Dedication across the board
Annual Report 2012

Consolidated Financial Statements

4. Summary of significant accounting policies

Estimation and assumptions

The key assumptions concerning the future, and other key sources of estimation uncertainty at the statement of financial position date, that have a significant risk of causing a material change to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities are discussed below:

Oil and gas reserves

Oil and gas reserves are a material factor in the Group's computation of depreciation, depletion and amortization (the "DD&A"). The Group estimates its reserves of oil and gas in accordance with the methodology of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (the "SPE"). In estimating its reserves under SPE methodology, the Group uses long-term planning prices which are also used by management to make investment decisions about development of a field. Using planning prices for estimating proved reserves removes the impact of the volatility inherent in using year-end spot prices. Management believes that long-term planning price assumptions are more consistent with the long-term nature of the upstream business and provide the most appropriate basis for estimating oil and gas reserves. All reserve estimates involve some degree of uncertainty. The uncertainty depends mainly on the amount of reliable geological and engineering data available at the time of the estimate and the interpretation of this data.

The relative degree of uncertainty can be conveyed by placing reserves into one of two principal classifications, either proved or unproved. Proved reserves are more certain to be recovered than unproved reserves and may be further sub-classified as developed and undeveloped to denote progressively increasing uncertainty in their recoverability. Estimates are reviewed and revised annually. Revisions occur due to the evaluation or re-evaluation of already available geological, reservoir or production data; availability of new data; or changes to underlying price assumptions. Reserve estimates may also be revised due to improved recovery projects, changes in production capacity or changes in development strategy. Proved developed reserves are used to calculate the unit of production rates for DD&A.

Fair value of financial instruments

Where the fair value of financial assets and financial liabilities recorded in the statement of financial position cannot be derived from active markets, they are determined using valuation techniques including the discounted cash flows model. The inputs to these models are taken from observable markets where possible, but where this is not feasible, a degree of judgment is required in establishing fair values. The judgments include considerations of inputs such as liquidity risk, credit risk and volatility. Changes in assumptions about these factors could affect the reported fair value of financial instruments.

Abandonment and site restoration liabilities

The Group estimates future dismantlement and site restoration cost for oil and gas properties with reference to the estimates provided from either internal or external engineers after taking into consideration the anticipated method of dismantlement and the extent of site restoration required in accordance with current legislation and industry practice. The amount of the obligation is the present value of the estimated expenditures expected to be required to settle the obligation adjusted for expected inflation and discounted using average long-term risk-free interest rates for emerging market sovereign debt adjusted for risks specific to the Kazakhstan market. The Group reviews site restoration provisions at each balance sheet date and adjusts it to reflect the current best estimate in accordance with IFRIC 1 Changes in Existing Decommissioning, Restoration and Similar Liabilities. Estimating the future closure costs involves significant estimates and judgments by management. Significant judgments in making such estimates include estimate of discount rate and timing of cash flow. The management made its estimate based on the assumption that cash flow will take place at the expected end of the licenses. 

Management of the Group believes that the interest rates on its debt financing shall provide best estimates of applicable discount rate. The discount rate shall be applied to the nominal amounts the managements expect to spend on site restoration in the future. The Group estimates future well abandonment cost using current year prices and the average long-term inflation rate.

The long term inflation and discount rates used to determine the balance sheet obligation at December 31, 2012 and 2011 were 7% and 10% respectively. Movements in the provision for decommissioning liability are disclosed in Note 14.

Foreign currency translation

Each entity in the Group determines its own functional currency and items included in the consolidated financial statements of each entity are measured using that functional currency. The functional currency of the Partnership and its subsidiaries is the United States dollar (the "US dollar" or "US$").

Transactions and balances denominated in foreign currencies

Transactions in foreign currencies are initially recorded by the Group at their respective functional currency rates prevailing at the date of the transaction. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are retranslated at the functional currency spot rate of exchange ruling at the reporting date. All differences are taken to the profit or loss. Non-monetary items that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency are translated using the exchange rates as at the dates of the initial transactions. Non-monetary items measured at fair value in a foreign currency are translated using the exchange rates at the date when the fair value is determined.

Property, plant and equipment

Exploration expenditure

Geological and geophysical exploration costs are charged against income as incurred. Costs directly associated with exploration wells are capitalized within property, plant and equipment (construction work-in-progress) until the drilling of the well is complete and the results have been evaluated. These costs include employee remuneration and materials and fuel used, rig costs and payments made to contractors and asset retirement obligation fees. If hydrocarbons are not found, the exploration expenditure is written off as a dry hole. If hydrocarbons are found and, subject to further appraisal activity, which may include the drilling of further wells (exploration or exploratory-type stratigraphic test wells), are likely to be capable of commercial development, the costs continue to be carried as an asset. All such carried costs are subject to technical, commercial and management review at least once a year to confirm the continued intent to develop or otherwise extract value from the discovery. When this is no longer the case, the costs are written off. There was no exploration expenditure expensed during 2012 (2011: Nil).

Oil and gas properties

Expenditure on the construction, installation or completion of infrastructure facilities such as treatment facilities, pipelines and the drilling of development wells, is capitalized within property, plant and equipment as oil and gas properties. The initial cost of an asset comprises its purchase price or construction cost, any costs directly attributable to bringing the asset into operation and the initial estimate of decommissioning obligation, if any. The purchase price or construction cost is the aggregate amount paid and the fair value of any other consideration given to acquire the asset. Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation, depletion and impairment.

All capitalized costs of oil and gas properties are amortized using the unit-of-production method based on estimated proved developed reserves of the field, except the Group depreciates its oil pipeline and oil loading terminal on a straight line basis over the life of the license. In the case of assets that have a useful life shorter than the lifetime of the field, the straight line method is applied.

Oil and gas reserves

Proved oil and gas reserves are estimated quantities of commercially viable hydrocarbons which existing geological, geophysical and engineering data show to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs.

The Group uses the reserve estimates provided by an independent appraiser to assess the oil and gas reserves of its oil and gas fields. These reserve quantities are used for calculating the unit of production depreciation rate as it reflects the expected pattern of consumption of future economic benefits by the Group.

Impairment of non-financial assets

The Group assesses assets or groups of assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. Individual assets are grouped for impairment assessment purposes at the lowest level at which there are identifiable cash flows that are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets. If any such indication of impairment exists or when annual impairment testing for an asset group is required, the Group makes an estimate of its recoverable amount. An asset group's recoverable amount is the higher of its fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. Where the carrying amount of an asset group exceeds its recoverable amount, the asset group is considered impaired and is written down to its recoverable amount. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are adjusted for the risks specific to the asset group and are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money.

An assessment is made at each reporting date as to whether there is any indication that previously recognized impairment losses may no longer exist or may have decreased. If such indication exists, the recoverable amount is estimated. A previously recognized impairment loss is reversed only if there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the asset's recoverable amount since the last impairment loss was recognized. If that is the case, the carrying amount of the asset is increased to its recoverable amount. That increased amount cannot exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined, net of depreciation, had no impairment loss been recognized for the asset in prior years. Such reversal is recognized in the profit or loss. 

After such a reversal, the depreciation charge is adjusted in future periods to allocate the asset's revised carrying amount, less any residual value, on a systematic basis over its remaining useful life.

Other properties

All other property, plant and equipment are stated at historical cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment. Historical cost includes expenditures that are directly attributable to the acquisition of the items. Subsequent costs are included in the asset's carrying amount or recognized as a separate asset, as appropriate, only when it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the item will flow to the Group and the cost of the item can be measured reliably. All other repairs and maintenance are charged to the profit or loss during the year in which they are incurred.

Depreciation is calculated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets as follows:

  Years
Buildings and Improvements 7-15
Vehicles 8
Machinery and equipment 3-13
Other 3-10


Borrowing costs

The Group capitalizes borrowing costs on qualifying assets. Assets qualifying for borrowing costs capitalization include all assets under construction that are not being depreciated, depleted, or amortized, provided that work is in progress at that time. Qualifying assets mostly include wells and other operations field infrastructure under construction. Capitalized borrowing costs are calculated by applying the capitalization rate to the expenditures on qualifying assets. The capitalization rate is the weighted average of the borrowing costs applicable to the Group's borrowings that are outstanding during the period.

Inventories

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value ("NRV"). Cost of oil, gas condensate and liquefied petroleum gas ("LPG") is determined on the weighted-average method based on the production cost including the relevant expenses on depreciation, depletion and impairment and overhead costs based on production volume. Net realizable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less selling expenses.

Provisions

Provisions are recognized when the Group has a present obligation (legal or constructive) as a result of a past event, it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation and a reliable estimate of the amount of the obligation can be made.

Abandonment and site restoration (decommissioning)

Provision for decommissioning is recognized in full, on a discounted cash flow basis, when the Group has an obligation to dismantle and remove a facility or an item of plant and to restore the site on which it is located, and when a reasonable estimate of that provision can be made. The amount of the obligation is the present value of the estimated expenditures expected to be required to settle the obligation adjusted for expected inflation and discounted using average long-term interest rates for emerging market debt adjusted for risks specific to the Kazakhstan market. The unwinding of the discount related to the obligation is recorded in finance costs. A corresponding amount equivalent to the provision is also recognized as part of the cost of the related property, plant and equipment. This asset is subsequently depreciated as part of the capital costs of the oil and gas properties on a unit-of-production basis.

Changes in the measurement of an existing decommissioning liability that result from changes in the estimated timing or amount of the outflow of resources embodying economic benefits required to settle the obligation, or changes to the discount rate:

(a)     are added to, or deducted from, the cost of the related asset in the current period. If deducted from the cost of the asset the amount deducted shall not exceed its carrying amount. If a decrease in the provision exceeds the carrying amount of the asset, the excess is recognized immediately in the profit or loss; and

(b)     if the adjustment results in an addition to the cost of an asset, the Group considers whether this is an indication that the new carrying amount of the asset may not be fully recoverable. If it is such an indication, the group tests the asset for impairment by estimating its recoverable amount, and accounts for any impairment loss in accordance with IAS 36.

Financial assets

Initial recognition and measurement

Financial assets within the scope of IAS 39 are classified as financial assets at fair value through profit or loss, loans and receivables, held-to-maturity investments, available-for-sale financial assets, or as derivatives designated as hedging instruments in an effective hedge, as appropriate. The Group determines the classification of its financial assets at initial recognition.

All financial assets are recognised initially at fair value plus, in the case of investments not at fair value through profit or loss, directly attributable transaction.

Purchases or sales of financial assets that require delivery of assets within a time frame established by regulation or convention in the marketplace (regular way trades) are recognised on the trade date, i.e., the date that the Group commits to purchase or sell the asset. 

The Group's financial assets include cash and short-term deposits, trade and other receivables.

Loans and receivables

Loans and receivables are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market. After initial measurement, such financial assets are subsequently measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method (EIR), less impairment. Amortised cost is calculated by taking into account any discount or premium on acquisition and fee or costs that are an integral part of the EIR.

The EIR amortisation is included in finance income in the statement of comprehensive income. The losses arising from impairment are recognised in the statement of comprehensive income in finance costs.

Accounts receivable

Accounts receivables are recognized and carried at original invoice amount less an allowance for any uncollectible amounts. An estimate for uncollectible amounts is made when collection of the full amount is no longer probable. These estimates are reviewed periodically, and as adjustments become necessary, they are reported as expense (credit) in the period in which they become known.

Derecognition

A financial asset (or, where applicable a part of a financial asset or part of a group of similar financial assets) is derecognized when:

  • The rights to receive cash flows from the asset have expired
  • The Group has transferred its rights to receive cash flows from the asset or has assumed an obligation to pay the received cash flows in full without material delay to a third party under a 'pass-through' arrangement; and either (a) the Group has transferred substantially all the risks and rewards of the asset, or (b) the Group has neither transferred nor retained substantially all the risks and rewards of the asset, but has transferred control of the asset.

When the Group has transferred its rights to receive cash flows from an asset or has entered into a pass-through arrangement, and has neither transferred nor retained substantially all the risks and rewards of the asset nor transferred control of the asset, the asset is recognized to the extent of the Group's continuing involvement in the asset.

In that case, the Group also recognizes an associated liability. The transferred asset and the associated liability are measured on a basis that reflects the rights and obligations that the Group has retained.

Continuing involvement that takes the form of a guarantee over the transferred asset is measured at the lower of the original carrying amount of the asset and the maximum amount of consideration that the Group could be required to repay.

Impairment of financial assets

The Group assesses at each reporting date whether there is any objective evidence that a financial asset or a group of financial assets is impaired. A financial asset or a group of financial assets is deemed to be impaired if, and only if, there is objective evidence of impairment as a result of one or more events that has occurred after the initial recognition of the asset (an incurred 'loss event') and that loss event has an impact on the estimated future cash flows of the financial asset or the group of financial assets that can be reliably estimated. Evidence of impairment may include indications that the debtors or a group of debtors is experiencing significant financial difficulty, default or delinquency in interest or principal payments, the probability that they will enter bankruptcy or other financial reorganization and where observable data indicate that there is a measurable decrease in the estimated future cash flows, such as changes in arrears or economic conditions that correlate with defaults.

Financial assets carried at amortized cost

For financial assets carried at amortized cost the Group first assesses individually whether objective evidence of impairment exists individually for financial assets that are individually significant, or collectively for financial assets that are not individually significant. If the Group determines that no objective evidence of impairment exists for an individually assessed financial asset, whether significant or not, it includes the asset in a group of financial assets with similar credit risk characteristics and collectively assesses them for impairment. Assets that are individually assessed for impairment and for which an impairment loss is, or continues to be, recognized are not included in a collective assessment of impairment.

If there is objective evidence that an impairment loss has incurred, the amount of the loss is measured as the difference between the asset's carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows (excluding future expected credit losses that have not yet been incurred). The present value of the estimated future cash flows is discounted at the financial assets original effective interest rate. If a loan has a variable interest rate, the discount rate for measuring any impairment loss is the current effective interest rate.

The carrying amount of the asset is reduced through the use of an allowance account and the amount of the loss is recognized in the profit or loss. Interest income continues to be accrued on the reduced carrying amount and is accrued using the rate of interest used to discount the future cash flows for the purpose of measuring the impairment loss. The interest income is recorded as part of finance income in the profit or loss. Loans together with the associated allowance are written off when there is no realistic prospect of future recovery and all collateral has been realized or has been transferred to the Group. If, in a subsequent year, the amount of the estimated impairment loss increases or decreases because of an event occurring after the impairment was recognized, the previously recognized impairment loss is increased or reduced by adjusting the allowance account. If a future write-off is later recovered, the recovery is credited to finance costs in the profit or loss.

Financial liabilities

Initial recognition and measurement

Financial liabilities within the scope of IAS 39 are classified as financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss, loans and borrowings, or as derivatives designated as hedging instruments in an effective hedge, as appropriate. The Group determines the classification of its financial liabilities at initial recognition. All financial liabilities are recognized initially at fair value and in the case of loans and borrowings, net of directly attributable transaction costs.

The Group's financial liabilities include trade and other payables and borrowings.

Subsequent measurement

After initial recognition, interest bearing borrowings are subsequently measured at amortized cost using the effective interest rate method (EIR). Gains and losses are recognized in the profit or loss when the liabilities are derecognized as well as through the EIR amortization process.

Amortized cost is calculated by taking into account any discount or premium on acquisition and fee or costs that are an integral part of the EIR. The EIR amortization is included in finance cost in the profit or loss.

Derecognition

A financial liability is derecognized when the obligation under the liability is discharged or cancelled or expires. When an existing financial liability is replaced by another from the same lender on substantially different terms, or the terms of an existing liability are substantially modified, such an exchange or modification is treated as a derecognition of the original liability and the recognition of a new liability, and the difference in the respective carrying amounts is recognized in the profit or loss.

Offsetting of financial instruments

Financial assets and financial liabilities are offset and the net amount reported in the statement of financial position if, and only if, there is a currently enforceable legal right to offset the recognized amounts and there is an intention to settle on a net basis, or to realize the assets and settle the liabilities simultaneously.

Fair value of financial instruments

The fair value of financial instruments that are traded in active markets at each reporting date is determined by reference to quoted market prices or dealer price quotations (bid price for long positions and ask price for short positions), without any deduction for transaction costs.

For financial instruments not traded in an active market, the fair value is determined using appropriate valuation techniques. Such techniques may include using recent arm's length market transactions; reference to the current fair value of another instrument that is substantially the same; discounted cash flow analysis or other valuation models.

An analysis of fair values of financial instruments and further details as to how they are measured are provided in Note 27.

Derivative financial instruments and hedging

The Group uses a hedging contract for oil export sales to cover part of its risks associated with oil price fluctuations. Such derivative financial instruments are initially recognized at fair value on the date on which a derivative contract is entered into and are subsequently premeasured at fair value. Derivatives are carried as assets when the fair value is positive and as liabilities when the fair value is negative.

Any gains or losses arising from changes in fair value on derivatives during the year that do not qualify for hedge accounting are taken directly to profit or loss.

The fair value of financial instruments contracts is determined by reference to market values for similar instruments.

Taxation

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are calculated in respect of temporary differences using the liability method. Deferred income taxes are provided for all temporary differences arising between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their carrying values for financial reporting purposes, except where the deferred income tax arises from the initial recognition of goodwill or of an asset or liability in a transaction that is not a business combination and, at the time of the transaction, affects neither the accounting profit nor taxable profit or loss.

A deferred tax asset is recorded only to the extent that it is probable that taxable profit will be available against which the deductible temporary differences can be utilized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured at tax rates that are expected to apply to the period when the asset is realized or the liability is settled, based on tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted at the reporting date.

Deferred income tax is provided on temporary differences arising on investments in subsidiaries and associates, except where the timing of the reversal of the temporary difference can be controlled and it is probable that the temporary difference will not reverse in the foreseeable future.

Revenue recognition

The Group sells crude oil, gas condensate and LPG under short-term agreements priced by reference to Platt's and/or Argus' index quotations and adjusted for freight, insurance and quality differentials where applicable.

Revenue from the sale of crude oil, gas condensate and LPG is recognized when delivery has taken place and risks and rewards of ownership have passed to the customer.

Revenue is recognized when it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the Group and the amount of revenue can be reliably measured.