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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has a plan to conduct nuclear energy R&D using NuScale’s light water reactor technology. In doing so it will create a test bed on an international scale for advanced reactor designs. According to a report in the Idaho Falls Post Register for May4, 2017, 18 reactor design groups have expressed interest in using a proposed nuclear reactor test facility at the INL and two of them have indicated they are ready to move their test operations to the site as soon as one of the 12 planned NuScale 50 MW modules is available. A spokesman for NuScale, which plans to build up to 12 50 MW small modular reactor units at the Idaho site, told the newspaper the first unit for its customer UAMPS, is slated to begin operation in 2026. Last December NuScale submitted their SMR design to the NRC for design certification, which is expected to take three-to-four years to complete. The umbrella concept for the test platform is to use one or possibly two of the 12 units as part of the INL’s joint proposal with NuScale and UAMPS for a “Joint Use Modular Plant.” The idea is that one or two of the 50 MW units, built after the first unit is in revenue service, would serve as a platform to test different applications of the SMR’s capabilities. Some of the potential applications that have been discussed being tested including using grids of SMRs to support resilient power for communities so that if one unit is offline, the others keep churning out electricity. With large 1000 MW units, if they go offline, a lot of expensive replacement power has to be obtaining right away. If it isn’t available because of demand, brownouts or blackouts can be the result. Some SMRs might have as their primary purpose providing steam for district heating replacing coal fired units or for desalinization of sea water. The most intriguing idea is to apply the test SMRs to support development of advanced reactor designs. To that end Terrestrial Energy, a Canadian firm, is reported to be in discussions with the INL to do test work there to develop its molten salt reactor design. The firm wants to take advantage of the INL’s site with its infrastructure and the fact that environmental reviews for this kind of project were completed for the NuScale project. Having access to the lab’s scientists and engineers is also a big plus. This kind of work is usually done on a cost-reimbursable basis which means that Terrestrial Energy would have to pay for any costs associated with using the site and having access to a future SMR. To this end Terrestrial Energy has applied for a Department of Energy loan-guarantee. However, to date the company is still working off of Series A financing packages and has yet to book an investor or a consortium in the $100M or greater range which would be needed to proceed with a prototype. Nevertheless, the firm has said its time to market for its novel design would be sometime in the 2020s. It announced ambitious plans last January it plans to submit its design to the NRC by 2019. In July 2016 Transatomic, a developer of an advanced nuclear reactor design, told this blog it also has approached the INL for possible use of test facilities there and to explore the potential to build its first prototype at the site. Transatomic has received a grant from the GAIN program at the INL for work on the specialized fuel that would be needed for its reactor design. The problem facing both Terrestrial Energy and Transatomic is that new reactor technologies much prove to utilities that they can be operated at a profit within the constraints of existing market realities or they will not be adopted. This requires extensive testing of designs and development of cost estimates that will attract equity investors and customers. The Idaho test facility, if built, may be able to speed up the process. It will need help from the Department of Energy as will the developers in public / private partnerships to succeed. A consortium of SMR developers has spelling out the elements of a commercial deployment program needed to stimulate new SMR generation sufficient for self-sustaining deployment. The program should be available through a combination of the following investment mechanisms: (full details here) SMR Trade Group Urges DOE to Use Their Reactors for Grid Stability The indisputable fact is that the nation’s electrical grid cannot run 100% on renewable energy. Both solar and wind are intermittent, and in order to keep the electrical grid stable, there has to be baseload demand. So far this stability has been provided by large 1000 MW nuclear reactors, as well as gas and coal fired conventional power plants. An industry consortium of small modular reactor (SMR) developers and customers has written to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’to support his request for a departmental study on the nation’s energy security and grid reliability. Their main pitch is that if you want grid stabilty, and CO2 emission free baseload power, SMRs are the way to go. Plus they are a lot cheaper than the the full size reactors. For instance, at $4,000/KW, a 50 MW SMR would cost only $200M. In a multi-unit facility, like the one planned by NuScale for its customer UAMPS, the revenue from the first unit pays for the second and so on. This means the customer is not in a “bet the company” profile waiting for a 1000 MW unit costing $4 billion to come online. The challenge for SMR vendors is to get enough orders to shift production from a complex supply chain and one-at-a-time fabrication to a factory production line to achieve economies of scale. These facts are most likely unknown to the new energy secretary who’s background as a career politican hasn’t instilled much confidence in the industry, although it won’t say that in public. So starting with the obvious, the in May 2 letter the SMR Start consortium highlighted the role that nuclear energy plays in securing the nation’s baseload power diversity and grid stability. “Nuclear energy is reliable baseload power that generates nearly 20 percent of U.S. electricity and is a major reason we benefit from affordable electricity prices today,” the letter said. Perry’s memo to his staff expressed concerns about the potential erosion of the diversity of critical baseload resources, and asked for a 60-day study into how federal policy interventions may be distorting wholesale electricity markets. He also asked whether some attributes of baseload power sources that strengthen grid reliability are being adequately valued and compensated in wholesale electricity markets, and the extent to which “market-distorting” federal subsidies may “boost one form of energy at the expense of others.” This last item is clearly aimed at the need to value the zero carbon emissions profile of the nation’s nuclear fleet. A number of otherwise fully operational nucler reactors have closed due to market conditions that undercut their ability to operate at a profit. They include reactors in Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Vermont, among others. SMR Start’s letter points out that with regard to nuclear energy, the markets are not fully valuing its unique combination of benefits, including “grid reliability, on-site fuel supply, technology diversity, carbon-free generation and long-term price stability.” The letter recommends that the U.S. Department of Energy implement policy solutions to “level the playing field” for the deployment of new reactors, as well as to preserve existing nuclear facilities. This means rate structures have to be set up that will provide confidence for investors to put up the money to developa and deploy new SMRs for commercial use. SMRs, which are expected to begin operating in the mid-2020s, will feature “the ability to better match new generation capacity with electric demand growth, enhance grid reliability through load following in areas with high penetration of intermittent renewables, and the ability to be deployed in diverse applications.” “Federal support for SMRs will continue to be needed in 2018 and over the next several years in order to bring this technology to market in time to meet future energy demands.” SMR Start’s policy paper further recommends that DOE and the U.S. Department of Defense establish programs to develop SMR-powered microgrids that can power remote locations independent of the main grid, making them “less vulnerable” to natural phenomena and intentional acts. TVA Not Bullish on SMRs but Keeps Options Open The Knoxville News reports on May 2 that while TVA has filed an application for an Early Site Permit (ESP) for a small modular reactor at its Clinch River site, it does not feel the technology nor the utility are ready to move ahead with one. The quasi-governmental utility also has a problem with debt ceiling that makes it wary of taking on new capital intensive projects with unknown costs. According to the Knoxville News report, a TVA executive told the newspaper the utility is taking a wait-and-see attitude towards SMRs. He said that the utility has no commitment to build an SMR, but will seriously consider its options once it sees that there is a cost effective design available. For that to happen, he said, the industry would have to have shifted from one-at-a-time unit by unit construction to the production of whole reactor systems in factories. The design would have “to be self-contained and not need much of the infrastructure of a site built reactor.” TVA’s doesn’t specify what kind of SMR technology nor a preferred reactor vendor. NRC spokesman Scott Burnell told the newspaper the agency only requires that the application shows that the site is capable of supporting a “generic set of nuclear power plant characteristics.” (China Daily) The first pilot project to use China National Nuclear Corporation’s 125 MWe ACP100 small modular nuclear reactor has completed its preliminary design stage and is qualified for construction in Hainan province. The Linglong One is the first reactor of its kind in the world to have passed the safety review by the IAEA. ( October 2016 IAEA briefing slides PDF file on capabilities and expected uses) The company said that the ACP100, China’s first small modular reactor (SMR) developed by CNNC for practical use is expected to be built at the end of this year in the Changjiang Li autonomous county of Hainan. Qian Tianlin, general manager of China Nuclear New Energy Investment, said that small-scale nuclear reactor technology has reached a stage at which it can be used on a pilot basis. It can be used to generate heat for a residential district replacing coal-fired boilers and for grid stability in a mesh network. Qian said he expects mass production of the small modular reactors after the pilot project in Hainan is up and running, and for the technology to be exported globally.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

PARIS, France - May 12th 2017 - CGG (ISIN: FR0013181864 - NYSE: CGG), world leader in Geoscience, announced today its 2017 first quarter unaudited results. Commenting on these results, Jean-Georges Malcor, CGG CEO, said: "As indicated in March, we entered into an intense phase of our financial restructuring process. There is a separate communication on the status of negotiations today. Now focusing on operational matters, the stable first quarter EBITDA is an encouraging result in a still competitive market environment. Equipment sales dropped to a particularly low level, while GGR delivered a stable activity with multi-client revenue of $72 million driven by a high cash prefunding rate at 110%. In a continued low but stabilized pricing environment, the marine production rate reached a record level of 98%. As expected, cash flow generation was hampered by the very weak positive working capital effect compared to the first quarter of 2016. The Group nevertheless benefited from nearly $400 million of liquidity at the end of March. Alongside the financial restructuring, all our teams remain fully focused on further optimizing our cost structure, while delivering the best technical and operational solutions to our clients. We confirm for 2017 our vision of operating results in line with 2016 with downward pressure on cash flow generation." As of May 9, 2017, in light of the Group's cash flow projections based on the current operations and in the absence of any acceleration of the Group's financial debt reimbursement discussed below, CGG had enough cash liquidity to fund its operations until at least March 31, 2018 provided that some specific actions, which are subject to negotiation with other parties, are successfully implemented during this period. As of May 9, 2017, the main specific actions had already been successfully implemented, namely the proactive management of maritime liabilities and the fleet ownership changes. The Group is, however, facing material uncertainties that may cast substantial doubt upon its ability to continue as a going concern, including likely future non-compliance of certain ratios included in maintenance covenants, and other limitations contained in the outstanding (drawn) Revolving Credit Facilities and the Term Loan B. If such non-compliance of ratios were to occur and not be timely remediated, it could trigger, including through the cross-acceleration clauses of the Senior Notes indentures, the immediate acceleration of repayment of substantially all of CGG's senior debt. CGG would not then have sufficient cash liquidity to fulfill these reimbursement obligations, nor - in the current economic environment and given its financial situation - would CGG be in a position to refinance its debt. In the recent past, CGG requested and obtained several consents from its Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic lenders, particularly related to the disapplication of maintenance covenants as of December 31, 2016 (obtained before 2016 year-end) and to the appointment of a 'mandataire ad hoc' (a French facilitator for creditor negotiations) to support the financial restructuring process that CGG is engaged in with the aim of significantly reducing debt levels. The proposed debt reduction would involve the conversion of unsecured debt into equity and the extension of the secured debt maturities. Looking forward, in the context of the discussions with the lenders about the financial restructuring necessary to allow the Group to face its capital structure constraints, management intends particularly to obtain the appropriate standstill agreement or covenant relief to prevent any future events of default on the Group's credit agreements. The disapplication of maintenance covenants as of March 31, 2017 was thus requested and obtained shortly before March 31, 2017. If discussions with lenders are unsuccessful, and to avoid the risk of any liquidity shortfall or an accelerated reimbursement of the Group's financial debt, the Company will consider all available legal options to protect the Group's operations while negotiating the terms of its financial restructuring. Having carefully considered the above, the Company concluded on May 9, 2017 that preparing the Q1 2017 consolidated financial statements on a going concern basis is an appropriate assumption. First Quarter 2017 Financial Results by Operating Segment and before non-recurring charges GGR Total Revenue was $158 million, down 4% year-on-year and 31% sequentially. GGR Operating Income was $18 million, an 11.6% margin. The multi-client depreciation rate totaled 66%, leading to a library Net Book Value of $854 million at the end of March, split between 89% offshore and 11% onshore. GGR Capital Employed was stable at $2.3 billion at the end of March 2017. Equipment Total Revenue was $32 million, down 56% year-on-year and 61% sequentially. External sales were $26 million, down 59% year-on-year and 46% sequentially. Land and marine equipment sales were still impacted by low demand in a particularly weak market this quarter. Land equipment sales represented 58% of total sales, compared to 72% in the first quarter of 2016, with downhole business strengthening. Marine equipment sales represented 42% of total sales, compared to 28% in the first quarter of 2016, only driven by repair and maintenance. Equipment Operating Income was $(16) million, a margin of (50.6)%, sharply down sequentially due to much lower volumes and despite the mitigation from the further reduction in the activity's breakeven point, after the full implementation of our Transformation Plan. Equipment Capital Employed was stable at $0.6 billion at the end of March 2017. Contractual Data Acquisition Total Revenue was $67 million, down 25% year-on-year and up 29% sequentially. Contractual Data Acquisition Operating Income was $(39) million, a margin of (58.0)%. Contractual Data Acquisition activities continued to suffer from a still competitive market. The contribution from Investments in Equity was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution from the Argas JV. Contractual Data Acquisition Capital Employed was stable at $0.4 billion at the end of March 2017. The Non-Operated Resources Segment comprises, in terms of EBITDAs and Operating Income, the costs relating to non-operated resources (mainly Marine assets). The capital employed for this segment includes non-operated Marine assets and provisions relating to the Group Transformation Plan. Non-Operated Resources Operating Income was $(20) million. The amortization of excess streamers and lay-up costs has a negative impact on the contribution of this segment. Non-Operated Resources Capital Employed was down to nil at the end of March 2017, following the launch of the Global Seismic Shipping AS JV with Eidesvik. The book value of the assets transferred to this new company has been classified under "asset for sale" at quarter-end. Group Total Revenue was $249 million, down 20% year-on-year and 24% sequentially. The respective contributions from the Group's businesses were 63% from GGR, 10% from Equipment and 27% from Contractual Data Acquisition. Group EBITDAs was $29 million, an 11.5% margin, and $(1) million after $30 million of Non-Recurring Charges (NRC) related to the Transformation Plan. Excluding Non-Operated Resources (NOR), and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group EBITDAs was $37 million. Group Operating Income was $(67) million, a (26.9)% margin, and $(97) million after $30 millions of NRC. Excluding NOR, and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group Operating Income was $(47) million. Equity from Investments contribution was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution made by the Argas JV this quarter. Group Net Income was $(145) million after NRC. After minority interests, Net Income attributable to the owners of CGG was a loss of $(144) million / €(136) million. EPS was negative at $(6.51) / €(6.12). Given the low positive change in working capital, Cash Flow from operations was $34 million compared to $238 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash Non-Recurring Charges, the Cash Flow from operations was $(11) million. Global Capex was $68 million, down 23% year-on-year and 25% sequentially. After the payment of interest expenses and Capex and before cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(74) million compared to $118 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(120) million. On February 24, 2017, we discharged and satisfied in full the indenture in respect of the $8.3 million outstanding principal amount of our 7.75% senior notes due 2017 to allow for the appointment of a mandataire ad hoc. During the quarter, CGG entered into agreements to substantially reduce the cash burden of the charter agreements in respect of three cold-stacked vessels and one seismic vessel in operation. As part of the agreements to settle those amounts on a non-cash basis, CGG issued $70.7 million of its 2021 Notes bearing a 6.5% interest to the relevant charter counterparties. As of March 31, 2017, the Nordic credit facility was classified as "Liabilities directly associated with the assets classified as held for sale" as it is part of the "Global Seismic Shipping" transaction. This reclassification results in a reduction of the gross debt of the Group by $182.5 million, corresponding to the outstanding principal amount of loans under the Nordic credit facility as of March 31, 2017. Consistent with the financial statements as of December 31, 2016, and considering the progress of the negotiations of the financial restructuring of the company and the timeline of the options contemplated, it appears that reclassifying the financial debt as a current liability was the most appropriate accounting treatment according to IAS 1 for the financial statements authorized for issue by the Audit Committee of May 9, 2017. This accounting reclassification does not question the going concern assumption, comforted by the planned main actions successfully implemented as of May 9, 2017, and it does not make the $2.601 billion of finance debt classified as current liabilities immediately payable - because CGG never breached its financial covenants - nor does it reduce the maturity below 12 months. Group gross debt was $2.726 billion at the end of March 2017. Available cash was $391 million and Group net debt was $2.335 billion versus $2.312 billion by year-end 2016. The net debt to shareholders equity ratio, at the end of March 2017, was 240% compared to 206% at the end of December 2016. The Group's liquidity amounted to $391m at the end of March 2017. The lenders under our French and US Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic credit facility agreed to disapply the maintenance covenants (leverage ratio and coverage ratio) at March 31, 2017. At end of March 2017, the net debt/EBITDAs ratio was 6.9x. Comparison of First Quarter 2017 with First Quarter 2016 and Fourth Quarter 2016 An English language analysts' conference call is scheduled today at 9:00 am (Paris time) - 8:00 am (London time)                             To follow this conference, please access the live webcast: A replay of the conference will be available via webcast on the CGG website at: www.cgg.com. For analysts, please dial the following numbers 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time: CGG ( ) is a fully integrated Geoscience company providing leading geological, geophysical and reservoir capabilities to its broad base of customers primarily from the global oil and gas industry. Through its three complementary business segments of Equipment, Acquisition and Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir (GGR), CGG brings value across all aspects of natural resource exploration and exploitation. CGG employs around 5,600 people around the world, all with a Passion for Geoscience and working together to deliver the best solutions to its customers. CGG is listed on the Euronext Paris SA (ISIN: 0013181864) and the New York Stock Exchange (in the form of American Depositary Shares. NYSE: CGG). Closing rates were U.S.$1.0691 per € and f U.S.$1.0541 per € for March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, Non-Operated Resources EBIT includes U.S.$(29.7) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, Non-Operated Resources EBIT included U.S.$(5.5) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, "eliminations and other" includes U.S.$(8.1) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(2.1) million of intra-group margin. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, "eliminations and other" included U.S.$(9.6) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(7.8) million of intra-group margin.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

With 18 nuclear reactors undergoing decommissioning and several others announcing closures dates in the past year, the American market for decommissioning work continues to expand. ExchangeMonitor has announced the launch of the 2018 Decommissioning Strategy Forum, bringing together strategic leaders from government and industry to discuss the macro forces in global energy markets that drive the trends in decommissioning as well as insights into how the major contractors and teams are expected to compete for this business going forward. The Decommissioning Strategy Forum will be held June 7-8 2018 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN. Top executives from utilities, nuclear plants, the NRC, service providers, contractors and more will gather for high-level discussions on topics such as: key US and international decommissioning projects currently underway, new and emerging business models for decommissioning industry partnering, important developments in decommissioning packaging and storage, critical rule-making developments on important regulatory issues surrounding nuclear decommissioning and dynamic discussion related to used nuclear fuel transportation and interim storage, including the potential use of Yucca Mountain. “In speaking with influential leaders from business and industry, it was clear that a conference focusing on the intricacies of decommissioning at sites worldwide was sorely lacking,” stated Kristy Keller, Brand Director for the inaugural conference. “We are excited to create an intimate forum where we can bring together the high-level stake holders in this industry to discuss best practices, challenges and opportunities.” “It’s hard for me to tell you just how excited I am to help announce the first annual Decommissioning Strategy Forum,” said Nancy Berlin, Program Director, ExchangeMonitor Forums. “It’s the deep commitment to the needs of the industry that has made this Forum so vital: a place where policy melds with industry, where information helps business decisions. The advisory committee continues to help to push this mission forward,” Berlin said. Early bird and government rates are available. For sponsorship information, contact David Brumbach at dbrumbach(at)exchangemonitor(dot)com or 301-354-1774. The 2018 Decommissioning Strategy Forum is produced by the ExchangeMonitor, a division of Access Intelligence. More information can be found at: http://www.decommissioningstrategy.com/ About Access Intelligence Access Intelligence delivers trusted, timely and deep information that empowers our customers and advances their business. We are a leading worldwide information and marketing company that provides unparalleled business intelligence and integrated marketing solutions in nearly a dozen global market sectors (such as PR, Marketing, Energy, Aviation, Satellite, Healthcare and Media). With a customer-centric culture dedicated to editorial excellence and marketing integrity, we serve business professionals worldwide with a portfolio of products, including events, e-letters, data and digital products, e-learning, magazines, and e-media solutions.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

PARIS, France - May 12th 2017 - CGG (ISIN: FR0013181864 - NYSE: CGG), world leader in Geoscience, announced today its 2017 first quarter unaudited results. Commenting on these results, Jean-Georges Malcor, CGG CEO, said: "As indicated in March, we entered into an intense phase of our financial restructuring process. There is a separate communication on the status of negotiations today. Now focusing on operational matters, the stable first quarter EBITDA is an encouraging result in a still competitive market environment. Equipment sales dropped to a particularly low level, while GGR delivered a stable activity with multi-client revenue of $72 million driven by a high cash prefunding rate at 110%. In a continued low but stabilized pricing environment, the marine production rate reached a record level of 98%. As expected, cash flow generation was hampered by the very weak positive working capital effect compared to the first quarter of 2016. The Group nevertheless benefited from nearly $400 million of liquidity at the end of March. Alongside the financial restructuring, all our teams remain fully focused on further optimizing our cost structure, while delivering the best technical and operational solutions to our clients. We confirm for 2017 our vision of operating results in line with 2016 with downward pressure on cash flow generation." As of May 9, 2017, in light of the Group's cash flow projections based on the current operations and in the absence of any acceleration of the Group's financial debt reimbursement discussed below, CGG had enough cash liquidity to fund its operations until at least March 31, 2018 provided that some specific actions, which are subject to negotiation with other parties, are successfully implemented during this period. As of May 9, 2017, the main specific actions had already been successfully implemented, namely the proactive management of maritime liabilities and the fleet ownership changes. The Group is, however, facing material uncertainties that may cast substantial doubt upon its ability to continue as a going concern, including likely future non-compliance of certain ratios included in maintenance covenants, and other limitations contained in the outstanding (drawn) Revolving Credit Facilities and the Term Loan B. If such non-compliance of ratios were to occur and not be timely remediated, it could trigger, including through the cross-acceleration clauses of the Senior Notes indentures, the immediate acceleration of repayment of substantially all of CGG's senior debt. CGG would not then have sufficient cash liquidity to fulfill these reimbursement obligations, nor - in the current economic environment and given its financial situation - would CGG be in a position to refinance its debt. In the recent past, CGG requested and obtained several consents from its Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic lenders, particularly related to the disapplication of maintenance covenants as of December 31, 2016 (obtained before 2016 year-end) and to the appointment of a 'mandataire ad hoc' (a French facilitator for creditor negotiations) to support the financial restructuring process that CGG is engaged in with the aim of significantly reducing debt levels. The proposed debt reduction would involve the conversion of unsecured debt into equity and the extension of the secured debt maturities. Looking forward, in the context of the discussions with the lenders about the financial restructuring necessary to allow the Group to face its capital structure constraints, management intends particularly to obtain the appropriate standstill agreement or covenant relief to prevent any future events of default on the Group's credit agreements. The disapplication of maintenance covenants as of March 31, 2017 was thus requested and obtained shortly before March 31, 2017. If discussions with lenders are unsuccessful, and to avoid the risk of any liquidity shortfall or an accelerated reimbursement of the Group's financial debt, the Company will consider all available legal options to protect the Group's operations while negotiating the terms of its financial restructuring. Having carefully considered the above, the Company concluded on May 9, 2017 that preparing the Q1 2017 consolidated financial statements on a going concern basis is an appropriate assumption. First Quarter 2017 Financial Results by Operating Segment and before non-recurring charges GGR Total Revenue was $158 million, down 4% year-on-year and 31% sequentially. GGR Operating Income was $18 million, an 11.6% margin. The multi-client depreciation rate totaled 66%, leading to a library Net Book Value of $854 million at the end of March, split between 89% offshore and 11% onshore. GGR Capital Employed was stable at $2.3 billion at the end of March 2017. Equipment Total Revenue was $32 million, down 56% year-on-year and 61% sequentially. External sales were $26 million, down 59% year-on-year and 46% sequentially. Land and marine equipment sales were still impacted by low demand in a particularly weak market this quarter. Land equipment sales represented 58% of total sales, compared to 72% in the first quarter of 2016, with downhole business strengthening. Marine equipment sales represented 42% of total sales, compared to 28% in the first quarter of 2016, only driven by repair and maintenance. Equipment Operating Income was $(16) million, a margin of (50.6)%, sharply down sequentially due to much lower volumes and despite the mitigation from the further reduction in the activity's breakeven point, after the full implementation of our Transformation Plan. Equipment Capital Employed was stable at $0.6 billion at the end of March 2017. Contractual Data Acquisition Total Revenue was $67 million, down 25% year-on-year and up 29% sequentially. Contractual Data Acquisition Operating Income was $(39) million, a margin of (58.0)%. Contractual Data Acquisition activities continued to suffer from a still competitive market. The contribution from Investments in Equity was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution from the Argas JV. Contractual Data Acquisition Capital Employed was stable at $0.4 billion at the end of March 2017. The Non-Operated Resources Segment comprises, in terms of EBITDAs and Operating Income, the costs relating to non-operated resources (mainly Marine assets). The capital employed for this segment includes non-operated Marine assets and provisions relating to the Group Transformation Plan. Non-Operated Resources Operating Income was $(20) million. The amortization of excess streamers and lay-up costs has a negative impact on the contribution of this segment. Non-Operated Resources Capital Employed was down to nil at the end of March 2017, following the launch of the Global Seismic Shipping AS JV with Eidesvik. The book value of the assets transferred to this new company has been classified under "asset for sale" at quarter-end. Group Total Revenue was $249 million, down 20% year-on-year and 24% sequentially. The respective contributions from the Group's businesses were 63% from GGR, 10% from Equipment and 27% from Contractual Data Acquisition. Group EBITDAs was $29 million, an 11.5% margin, and $(1) million after $30 million of Non-Recurring Charges (NRC) related to the Transformation Plan. Excluding Non-Operated Resources (NOR), and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group EBITDAs was $37 million. Group Operating Income was $(67) million, a (26.9)% margin, and $(97) million after $30 millions of NRC. Excluding NOR, and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group Operating Income was $(47) million. Equity from Investments contribution was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution made by the Argas JV this quarter. Group Net Income was $(145) million after NRC. After minority interests, Net Income attributable to the owners of CGG was a loss of $(144) million / €(136) million. EPS was negative at $(6.51) / €(6.12). Given the low positive change in working capital, Cash Flow from operations was $34 million compared to $238 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash Non-Recurring Charges, the Cash Flow from operations was $(11) million. Global Capex was $68 million, down 23% year-on-year and 25% sequentially. After the payment of interest expenses and Capex and before cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(74) million compared to $118 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(120) million. On February 24, 2017, we discharged and satisfied in full the indenture in respect of the $8.3 million outstanding principal amount of our 7.75% senior notes due 2017 to allow for the appointment of a mandataire ad hoc. During the quarter, CGG entered into agreements to substantially reduce the cash burden of the charter agreements in respect of three cold-stacked vessels and one seismic vessel in operation. As part of the agreements to settle those amounts on a non-cash basis, CGG issued $70.7 million of its 2021 Notes bearing a 6.5% interest to the relevant charter counterparties. As of March 31, 2017, the Nordic credit facility was classified as "Liabilities directly associated with the assets classified as held for sale" as it is part of the "Global Seismic Shipping" transaction. This reclassification results in a reduction of the gross debt of the Group by $182.5 million, corresponding to the outstanding principal amount of loans under the Nordic credit facility as of March 31, 2017. Consistent with the financial statements as of December 31, 2016, and considering the progress of the negotiations of the financial restructuring of the company and the timeline of the options contemplated, it appears that reclassifying the financial debt as a current liability was the most appropriate accounting treatment according to IAS 1 for the financial statements authorized for issue by the Audit Committee of May 9, 2017. This accounting reclassification does not question the going concern assumption, comforted by the planned main actions successfully implemented as of May 9, 2017, and it does not make the $2.601 billion of finance debt classified as current liabilities immediately payable - because CGG never breached its financial covenants - nor does it reduce the maturity below 12 months. Group gross debt was $2.726 billion at the end of March 2017. Available cash was $391 million and Group net debt was $2.335 billion versus $2.312 billion by year-end 2016. The net debt to shareholders equity ratio, at the end of March 2017, was 240% compared to 206% at the end of December 2016. The Group's liquidity amounted to $391m at the end of March 2017. The lenders under our French and US Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic credit facility agreed to disapply the maintenance covenants (leverage ratio and coverage ratio) at March 31, 2017. At end of March 2017, the net debt/EBITDAs ratio was 6.9x. Comparison of First Quarter 2017 with First Quarter 2016 and Fourth Quarter 2016 An English language analysts' conference call is scheduled today at 9:00 am (Paris time) - 8:00 am (London time)                             To follow this conference, please access the live webcast: A replay of the conference will be available via webcast on the CGG website at: www.cgg.com. For analysts, please dial the following numbers 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time: CGG ( ) is a fully integrated Geoscience company providing leading geological, geophysical and reservoir capabilities to its broad base of customers primarily from the global oil and gas industry. Through its three complementary business segments of Equipment, Acquisition and Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir (GGR), CGG brings value across all aspects of natural resource exploration and exploitation. CGG employs around 5,600 people around the world, all with a Passion for Geoscience and working together to deliver the best solutions to its customers. CGG is listed on the Euronext Paris SA (ISIN: 0013181864) and the New York Stock Exchange (in the form of American Depositary Shares. NYSE: CGG). Closing rates were U.S.$1.0691 per € and f U.S.$1.0541 per € for March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, Non-Operated Resources EBIT includes U.S.$(29.7) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, Non-Operated Resources EBIT included U.S.$(5.5) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, "eliminations and other" includes U.S.$(8.1) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(2.1) million of intra-group margin. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, "eliminations and other" included U.S.$(9.6) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(7.8) million of intra-group margin.


News Article | May 14, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Whether as a direct owner or investor in real estate, or as a business owner requiring a lease or ownership of a property to house a business, it is a good idea to have some basic knowledge of real estate law. Likewise, a general practitioner must be able to issue spot and respond to general questions clients may have. Either way, this Financial Poise webinar series provides important basic knowledge and insight into the most fundamental and common of real estate transactions. The fifth episode of the Real Estate Law Dumbed Down series, "Representing Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Real Property," (Register Here) airs on May 18th at 2pm and features Moderator Tal Izraeli of Levenfeld Pearlstein. Tal is joined by Michael Hobbs of PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy, Michael Weis of Dykema, Max Kanter of Bronson & Kahn and David Levy of NRC Realty & Capital Advisors. This webinar provides a broad overview of the real estate “deal.” That is, it walks through a typical purchase and sale agreement for commercial real estate. Topics covered include due diligence, title and survey, the contract itself (with a review and discussion of many key provisions), and the closing. Each episode is delivered in Plain English understandable to business owners and executives without much background in these areas, yet is proven to be valuable to seasoned professionals. Each episode in the series brings you into engaging, sometimes humorous, conversations designed to entertain as it teaches. And, as with all Financial Poise Webinars, each episode in the series is designed to be viewed independently of the other episodes, so that participants will enhance their knowledge of this area whether they attend one, some, or all of the episodes. ABOUT FINANCIAL POISE™: Financial Poise™ (http://www.financialpoise.com ) provides unbiased news, continuing education, and intelligence to private business owners, executives, investors, and their trusted advisors. For more information contact Jennifer Storch at jstorch(at)financialpoise(dot)com or 312-469-0135.


Amir Adnani, President & CEO, stated: "The acquisition of Reno Creek creates an industry-leading diversified pipeline of low-cost ISR uranium projects when combined with our production-ready South Texas hub-and-spoke operations and exploration/development portfolio in Paraguay.  The Reno Creek Project presents a rare opportunity to acquire a large, fully permitted, construction ready, and strategic low-cost ISR asset located in the United States – a complete set of attributes for any potential UEC acquisition.  The Powder River Basin of Wyoming has produced over 85 million lbs U O historically, and is currently home to two of the largest uranium producers in the world: Cameco and Uranium One (Rosatom). We commend Pacific Road for their outstanding work to advance the Reno Creek project over the past seven years, and we welcome them as our newest shareholder." "We are very excited about combining Reno Creek with UEC", said Dan Wilton, Partner at Pacific Road. "The UEC team has an outstanding track record of consolidating, developing and operating ISR uranium projects. We believe they have the right technical, operating and financing capabilities to deliver the true value of Reno Creek, continuing the excellent work done by Jim Viellenave's team, who took the property from an initial resource through to a fully permitted project. The combination of UEC and Reno Creek creates one of the most attractive portfolios of U.S.-based low cost ISR uranium assets and is an important step in the consolidation of the U.S. ISR uranium sector." Under the terms of the Agreement, the Company will issue to PRRF, in return for PRRF's 97.27% ownership in RCHI (the "Transaction"), the following: Upon completion of the Transaction, PRRF will own approximately 9% of UEC's shares outstanding.  PRRF has agreed to certain voting and resale conditions pursuant to the terms of the Agreement. By way of certain 'drag along' rights, the Company will acquire the remaining 2.73% of RCHI from Bayswater Uranium Corporation for pro-rated consideration identical to the Consideration being issued to PRRF. The Transaction is subject to NRC approval and is expected to close on or about July 31, 2017. The Reno Creek ISR Project is located in the Powder River Basin, Campbell County, Wyoming, approximately 80 miles northeast of Casper. PRRF undertook significant project advancement since 2010 when they acquired the project, including expenditures targeting land acquisition, resource development, a pre-feasibility study, and permitting, which culminated in the NRC issuing a source and byproduct materials license to construct and operate an ISR uranium facility in February 2017. The source materials license was the last major permit required to proceed with the development of the Project. The permits allow Reno Creek to process up to 2 million pounds of uranium a year from five resource units: North Reno Creek, Southwest Reno Creek, Moore, Bing, and Pine Tree. Within the five resource units are 16 proposed production units and associated wellfields, header houses, and a central processing plant. Substantial historical exploration, development, and project permitting work has been completed on the Reno Creek property, beginning in the late 1960s and continuing to present.  Approximately 10,000 exploration drill holes have been completed by various operators over time, who continued to advance the project by drilling and growing land and mineral interests to nearly 16,000 acres by 2007. Since PRRF took control of the Project, mineral and surface land holdings have grown to approximately 22,000 acres, including a 40-acre company-owned central processing plant site. In July 2016, PRRF commissioned an updated Technical Report completed by Behre Dolbear & Company (USA), Inc. on Reno Creek titled "Technical Report and Audit of Resources of the Reno Creek ISR Project, Campbell County, Wyoming, USA" (the "Current Technical Report"). Over $60 million has been expended on the Project to date, including completion of more than 10,000 drill holes. Data from drilling, including survey coordinates, collar elevations, depths, and grade of uranium intercepts, have been incorporated into the database that forms the current resource estimate at Reno Creek (Table 1). The inferred resources are found principally in underexplored portions of the Reno Creek property, along extensive identified redox fronts.  The authors of the July 2016 Reno Creek resource estimate recommend continuing exploration along these trends, with the expectation of further contributions to the reported resource base; given the known mineralization occurs in a continuous sandstone present across all of the Reno Creek, Moore, and Bing resource units. The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with the Canadian regulatory requirements set out in NI 43-101 and was reviewed by Clyde L. Yancey, P.G., Vice President-Exploration for the Company, a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Haywood Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the Company. McMillan LLP and Holland & Hart LLP are acting as legal advisors to the Company. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is acting as legal advisor to PRRF. Uranium Energy Corp is a U.S.-based uranium mining and exploration company.  The Company's fully-licensed Hobson Processing Facility is central to all of its projects in South Texas, including the Palangana ISR mine, the permitted Goliad ISR project and the development-stage Burke Hollow ISR project.  Additionally, the Company controls a pipeline of advanced-stage projects in Arizona, Colorado and Paraguay.  The Company's operations are managed by professionals with a recognized profile for excellence in their industry, a profile based on many decades of hands-on experience in the key facets of uranium exploration, development and mining. The Pacific Road Resources Funds are private equity funds investing in the global mining industry. They provide expansion and buyout capital for mining projects, mining related infrastructure and mining services businesses located throughout the world. The team is located in Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. PRRF's position in RCHI is held by Pacific Road Capital A Pty Ltd., as trustee for Pacific Road Resources Fund A, Pacific Road Capital B Pty Ltd., as trustee for Pacific Road Resources Fund B, and Pacific Road Holdings S.à.r.l., a Luxembourg corporation. The mineral resources referred to herein have been estimated in accordance with the definition standards on mineral resources of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum referred to in NI 43-101 and are not compliant with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") Industry Guide 7 guidelines. In addition, measured mineral resources, indicated mineral resources and inferred mineral resources, while recognized and required by Canadian regulations, are not defined terms under SEC Industry Guide 7 and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and registration statements filed with the SEC. Accordingly, we have not reported them in the United States. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of the mineral resources in these categories will ever be converted into mineral reserves. These terms have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. In particular, it should be noted that mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of measured mineral resources, indicated mineral resources or inferred mineral resources will ever be upgraded to a higher category. In accordance with Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources cannot form the basis of feasibility or other economic studies. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part of the reported measured mineral resources, indicated mineral resources or inferred mineral resources referred to herein are economically or legally mineable. Upon the closing of the Transaction the Company plans to complete a new and optimized PFS based substantially on the information provided in the Current Technical Report.  Accordingly, the current PFS cannot be relied upon and should not be construed to reflect a current PFS in accordance with NI 43-101. Except for the statements of historical fact contained herein, the information presented in this news release constitutes "forward-looking statements" as such term is used in applicable United States and Canadian laws. These statements relate to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and assumptions of management. Any other statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", "plans, "estimates" or "intends", or stating that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and should be viewed as "forward-looking statements". Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and other factors include, among others, the actual results of exploration activities, variations in the underlying assumptions associated with the estimation or realization of mineral resources, the availability of capital to fund programs and the resulting dilution caused by the raising of capital through the sale of shares, accidents, labor disputes and other risks of the mining industry including, without limitation, those associated with the environment, delays in obtaining governmental approvals, permits or financing or in the completion of development or construction activities, title disputes or claims limitations on insurance coverage. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this news release and in any document referred to in this news release. Certain matters discussed in this news release and oral statements made from time to time by representatives of the Company may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the Federal securities laws. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Many of these factors are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially and that could impact the Company and the statements contained in this news release can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For forward-looking statements in this news release, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

PARIS, France - May 12th 2017 - CGG (ISIN: FR0013181864 - NYSE: CGG), world leader in Geoscience, announced today its 2017 first quarter unaudited results. Commenting on these results, Jean-Georges Malcor, CGG CEO, said: "As indicated in March, we entered into an intense phase of our financial restructuring process. There is a separate communication on the status of negotiations today. Now focusing on operational matters, the stable first quarter EBITDA is an encouraging result in a still competitive market environment. Equipment sales dropped to a particularly low level, while GGR delivered a stable activity with multi-client revenue of $72 million driven by a high cash prefunding rate at 110%. In a continued low but stabilized pricing environment, the marine production rate reached a record level of 98%. As expected, cash flow generation was hampered by the very weak positive working capital effect compared to the first quarter of 2016. The Group nevertheless benefited from nearly $400 million of liquidity at the end of March. Alongside the financial restructuring, all our teams remain fully focused on further optimizing our cost structure, while delivering the best technical and operational solutions to our clients. We confirm for 2017 our vision of operating results in line with 2016 with downward pressure on cash flow generation." As of May 9, 2017, in light of the Group's cash flow projections based on the current operations and in the absence of any acceleration of the Group's financial debt reimbursement discussed below, CGG had enough cash liquidity to fund its operations until at least March 31, 2018 provided that some specific actions, which are subject to negotiation with other parties, are successfully implemented during this period. As of May 9, 2017, the main specific actions had already been successfully implemented, namely the proactive management of maritime liabilities and the fleet ownership changes. The Group is, however, facing material uncertainties that may cast substantial doubt upon its ability to continue as a going concern, including likely future non-compliance of certain ratios included in maintenance covenants, and other limitations contained in the outstanding (drawn) Revolving Credit Facilities and the Term Loan B. If such non-compliance of ratios were to occur and not be timely remediated, it could trigger, including through the cross-acceleration clauses of the Senior Notes indentures, the immediate acceleration of repayment of substantially all of CGG's senior debt. CGG would not then have sufficient cash liquidity to fulfill these reimbursement obligations, nor - in the current economic environment and given its financial situation - would CGG be in a position to refinance its debt. In the recent past, CGG requested and obtained several consents from its Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic lenders, particularly related to the disapplication of maintenance covenants as of December 31, 2016 (obtained before 2016 year-end) and to the appointment of a 'mandataire ad hoc' (a French facilitator for creditor negotiations) to support the financial restructuring process that CGG is engaged in with the aim of significantly reducing debt levels. The proposed debt reduction would involve the conversion of unsecured debt into equity and the extension of the secured debt maturities. Looking forward, in the context of the discussions with the lenders about the financial restructuring necessary to allow the Group to face its capital structure constraints, management intends particularly to obtain the appropriate standstill agreement or covenant relief to prevent any future events of default on the Group's credit agreements. The disapplication of maintenance covenants as of March 31, 2017 was thus requested and obtained shortly before March 31, 2017. If discussions with lenders are unsuccessful, and to avoid the risk of any liquidity shortfall or an accelerated reimbursement of the Group's financial debt, the Company will consider all available legal options to protect the Group's operations while negotiating the terms of its financial restructuring. Having carefully considered the above, the Company concluded on May 9, 2017 that preparing the Q1 2017 consolidated financial statements on a going concern basis is an appropriate assumption. First Quarter 2017 Financial Results by Operating Segment and before non-recurring charges GGR Total Revenue was $158 million, down 4% year-on-year and 31% sequentially. GGR Operating Income was $18 million, an 11.6% margin. The multi-client depreciation rate totaled 66%, leading to a library Net Book Value of $854 million at the end of March, split between 89% offshore and 11% onshore. GGR Capital Employed was stable at $2.3 billion at the end of March 2017. Equipment Total Revenue was $32 million, down 56% year-on-year and 61% sequentially. External sales were $26 million, down 59% year-on-year and 46% sequentially. Land and marine equipment sales were still impacted by low demand in a particularly weak market this quarter. Land equipment sales represented 58% of total sales, compared to 72% in the first quarter of 2016, with downhole business strengthening. Marine equipment sales represented 42% of total sales, compared to 28% in the first quarter of 2016, only driven by repair and maintenance. Equipment Operating Income was $(16) million, a margin of (50.6)%, sharply down sequentially due to much lower volumes and despite the mitigation from the further reduction in the activity's breakeven point, after the full implementation of our Transformation Plan. Equipment Capital Employed was stable at $0.6 billion at the end of March 2017. Contractual Data Acquisition Total Revenue was $67 million, down 25% year-on-year and up 29% sequentially. Contractual Data Acquisition Operating Income was $(39) million, a margin of (58.0)%. Contractual Data Acquisition activities continued to suffer from a still competitive market. The contribution from Investments in Equity was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution from the Argas JV. Contractual Data Acquisition Capital Employed was stable at $0.4 billion at the end of March 2017. The Non-Operated Resources Segment comprises, in terms of EBITDAs and Operating Income, the costs relating to non-operated resources (mainly Marine assets). The capital employed for this segment includes non-operated Marine assets and provisions relating to the Group Transformation Plan. Non-Operated Resources Operating Income was $(20) million. The amortization of excess streamers and lay-up costs has a negative impact on the contribution of this segment. Non-Operated Resources Capital Employed was down to nil at the end of March 2017, following the launch of the Global Seismic Shipping AS JV with Eidesvik. The book value of the assets transferred to this new company has been classified under "asset for sale" at quarter-end. Group Total Revenue was $249 million, down 20% year-on-year and 24% sequentially. The respective contributions from the Group's businesses were 63% from GGR, 10% from Equipment and 27% from Contractual Data Acquisition. Group EBITDAs was $29 million, an 11.5% margin, and $(1) million after $30 million of Non-Recurring Charges (NRC) related to the Transformation Plan. Excluding Non-Operated Resources (NOR), and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group EBITDAs was $37 million. Group Operating Income was $(67) million, a (26.9)% margin, and $(97) million after $30 millions of NRC. Excluding NOR, and to focus solely on the performance of our active Business Lines, Group Operating Income was $(47) million. Equity from Investments contribution was $3 million and can notably be explained by the positive contribution made by the Argas JV this quarter. Group Net Income was $(145) million after NRC. After minority interests, Net Income attributable to the owners of CGG was a loss of $(144) million / €(136) million. EPS was negative at $(6.51) / €(6.12). Given the low positive change in working capital, Cash Flow from operations was $34 million compared to $238 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash Non-Recurring Charges, the Cash Flow from operations was $(11) million. Global Capex was $68 million, down 23% year-on-year and 25% sequentially. After the payment of interest expenses and Capex and before cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(74) million compared to $118 million for the first quarter of 2016. After cash NRC, Free Cash Flow was at $(120) million. On February 24, 2017, we discharged and satisfied in full the indenture in respect of the $8.3 million outstanding principal amount of our 7.75% senior notes due 2017 to allow for the appointment of a mandataire ad hoc. During the quarter, CGG entered into agreements to substantially reduce the cash burden of the charter agreements in respect of three cold-stacked vessels and one seismic vessel in operation. As part of the agreements to settle those amounts on a non-cash basis, CGG issued $70.7 million of its 2021 Notes bearing a 6.5% interest to the relevant charter counterparties. As of March 31, 2017, the Nordic credit facility was classified as "Liabilities directly associated with the assets classified as held for sale" as it is part of the "Global Seismic Shipping" transaction. This reclassification results in a reduction of the gross debt of the Group by $182.5 million, corresponding to the outstanding principal amount of loans under the Nordic credit facility as of March 31, 2017. Consistent with the financial statements as of December 31, 2016, and considering the progress of the negotiations of the financial restructuring of the company and the timeline of the options contemplated, it appears that reclassifying the financial debt as a current liability was the most appropriate accounting treatment according to IAS 1 for the financial statements authorized for issue by the Audit Committee of May 9, 2017. This accounting reclassification does not question the going concern assumption, comforted by the planned main actions successfully implemented as of May 9, 2017, and it does not make the $2.601 billion of finance debt classified as current liabilities immediately payable - because CGG never breached its financial covenants - nor does it reduce the maturity below 12 months. Group gross debt was $2.726 billion at the end of March 2017. Available cash was $391 million and Group net debt was $2.335 billion versus $2.312 billion by year-end 2016. The net debt to shareholders equity ratio, at the end of March 2017, was 240% compared to 206% at the end of December 2016. The Group's liquidity amounted to $391m at the end of March 2017. The lenders under our French and US Revolving Credit Facilities, Term Loan B and Nordic credit facility agreed to disapply the maintenance covenants (leverage ratio and coverage ratio) at March 31, 2017. At end of March 2017, the net debt/EBITDAs ratio was 6.9x. Comparison of First Quarter 2017 with First Quarter 2016 and Fourth Quarter 2016 An English language analysts' conference call is scheduled today at 9:00 am (Paris time) - 8:00 am (London time)                             To follow this conference, please access the live webcast: A replay of the conference will be available via webcast on the CGG website at: www.cgg.com. For analysts, please dial the following numbers 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time: CGG ( ) is a fully integrated Geoscience company providing leading geological, geophysical and reservoir capabilities to its broad base of customers primarily from the global oil and gas industry. Through its three complementary business segments of Equipment, Acquisition and Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir (GGR), CGG brings value across all aspects of natural resource exploration and exploitation. CGG employs around 5,600 people around the world, all with a Passion for Geoscience and working together to deliver the best solutions to its customers. CGG is listed on the Euronext Paris SA (ISIN: 0013181864) and the New York Stock Exchange (in the form of American Depositary Shares. NYSE: CGG). Closing rates were U.S.$1.0691 per € and f U.S.$1.0541 per € for March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016, respectively. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, Non-Operated Resources EBIT includes U.S.$(29.7) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, Non-Operated Resources EBIT included U.S.$(5.5) million related to the Transformation Plan. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, "eliminations and other" includes U.S.$(8.1) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(2.1) million of intra-group margin. For the three months ended March 31, 2016, "eliminations and other" included U.S.$(9.6) million of general corporate expenses and U.S.$(7.8) million of intra-group margin.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has made the first complete millimeter-wavelength image of the ring of dusty debris surrounding the young star Fomalhaut. This remarkably well-defined band of rubble and gas is likely the result of exocomets smashing together near the outer edges of a planetary system 25 light-years from Earth. Earlier ALMA observations of Fomalhaut -- taken in 2012 when the telescope was still under construction - revealed only about one half of the debris disk. Though this first image was merely a test of ALMA's initial capabilities, it nonetheless provided tantalizing hints about the nature and possible origin of the disk. The new ALMA observations offer a stunningly complete view of this glowing band of debris and also suggest that there are chemical similarities between its icy contents and comets in our own solar system. "ALMA has given us this staggeringly clear image of a fully formed debris disk," said Meredith MacGregor, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., and lead author on one of two papers accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal describing these observations. "We can finally see the well-defined shape of the disk, which may tell us a great deal about the underlying planetary system responsible for its highly distinctive appearance." Fomalhaut is a relatively nearby star system and one of only about 20 in which planets have been imaged directly. The entire system is approximately 440 million years old, or about one-tenth the age of our solar system. As revealed in the new ALMA image, a brilliant band of icy dust about 2 billion kilometers wide has formed approximately 20 billion kilometers from the star. Debris disks are common features around young stars and represent a very dynamic and chaotic period in the history of a solar system. Astronomers believe they are formed by the ongoing collisions of comets and other planetesimals in the outer reaches of a recently formed planetary system. The leftover debris from these collisions absorbs light from its central star and reradiates that energy as a faint millimeter-wavelength glow that can be studied with ALMA. Using the new ALMA data and detailed computer modeling, the researchers were able to calculate the precise location, width, and geometry of the disk. These parameters confirm that such a narrow ring is likely produced through the gravitational influence of planets in the system, noted MacGregor. The new ALMA observations are also the first to definitively show "apocenter glow," a phenomenon predicted in a 2016 paper by Margaret Pan, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who is also a co-author on the new ALMA papers. Like all objects with elongated orbits, the dusty material in the Fomalhaut disk travels more slowly when it is farthest from the star. As the dust slows down, it piles up, forming denser concentrations in the more distant portions of the disk. These dense regions can be seen by ALMA as brighter millimeter-wavelength emission. Using the same ALMA dataset, but focusing on distinct millimeter-wavelength signals naturally emitted by molecules in space, the researchers also detected vast stores of carbon monoxide gas in precisely the same location as the debris disk. "These data allowed us to determine that the relative abundance of carbon monoxide plus carbon dioxide around Fomalhaut is about the same as found in comets in our own solar system," said Luca Matrà with the University of Cambridge, UK, and lead author on the team's second paper. "This chemical kinship may indicate a similarity in comet formation conditions between the outer reaches of this planetary system and our own." Matrà and his colleagues believe this gas is either released from continuous comet collisions or the result of a single, large impact between supercomets hundreds of times more massive than Hale-Bopp. The presence of this well-defined debris disk around Fomalhaut, along with its curiously familiar chemistry, may indicate that this system is undergoing its own version of the Late Heavy Bombardment, a period approximately 4 billion years ago when the Earth and other planets were routinely struck by swarms of asteroids and comets left over from the formation of our solar system. "Twenty years ago, the best millimeter-wavelength telescopes gave the first fuzzy maps of sand grains orbiting Fomalhaut. Now with ALMA's full capabilities the entire ring of material has been imaged," concluded Paul Kalas, an astronomer at the University of California at Berkeley and principal investigator on these observations. "One day we hope to detect the planets that influence the orbits of these grains." The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been seeking input on regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified. The comment window opened on April 13 and closed on May 15. In response to the request, members of Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information (SARI) prepared a document containing scientifically supported arguments for eliminating regulations that contain strict limits on exposures to low doses of radiation and small quantities of radioactive material. The document, titled Radiation Hormesis Should be the Basis for Establishing Radiation Protection Standards, was properly submitted before the comment window closed. The document asserts that our understanding of the true health effects of low dose radiation has advanced to the point where the logical conclusion is that the EPA’s legal authority to limit radiation exposure no longer exists. Based on current peer-reviewed science, existing regulations have a negative impact on public health. In accordance with the directives given to the Agency by Congress and by Executive Orders, the radiation protection standards should be abolished because they harm us. They do not protect us from a danger; they limit access and add costs to many beneficial uses of radiation and radioactive materials. When Richard Nixon reorganized federal environmental regulators into a single agency called the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the new organization inherited radiation protection authorities and responsibilities that had been given by laws existing at the time to a variety of federal entities. From the Atomic Energy Commission, the EPA inherited part of the following directive from Section 161(b) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The new agency also inherited The Bureau of Radiological Health from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and it inherited the standard setting role previously assigned to the Federal Radiation Council. In all cases, the EPA’s role in radiation protection was described as a responsibility to establish rules aimed at protecting [public] health and minimizing danger to life or property. That responsibility included a scientific assignment to perform and support research that would allow the agency rule writers to have a solid basis for their directives. Unfortunately, the EPA never had or sought sufficient research funding to determine the effects of radiation. Instead, it relied on conclusions drawn from scant evidence and accepted the notion that better answers would take too long or be too expensive to obtain. The “conservative” paradigm that the regulators at EPA have used has always been that every dose of radiation, down to a single gamma ray, alpha particle or freely moving neutron carries with it the possibility of causing harm to human health. With the [unproven] assumption that all radiation is hazardous the EPA adopted the regulatory posture of setting strict numerical limits based on keeping doses to the lowest technologically achievable level, even if a small reduction in dose added a substantial cost. The current result of attempting to protect the public from an assumed harm is a complex set of regulations and statutory limits on exposures from a variety of pathways to various radioactive isotopes. One example of the absurdity of some of the limits is the fact that the EPA standard for exposure to the most exposed person during the first 10,000 years of storing used fuel in an underground repository is 15 mrem (0.15 mSv) per year. That is 1/20th of the average background exposure for an American if medical exposures are ignored. Sadly, that number was the result of at least a half a dozen years of discussions with the NRC; without the slightly moderating influence of the NRC, the EPA limit would have been 10 mrem/yr. SARI’s document includes a suggested regulatory approach that might sound radical and wildly unrealistic at first glance. But the authors of SARI’s document are not radicals. Each of them has devoted a considerable portion of their careers to public health and safety and feel deep personal responsibility for getting it right. Here is how they explain how their prescription is analogous to current protective models in other fields. With medicines which are beneficial at low doses but would be dangerous at high doses, we do not specify a dose limit, but we do guide the public not to exceed some dose levels, e.g. “do not take more than 10 caplets in 24 hours”. There are no license requirements to buy such over-the-counter drugs and there is no regulator monitoring how many caplets we have taken or asking us to document our usage of the medicine. Since there is a vast gap between the low radiation doses that are beneficial and the threshold dose for increased cancer risk, beneficial uses of radiation are unlikely to result in doses approaching the cancer threshold. Therefore, little regulation would be needed for beneficial uses of low-dose radiation. However, if some use of low-dose radiation could result in high enough doses to be of cancer-causing concern, caution should be advised and such use of low-dose radiation should be regulated to ensure its safe use. If you have not read the full document already, please click here to open and read SARI’s well-justified suggestion for a new regulatory paradigm for radiation exposure. There have been several articles published in the past couple of weeks that have pointed to the fact that there is a pervasive fear of nuclear that vastly exceeds the measured harm caused by nuclear energy uses in the 60 plus years of its commercial operation. However, authors of those articles have failed to consider the fact that unjustified fears can and should be be overcome. Progress has always depended on the process of determining actual hazards so that we can address irrational fears and use new, effective tools that make us more comfortable, more prosperous, more creative, more powerful and give us greater control over our surroundings. Disclosure: I am a member of SARI and one of the signers of the document. The post Challenging EPA’s legal authority set strict limits on low dose radiation appeared first on Atomic Insights.


News Article | May 18, 2017
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The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA), S. 512, is a draft bill reported out of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on March 22 that directs both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Department of Energy to make significant changes in the way they treat nuclear energy technology development. While it is not an appropriation and includes no designated funding for the authorized actions, if enacted the measure would significantly affect the way both executive agencies spend resources and manage their responsibilities. S. 512 amends the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 that requires the collection of fees from licensees and licensee applicants that cover 90% of its annual budget. Specifically, the bill: The measure also directs NRC to act and produce status reports associated with developing a framework for licensing advanced reactors (as defined in the Act). Related actions include: NEIMA directs the department to develop an advanced nuclear energy cost share grant program for NRC pre-application reviews and application review costs with private sector vendors. It also requires an evacuation report within 90 day of enactment to document lessons learned during spontaneous and direction evacuations in response to 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, Fukushima and other recent natural disasters. The report must consider results from the state of the art reactor consequences analysis project and the examination of the basis for emergency planning zones for Small Modular Reactors and advanced reactors. Note: A version of the above first appeared in the March 31, 2017 edition of Fuel Cycle Week. It is republished here with permission. The post Nuclear Provisions of S. 512, Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) appeared first on Atomic Insights.

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