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BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2012
Notes to Financial Statements  
Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Significant estimates include those regarding the recoverability of the Company’s unevaluated oil and gas properties and valuation of option and warrant transactions.

Reclassification

Certain amounts for prior periods have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.

Income (Loss) per Common Share

Basic net loss per common share is computed by dividing the net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted net income per share is computed by dividing the net income attributable to common shareholders by the weighted-average number of common and common equivalent shares outstanding during the period. Common share equivalents included in the diluted computation represent shares issuable upon assumed exercise of stock options and warrants or the assumed conversion of convertible debt instruments, using the treasury stock and “if converted” method. For periods in which net losses are incurred, weighted average shares outstanding is the same for basic and diluted loss per share calculations, as the inclusion of common share equivalents would have an anti-dilutive effect.

 

For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, the dilutive effect of options to purchase 3,900,000 and 3,900,000 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase Nil and Nil shares of common stock, respectively, were excluded from the diluted earnings per share calculation because their effect would have been anti-dilutive.

Oil and Gas Properties, Full Cost Method

The Company has elected to use the full cost method of accounting for oil and gas producing activities. Costs to acquire mineral interests in oil and gas properties, to drill and equip exploratory wells used to find proved reserves, and to drill and equip development wells, including directly related overhead costs and related asset retirement costs, are capitalized.

 

Under this method, all costs, including internal costs directly related to acquisition, exploration and development activities, are capitalized as oil and gas property costs on a country by country basis. Properties not subject to amortization consist of exploration and development costs which are evaluated on a property-by-property basis. Amortization of these unproved property costs begins when the properties become proved or their values become impaired. The Company assesses the realizability of unproved properties on at least an annual basis or when there has been an indication that impairment in value may have occurred. Impairment of unproved properties is assessed based on management's intention with regard to future exploration and development of individually significant properties and the ability of the Company to obtain funds to finance such exploration and development. If the results of an assessment indicate that the properties are impaired, the amount of the impairment is added to the capitalized costs to be amortized.

 

In applying the full cost method, the Company performs an impairment test (ceiling test) at each reporting date, whereby the carrying value of property and equipment is compared to the “estimated present value” of its proved reserves. The estimated present value of proved reserves is based upon future net revenues (after consideration of current economic and operating conditions at the end of the period) discounted at a 10 percent interest rate, plus the cost of properties not being amortized, plus the lower of cost or fair market value of unproved properties included in costs being amortized, less the income tax effects related to book and tax basis differences of the properties. If capitalized costs exceed this limit, the excess is charged as an impairment expense.

 

As of September 30, 2012, the Company had no proved properties and the exploratory well on the Company’s properties has previously been fully impaired pending future development.

Foreign exchange and currency translation

For the periods presented, the Company maintained cash accounts in Canadian and U.S. dollars, and incurred certain expenses denominated in Canadian dollars. The Company's functional and reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. Transactions denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars at exchange rates in effect on the date of the transactions. Assets and liabilities are translated using exchange rates at the end of each period. Exchange gains or losses on transactions are included in earnings. Adjustments resulting from the translation process are reported in a separate component of other comprehensive income and are not included in the determination of the results of operations.

Comprehensive Income

Accumulated other comprehensive income represents the accumulated balance of foreign currency translation adjustments.

Stock-Based Compensation

The Company measures the cost of employee services received in exchange for stock and stock options based on the grant date fair value of the awards. The Company determines the fair value of stock option grants using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The Company determines the fair value of shares of non-vested stock (also commonly referred to as restricted stock) based on the last quoted price of our stock on the date of the share grant. The fair value determined represents the cost for the award and is recognized over the vesting period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award. As share-based compensation expense is recognized based on awards ultimately expected to vest, the Company reduces the expense for estimated forfeitures based on historical forfeiture rates, if historical forfeiture rates are available. Previously recognized compensation costs may be adjusted to reflect the actual forfeiture rate for the entire award at the end of the vesting period. Excess tax benefits, if any, are recognized as an addition to paid-in capital.

Subsequent Events

The Company evaluated all material subsequent events from September 30, 2012 through the date of the issuance of these consolidated financial statements for disclosure consideration. Subsequent to the reporting period, Spotlight Innovation LLC advanced $2500 to American Exploration to cover short term expenses.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

There were various accounting standards and interpretations issued recently, none of which are expected to have a material effect on the Company’s operations, financial position or cash flows.

Going concern

The accompanying financial statements have been prepared assuming that the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates, among other things, the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company has incurred net losses for the period from inception to September 30, 2012 of $7,577,739; has negative working capital of $944,904 at September 30, 2012; and is currently in default on certain outstanding debt obligations. Accordingly, there is substantial doubt as to the ability of the Company to continue as a going concern. The Company intends to fund initial operations through equity financing or debt arrangements.

 

The ability of the Company to emerge from the exploration stage is dependent upon the Company’s successful efforts to raise sufficient capital and then attain profitable operations. There can be no assurances, however, that management’s expectations of future revenues will be realized.