laws in the countries in which we operate and to possible changes in such tax laws (or the application thereof), each of which could result in an increase in our tax liabilities. These risks may be higher in the developing countries in which we conduct a majority of our activities, as it is the case in Ghana, where the Ghanaian Revenue Authority (the ‘‘GRA’’) has disputed certain tax deductions we have claimed in prior fiscal years’ Ghanaian tax returns as non-allowable under the terms of the Ghanaian Petroleum Income Tax Law, as well as non-payment of certain transactional taxes. Our operations in these areas increase our exposure to risks of war, local economic conditions, political disruption, civil disturbance, expropriation, piracy, tribal conflicts and governmental policies that may: • disrupt our operations; • require us to incur greater costs for security; • restrict the movement of funds or limit repatriation of profits; • lead to U.S. government or international sanctions; or • limit access to markets for periods of time. Some countries in the geographic areas where we operate have experienced political instability in the past or are currently experiencing instability. Disruptions may occur in the future, and losses caused by these disruptions may occur that will not be covered by insurance. Consequently, our exploration, development and production activities may be substantially affected by factors which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, in the event of a dispute arising from non-U.S. operations, we may be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of courts outside the United States or may not be successful in subjecting non-U.S. persons to the jurisdiction of courts in the United States or international arbitration, which could adversely affect the outcome of such dispute. Our operations may also be adversely affected by laws and policies of the jurisdictions, including the jurisdictions where our oil and gas operating activities are located as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions in which we do business, that affect foreign trade and taxation. Changes in any of these laws or policies or the implementation thereof could materially and adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The oil and gas industry, including the acquisition of exploratory licenses, is intensely competitive and many of our competitors possess and employ substantially greater resources than us. The international oil and gas industry is highly competitive in all aspects, including the exploration for, and the development of, new license areas. We operate in a highly competitive environment for acquiring exploratory licenses and hiring and retaining trained personnel. Many of our competitors possess and employ financial, technical and personnel resources substantially greater than us, which can be particularly important in the areas in which we operate. These companies may be better able to withstand the financial pressures of unsuccessful drilling efforts, sustained periods of volatility in financial markets and generally adverse global and industry-wide economic conditions, and may be better able to absorb the burdens resulting from changes in relevant laws and regulations, which could adversely affect our competitive position. Our ability to acquire additional prospects and to find and develop reserves in the future will depend on our ability to evaluate and select suitable licenses and to consummate transactions in a highly competitive environment. Also, there is substantial competition for available capital for investment in the oil and gas industry. As a result of these and other factors, we may not be able to compete successfully in an intensely competitive industry, which could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. 55