Oil Industry accounting: IFRS 6 - exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources
This standard provides that an entity shall determine an accounting policy specifying which expenditures are recognised as exploration and evaluation assets and apply the policy consistently. In making this determination, an entity considers the degree to which the expenditure can be associated with finding specific mineral resources.
Paragraph 12 states that:
- After recognition, an entity shall apply either the cost model or the revaluation model to the exploration and evaluation assets. If the revaluation model is applied (either the model in IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment or the model in IAS 38) it shall be consistent with the classification of the assets (whether tangible or intangible).
Paragraph 17 states that:
- An exploration and evaluation asset shall no longer be classified as such when the technical feasibility and commercial viability of extracting a mineral resource are demonstrable. Exploration and evaluation assets shall be assessed for impairment, and any impairment loss recognised, before reclassification.
Paragraph 18 prescribes that:
- Exploration and evaluation assets shall be assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an exploration and evaluation asset may exceed its recoverable amount.
- In this situation, an entity shall measure, present and disclose any resulting impairment loss in accordance with IAS 36, except as provided by paragraph 21.
Paragraph 21 states that:
- An entity shall determine an accounting policy for allocating exploration and evaluation assets to cash-generating units or groups of cash-generating units for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each cash-generating unit or group of units to which an exploration and evaluation asset is allocated shall not be larger than a segment based on either the entity’s primary or secondary reporting format determined in accordance with IFRS 8 Operating segments.
The facts or circumstances which might suggest testing for impairment are given in IFRS 6 paragraph 20, as including (but not limited to):
- the period for which the entity has the right to explore in the specific area has expired during the period or will expire in the near future, and is not expected to be renewed.
- substantive expenditure on further exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources in the specific area is neither budgeted nor planned.
- exploration for and evaluation of mineral resources in the specific area have not led to the discovery of commercially viable quantities of mineral resources and the entity has decided to discontinue such activities in the specific area.
- sufficient data exist to indicate that, although a development in the specific area is likely to proceed, the carrying amount of the exploration and evaluation asset is unlikely to be recovered in full from successful development or by sale.