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SAExploration says Q3 operations adversely impacted by mechanical issues

SAE’s Q3 operations were adversely impacted by mechanical issues on a contracted vessel for the company’s shallow-water project in Malaysia, in addition to project delays in Alaska, Colombia and Bolivia. In Malaysia, one of the company’s lead vessels experienced more than a week’s downtime for repair. The downtime resulted in the entire seismic acquisition crew being placed on stand-by for the duration of the repairs. The vessel was successfully repaired and is now fully operational. While the project is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, the downtime will impact the profitability of the project because it is a fixed-price contract. In Alaska, SAE anticipated the recommencement of work during Q3 on a previously delayed project, but the client elected to not resume the project at this time. Discussions between SAE and its client are ongoing, however, the company is unsure whether this project will resume before year-end. The initiation of certain projects in Colombia and Bolivia was slightly delayed due to the permitting process, but both projects have since begun and are expected to be completed by Q2 2014. Brian Beatty, CEO and President of SAE, commented, “The challenging operational issues we experienced during Q3 2013 were driven by a confluence of unusual and unforeseen circumstances. SAE’s operational and technical personnel worked quickly and efficiently to repair the vessel and address the project delays in Colombia and Bolivia. Each of these projects is now moving towards completion. Although project delays do occur in the complex areas where we operate, the further postponement of the project in Alaska was unexpected. We remain confident in the fundamentals underlying our business, however, and we are optimistic about our long-term prospects.” The company is seeing increasing customer interest and exploration activity in all of the geographies where it operates and, as of September 30, had a $264M backlog of contracts. SAE expects to report financial results for Q3 on or about November 13.