28, 2006 and operates pursuant to a limited liability company agreement (the “LLC Agreement”) dated as of October 1, 2006 by and among Ridgewood Energy Corporation (the “Manager”) and the shareholders of the Fund, which addresses matters such as the authority and voting rights of the Manager and shareholders, capitalization, transferability of membership interests, participation in costs and revenues, distribution of assets and dissolution and winding up. The Fund was organized to primarily acquire interests in oil and gas properties located in the United States offshore waters of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The Manager has direct and exclusive control over the management of the Fund’s operations. The Manager performs, or arranges for the performance of, the management, advisory and administrative services required for the Fund’s operations. Such services include, without limitation, the administration of shareholder accounts, shareholder relations, the preparation, review and dissemination of tax and other financial information and the management of the Fund’s investments in projects. In addition, the Manager provides office space, equipment and facilities and other services necessary for the Fund’s operations. The Manager also engages and manages contractual relations with unaffiliated custodians, depositories, accountants, attorneys, corporate fiduciaries, insurers, banks and others as required. See Notes 2 and 3.

 

Basis of Presentation

These unaudited interim condensed financial statements have been prepared by the Fund’s management in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and in the opinion of management, contain all adjustments (consisting of only normal recurring adjustments) necessary to present fairly the Fund’s financial position, results of operations, changes in members’ capital and cash flows for the periods presented. Certain information and note disclosures normally included in annual financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP have been omitted in these unaudited interim condensed financial statements. The financial position, results of operations, changes in members’ capital and cash flows for the periods presented herein are not necessarily indicative of future financial results. These unaudited interim condensed financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s December 31, 2019 financial statements and notes thereto included in the Fund’s Annual Report on Form 10-K (“2019 Annual Report”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The year-end condensed balance sheet data was derived from audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019, but does not include all annual disclosures required by GAAP.

 

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expense during the reporting period. On an ongoing basis, management reviews its estimates, including those related to the fair value of financial instruments, depletion and amortization, determination of proved reserves, impairment of long-lived assets and asset retirement obligations. Actual results may differ from those estimates.

 

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

The Fund has provided discussion of significant accounting policies in Note 1 of “Notes to Financial Statements” – “Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” contained in Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” within its 2019 Annual Report. There have been no significant changes to the Fund’s significant accounting policies during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.

 

Fair Value Measurements

The Fund follows the accounting guidance for fair value measurement for measuring fair value of assets and liabilities in its financial statements. The Fund’s financial assets and liabilities consist of cash and cash equivalents, salvage fund, production receivable, other current assets, investment in Delta House, due to operators and accrued expenses. Except for investment in Delta House, the carrying amounts of these financial assets and liabilities approximate fair value due to their short-term nature. The Fund’s investment in Delta House is valued using the measurement alternative for investment in other entities (see Investment in Delta House below for additional information). The Fund also applies the provisions of the fair value measurement accounting guidance to its non-financial assets and liabilities, such as oil and gas properties and asset retirement obligations, on a non-recurring basis.

 

 5 

 

Investment in Delta House

The Fund has investments in Delta House Oil and Gas Lateral, LLC and Delta House FPS, LLC (collectively “Delta House”), legal entities that own interests in a deepwater floating production system operated by Murphy Exploration & Production Company - USA. The investment in Delta House is valued using the measurement alternative to record the investment at cost, less impairment and plus or minus subsequent adjustments for observable price changes with change in basis reported in current earnings. At each reporting period, the Fund reviews its investment in Delta House to evaluate whether the investment is impaired. During each of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, there were no impairments of the Fund’s investment in Delta House.

 

Asset Retirement Obligations

For oil and gas properties, there are obligations to perform removal and remediation activities when the properties are retired. Upon the determination that a property is either proved or dry, a retirement obligation is incurred. The Fund recognizes the fair value of a liability for an asset retirement obligation in the period incurred based on expected future cash outflows required to satisfy the obligation discounted at the Fund’s credit-adjusted risk-free rate. Plug and abandonment costs associated with unsuccessful projects are expensed as dry-hole costs. Annually, or more frequently if an event occurs that would dictate a change in assumptions or estimates underlying the obligations, the Fund reassesses its asset retirement obligations to determine whether any revisions to the obligations are necessary. The Fund maintains a salvage fund to provide for the funding of future asset retirement obligations.

 

Revenue Recognition

Oil and gas revenues are recognized at the point when control of oil and natural gas is transferred to the customers. Natural gas liquid sales are included within gas sales. The Fund’s oil and natural gas generally are sold to its customers at prevailing market prices based on an index in which the prices are published, adjusted for pricing differentials, quality of oil and pipeline allowances. Under the Fund’s oil and natural gas contracts, each unit of oil and natural gas represents a separate performance obligation; therefore, future volumes are wholly unsatisfied and the transaction price related to the remaining performance obligations is the variable index-based price attributable to each unit of oil and natural gas that is transferred to the customer. The Fund invoices customers once its performance obligations have been satisfied, at which point the payment is unconditional. Accordingly, the Fund’s oil and natural gas contracts do not give rise to contract assets or liabilities. The receivables related to the Fund’s oil and gas revenue are included within “Production receivable” on the Fund’s balance sheets.

 

The Fund also has an estimation process for revenue and related accruals, and any identified difference between its revenue estimates and actual revenue has not been significant. During each of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, revenue recognized from performance obligations satisfied in previous periods was not significant.

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

The Fund reviews the carrying value of its oil and gas properties for impairment whenever events and circumstances indicate that the recorded carrying value of the oil and gas properties may not be recoverable. Impairments are determined by comparing estimated future net undiscounted cash flows to the carrying value of the oil and gas properties at the time of the review. If the carrying value exceeds the estimated future net undiscounted cash flows, the carrying value of the oil and gas properties is written down to fair value, which is determined using valuation techniques that include both market and income approaches and use Level 3 inputs. The fair value determinations require considerable judgment and are sensitive to change. Different pricing assumptions, reserve estimates or discount rates could result in a different calculated impairment.

 

There were no impairments during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019. During first half of 2020, there had been a significant fluctuation in oil and natural gas commodity prices primarily due to the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic. Fluctuations in oil and natural gas commodity prices may impact the fair value of the Fund’s oil and gas properties. In addition, significant declines in oil and natural gas commodity prices could reduce the quantities of reserves that are commercially recoverable, which could result in impairment. The Fund is unable to predict the amount of future reserve revisions at this time, however, if oil and natural gas commodity prices are further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that impairments of oil and gas properties will occur.

 

 6 

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In August 2018, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued accounting guidance on fair value measurement, which adds, among other things, disclosure requirements for the range and weighted average of significant unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements. This accounting guidance is effective for the Fund in the first quarter 2020 with early adoption permitted. The Fund adopted this accounting guidance on January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not have a material impact on the Fund’s financial statements.

 

In June 2016, the FASB issued accounting guidance on measurement of credit losses, which introduces, among other things, a new expected loss impairment model that applies to most financial assets measured at amortized cost and certain other instruments including trade and other receivables and other financial assets. Under the new accounting guidance, entities are required to estimate expected credit loss over the life of financial assets and record an allowance against the asset’s amortized cost basis to present the financial asset at the amount expected to be collected. The estimate of expected credit losses will require entities to incorporate considerations of historical information, current information and reasonable and supportable forecasts. The accounting guidance and the most recent update issued in February 2020 are effective for the Fund in the first quarter of 2023 with early adoption permitted. The Fund early adopted this accounting guidance and related updates prospectively on January 1, 2020 and the adoption did not result in a cumulative adjustment to retained earnings on January 1, 2020. 

 

The Fund is exposed to credit losses through the sales of oil and natural gas to customers. However, the Fund only sells to a small number of major oil and gas companies that have investment-grade credit ratings.  Based on historical collection experience, current and future economic and market conditions and a review of the current status of customers' production receivables, the Fund has not recorded an expected loss allowance as there are no past due receivable balances or projected credit losses.  The Fund considered the current and expected future economic and market conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and determined based on the composition of its customer base, there was no related credit loss impact.

 

2.Related Parties

 

Pursuant to the terms of the LLC Agreement, the Manager is entitled to receive an annual management fee, payable monthly, of 2.5% of total capital contributions, net of cumulative dry-hole well costs incurred by the Fund and fully depleted project investments. In 2012, the Manager elected to reduce its management fee to 1% annually, however, the Manager is still permitted to waive all or a portion of the reduced management fee at its own discretion. Therefore, all or a portion of the reduced management fee may be temporarily waived to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments. Management fees during each of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 were $0.1 million and $0.2 million, respectively.

 

The Manager is also entitled to receive 15% of the cash distributions from operations made by the Fund. Distributions paid to the Manager during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $37 thousand and $0.2 million, respectively. Distributions paid to the Manager during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 were $0.1 million and $0.3 million, respectively.

 

The Fund utilizes DH Sales and Transport, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Manager, to facilitate the transportation and sale of oil and natural gas produced from the Diller and Marmalard projects.

 

At times, short-term payables and receivables, which do not bear interest, arise from transactions with affiliates in the ordinary course of business.

 

The Fund has working interest ownership in certain oil and natural gas projects, which are also owned by other entities that are likewise managed by the Manager.

 

3.Commitments and Contingencies

 

Capital Commitments

As of September 30, 2020, the Fund’s estimated capital commitments related to its oil and gas properties were $4.0 million (which include asset retirement obligations for the Fund’s projects of $1.8 million), of which $0.1 million is expected to be spent during the next twelve months. Future results of operations and cash flows are dependent on the ongoing development and the related production of oil and gas revenues from the Fund’s producing projects.

 

 7 

 

Based upon its current cash position, salvage fund and its current reserve estimates, the Fund expects cash flow from operations to be sufficient to cover its commitments and ongoing operations. Reserve estimates are projections based on engineering data that cannot be measured with precision, require substantial judgment, and are subject to frequent revision. However, if cash flow from operations is not sufficient to meet the Fund’s commitments, the Manager will temporarily waive all or a portion of the management fee as well as provide short-term financing to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments if needed.

 

Impact from COVID-19

The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Fund’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows will depend on future developments, including the duration and spread of the pandemic and related advisories and restrictions and the impact of COVID-19 on oil and natural gas commodity prices, financial markets and the overall economy, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Lower oil and gas prices may reduce the amount of oil and gas products which can be economically produced. Although the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting market disruption to the Fund’s operating results and cash flows is unknown, the period of low oil and natural gas commodity prices negatively impacted cash flow generated by the Fund’s projects.  With the continued uncertainty, the Fund has elected to conserve capital for unforeseen expenses. If the financial markets and/or the overall economy are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund, its operators and other working interest partners’ financial performance results may be materially adversely affected, which could significantly affect the Fund’s liquidity, development of oil and gas and expected operating results. It is likely that estimates of oil and gas products that can be economically produced will be reduced, which increases the likelihood of impairments and higher depletion rates.

 

Environmental and Governmental Regulations

Many aspects of the oil and gas industry are subject to federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. The Manager and operators of the Fund’s properties are continually taking action they believe appropriate to satisfy applicable federal, state and local environmental regulations. However, due to the significant public and governmental interest in environmental matters related to those activities, the Manager cannot predict the effects of possible future legislation, rule changes, or governmental or private claims. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, there were no known environmental contingencies that required adjustment to, or disclosure in, the Fund’s financial statements.

 

Oil and gas industry legislation and administrative regulations are periodically changed for a variety of political, economic, and other reasons. Any such future laws and regulations could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, which could have a material adverse effect on the Fund’s operating results and cash flows. It is not possible at this time to predict whether such legislation or regulation, if proposed, will be adopted as initially written, if at all, or how legislation or new regulation that may be adopted would impact the Fund’s business.

 

BOEM Notice to Lessees on Supplemental Bonding

On July 14, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) issued a Notice to Lessees (“NTL 2016-N01”) that discontinued and materially replaced existing policies and procedures regarding financial security (i.e. supplemental bonding) for decommissioning obligations of lessees of federal oil and gas leases and owners of pipeline rights-of-way, rights-of use and easements on the Outer Continental Shelf (“Lessees”). Generally, NTL 2016-N01 (i) ended the practice of excusing Lessees from providing such additional security where co-lessees had sufficient financial strength to meet such decommissioning obligations, (ii) established new criteria for determining financial strength and additional security requirements of such Lessees, (iii) provided acceptable forms of such additional security, and (iv) replaced the waiver system with one of self-insurance. The rule became effective as of September 12, 2016; however, on January 6, 2017, the BOEM announced that it was suspending the implementation timeline for six months in certain circumstances. On May 1, 2017, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (“Interior”) directed the BOEM to complete a review of NTL 2016-N01, to provide a report to certain Interior personnel describing the results of the review and options for revising or rescinding NTL 2016-N01, and to keep the implementation timeline extension in effect pending the completion of the review of NTL 2016-N01 by the identified Interior personnel. On June 22, 2017, the BOEM announced that the implementation timeline extension will remain in effect pending the completion of the review of NTL 2016-N01. As of September 30, 2020, the BOEM has not lifted its suspension of the implementation of NTL 2016-N01.  The impact of NTL 2016-N01, if enforced without change or amendment, may require the Fund to fully secure all of its potential abandonment liabilities to the BOEM’s satisfaction using one or more of the enumerated methods for doing so.  Potentially this could increase costs to the Fund if the Fund is required to obtain additional supplemental bonding, fund escrow accounts or obtain letters of credit.

 

 8 

 

Insurance Coverage

The Fund is subject to all risks inherent in the oil and natural gas business. Insurance coverage as is customary for entities engaged in similar operations is maintained, but losses may occur from uninsurable risks or amounts in excess of existing insurance coverage. The occurrence of an event that is not insured or not fully insured could have a material adverse impact upon earnings and financial position. Moreover, insurance is obtained as a package covering all of the entities managed by the Manager. Depending on the extent, nature and payment of claims made by the Fund or other entities managed by the Manager, yearly insurance coverage may be exhausted and become insufficient to cover a claim by the Fund in a given year.

 

 9 

 

ITEM 2.MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain statements in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (“Quarterly Report”) and the documents Ridgewood Energy U Fund, LLC (the “Fund”) has incorporated by reference into this Quarterly Report, other than purely historical information, including estimates, projections, statements relating to the Fund’s business plans, strategies, objectives and expected operating results, and the assumptions upon which those statements are based, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on current expectations and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. You are therefore cautioned against relying on any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “plan,” “target,” “pursue,” “may,” “will,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions and references to future periods. Examples of events that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated include weather conditions, such as hurricanes, changes in market and other conditions affecting the pricing, production and demand of oil and natural gas, the cost and availability of equipment, and changes in domestic and foreign governmental regulations. Examples of forward-looking statements made herein include statements regarding projects, investments, insurance, capital expenditures and liquidity. Forward-looking statements made in this document speak only as of the date on which they are made. The Fund undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

There were no changes to the Fund’s critical accounting policies and estimates from those disclosed in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

Overview of the Fund’s Business

 

The Fund was organized primarily to acquire interests in oil and natural gas properties located in the United States offshore waters of Texas, Louisiana and Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to generate cash flow for distribution to its shareholders by generating returns across a portfolio of oil and natural gas projects. Distributions to shareholders are made in accordance with the Fund’s limited liability company agreement (the “LLC Agreement”).

 

Ridgewood Energy Corporation (the “Manager”) is the Manager, and as such, has direct and exclusive control over the management of the Fund’s operations. The Manager performs, or arranges for the performance of, the management, advisory and administrative services required for the Fund’s operations. As compensation for its services, the Manager is entitled to an annual management fee, payable monthly, equal to 1% of the total capital contributions made by the Fund’s shareholders, net of cumulative dry-hole well costs incurred by the Fund and fully depleted project investments. The Fund does not currently, nor is there any plan to, operate any project in which the Fund participates. The Manager enters into operating agreements with third-party operators for the management of all exploration, development and producing operations, as appropriate. The Manager also participates in distributions.

 

Recent Developments

 

In March 2020, the World Health Organization recognized the novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) as a global pandemic, which resulted in a significant drop in oil demand caused by lockdown measures and industrial slowdown around the world. In addition, in March 2020, the failure of an alliance between the Saudi Arabia-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) and Russia to reach an agreement on oil production volumes resulted in an oil “price war”, caused oil prices to collapse. Although on April 12, 2020, OPEC and Russia agreed to reduce production by approximately 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial oil price war and significant oil demand destruction as a result of world-wide government ordered lock-downs pushed oil prices to their lowest level during April 2020 as compared to the past several years. Since then, the oil market has stabilized and strengthened with oil prices gradually rising. On June 6, 2020, OPEC and Russia agreed to extend the production cut of approximately 9.7 million barrels per day through the end of July 2020 and maintain a production cut of 7.7 million barrels per day from August 2020 through the end of the year.

 

 10 

 

Although the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting market disruption to the Fund’s operating results and cash flows is unknown, the period of low oil and natural gas commodity prices negatively impacted cash flow generated by the Fund’s projects. With the continued uncertainty, the Fund has elected to conserve capital for unforeseen expenses. However, because the Fund owns its oil and gas properties with no debt and these projects are long-lived assets that are expected to produce over many years with relatively low operating costs, the Fund believes that it is positioned to weather this period of uncertainty and volatility from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if oil and natural gas commodity prices and the overall economy are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund, its operators and other working interest partners’ financial performance results may be adversely impacted, which could significantly affect the Fund’s liquidity and expected operating results.

 

Commodity Price Changes

 

Changes in oil and natural gas commodity prices may significantly affect liquidity and expected operating results. Declines in oil and natural gas commodity prices not only reduce revenues and profits but could also reduce the quantities of reserves that are commercially recoverable and result in non-cash charges to earnings due to impairment.

 

Oil and natural gas commodity prices have been subject to significant fluctuations during the past several years. During first half of 2020, oil and natural gas commodity prices experienced significant volatility primarily attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund anticipates price cyclicality in its planning and believes it is well positioned to withstand price volatility. The Fund will continue to closely manage and coordinate its capital spending estimates within its expected cash flows to provide for future development costs of its producing projects, as budgeted. See “Results of Operations” under this Item 2. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Quarterly Report for more information on the average oil and natural gas prices received by the Fund during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 and the effect of such average prices on the Fund’s results of operations. If oil and natural gas commodity prices are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund’s results of operations and liquidity will be adversely impacted.

 

Market pricing for oil and natural gas is volatile and is likely to continue to be volatile in the future. This volatility is caused by numerous factors and market conditions that the Fund cannot control or influence. Therefore, it is impossible to predict the future price of oil and natural gas with any certainty. Factors affecting market pricing for oil and natural gas include:

 

·weather conditions;
·economic conditions, including demand for petroleum-based products;
·actions by OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries;
·political instability in the Middle East and other major oil and gas producing regions;
·worldwide economic, political and social conditions impacting the global supply and demand for oil and natural gas, which may be driven by various risks, including war, terrorism, political unrest, or health epidemics (such as the global COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020);
·continued social distancing and other measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which results in a decrease in demand in oil and natural gas prices and operational decisions such as well shut-ins;
·governmental regulations, both domestic and foreign;
·domestic and foreign tax policy;
·the pace adopted by foreign governments for the exploration, development, and production of their national reserves;
·the supply and price of foreign oil and gas;
·the cost of exploring for, producing and delivering oil and gas;
·the discovery rate of new oil and gas reserves;
·the rate of decline of existing and new oil and gas reserves;
·available pipeline and other oil and gas transportation capacity;
·the ability of oil and gas companies to raise capital;

 

 11 

 

·the overall supply and demand for oil and gas; and
·the price and availability of alternate fuel sources.

 

Business Update

 

Information regarding the Fund’s current projects, all of which are located in the United States offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico, is provided in the following table. See “Liquidity Needs” under this Item 2. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Quarterly Report for information regarding the funding of the Fund’s capital commitments.

 

     Total Spent      
  Working  through  Total Fund   
Project Interest  September 30, 2020  Budget  Status
     (in thousands)   
Diller Project  0.88%  $3,728  $4,546  The Diller Project is expected to include the development of three wells.  Well #1 commenced production in 2015.  Well #2 commenced production in late-November 2019. Well #3 is expected to commence production in fourth quarter 2022. During May 2020, production from the Diller Project was shut-in due to the low-price environment.  Production from the wells returned in June 2020 at production levels prior to shut-in.  During third quarter 2020, the project experienced several periods of mechanical downtime as well as recurring periods of storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico.  The Fund expects to spend $0.5 million for additional development costs and $0.3 million for asset retirement obligations.
Marmalard Project  0.84%  $5,621  $7,895  The Marmalard Project is expected to include the development of six wells.  Four wells commenced production in 2015.  Additional wells are expected to commence production in 2022.  One well, which had been shut-in since late-February 2019 due to remediation work for downhole mechanical issues, resumed production in third quarter 2019.  During May 2020, production from the Marmalard Project was shut-in due to the low-price environment.  Production from the wells returned in June 2020 at production levels prior to shut-in.  During third quarter 2020, the project experienced several periods of mechanical downtime as well as recurring periods of storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico.  The Fund expects to spend $1.8 million for additional development costs and $0.5 million for asset retirement obligations.

 

 12 

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table summarizes the Fund’s results of operations during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, and should be read in conjunction with the Fund’s financial statements and notes thereto included within Item 1. “Financial Statements” in Part I of this Quarterly Report.

 

  Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019  2020  2019 
  (in thousands) 
Revenue            
Oil and gas revenue $423  $1,214  $1,954  $3,387 
Expenses                
Depletion and amortization  96   230   477   559 
Operating expenses  137   449   723   1,544 
Management fees to affiliate  59   59   176   177 
General and administrative expenses  35   61   114   171 
Total expenses  327   799   1,490   2,451 
Income from operations  96   415   464   936 
Other income                
Dividend income  3   8   21   26 
Interest income  -   6   7   13 
Total other income  3   14   28   39 
Net income $99  $429  $492  $975 

 

Overview.  The following table provides information related to the Fund’s oil and natural gas production and oil and gas revenue during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019. Natural gas liquid sales are included within gas sales.

 

  Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019  2020  2019 
Number of wells producing  6   5   6   5 
Total number of production days  296   415   1,196   1,147 
Oil sales (in thousands of barrels)  10   19   46   50 
Average oil price per barrel $40  $61  $39  $62 
Gas sales (in thousands of mcfs)  19   41   88   110 
Average gas price per mcf $2.38  $2.36  $1.90  $2.73 

 

The increases in the number of wells producing and production days noted in the above table were primarily related to the commencement of production of an additional well in the Diller Project during fourth quarter 2019 coupled with two wells in the Marmalard Project, which experienced periodic shut-ins during first half of 2019 due to a mechanical issue. During the three months ended September 30, 2020, the decreases in production days and oil and gas sales volumes were primarily attributable to the Marmalard Project, which experienced several periods of shut-ins due to a mechanical issue at the Delta House facility as well as storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico during third quarter 2020. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020, the decreases in oil and gas sales volumes were also attributable to the shut-in of production from the Marmalard Project during May 2020 as a result of the low-price environment. See additional discussion in “Business Update” section above.

 

Oil and Gas Revenue. Oil and gas revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2020 was $0.4 million, a decrease of $0.8 million from the three months ended September 30, 2019. The decrease was attributable to decreased sales volume totaling $0.6 million coupled with decreased oil prices totaling $0.2 million.

 

Oil and gas revenue during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was $2.0 million, a decrease of $1.4 million from the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The decrease was attributable to decreased oil and gas prices totaling $1.1 million coupled with decreased sales volume totaling $0.3 million.

 

 13 

 

See “Overview” above for factors that impact the oil and gas revenue volume and rate variances.

 

Depletion and Amortization. Depletion and amortization during the three months ended September 30, 2020 was $0.1 million, a decrease of $0.1 million from the three months ended September 30, 2019. Depletion and amortization during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was $0.5 million, a decrease of $0.1 million from the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The decreases were primarily attributable to decreases in production volumes.

 

See “Overview” above for certain factors that impact the depletion and amortization volume and rate variances. Depletion and amortization rates may also be impacted by changes in reserve estimates provided annually by the Fund’s independent petroleum engineers. Reserves estimates may also be impacted by significant declines in oil and natural gas commodity prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could result in higher depletion rates.

 

Operating Expenses. Operating expenses represent costs specifically identifiable or allocable to the Fund’s wells, as detailed in the following table.

 

  Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2020  2019  2020  2019 
  (in thousands) 
Lease operating expense $74  $223  $485  $594 
Transportation and processing expense  53   75   203   209 
Insurance expense  3   -   18   37 
Accretion expense and other  4   5   12   12 
Workover expense  3   146   5   692 
  $137  $449  $723  $1,544 

 

Lease operating expense and transportation and processing expense relate to the Fund’s producing projects. Insurance expense represents premiums related to the Fund’s projects, which vary depending upon the number of wells producing or drilling. Accretion expense relates to the asset retirement obligations established for the Fund’s oil and gas properties. Workover expense represents costs to restore or stimulate production of existing reserves. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, workover expense primarily related to remediation work for mechanical issues in the Marmalard Project.

 

Production costs, which include lease operating expense, transportation and processing expense and insurance expense, were $0.1 million ($9.78 per barrel of oil equivalent or “BOE”) and $0.7 million ($11.72 per BOE) during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, respectively, compared to $0.3 million ($11.61 per BOE) and $0.8 million ($12.33 per BOE) during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, respectively.

 

The decreases in production costs and production costs per BOE during the three months ended September 30, 2020 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2019 were primarily attributable to the Diller and Marmalard projects as a result of a reduction in production handling fees from $4.50 per BOE to $1.50 per BOE effective June 2020 through the end of the wells’ productive lives. The production handling fees for the Diller and Marmalard projects declined over time as certain production hurdles were met in accordance with their production handling agreement relating to the Delta House production facility. Production costs and production costs per BOE were relatively consistent during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2019. See “Overview” above for factors that impact oil and natural gas production.

 

Management Fees to Affiliate. An annual management fee, totaling 1% of total capital contributions, net of cumulative dry-hole well costs incurred by the Fund and fully depleted project investments, is paid monthly to the Manager. All or a portion of such fee may be temporarily waived by the Manager to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments.

 

General and Administrative Expenses. General and administrative expenses represent costs specifically identifiable or allocable to the Fund, such as accounting and professional fees and insurance expenses.

 

Dividend Income.  Dividend income is related to the Fund’s investment in Delta House.

 

Interest Income. Interest income is comprised of interest earned on cash and cash equivalents and salvage fund.

 

 14 

 

Capital Resources and Liquidity

 

Operating Cash Flows

Cash flows provided by operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $1.1 million, primarily related to revenue received of $2.3 million, partially offset by operating expenses of $0.8 million, management fees of $0.2 million, general and administrative expenses of $0.1 million and the settlement of asset retirement obligations of $0.1 million.

 

Cash flows provided by operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2019 were $1.9 million, primarily related to revenue received of $3.3 million, partially offset by operating expenses of $1.1 million, management fees of $0.2 million and general and administrative expenses of $0.1 million.

 

Investing Cash Flows

Cash flows used in investing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $0.1 million, primarily related to capital expenditures for oil and gas properties.

 

Cash flows used in investing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2019 were $0.4 million, primarily related to capital expenditures for oil and gas properties.

 

Financing Cash Flows

Cash flows used in financing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $1.0 million, related to manager and shareholder distributions.

 

Cash flows used in financing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2019 were $1.9 million, related to manager and shareholder distributions.

 

Estimated Capital Expenditures

 

Capital expenditures for oil and gas properties have been funded with the capital raised by the Fund in its private placement offering. The Fund’s capital has been fully allocated to its projects. As a result, the Fund will not invest in any new projects and will limit its investment activities, if any, to those projects in which it currently has a working interest. See “Business Update” under this Item 2. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of this Quarterly Report for information regarding the Fund’s current projects. See “Liquidity Needs” below for additional information.

 

Liquidity Needs

 

The Fund’s primary short-term liquidity needs are to fund its operations and capital expenditures for its oil and gas properties. Such needs are funded utilizing operating income and existing cash on-hand. 

 

As of September 30, 2020, the Fund’s estimated capital commitments related to its oil and gas properties were $4.0 million (which include asset retirement obligations for the Fund’s projects of $1.8 million), of which $0.1 million is expected to be spent during the next twelve months. Future results of operations and cash flows are dependent on the ongoing development and the related production of oil and gas revenues from the Fund’s producing projects.

 

Based upon its current cash position, salvage fund and its current reserve estimates, the Fund expects cash flow from operations to be sufficient to cover its commitments and ongoing operations. Reserve estimates are projections based on engineering data that cannot be measured with precision, require substantial judgment, and are subject to frequent revision. However, if cash flow from operations is not sufficient to meet the Fund’s commitments, the Manager will temporarily waive all or a portion of the management fee as well as provide short-term financing to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments if needed.

 

The Manager is entitled to receive an annual management fee from the Fund regardless of the Fund’s profitability in that year. However, pursuant to the terms of the LLC Agreement, the Manager is also permitted to waive all or a portion of the management fee at its own discretion.

 

Distributions, if any, are funded from available cash from operations, as defined in the LLC Agreement, and the frequency and amount are within the Manager’s discretion. However, distributions may be impacted by amounts of future capital required for the ongoing development of the Diller and Marmalard projects and funding their estimated asset retirement obligations. Distributions may also be impacted by fluctuations in oil and natural gas commodity prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 15 

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

The Fund had no off-balance sheet arrangements as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019 and does not anticipate the use of such arrangements in the future.

 

Contractual Obligations

 

The Fund enters into participation and joint operating agreements with operators. On behalf of the Fund, an operator enters into various contractual commitments pertaining to exploration, development and production activities. The Fund does not negotiate such contracts. No contractual obligations exist as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, other than those discussed in “Estimated Capital Expenditures” above.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

See Note 1 of “Notes to Unaudited Condensed Financial Statements” - “Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” contained in Item 1. “Financial Statements” within Part I of this Quarterly Report for a discussion of recent accounting pronouncements.

 

ITEM 3.QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

Not required.

 

ITEM 4.CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

In accordance with Rules 13a-15 and 15d-15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), the Fund’s management, including its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, evaluated the effectiveness of the Fund’s disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act) as of the end of the period covered by this report. Based on that evaluation, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer concluded that the Fund’s disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of September 30, 2020.

 

There has been no change in the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the three months ended September 30, 2020 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting. The Fund has not experienced any material impact to internal control over financial reporting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund’s management is continually monitoring and assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Fund’s internal controls to minimize the impact on their design and operating effectiveness.

 

 16 

 

PART II – OTHER INFORMATION

 

ITEM 1. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

None.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Not required.

 

ITEM 2. UNREGISTERED SALES OF EQUITY SECURITIES AND USE OF PROCEEDS

 

None.

 

ITEM 3. DEFAULTS UPON SENIOR SECURITIES

 

None.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

None.

 

ITEM 5. OTHER INFORMATION

 

None.

 

ITEM 6. EXHIBITS

 

EXHIBIT

NUMBER

TITLE OF EXHIBITMETHOD OF FILING
   
31.1

Certification of Robert E. Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of

the Fund, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13a-14(a)

Filed herewith
   
31.2

Certification of Kathleen P. McSherry, Executive Vice President

and Chief Financial Officer of the Fund, pursuant to Exchange

Act Rule 13a-14(a)

Filed herewith
   
32

Certifications pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted

pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,

signed by Robert E. Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of the

Fund and Kathleen P. McSherry, Executive Vice President and

Chief Financial Officer of the Fund

Filed herewith
   
101.INSXBRL Instance DocumentFiled herewith
   
101.SCHXBRL Taxonomy Extension SchemaFiled herewith
   
101.CALXBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation LinkbaseFiled herewith
   
101.DEFXBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase DocumentFiled herewith
   
101.LABXBRL Taxonomy Extension Label LinkbaseFiled herewith
   
101.PREXBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation LinkbaseFiled herewith

 

 17 

 

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned thereunto duly authorized.

 

 

     

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

      
Dated:November 9, 2020By:/s/ ROBERT E. SWANSON
   Name: Robert E. Swanson
   Title: Chief Executive Officer
     (Principal Executive Officer)
      
      
Dated:November 9, 2020By:/s/ KATHLEEN P. MCSHERRY
   Name: Kathleen P. McSherry
   Title: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
     (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)

 

 

18