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Ridgewood Energy U Fund

Filed: 8 Nov 21, 3:04pm


 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-Q

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

For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021

or

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

For the transition period from ____________________ to ____________________

Commission File No. 000-52583

Ridgewood Energy U Fund, LLC

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware

20-5464059

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(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 ☒ 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.

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

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

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

As of November 8, 2021, there were 486.4825 shares of LLC Membership Interest outstanding.




Table of Contents

 

PAGE

 

 

PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1.Financial Statements

1

Unaudited Condensed Balance Sheets as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020

1

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020

2

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Changes in Members’ Capital for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020

3

Unaudited Condensed Statements of Cash Flows for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020

4

Notes to Unaudited Condensed Financial Statements

5

Item 2.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations10
Item 3.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk17
Item 4.Controls and Procedures17
   
PART II - OTHER INFORMATION 
Item 1.Legal Proceedings18
Item 1A.Risk Factors18
Item 2.Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds18
Item 3.Defaults Upon Senior Securities18
Item 4.Mine Safety Disclosures18
Item 5.Other Information18
Item 6.Exhibits18
   
 SIGNATURES19

 

PART I – FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands, except share data)

September 30, 2021

December 31, 2020

Assets

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,461

$

1,556

Salvage fund

83

90

Production receivable

166

376

Other current assets

25

12

Total current assets

1,735

2,034

Salvage fund

1,576

1,555

Investment in Delta House

119

119

Oil and gas properties:

Proved properties

9,474

9,448

Less: accumulated depletion and amortization

(7,097

)

(6,681

)

Total oil and gas properties, net

2,377

2,767

Total assets

$

5,807

$

6,475

 

Liabilities and Members' Capital

Current liabilities:

Due to operators

$

70

$

85

Accrued expenses

65

47

Asset retirement obligations

83

90

Total current liabilities

218

222

Asset retirement obligations

816

1,116

Total liabilities

1,034

1,338

Commitments and contingencies (Note 3)

Members' capital:

Manager:

Distributions

(3,225

)

(2,868

)

Retained earnings

2,186

1,867

Manager's total

(1,039

)

(1,001

)

Shareholders:

Capital contributions (1,000 shares authorized; 486.4825 issued and outstanding)  

72,381

72,381

Syndication costs

(8,541

)

(8,541

)

Distributions

(20,564

)

(18,540

)

Accumulated deficit

(37,464

)

(39,162

)

Shareholders' total

5,812

6,138

Total members' capital

4,773

5,137

Total liabilities and members' capital

$

5,807

$

6,475

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

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,

 

2021

2020

2021

2020

 

Revenue

 

Oil and gas revenue

$

840

$

423

$

3,071

$

1,954

Expenses

Depletion and amortization

(192

)

96

110

477

Operating expenses

284

137

681

723

Management fees to affiliate (Note 2)

59

59

176

176

General and administrative expenses

43

35

114

114

Total expenses

194

327

1,081

1,490

Income from operations

646

96

1,990

464

Other income

Dividend income

8

3

27

21

Interest income

0-

0-

0-

7

Total other income

8

3

27

28

Net income

$

654

$

99

$

2,017

$

492

 

Manager Interest

Net income

$

72

$

29

$

319

$

141

 

Shareholder Interest

Net income

$

582

$

70

$

1,698

$

351

Net income per share

$

1,197

$

145

$

3,491

$

721

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

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES

IN MEMBERS’ CAPITAL

(in thousands, except share data)

Nine months ended September 30, 2021

# of Shares

Manager

Shareholders

Total

Balances, December 31, 2020

486.4825

$

(1,001

)

$

6,138

$

5,137

Distributions

-

(102

)

(577

)

(679

)

Net income

-

125

560

685

Balances, March 31, 2021

486.4825

$

(978

)

$

6,121

$

5,143

Distributions

-

(130

)

(741

)

(871

)

Net income

-

122

556

678

Balances, June 30, 2021

486.4825

$

(986

)

$

5,936

$

4,950

Distributions

-

(125

)

(706

)

(831

)

Net income

-

72

582

654

Balances, September 30, 2021

486.4825

$

(1,039

)

$

5,812

$

4,773

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

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

RIDGEWOOD ENERGY U FUND, LLC

UNAUDITED CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in thousands)

Nine months ended September 30,

2021

2020

 

Cash flows from operating activities

Net income

$

2,017

$

492

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

Depletion and amortization

110

477

Accretion expense

11

12

Changes in assets and liabilities:

Decrease in production receivable

210

332

Increase in other current assets

(13

)

(8

)

Decrease in due to operators

(15

)

(121

)

Increase in accrued expenses

18

7

Settlement of asset retirement obligations

(13

)

(65

)

Net cash provided by operating activities

2,325

1,126

 

Cash flows from investing activities

Capital expenditures for oil and gas properties

(25

)

(134

)

Proceeds from salvage fund

13

-

(Increase) decrease in salvage fund

(27

)

40

Net cash used in investing activities

(39

)

(94

)

 

Cash flows from financing activities

Distributions

(2,381

)

(1,019

)

Net cash used in financing activities

(2,381

)

(1,019

)

 

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents

(95

)

13

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period

1,556

1,345

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period

$

1,461

$

1,358

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

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, 2020 financial statements and notes thereto included in the Fund’s Annual Report on Form 10-K (“2020 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, 2020, 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 2020 Annual Report. There have been no significant changes to the Fund’s significant accounting policies during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021.

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.

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, 2021 and 2020, 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. The following table presents changes in asset retirement obligations for the following periods:

Nine months ended September 30,

2021

2020

(in thousands)

Balance, beginning of period

$

1,206

$

1,275

Liabilities settled

(13

)

(65

)

Accretion expense

11

12

Revision of estimates

(305

)

0-

Balance, end of period

$

899

$

1,222

During the nine months ended September 30, 2021, the Fund recorded credits to depletion expense totaling $0.3 million primarily related to an adjustment to the asset retirement obligation for a fully depleted property.

Revenue Recognition

Oil and gas revenues from contracts with customers are recognized at the point when control of oil and natural gas is transferred to the customers in accordance with Accounting Standard Codification Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Revenues from the sale of natural gas liquid are included within gas revenues. 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, 2021 and 2020, revenue recognized from performance obligations satisfied in previous periods was not significant.

Allowance for Credit Losses

The Fund is exposed to credit losses through the sale 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 Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and determined based on the composition of its customer base, there was no related credit loss impact.

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 its oil and gas properties may not be recoverable. Recoverability is evaluated 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 impaired and written down to fair value. Fair value 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, estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and future development costs or discount rates could result in a significant impact on the amount of impairment.

There were no impairments of oil and gas properties during each of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020. 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.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

The Fund has considered recent accounting pronouncements issued during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 or through the filing of this report, and the Fund has not identified new standards that it believes will have an impact on the Fund’s financial statements.

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, 2021 and 2020 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, 2021 were $0.1 million and $0.4 million, respectively. Distributions paid to the Manager during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $37 thousand and $0.2 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, 2021, the Fund’s estimated capital commitments related to its oil and gas properties were $3.5 million (which include asset retirement obligations for the Fund’s projects of $1.5 million), of which $0.2 million is expected to be spent during the next twelve months primarily related to the settlement of asset retirement obligation for one of the Fund’s projects and additional development of the Diller Project. Future results of operations and cash flows are dependent on the ongoing development of and revenues from production and sale of oil and gas 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 may temporarily suspend distributions to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments if needed.

Impact from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a global health crisis and continues to cause uncertainty in financial and commodity markets. The ultimate extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting market disruption to the Fund’s operating results and cash flows continue to be unknown and unpredictable. Although, oil and natural gas commodity prices have improved from historic lows in 2020, the period of low oil and natural gas commodity prices during 2020 negatively impacted cash flow generated by the Fund’s projects. 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. If oil and natural gas commodity prices and the overall global economy, including financial markets therein, are further adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund, its operators and other working interest partners’ financial performance results will 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 future 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, 2021 and December 31, 2020, 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 Supplemental Financial Assurance Requirements

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. The BOEM is not currently implementing NTL 2016-N01 and its status is uncertain. Notwithstanding the uncertain status of NTL 2016-N01, BOEM had continued under existing law to review supplemental financial assurance requirements relative to sole liability properties (i.e., properties in which only one company is liable for decommissioning). However, on August 18, 2021, the BOEM issued a Note to Stakeholders in which the BOEM stated that it was expanding its financial assurance efforts beyond sole liability projects to include “supplemental financial assurance of certain high-risk, non-sole liability properties” (those properties with more than one company potentially liable for decommissioning costs). The BOEM identified (i) inactive properties, (ii) those with less than five years of production left, and (iii) those with damaged infrastructure, as being high-risk, non-sole liability properties and for which supplemental financial assurance may be required. The BOEM may require the Fund to fully secure all of its potential abandonment liabilities, which potentially could increase costs to the Fund.

On October 16, 2020, BOEM and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement published a proposed new rule at 85 FR 65904 on Risk, Management, Financial Assurance and Loss Prevention, addressing the streamlining of evaluation criteria when determining whether oil, gas and sulfur leases, right-of-use and easement grant holders, and pipeline right-of-way grant holders may be required to provide bonds or other security above the prescribed amounts for base bonds to ensure compliance with the Lessees’ obligations, primarily decommissioning obligations. The proposed rule was significantly less stringent with respect to financial assurance than NTL 2016-N01. To date, however, Interior has not issued a final rule but has indicated that it is reviewing the proposed rule. The Fund is not able to evaluate the impact of the proposed new rule on its operations or financial condition until a final rule is issued or some other definitive action is taken by the Interior or BOEM.

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.

 

 

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. Such forward-looking statements 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 the impact on the Fund’s business and operations of the ongoing Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic and any other future widespread health emergencies or public health crises such as pandemics and epidemics, 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, 2020.

 

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 categorized the outbreak of 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” and caused oil prices to collapse. Oil prices decreased to their lowest level in April 2020 as compared to the past several years as a result of the initial oil price war and significant decreases in oil demand caused by world-wide government-ordered lock-downs. On April 12, 2020, and throughout 2020, OPEC and Russia agreed and implemented oil production cuts to stabilize the oil market. Since then, the oil market has stabilized and strengthened with oil prices gradually rising throughout the rest of 2020. Oil prices have continued to strengthen into 2021 supported by a slow recovery in demand with the easing of lock-down measures and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, market-driven supply cutbacks in the upstream oil sector globally and the effective ongoing supply-side management by OPEC. Looking ahead, these factors indicate a balanced market by the second half of 2021. However, uncertainty still exists depending on actions taken by OPEC and non-OPEC countries in supporting a balanced global oil supply.

 

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The ultimate extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting market disruption to the Fund’s operating results and cash flows continue to be unknown and unpredictable. Although, oil and natural gas commodity prices have improved from historic lows in 2020, the period of low oil and natural gas commodity prices during 2020 negatively impacted cash flow generated by the Fund’s projects. 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. If oil and natural gas commodity prices and the overall global economy, including financial markets therein, are further adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund, its operators and other working interest partners’ financial performance results will 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 future impairments and higher depletion rates.

 

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, 2021 and 2020 and the effect of such average prices on the Fund’s results of operations. If oil and natural gas commodity prices are further adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for a prolonged period, the Fund’s results of operations and liquidity will be materially 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:

 

·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);
·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;
·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;

 

 11 

 

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

 

 12 

 

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, 2021  Budget  Status
    (in thousands)   
           
Diller Project 0.88% $3,758  $4,593  The Diller Project is expected to include the development of three wells.  Well #1 commenced production in 2015.  Well #2 commenced production in 2019.  Well #3 is expected to commence production in first quarter 2023.  Although the wells are currently producing, the project experienced storm shut-ins during third quarter 2021 as a result of Hurricane Ida, which passed directly through the corridor where the project is located.  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 at the Delta House production facility.  In addition, the project experienced several periods of storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico during second half of 2020.  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  $7,645  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 2023.  Although three of the four wells in the Marmalard Project are currently producing, the project experienced storm shut-ins during third quarter 2021 as a result of Hurricane Ida, which passed directly through the corridor where the project is located.  Production from one of the Marmalard Project's wells is currently shut-in due to a mechanical issue observed on restart after storm shut-in.  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 at the Delta House production facility.  In addition, the project experienced several periods of storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico during second half of 2020.  The Fund expects to spend $1.5 million for additional development costs and $0.5 million for asset retirement obligations.

 

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Results of Operations

 

The following table summarizes the Fund’s results of operations during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, 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, 
  2021  2020  2021  2020 
  (in thousands) 
Revenue            
Oil and gas revenue $840  $423  $3,071  $1,954 
Expenses                
Depletion and amortization  (192)  96   110   477 
Operating expenses  284   137   681   723 
Management fees to affiliate  59   59   176   176 
General and administrative expenses  43   35   114   114 
Total expenses  194   327   1,081   1,490 
Income from operations  646   96   1,990   464 
Other income                
Dividend income  8   3   27   21 
Interest income  -   -   -   7 
Total other income  8   3   27   28 
Net income $654  $99  $2,017  $492 

 

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, 2021 and 2020. Natural gas liquid sales are included within gas sales.

 

  Three months ended September 30,  Nine months ended September 30, 
  2021  2020  2021  2020 
Number of wells producing  6   6   6   6 
Total number of production days  381   296   1,453   1,196 
Oil sales (in thousands of barrels)  11   10   43   46 
Average oil price per barrel $70  $40  $64  $39 
Gas sales (in thousands of mcfs)  21   19   87   88 
Average gas price per mcf $4.85  $2.38  $3.91  $1.90 

 

The increases noted in the table above were primarily related to the Diller Project, which experienced significant periods of shut-ins during 2020 compared to 2021 due to storm-related safety shut-ins as a result of active storm systems passing through the Gulf of Mexico as well as due to the low-price environment and a mechanical issue at the Delta House production facility. The decrease in oil and gas volumes during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 was primarily attributable to one of the wells in the Marmalard Project, which experienced decline in production rates during 2021 compared to 2020 as a result of skin wellbore damage. The well, which was shut-in in July 2021 for acid stimulations, returned in August 2021 at production levels prior to the skin wellbore damage. See additional discussion in “Business Update” section above.

 

Oil and Gas Revenue. Oil and gas revenue during the three months ended September 30, 2021 was $0.8 million, an increase of $0.4 million from the three months ended September 30, 2020. The increase was primarily attributable to increased oil and gas prices.

 

Oil and gas revenue during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 was $3.1 million, an increase of $1.1 million from the nine months ended September 30, 2020. The increase was attributable to increased oil and gas prices totaling $1.2 million, partially offset by decreased sales volume totaling $0.1 million.

 

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

 

 14 

 

Depletion and Amortization. Depletion and amortization during the three months ended September 30, 2021 was ($0.2) million, compared to $0.1 million during the three months ended September 30, 2020. The credit in depletion and amortization during the three months ended September 30, 2021 was primarily due to an adjustment to the asset retirement obligation related to a fully depleted property during third quarter 2021.

 

Depletion and amortization during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 was $0.1 million, a decrease of $0.4 million from the nine months ended September 30, 2020. The decrease was primarily attributable to an adjustment to the asset retirement obligation related to a fully depleted property during third quarter 2021.

 

Depletion and amortization rates were relatively consistent during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 compared to the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.

 

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 reserves 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, 
  2021  2020  2021  2020 
  (in thousands) 
Lease operating expense $61  $74  $258  $485 
Workover expense  157   3   196   5 
Transportation and processing expense  54   53   191   203 
Insurance expense  9   3   25   18 
Accretion expense and other  3   4   11   12 
  $284  $137  $681  $723 

 

Lease operating expense and transportation and processing expense relate to the Fund’s producing projects. Workover expense represents costs to restore or stimulate production of existing reserves. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, workover expense primarily related to the Marmalard Project. 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.

 

Production costs, which include lease operating expense, transportation and processing expense and insurance expense, were $0.1 million ($8.80 per barrel of oil equivalent or “BOE”) and $0.5 million ($8.26 per BOE) during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, respectively, compared to $0.1 million ($9.78 per BOE) and $0.7 million ($11.72 per BOE) during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, respectively.

 

Production costs and production costs per BOE were relatively consistent during the three months ended September 30, 2021 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2020. The decreases in production costs and production costs per BOE during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were attributable to decreased oil and natural gas production as a result of shut-ins and natural declines in production from the Fund’s producing projects coupled with a reduction in the Diller and Marmalard projects’ 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.

 

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.

 

 15 

 

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.

 

Capital Resources and Liquidity

 

Operating Cash Flows

Cash flows provided by operating activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 were $2.3 million, primarily related to revenue received of $3.3 million, partially offset by operating expenses of $0.7 million, management fees of $0.2 million and general and administrative expenses of $0.1 million.

 

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.

 

Investing Cash Flows

Cash flows used in investing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 were $39 thousand, related to investments in salvage fund of $27 thousand and capital expenditures for oil and gas properties of $25 thousand, partially offset by proceeds from the salvage fund of $13 thousand.

 

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.

 

Financing Cash Flows

Cash flows used in financing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 were $2.4 million, related to manager and shareholder distributions.

 

Cash flows used in financing activities during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were $1.0 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, 2021, the Fund’s estimated capital commitments related to its oil and gas properties were $3.5 million (which include asset retirement obligations for the Fund’s projects of $1.5 million), of which $0.2 million is expected to be spent during the next twelve months primarily related to the settlement of asset retirement obligation for one of the Fund’s projects and additional development of the Diller Project. Future results of operations and cash flows are dependent on the ongoing development of and revenues from production and sale of oil and gas 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 may temporarily suspend distributions to accommodate the Fund’s short-term commitments if needed.

 

 16 

 

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.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

The Fund had no off-balance sheet arrangements as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020 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, 2021 and December 31, 2020, 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, 2021.

 

There has been no change in the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the three months ended September 30, 2021 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.

 

 17 

 

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 EXHIBIT METHOD OF FILING
    
31.1Certification of Robert E. Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13a-14(a) Filed herewith
    
31.2Certification of Kathleen P. McSherry, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Fund, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13a-14(a) Filed herewith
    
32Certifications 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.INSInline XBRL Instance Document - the instance document does not appear in the Interactive Data File because its XBRL tags are embedded within the Inline XBRL document Filed herewith
    
101.SCHInline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Filed herewith
    
101.CALInline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Filed herewith
    
101.DEFInline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document Filed herewith
    
101.LABInline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Filed herewith
    
101.PREInline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Filed herewith
    
104

Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as Inline XBRL

and contained in Exhibit 101)

 Filed herewith

 

 18 

 

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 8, 2021By:/s/  ROBERT E. SWANSON
   Name:  Robert E. Swanson
   Title:  Chief Executive Officer
      (Principal Executive Officer)
       
       
Dated:November 8, 2021By:/s/  KATHLEEN P. MCSHERRY
   Name:  Kathleen P. McSherry
   Title:  Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
      (Principal Financial and Accounting Officer)

 

 

19