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3. Critical accounting estimates, assumptions and judgments

Preparing these Consolidated Financial Statements in accordance with IFRS requires Management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the reporting date, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period.

Management reviews these estimates and assumptions on a continuous basis, by reference to past experiences and other factors that can reasonably be used to assess the book values of assets and liabilities. Adjustments to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the change affects only that period or in the period of the revision and subsequent periods, if both periods are affected.

In addition to judgments involving estimations, Management also makes other judgments in the process of applying the Group’s accounting policies. Actual results may differ from such estimates if different assumptions or circumstances apply.

Judgments and estimates that have the most significant effect on the amounts reported in these Consolidated Financial Statements and have a risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amount of assets and liabilities are described below.

Estimation of Oil and Gas Reserves

Engineering estimates of oil and gas reserves are inherently uncertain and are subject to future revisions. The Group estimates its oil and gas reserves in accordance with rules promulgated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for proved reserves. Accounting measures such as depreciation, depletion and amortisation charges and impairment assessments that are based on the estimates of proved reserves are subject to change based on future changes to estimates of oil and gas reserves.

Proved reserves are defined as the estimated quantities of oil and gas which geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic conditions. In some cases, substantial new investment in additional wells and related support facilities and equipment will be required to recover such proved reserves. Due to the inherent uncertainties and the limited nature of reservoir data, estimates of underground reserves are subject to change over time as additional information becomes available.

Oil and gas reserves have a direct impact on certain amounts reported in the Consolidated Financial Statements, most notably depreciation, depletion and amortization as well as impairment expenses. Depreciation rates on oil and gas assets using the units-of-production method for each field are based on proved developed reserves for development costs, and total proved reserves for costs associated with the acquisition of proved properties. Moreover, estimated proved reserves are used to calculate future cash flows from oil and gas properties, which serve as an indicator in determining whether or not property impairment is present.

Useful Lives of Property, Plant and Equipment

Management assesses the useful life of an asset by considering the expected usage, estimated technical obsolescence, residual value, physical wear and tear and the operating environment in which the asset is located. Differences between such estimates and actual results may have a material impact on the amount of the carrying values of the property, plant and equipment and may result in adjustments to future depreciation rates and expenses for the period.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

The carrying amounts of the Group’s long-lived assets, other than goodwill, inventories, long-term financial assets and deferred tax assets are reviewed at each reporting date to determine whether there is any indication of impairment. If any such indication exists, then the asset’s recoverable amount is estimated. An impairment loss is recognised if the carrying amount of an asset or its related cash-generating unit (CGU) exceeds its estimated recoverable amount. Impairment losses are recognised in profit or loss.

Goodwill is tested for impairment annually.

The recoverable amount of an asset or CGU is the greater of its value in use and its fair value less costs to sell. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset or CGU. The estimated future cash flows include estimation of future costs to produce reserves, future commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, discount rates and inflation.

Impairment of Non-Derivative Financial Assets

Financial assets are assessed at each reporting date to determine whether there is any objective evidence of impairment. A financial asset is impaired if objective evidence indicates that a loss event has occurred after the initial recognition of the asset, and that the loss event had a negative effect on the estimated future cash flows of that asset that can be estimated reliably.

The Group considers evidence of impairment for loans and receivables and held-to-maturity investments at both a specific asset and collective level. All individually significant loans and receivables and held-to-maturity investments are assessed for specific impairment. Loans and receivables and held-to-maturity investments that are not individually significant are collectively assessed for impairment by grouping together loans and receivables and held-to-maturity investments with similar risk characteristics.

An impairment loss in respect of a financial asset measured at amortised cost is calculated as the difference between its carrying amount, and the present value of the estimated future cash flows discounted at the asset’s original effective interest rate. Losses are recognised in profit or loss and reflected in an allowance account against loans and receivables or held-to-maturity investments.

Decommissioning Obligations

Management makes provision for the future costs of decommissioning oil and gas production facilities, wells, pipelines, and related support equipment and for site restoration based on the best estimates of future costs and economic lives of the oil and gas assets. Estimating future asset retirement obligations is complex and requires management to make estimates and judgments with respect to removal obligations that will occur many years in the future.

Changes in the measurement of existing obligations can result from changes in estimated timing, future costs or discount rates used in valuation.

The amount recognised as a provision is the best estimate of the expenditures required to settle the present obligation at the reporting date based on current legislation in each jurisdiction where the Group’s operating assets are located, and is also subject to change because of revisions and changes in laws and regulations and their interpretation. As a result of the subjectivity of these provisions there is uncertainty regarding both the amount and estimated timing of such costs.

Contingencies

Certain conditions may exist as of the date of these Consolidated Financial Statements are issued that may result in a loss to the Group, but one that will only be realised when one or more future events occur or fail to occur. Management makes an assessment of such contingent liabilities that is based on assumptions and is a matter of judgement. In assessing loss contingencies relating to legal or tax proceedings that involve the Group or unasserted claims that may result in such proceedings, the Group, after consultation with legal and tax advisors, evaluates the perceived merits of any legal or tax proceedings or unasserted claims as well as the perceived merits of the amount of relief sought or expected to be sought therein.

If the assessment of a contingency indicates that it is probable that a loss will be incurred and the amount of the liability can be estimated, then the estimated liability is accrued in the Group’s Consolidated Financial Statements. If the assessment indicates that a potentially material loss contingency is not probable, but is reasonably possible, or is probable but cannot be estimated, then the nature of the contingent liability, together with an estimate of the range of possible loss if determinable and material, is disclosed. If loss contingencies can not be reasonably estimated, management recognises the loss when information becomes available that allows a reasonable estimation to be made. Loss contingencies considered remote are generally not disclosed unless they involve guarantees, in which case the nature of the guarantee is disclosed. However, in some instances in which disclosure is not otherwise required, the Group may disclose contingent liabilities of an unusual nature which, in the judgment of Management and its legal counsel, may be of interest to shareholders or others.

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