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EX-32.2 - EXHIBIT 32.2 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex322.htm
EX-32.1 - EXHIBIT 32.1 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex321.htm
EX-31.2 - EXHIBIT 31.2 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex312.htm
EX-31.1 - EXHIBIT 31.1 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex311.htm
EX-23.1 - EXHIBIT 23.1 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex231.htm
EX-21.1 - EXHIBIT 21.1 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex211.htm
EX-10.66 - EXHIBIT 10.66 - Vertex Energy Inc.a12312016-ex1066.htm


UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
þ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM _____________ TO _____________
Commission File Number 001-11476
———————
VERTEX ENERGY, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
———————
NEVADA
94-3439569
(State or other jurisdiction of
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
incorporation or organization)
 
 
 
1331 GEMINI STREET, SUITE 250
HOUSTON, TEXAS
77058
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: 866-660-8156
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock,
$0.001 Par Value Per Share
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
(Nasdaq Capital Market)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ¨ No x    
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨   No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes x No  ¨   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).   Yes  x    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, and accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ¨
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Yes   ¨ No  x
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was approximately $26,171,510.
State the number of shares of the issuer’s common stock outstanding, as of the latest practicable date: 33,258,027 shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of March 13, 2017 (which number includes 1,258,928 shares of common stock held in escrow in order to satisfy the indemnification obligations of a certain prior acquisition and sale transaction undertaken by us, of which 1,108,928 shares have been returned to us and are in the process of being canceled as of the date of this filing).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to its 2017 annual meeting of shareholders (the “2017 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated. The 2017 Proxy Statement will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates.



FORM 10-K
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
Part I
 
 
 
Item 1.
 
 
 
Item 1A.
 
 
 
Item 1B.
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
Part II
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
 
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
Item 7A.
 
 
 
Item 8.
 
 
 
Item 9.
 
 
 
Item 9A.
 
 
 
Item 9B.
 
 
 
Part III
 
 
 
Item 10.
 
 
 
Item 11.
 
 
 
Item 12.
 
 
 
Item 13.
 
 
 
Item 14.
 
 
 
Part IV
 
 
 
Item 15.




PART I

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “ongoing,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this Report. These factors include:
risks associated with our outstanding credit facilities, including amounts owed, restrictive covenants, security interests thereon and our ability to repay such facilities and amounts due thereon when due;
the level of competition in our industry and our ability to compete;
our ability to respond to changes in our industry;
the loss of key personnel or failure to attract, integrate and retain additional personnel;
our ability to protect our intellectual property and not infringe on others’ intellectual property;
our ability to scale our business;
our ability to maintain supplier relationships and obtain adequate supplies of feedstocks;
our ability to obtain and retain customers;
our ability to produce our products at competitive rates;
our ability to execute our business strategy in a very competitive environment;
trends in, and the market for, the price of oil and gas and alternative energy sources;
our ability to maintain our relationship with KMTEX;
the impact of competitive services and products;
our ability to integrate acquisitions;
our ability to complete future acquisitions;
our ability to maintain insurance;
potential future litigation, judgments and settlements;
rules and regulations making our operations more costly or restrictive;
changes in environmental and other laws and regulations and risks associated with such laws and regulations;
economic downturns both in the United States and globally;
risk of increased regulation of our operations and products;
negative publicity and public opposition to our operations;




disruptions in the infrastructure that we and our partners rely on;
an inability to identify attractive acquisition opportunities and successfully negotiate acquisition terms;
our ability to effectively integrate acquired assets, companies, employees or businesses;
liabilities associated with acquired companies, assets or businesses;
interruptions at our facilities;
required earn-out payments and other contingent payments we are required to make;
unexpected changes in our anticipated capital expenditures resulting from unforeseen required maintenance, repairs, or upgrades;
our ability to acquire and construct new facilities;
certain events of default which have occurred under our debt facilities and previously been waived;
prohibitions on borrowing and other covenants of our debt facilities;
our ability to effectively manage our growth;
repayment of and covenants in our debt facilities;
the lack of capital available on acceptable terms to finance our continued growth; and
other risk factors included under “Risk Factors” in this Report.
You should read the matters described in “Risk Factors” and the other cautionary statements made in this Report as being applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this Report. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this Report will prove to be accurate and therefore prospective investors are encouraged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, even though our situation may change in the future.
Please see the “Glossary of Selected Terms” incorporated by reference as Exhibit 99.1 hereto, for a list of abbreviations and definitions used throughout this report.
In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we may rely on and refer to information regarding the refining, re-refining, used oil and oil and gas industries in general from market research reports, analyst reports and other publicly available information. Although we believe that this information is reliable, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of this information, and we have not independently verified any of it.
Unless the context requires otherwise, references to the "Company,""we," "us," "our," "Vertex," "Vertex Energy" and "Vertex Energy, Inc." refer specifically to Vertex Energy, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
In addition, unless the context otherwise requires and for the purposes of this report only:
"Exchange Act" refers to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended;
"SEC" or the "Commission" refers to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; and
"Securities Act" refers to the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.




Where You Can Find Other Information
We file annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our SEC filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and are available for download, free of charge, soon after such reports are filed with or furnished to the SEC, on the “Investor Relations,” “SEC Filings” page of our website at www.vertexenergy.com. Information on our website is not part of this Report, and we do not desire to incorporate by reference such information herein. You may also read and copy any documents we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You can also obtain copies of the document upon the payment of a duplicating fee to the SEC. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the operation of the Public Reference Room. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC like us. Our SEC filings are also available to the public from the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of documents filed by us with the SEC are also available from us without charge, upon oral or written request to our Secretary, who can be contacted at the address and telephone number set forth on the cover page of this Report.




Item 1. Business
Corporate History:
Vertex Energy, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “Vertex”) was formed as a Nevada corporation on May 14, 2008. Pursuant to an Amended and Restated Agreement and Plan of Merger dated May 19, 2008, by and between Vertex Holdings, L.P. (formerly Vertex Energy, L.P.), a Texas limited partnership (“Holdings”), us, World Waste Technologies, Inc., a California corporation (“WWT” or “World Waste”), Vertex Merger Sub, LLC, a California limited liability company and our wholly-owned subsidiary (“Merger Subsidiary”), and Benjamin P. Cowart, our Chief Executive Officer, as agent for our shareholders (as amended from time to time, the “Merger Agreement”). Effective on April 16, 2009, World Waste merged with and into Merger Subsidiary, with Merger Subsidiary continuing as the surviving corporation and becoming our wholly-owned subsidiary (the “Merger”). In connection with the Merger, (i) each outstanding share of World Waste common stock was cancelled and exchanged for 0.10 shares of our common stock; (ii) each outstanding share of World Waste Series A preferred stock was cancelled and exchanged for 0.4062 shares of our Series A preferred stock; and (iii) each outstanding share of World Waste Series B preferred stock was cancelled and exchanged for 11.651 shares of our Series A preferred stock.
Additionally, as a result of the Merger, as the successor entity of World Waste, we assumed World Waste’s filing obligations with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our common stock began trading on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol “VTNR.OB” effective May 4, 2009. Subsequently, effective February 13, 2013, our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “VTNR”. Finally, as a result of the Merger, the common stock of World Waste was effectively reversed one for ten (10) as a result of the exchange ratios set forth in the Merger, and unless otherwise noted, the impact of such effective reverse stock split, created by the exchange ratio set forth above, is retroactively reflected throughout this Report.
Prior Material Acquisitions
Effective as of August 31, 2012, we acquired 100% of the outstanding equity interests of Vertex Acquisition Sub, LLC (“Acquisition Sub”), a special purpose entity consisting of substantially all of the assets of Holdings and real-estate properties of B & S Cowart Family L.P. (“B&S LP” and the “Acquisition”). Prior to closing the Acquisition, Holdings contributed to Acquisition Sub substantially all of its assets and liabilities relating to the business of transporting, storing, processing and re-refining petroleum products, crudes and used lubricants, including all of the outstanding equity interests in Holdings’ wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, Cedar Marine Terminals, L.P. (“CMT” or "Cedar Marine Terminals"), which operates a 19-acre bulk liquid storage facility and terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, which serves as a truck-in, barge-out facility and provides throughput terminal operations and which terminal is also the site of our proprietary, patented, Thermal Chemical Extraction Process ("TCEP") (described below); Crossroad Carriers, L.P. (“Crossroad”) is a common carrier that provides transportation and logistical services for liquid petroleum products, as well as other hazardous materials and product streams; Vertex Recovery, L.P. (“Vertex Recovery”), a generator solutions company for the recycling and collection of used oil and oil-related residual materials from large regional and national customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, which it facilitates through a network of independent recyclers and franchise collectors; and H&H Oil, L.P. (“H&H Oil”), which collects and recycles used oil and residual materials from customers based in Austin, Baytown, Dallas, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas and B&S LP contributed real estate associated with the operations of H&H Oil.
Benjamin P. Cowart, our Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman and largest shareholder directly or indirectly owned a 77% interest in Holdings and a 100% interest in B&S LP. Additionally, Chris Carlson, our Chief Financial Officer, owned a 10% interest in Holdings.
In October, 2013, January 2014 and September 2014, we completed various transactions whereby we acquired 100% of E-Source Holdings, LLC (“E-Source”), a company that leases and operates a facility located in Houston, Texas, and provides dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage services at industrial facilities throughout the Gulf Coast. E-Source also owns and operates a fleet of trucks and other vehicles used for shipping and handling equipment and scrap materials. E-Source falls under our Recovery division.
In May, 2014, we acquired certain of Omega Refining, LLC's (“Omega Refining”), Bango Refining NV, LLC (“Bango Refining”) and Omega Holdings Company LLC (“Omega Holdings” and collectively with Omega Refining and Bango Refining, “Omega” or the “sellers”) assets related to (1) the operation of oil re-refineries and, in connection therewith, purchasing used lubricating oils and re-refining such oils into processed oils and other products for the distribution, supply and sale to end-customers and (2) the provision of related products and support services. Specifically, the assets included Omega’s Marrero, Louisiana plant which produces vacuum gas oil (VGO) and the Bango, Nevada plant which produces base lubricating oils. Omega also operated Golden State Lubricants Works, LLC (“Golden State”), a strategic blending and storage facility located in Bakersfield, California,

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which we acquired in the acquisition and have since ceased operations at. In connection with the acquisition, we also acquired certain of Omega's prepaid assets and inventory. We acquired the assets in the name of our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Vertex Refining LA, LLC. The assets and operations acquired from Omega fall under our Black Oil division.
In December, 2014 , we acquired substantially all of the assets of Warren Ohio Holdings Co., LLC, f/k/a Heartland Group Holdings, LLC (“Heartland”) related to and used in an oil re-refinery and, in connection with the collecting, aggregating and purchasing of used lubricating oils and the re-refining of such oils into processed oils and other products for the distribution, supply and sale to end-customers, including raw materials, finished products and work-in-process, equipment and other fixed assets, customer lists and marketing information, the name ‘Heartland’ and other related trade names, Heartland’s real property relating to its used oil refining facility located in Columbus, Ohio, used oil storage and transfer facilities located in Columbus, Zanesville and Norwalk, Ohio (provided that the acquisition of the Norwalk, Ohio location is subject to the terms and conditions of the Second Amendment), and leases related to storage and transfer facilities located in Zanesville, Ohio, Mount Sterling, Kentucky, and Ravenswood, West Virginia (collectively, the “Heartland Assets”). The Heartland Assets were acquired by our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Vertex Refining OH, LLC ("Vertex OH"). The assets and operations acquired from Heartland fall under our Black Oil division.
In August 2015, H&H Oil acquired a collection route consisting of collecting, shipping and selling used oil, oil filters, antifreeze and other related services in the state of Louisiana, but excluding industrial customers, maritime customers, off shore customers, dockside locations, industrial services, used absorbent services, wastewater generating customers and collectors/transporters of crankcase used oil, petroleum fuel reclamation customers and crude oil producers/processing/recovery/reclamation customers of Aaron Oil Company ("Aaron Oil"). Included in the purchase were certain trucks and other assets owned by Aaron Oil and certain contract rights.
Additional information regarding the acquisitions above can be found in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, filed with the Commission on April 4, 2016.
Description of Business Activities:
We are an environmental services company that recycles industrial waste streams and off-specification commercial chemical products. Our primary focus is recycling used motor oil and other petroleum by-products. We are engaged in operations across the entire petroleum recycling value chain including collection, aggregation, transportation, storage, re-refinement, and sales of aggregated feedstock and re-refined products to end users. We operate in three divisions Black Oil, Refining and Marketing, and Recovery.
We currently provide our services in 15 states, primarily in the Gulf Coast and Central Midwest regions of the United States. For the rolling twelve month period ending December 31, 2016, we aggregated approximately 91 million gallons of used motor oil and other petroleum by-product feedstocks and managed the re-refining of approximately 65 million gallons of used motor oil with our proprietary TCEP, VGO and Base Oil processes.
Our Black Oil division collects and purchases used motor oil directly from third-party generators, aggregates used motor oil from an established network of local and regional collectors, and sells used motor oil to our customers for use as a feedstock or replacement fuel for industrial burners.
Our Refining and Marketing division aggregates and manages the re-refinement of used motor oil and other petroleum by-products and sells the re-refined products to end customers. We operate a refining facility that uses our proprietary TCEP and we also utilize third-party processing facilities. We also acquired our Marrero, Louisiana facility, which facility re-refines used motor oil and also produces vacuum gas oil ("VGO,") and our Myrtle Grove re-refining complex in Belle Chasse, Louisiana in May 2014. At the same time we acquired Golden State Lubricant Works, LLC ("Golden State"), a blending and storage facility in Bakersfield, California which we no longer operate as of the date of this report.
Our Recovery division includes a generator solutions company for the proper recovery and management of hydrocarbon streams as well as a company named E-Source. E-Source provides dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage services at industrial facilities throughout the Gulf Coast. E-Source also owns and operates a fleet of trucks and other vehicles that are used for shipping and handling equipment and scrap materials.
Black Oil Division
Our Black Oil division is engaged in operations across the entire used motor oil recycling value chain including collection, aggregation, transportation, storage, refinement, and sales of aggregated feedstock and re-refined products to end users. We collect

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and purchase used oil directly from generators such as oil change service stations, automotive repair shops, manufacturing facilities, petroleum refineries, and petrochemical manufacturing operations. We own a fleet of 26 collection vehicles, which routinely visit generators to collect and purchase used motor oil. We also aggregate used oil from a diverse network of approximately 50 suppliers who operate similar collection businesses to ours.
We manage the logistics of transport, storage and delivery of used oil to our customers. We own a fleet of 15 transportation trucks and more than 150 aboveground storage tanks with over 7.3 million gallons of storage capacity. These assets are used by both the Black Oil division and the Refining and Marketing division. In addition, we also utilize third parties for the transportation and storage of used oil feedstocks. Typically, we sell used oil to our customers in bulk to ensure efficient delivery by truck, rail, or barge. In many cases, we have contractual purchase and sale agreements with our suppliers and customers, respectively. We believe these contracts are beneficial to all parties involved because it ensures that a minimum volume is purchased from collectors and generators, a minimum volume is sold to our customers, and we are able to minimize our inventory risk by a spread between the costs to acquire used oil and the revenues received from the sale and delivery of used oil. We also use our proprietary TCEP technology to re-refine used oil into marine fuel cutterstock and a higher-value feedstock for further processing (we are currently utilizing TCEP to pre-treat our used motor oil feedstock prior to shipping them to our facility in Marrero, Louisiana; but have not operated our TCEP for the purpose of producing finished cutterstock since the third quarter of fiscal 2015, due to market conditions). In addition, at our Marrero, Louisiana facility we produce a Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) product that is sold to refineries as well as to the marine fuels market. At our Columbus, Ohio facility (Heartland Petroleum) we produce a base oil product that is sold to lubricant packagers and distributors.
Refining and Marketing Division
Our Refining and Marketing division is engaged in the aggregation of feedstock, re-refining it into higher value end products, and selling these products to our customers, as well as related transportation and storage activities. We aggregate a diverse mix of feedstocks including used motor oil, petroleum distillates, transmix and other off-specification chemical products. These feedstock streams are purchased from pipeline operators, refineries, chemical processing facilities and third-party providers, and are also transferred from our Black Oil division. We have a toll-based processing agreement in place with KMTEX to re-refine feedstock streams, under our direction, into various end products that we specify. KMTEX uses industry standard processing technologies to re-refine our feedstocks into pygas, gasoline blendstock and marine fuel cutterstock. We sell all of our re-refined products directly to end-customers or to processing facilities for further refinement.
Recovery Division
The Recovery division is a generator solutions company for the proper recovery and management of hydrocarbon streams. The Recovery division also provides industrial dismantling, demolition, decommissioning, investment recovery and marine salvage services in industrial facilities. The Company (through this division) owns and operates a fleet of eight trucks and heavy equipment used for processing, shipping and handling of reusable process equipment and other scrap commodities.
Biomass Renewable Energy
We are also continuing to work on joint development commercial projects which focus on the separation of municipal solid waste into feedstocks for energy production. We are very selective in choosing opportunities that we believe will result in value for our shareholders. We can provide no assurance that the ongoing venture will successfully bring any projects to a point of financing or successful construction and operation.
Thermal Chemical Extraction Process
We own the intellectual property for our patented TCEP. TCEP is a technology which utilizes thermal and chemical dynamics to extract impurities from used oil which increases the value of the feedstock. We intend to continue to develop our TCEP technology and design with the goal of producing additional re-refined products, including lubricating base oil.
TCEP differs from conventional re-refining technologies, such as vacuum distillation and hydrotreatment, by relying more heavily on chemical processes to remove impurities rather than temperature and pressure. Therefore, the capital requirements to build a TCEP plant are typically much less than a traditional re-refinery because large feed heaters, vacuum distillation columns, and a hydrotreating unit are not required. The end product currently produced by TCEP is used as fuel oil cutterstock. Conventional re-refineries produce lubricating base oils or product grades slightly lower than base oil that can be used as industrial fuels or transportation fuel blendstocks.

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We currently estimate the cost to construct a new, fully-functional, commercial facility using our TCEP technology, with annual processing capacity of between 25 and 50 million gallons at another location would be approximately $10 - $15 million, which could fluctuate based on throughput capacity. The facility infrastructure would require additional capitalized expenditures which would depend on the location and site specifics of the facility.We are currently utilizing TCEP to pre-treat our used motor oil feedstocks prior to shipping them to our facility in Marrero, Louisiana; but have not operated our TCEP for the purpose of producing finished cutterstock since the third quarter of fiscal 2015, due to market conditions.
Organizational Structure
The following chart reflects our current organization structure, including significant subsidiaries (all of which are wholly-owned, except as discussed below):
vertexorganizationalstructur.jpg

Our Industry
The used oil recycling industry is comprised of multiple participants including generators, collectors, aggregators, processors, and end users. Generators are entities that generate used oil through their daily operations such as automotive businesses conducting oil changes on consumer and commercial vehicles and industrial users changing lubricants on machinery and heavy equipment. Collectors are typically local businesses that purchase used oil from generators and provide on-site collection services. The collection market is highly fragmented and we believe there are more than 400 used oil collectors in the United States. Aggregators are specialized businesses that purchase used oil and petroleum by-products from multiple collectors and sell and deliver it as feedstock to processors. Processors, or re-refineries, utilize a processing technology to convert the used oil or petroleum by-product into a higher-value feedstock or end-product. Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and, as a result of such use, is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. Physical impurities could include contamination by metal shavings, sawdust, or dirt. Chemical impurities could include contamination by water or benzene, or degradation of lubricating additives.
Conventional re-refineries typically employ vacuum distillation and hydrotreating processes to transform used oil into various grades of base oil. Vacuum distillation is a process that removes emulsified contaminated water and separates used oil into vacuum gas oil and light fuels. The vacuum gas oil is then hydrotreated to produce lubricating base oil. Hydrotreating is a process which combines chemical catalysts, heat, and pressure to remove impurities such as sulfur, chlorine, and oxygen and to stabilize the end product. A re-refined lubricating base oil is of equal quality and will last as long as a virgin base oil. In addition, other re-refining processes transform used oil into product grades slightly lower than base oil. These products, along with vacuum gas oil

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and the end product produced by TCEP, are commonly referred to as intermediate products and are used as industrial fuels or transportation fuel blendstocks.
The petroleum by-products industry is driven by the financial and environmental benefits of recycling, as well as by the amount of petroleum by-product generated each year. Used oil is usually recovered and recycled in one of two ways: (i) by burning it as an industrial fuel; or (ii) by re-refining it into higher value end products, such as lubricating base oils, fuel oil cutterstock, or transportation fuels (pursuant to the U.S. Department of Energy, July 2006 Report entitled “Used Oil Re-refining Study to Address Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 1838”). The market value of recycled oil is based, in large part, on its end use. In general, the market price for used motor oil that is burned as an industrial fuel is driven by the cost of competing fuels, including natural gas, while the market value of re-refined used motor oil is driven by competing petroleum products. The extent to which the financial benefits of recycling used oil are realized is driven by operating efficiency in aggregating, storing and transporting used oil supply; the extent to which the used oil is re-refined; and the price spread between natural gas and crude oil.
In the U.S., we believe that of the approximately 1.3 billion gallons of used oil generated annually approximately 200 million gallons are improperly disposed, 200 - 250 million gallons are re-refined into lubricating base oils, 150 - 200 million gallons are re-refined into intermediate products with grades slightly lower than base oil, and 650 - 750 million gallons are burned as an industrial fuel source. We believe that the amount of used oil being re-refined into base oils and intermediate products in the U.S. will stay basically unchanged in 2017 as no additional re-refining capacity is scheduled to come on-line. As of the date of this Report, the approximate market price for used oil at the generator level is approximately $0.25 per gallon charge, the approximate market price of intermediate re-refined products ranges from $.75 to $1.35 per gallon, and the approximate price for lubricating base oil ranges from $1.20 to $1.60 per gallon, representing a U.S. market size of approximately $1.0 - $1.5 billion for recycled oil.
As with the financial benefits of recycling used oil, the environmental benefits are also driven by its end use. Environmental regulations prohibit the disposal of used oil in sewers or landfills because used motor oil is insoluble and contains heavy metals and other contaminants that make it detrimental to the environment if improperly disposed; one gallon of used oil can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of fresh drinking water. Additionally, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only 1 gallon of used oil, to produce 2.5 quarts of new, high-quality lubricating oil. Compared to burning used oil as an industrial fuel, re-refined oil significantly reduces the amount of toxic heavy metals and greenhouse gases and other pollutants introduced into the environment. In addition, the use of re-refined motor oil conserves petroleum that would have otherwise been refined into virgin base stock oil.
We believe that the used oil recycling market has significant growth potential through increasing the percentage of recycled oil that is re-refined rather than burned as a low cost industrial fuel. We believe that the financial and environmental benefits of re-refining used oil combined with consumer and commercial demand for high-quality, environmentally responsible products will drive growth in demand for re-refined oil and re-refining capacity in the United States. Furthermore, we believe that increasing consumer and industrial awareness of the environmental impact of improperly disposing used oil may drive additional market growth as approximately 200 million gallons of used oil generated each year are improperly disposed rather than recycled.
Used motor oil is burned by various users such as asphalt companies, paper mills and industrial facilities as an alternative to their base fuels, to offset operational costs. Therefore, the commercial price of used oil is typically slightly less than the base fuels for the burners. Similarly, re-refined oil is used as a substitute for various virgin petroleum-based products with pricing driven by the market price of crude oil. Since there is not an active marketplace for used and re-refined oil prices, we use the prices of natural gas and crude as benchmarks in our industry. Typically, the spread between crude and natural gas prices is an accurate proxy for the potential incremental value of re-refining used oil.
Our Competitive Strengths
Large, Diversified Feedstock Supply Network.
We obtain our feedstock supply through a combination of direct collection activities and purchases from third-party suppliers. We believe our balanced direct and indirect approach to obtaining feedstock is highly advantageous because it enables us to maximize total supply and reduce our reliance on any single supplier and the risk of not fulfilling our minimum feedstock sale quotas. We collect feedstock directly from over 4,500 generators including oil change service stations, automotive repair shops, manufacturing facilities, petroleum refineries and petrochemical manufacturing operations, as well as brokers. We aggregate used oil from a diverse network of approximately 50 suppliers who operate similar collection businesses to ours.
Strategic Relationships.

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We have established relationships with key feedstock suppliers, storage and transportation providers, oil re-refineries, and end-user customers. We believe our relationships with these parties are strong, in part due to our high level of customer service, competitive prices, and our ability to contract (for purchase or sale) long-term, minimum monthly feedstock commitments. We believe that our strategic relationships could lead to contract extensions and expanded feedstock supply or purchase agreements.
Proprietary Technology.
Our proprietary TCEP technology produces a fuel oil cutterstock for the fuel oil market or a refining feedstock. We are able to build TCEP re-refining facilities at a significantly lower cost than conventional re-refineries. We estimate the cost to build a TCEP plant with capacity of up to 50 million gallons at approximately $10 - $15 million, whereas a similar sized base oil plant with vacuum distillation towers and a hydrotreater can cost in excess of $50 million. Notwithstanding the lower cost of TCEP plants, with oil at its current prices, we do not believe that it makes economic sense to expand our TCEP technology at this time due to the fixed operating costs involved.
Logistics Capabilities. 
We have extensive expertise and experience managing and operating feedstock supply chain logistics and multimodal transportation services for customers who purchase our feedstock or higher-value, re-refined products. We believe that our scale, infrastructure, expertise, and contracts enable us to cost effectively transport product and consistently meet our customers’ volume, quality and delivery schedule requirements.
Scale of Operations.
We believe that the size and scale of our operations is a significant competitive advantage when competing for new business and maintaining existing customer relationships. Price is one of the main competitive factors in the feedstock collection industry and because we are able to effectively leverage our fixed operating costs and economies of scale, we believe that our prices are competitive. Through our network of suppliers and customers, we aggregate a large amount of feedstock, which enables us to enter into minimum purchase and sale contracts as well as accept large volume orders year-round. We believe this is a competitive advantage because it minimizes our suppliers’ inventory risk and ensures our customers’ minimum order volumes are satisfied. In addition, we believe our end customers prefer to work with an exclusive supplier rather than manage multiple customer relationships.
Diversified End Product Sales.
We believe that the diversity of the products we sell reduces our overall risk and exposure to price fluctuations. Prices for petroleum based products can be impacted significantly by supply and demand fluctuations which are not correlated with general commodity price changes. For instance, in a rising commodity price environment with a significant over-supply of base oil, the price of base oil may fall precipitously while the price of gasoline increases. We offer a diversified product mix consisting of used motor oil, fuel oil, pygas, and gasoline blendstock. We can also control our mix of end products by choosing to either resell collected feedstock or re-refine it into a higher-value product.
Management Team.
We are led by a management team with expertise in petroleum recycling, finance, operations, and re-refinement technology. Each member of our senior management team has more than 15 years of industry experience. We believe the strength of our management team will help our success in the marketplace.
Our Business Strategy
The principal elements of our strategy include:
Pursue Strategic Acquisitions and Partnerships
 We plan to grow market share by consolidating feedstock supply through partnering with or acquiring collection and aggregation assets. Our executive team has a proven ability to evaluate resource potential and identify acquisition targets. The acquisitions and/or partnerships could increase our revenue and provide better control over the quality and quantity of feedstock available for resale and/or upgrading as well as providing additional locations for the implementation of TCEP. We also intend to diversify our revenue by acquiring complementary recycling service businesses, refining assets and technologies, and other

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vertically integrated businesses or assets. We believe we can realize synergies on acquisitions by leveraging our customer and vendor relationships, infrastructure, and personnel, and by eliminating duplicative overhead costs.
Expand Feedstock Supply Volume
We intend to expand our feedstock supply volume by growing our collection and aggregation operations. We plan to increase the volume of feedstock we collect directly by developing new relationships with generators and working to displace incumbent collectors; increasing the number of collection personnel, vehicles, equipment, and geographical areas we serve; and acquiring collectors in new or existing territories. We intend to increase the volume of feedstock we aggregate from third-party collectors by expanding our existing relationships and developing new vendor relationships. We believe that our ability to acquire large feedstock volumes will help to cultivate new vendor relationships because collectors often prefer to work with a single, reliable customer rather than manage multiple relationships and the uncertainty of excess inventory.
Broaden Existing Customer Relationships and Secure New Large Accounts
We intend to broaden our existing customer relationships by increasing sales of used motor oil and re-refined products to these accounts. In some cases, we may also seek to serve as our customers’ primary or exclusive supplier. We also believe that as we increase our supply of feedstock and re-refined products we will have the opportunity to secure larger customer accounts that require a partner who can consistently deliver high volumes.
Re-Refine Higher Value End Products
We intend to develop, lease, or acquire technologies to re-refine our feedstock supply into higher value end products, including assets or technologies which complement TCEP. Currently, we are using TCEP to pre-treat our used oil feedstock prior to sending it to our facility in Marrero, Louisiana for further processing; but have not operated our TCEP for the purpose of producing finished cutterstock since the third quarter of fiscal 2015, due to market conditions. We hope that continued improvements in our technologies and investments in additional technologies will enable us to upgrade feedstock into higher value end products, such as fuels and lubricating base oil that command higher market prices.
Products and Services
We generate substantially all of our revenue from the sale of five product categories. All of these products are commodities that are subject to various degrees of product quality and performance specifications.
Used Motor Oil
Used motor oil is a petroleum-based or synthetic lubricant that contains impurities such as dirt, sand, water, and chemicals.
Fuel Oil
Fuel Oil is a distillate fuel which is typically blended with lower quality fuel oils. The distillation of used oil and other petroleum by-products creates a fuel with low viscosity, as well as low sulfur, ash, and heavy metal content, making it an ideal blending agent.
Pygas
Pygas, or pyrolysis gasoline, is a product that can be blended with gasoline as an octane booster or that can be distilled and separated into its components, including benzene and other hydrocarbons.
Gasoline Blendstock
Naphthas and various distillate products used for blending or compounding into finished motor gasoline. These components can include reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending (RBOB) but exclude oxygenates (alcohols and ethers), butane, and pentanes plus.
Base Oil
An oil to which other oils or substances are added to produce a lubricant. Typically the main substance in lubricants, base oils, are refined from crude oil.

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Suppliers
We conduct business with a number of used oil generators, as well as a large network of suppliers that collect used oil from used oil generators. In our capacity as a collector of used oil, we purchase feedstock from approximately 4,500 businesses, such as oil change service stations, automotive repair shops, manufacturing facilities, petroleum refineries, and petrochemical manufacturing operations, which generate used oil through their operations.
In our capacity as a broker of used oil, we work with approximately 50 suppliers that collect used oil from businesses such as those mentioned above.
Customers
The Black Oil division sells used oil, VGO, base oil and other petroleum feedstocks to numerous customers in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States. The primary customers of its products are packagers, distributers, blenders and industrial burners, as described above as well as re-refiners of the feedstock. The Black Oil division is party to various feedstock sale agreements whereby we sell used oil feedstock to third parties. The agreements provide for us to sell certain minimum gallons of used oil feedstock per month at a price per barrel equal to our direct costs, plus certain commissions, based on the quality and quantity of the used oil we supply.
The Recovery division does not rely solely on contracts, but mainly on the spot market as well as a strategic network of customers and vendors to support the purchase and sale of its products which are commodities. It also relies on project based work which it bids on from time to time of which there is no guarantee or assurance of repeat business. The E-Source business which is part of the Recovery division relies heavily on numerous Master Service Agreements which it has in place with large facilities, such as power plants, petroleum refineries and major industrial clients.
KMTEX Tolling Agreement
On or around April 17, 2013, and effective June 1, 2012, we entered into a new Tolling Agreement with KMTEX, Ltd. (“KMTEX” and the agreement as amended to date, the “Tolling Agreement”). The Company was previously party to a tolling agreement with KMTEX which expired pursuant to its terms on June 30, 2010, provided that the parties had continued to operate under the terms of the expired agreement until their entry into the April 2013 Tolling Agreement.
Pursuant to the Tolling Agreement, KMTEX agreed to process feedstock of certain petroleum distillates, which we provide to KMTEX, into more valuable feedstocks, including pygas, gasoline blend stock and MDO/cutter stock. The Tolling Agreement had an expiration date of June 30, 2014 (the “Initial Term”), provided that if not terminated by either party by written notice to the other, received within ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the Initial Term (or any extension term), the agreement automatically renewed for a successive one (1) year period and could be automatically extended for up to six (6) more extension terms.
In November 2013 and effective November 1, 2013, we entered into a First Amendment to Processing Agreement with KMTEX LLC (previously KMTEX Ltd., hereafter “KMTEX”), which amended the Tolling Agreement. The amendment formally extended the date of the initial term of the Tolling Agreement to December 31, 2015, provided that if not terminated by either party by written notice to the other, received within ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the initial term, as amended (or any Extension Term, defined below), the agreement would automatically renew for a successive one (1) year period. The Tolling Agreement could be automatically extended for up to six (6) extension terms from the end of the extended initial term. The amendment also updated the pricing terms of the original agreement and required us to make certain capital expenditures at the KMTEX facility which have been made to date.
On December 3, 2015, and effective January 1, 2016, we entered into a Second Amendment to Processing Agreement with KMTEX. The amendment formally extended the date of the initial term of the Tolling Agreement to December 31, 2016, provided that if not terminated by either party by written notice to the other, received within ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the initial term, as amended (or any extension term), the agreement automatically renews for a successive one (1) year period The amendment also updated the pricing terms of the agreement.
On December 14, 2016, and effective January 1, 2017, we entered into a Third Amendment to Processing Agreement with KMTEX. The amendment formally extended the date of the initial term of the Tolling Agreement to December 31, 2018, provided that if not terminated by either party by written notice to the other, received within ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the initial term, as amended (or any Extension Term, defined below), the agreement automatically renews for a

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successive one (1) year period (an “Extension Term”). The Tolling Agreement can be automatically extended for up to six (6) Extension Terms from the end of the extended initial term. The amendment also updated the pricing terms of the agreement.

Notwithstanding the above, either party can terminate the Tolling Agreement at any time with ninety (90) days prior written notice for any reason and with thirty (30) days written notice upon the occurrence of certain material termination events as described in greater detail in the agreement. In connection with and pursuant to the Tolling Agreement, we pay KMTEX certain monthly tank rental fees, truck and rail car fees, and processing fees based on the weight of the material processed by KMTEX, as well as certain disposal fees and other fees. Each year of the agreement, beginning on the 12 month anniversary of the effective date, the parties agreed to review and increase the fees provided for in the agreement in accordance with among other things, various consumer price index benchmarks, as mutually agreed.
The Tolling Agreement also provides that, for materials delivered to KMTEX by rail, barge, drum, or truck, KMTEX is required to obtain the Bill of Lading and Material Safety Data Sheet that accompany such materials and not accept any materials not accompanied by a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest (promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency or other Federal or State Government). The Company is also required to indemnify KMTEX against the acceptance of any material later classified as a hazardous waste. The agreement requires KMTEX to be responsible for all leaks, spills, discharges and releases which occur in connection with the performance of the agreement, except due to the Company’s gross negligence. Finally, the agreement requires each party to indemnify the other against any liability as a result of death or bodily injury to any person, destruction or damage to property, contamination of, adverse effects on, or imminent or substantial endangerment of, or release or threat of release into the environment, or any threatened or actual release of hazardous substance, or any violation or alleged violation of or liability under any governmental laws, regulations, rules or orders to the extent caused by, arising out of or in any manner connected with such indemnifying party’s negligent acts, omissions, breaches of the agreement or failure to comply with applicable laws in the performance thereof, subject to certain exclusions described in the agreement.
Swap Agreement and Base Oil Agreement
A required condition to closing the transactions contemplated by the January 28, 2016 Sale Agreement (described and defined below under “2016 Material Events - Purchase and Sale Agreement, Churchill County, Nevada Plant”), was that we (through Vertex Operating) and Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc. (“Safety-Kleen”) enter into a Swap Agreement (the “Swap Agreement”), which was entered into on January 29, 2016. The Swap Agreement has a term of five years, beginning when the Bango Plant (defined below under “2016 Material Events - Purchase and Sale Agreement, Churchill County, Nevada Plant”) is operational, which plant became operational in the summer of 2016, and automatically renews for additional one year terms thereafter unless either party provides the other 90 days prior written notice of their intention not to renew prior to any automatic extension. Pursuant to the Swap Agreement, we and Safety-Kleen agreed to swap certain quantities of used oil feedstock (the agreement includes monthly maximums, quarterly minimums and maximums, and annual maximums of used oil feedstock volume required to be ‘swapped’) between the Bango Plant (which will then be owned and operated by Safety-Kleen) and our Marrero, Louisiana plant and/or the Cedar Marine Terminal in Baytown, Texas, on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, with any shortfall in the amount of used oil feedstock ‘swapped’ on a quarterly basis, being paid for in cash based on a discount to U.S. Platts mid-range per gallon rate for Gulf Coast No. 6, 3% oil (the “Platts”). The Swap Agreement can be terminated with 30 days prior written notice in the event either party fails to meet the specifications for oil feedstock set forth in the agreement, a party fails to deliver the required minimum quarterly volumes of oil feedstock during any three consecutive quarters, or a party materially breaches a term of the agreement.
Additionally, we (through Vertex Operating) and Safety-Kleen also entered into a Base Oil Agreement in connection with, and as a required condition of, the closing of the Sale Agreement (the “Base Oil Agreement”). The Base Oil Agreement provides for us to purchase from Safety-Kleen, and Safety-Kleen to sell to us, certain required quantities of base oils and other finished lubricants described in greater detail in the Base Oil Agreement (the “Base Oil”)(the agreement contains quarterly and annual maximum volumes of Base Oil to be acquired by us). The agreement has a term of five years and automatically renews for additional one year terms thereafter unless either party provides the other 90 days prior written notice of their intention not to renew prior to any automatic extension.
Competition
The industrial waste and brokerage of petroleum products industries are highly competitive. There are numerous small to mid-size firms that are engaged in the collection, transportation, treatment and brokerage of virgin and used petroleum products. Competitors include, but are not limited to: Safety-Kleen, Inc., Rio Energy, Inc., Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc., and FCC Environmental (formerly Siemens Hydrocarbon Recovery Services), Thermo Fluids Inc., and Flex Oil Service, LLC. These competitors actively seek to purchase feedstock from local, regional and industrial collectors, refineries, pipelines and other sources.

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Competition for these feedstocks may result in increasing prices to obtain used motor oil and transmix feedstocks critical to the success of our business. In order to remain competitive, we must control costs and maintain strong relationships with our feedstock suppliers. Our network of generators and collectors minimizes our reliance on any single supplier. A portion of the sales of the collected and aggregated used motor oil product are based on supply contracts which include a range of prices which change based on feedstock quality specifications and volumes. This pricing structure helps to insulate us from inventory risk by ensuring a spread between costs to acquire used motor oil feedstock and the revenues received for delivery of the feedstock. We believe that price and service are the main competitive factors in the used motor oil collection industry. We believe that our ability to accept and transport large volumes of oil year round gives us an advantage over many of our competitors. In addition, we believe that our storage capacity and ability to process the streams of products we receive as well as our ability to transport the end product by barge, rail and truck provide further advantages over many of our competitors.
Employees
We and our wholly and majority owned subsidiaries have 205 full-time employees. We believe that our relations with our employees are good.
Seasonality
The industrial hydrocarbon recovery business is seasonal to the extent that it is dependent on streams from seasonal industries. For example, asphalt plants burn recycled waste oil in their process, placing pricing and supply availability constraints on the industry during the good weather construction and road building seasons. In our current markets, road paving typically occurs from late spring to early fall. Therefore, it is somewhat easier to procure certain waste streams during winter months when competition for used motor oil feedstock is historically not as strong. Currently we are seeing increased demand for used motor oil feedstocks throughout the year due to the addition of re-refining technologies in the marketplace. 
Governmental Regulation, Including Environmental Regulation and Climate Change
Our operations are subject to stringent United States federal, state and local laws and regulations concerning the discharge of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to health and safety or the protection of the environment. Additional laws and regulations, or changes in the interpretations of existing laws and regulations, that affect our business and operations may be adopted, which may in turn impact our financial condition.
Additionally, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Coast Guard and Homeland Security as well as various federal, state, local and foreign agencies exercise broad powers over our transportation operations, generally governing such activities as authorization to engage in motor carrier operations, safety and permits to conduct transportation business. We may also become subject to new or more restrictive regulations that the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency or other authorities impose, including regulations relating to engine exhaust emissions, the hours of service that our drivers may provide in any one time period, security and other matters.
Our compliance challenges arise from various legislative and regulatory bodies influenced by political, environmental, health and safety concerns.
For example, changes in federal regulations relating to the use of methyl tertiary butyl ether and new sulfur limitations for product shipped in domestic pipelines resulted in tightened specifications of gasoline blendstock that we were refining, causing a corresponding decrease in revenue and gross margin growth during 2016, as compared to prior years. This change in regulation, as well as other emission-related regulations, had a material impact on the entire petroleum industry, and we adapted and managed our operations by finding materials better suited to comply with these regulations. As such, it is possible that future changes in federal regulations could have a material adverse effect on our results from operations.
We must also obtain and maintain a range of federal, state and local permits for our various logistical needs as well as our planned industrial processes.
The following is a summary of the more significant existing health, safety and environmental laws and regulations to which our operations are subject.
Hazardous Substances and Waste
The United States Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, referred to as “CERCLA” or the “Superfund” law, and comparable state laws impose liability without regard to fault or the legality of the

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original conduct on certain defined persons, including current and prior owners or operators of a site where a release of hazardous substances occurred and entities that disposed or arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substances found at the site. Under CERCLA, these “responsible persons” may be liable for the costs of cleaning up the hazardous substances, for damages to natural resources and for the costs of certain health studies.
In the course of our operations, we occasionally generate materials that are considered “hazardous substances” and, as a result, may incur CERCLA liability for cleanup costs. Also, claims may be filed for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by the release of hazardous substances or other pollutants. We also generate solid wastes that are subject to the requirements of the United States Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, or “RCRA,” and comparable state statutes.
Although we use operating and disposal practices that are standard in the industry, hydrocarbons or other wastes may have been released at properties owned or leased by us now or in the past, or at other locations where these hydrocarbons and wastes were taken for treatment or disposal. Under CERCLA, RCRA and analogous state laws, we could be required to clean up contaminated property (including contaminated groundwater), or to perform remedial activities to prevent future contamination.
Air Emissions
The Clean Air Act, as amended, or “CAA,” and similar state laws and regulations restrict the emission of air pollutants and also impose various monitoring and reporting requirements. These laws and regulations may require us to obtain approvals or permits for construction, modification or operation of certain projects or facilities and may require use of emission controls.
Global Warming and Climate Change
While we do not believe our operations raise climate change issues different from those generally raised by the commercial use of fossil fuels, legislation or regulatory programs that restrict greenhouse gas emissions in areas where we conduct business or that would require reducing emissions from our truck fleet could increase our costs.
Water Discharges
We operate facilities that are subject to requirements of the United States Clean Water Act, as amended, or “CWA,” and analogous state laws for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. Among other things, these laws impose restrictions and controls on the discharge of pollutants, including into navigable waters as well as the protection of drinking water sources. Spill prevention, control and counter-measure requirements under the CWA require implementation of measures to help prevent the contamination of navigable waters in the event of a hydrocarbon spill. Other requirements for the prevention of spills are established under the United States Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended, or “OPA”, which amended the CWA and applies to owners and operators of vessels, including barges, offshore platforms and certain onshore facilities. Under OPA, regulated parties are strictly liable for oil spills and must establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to cover liabilities related to an oil spill for which such parties could be statutorily responsible.
State Environmental Regulations
Our operations involve the storage, handling, transport and disposal of bulk waste materials, some of which contain oil, contaminants and other regulated substances. Various environmental laws and regulations require prevention, and where necessary, cleanup of spills and leaks of such materials and some of our operations must obtain permits that limit the discharge of materials. Failure to comply with such environmental requirements or permits may result in fines and penalties, remediation orders and revocation of permits.Specifically in Texas, we are subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including those designed to protect the environment and monitor compliance with water quality. In Louisiana, we are subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources as to environmental and water quality issues, and the Louisiana Public Service Commission as to allocation of intrastate routes and territories for waste water transportation. We believe that we are in compliance with regulations in the states where we conduct business.
Occupational Safety and Health Act
We are subject to the requirements of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act, as amended, or “OSHA,” and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of employee health and safety. OSHA’s hazard communication standard requires that information about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations be maintained and provided to employees, state and local government authorities and citizens.

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Transportation Regulations
We may conduct interstate motor carrier (trucking) operations that are subject to federal regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or “FMCSA,” a unit within the United States Department of Transportation, or “USDOT.” The FMCSA publishes and enforces comprehensive trucking safety regulations, including rules on commercial driver licensing, controlled substance testing, medical and other qualifications for drivers, equipment maintenance, and drivers’ hours of service, referred to as “HOS.” The agency also performs certain functions relating to such matters as motor carrier registration (licensing), insurance, and extension of credit to motor carriers’ customers. Another unit within USDOT publishes and enforces regulations regarding the transportation of hazardous materials, or “hazmat.”
In December 2010, the FMCSA launched a program called Compliance, Safety, Accountability, or “CSA,” in an effort to improve commercial truck and bus safety. A component of CSA is the Safety Measurement System, or “SMS,” which analyzes all safety violations recorded by federal and state law enforcement personnel to determine a carrier’s safety performance. The SMS is intended to allow the FMCSA to identify carriers with safety issues and intervene to address those problems. Although our trucking operations currently hold a “Satisfactory” safety rating from FMCSA (the best rating available), the agency has announced a future intention to revise its safety rating system by making greater use of SMS data in lieu of on-site compliance audits of carriers. We cannot predict the effect such a revision may have on our safety rating.
Our intrastate trucking operations are also subject to various state environmental transportation regulations discussed under “Environmental Regulations” above. Federal law also allows states to impose insurance and safety requirements on motor carriers conducting intrastate business within their borders, and to collect a variety of taxes and fees on an apportioned basis reflecting miles actually operated within each state.
HOS regulations establish the maximum number of hours that a commercial truck driver may work. A FMCSA rule reducing the number of hours a commercial truck driver may work each day became effective in February 2012 and the compliance date of selected provisions was July 1, 2013. The rule, which is intended to reduce the risk of fatigue and fatigue-related crashes and harm to driver health, prohibits a driver from driving if more than eight hours have passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth break of at least 30 minutes and limits the use of the restart to once a week, which, on average, will cut the maximum work week from 82 to 70 hours. The effect of this rule on reduced driver hours may raise our operating costs.

Inflation and Commodity Price Risk
To date, our business has not been significantly affected by inflation. We purchase petroleum and petroleum by-products for consolidation and delivery, as well as for our own refining operations. By virtue of constant changes in the market value of petroleum products, we are exposed to fluctuations in both revenues and expenses. We do not currently engage in an active hedging program, as the inventory/finished product turnover occurs within approximately four to six weeks, thereby limiting the timeline of potential exposure. The purchase of our used motor oil feedstock tends to track with natural gas pricing due to the market’s typical practice of substituting used motor oil for natural gas as a fuel source for various industrial processes. On the other hand, the prices of the products that may in the future be generated through the re-refining processes that we hope to develop are expected to track with market pricing for marine diesel and vacuum-gas oil. The recent drop in oil prices has decreased the spread between the price of used motor oil, feedstock and re-refining end-products.
2016 Material Events
Purchase and Sale Agreement, Churchill County, Nevada Plant
On January 28, 2016, we entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (the “Sale Agreement”) with Vertex Operating and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vertex Refining NV, LLC ("Vertex Refining NV"), Bango Oil, LLC (“Bango Oil”)(provided that Bango Oil did not become a party to the agreement until we exercised the Purchase Option, described below) and Safety-Kleen Systems.
Pursuant to the Sale Agreement, which closed on January 29, 2016, we (through Bango Oil after we acquired Bango Oil as described below pursuant to our exercise of the Purchase Option) sold Safety-Kleen the used oil re-refining plant located on approximately 40 acres in Churchill County, Nevada (the “Bango Plant”), which we previously rented, and all equipment, tools and other tangible personal property located at the Bango Plant, which relate to or are used in connection with the operations of the Bango Plant (collectively, the “Bango Assets”). Safety-Kleen assumed certain liabilities associated with contracts assumed in the purchase and related to bringing the Bango Plant back into operational status. The aggregate purchase price for the Bango

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Assets was $35 million, subject to adjustment as described in the Sale Agreement for certain taxes, costs and expenses incurred by Safety-Kleen after closing. A total of $1.3 million of the purchase price was used by us in order to exercise the options we had pursuant to two Lease and Purchase Agreements (the “Equipment Leases”) we were party to, which provided for the use of a rail facility and related equipment and a pre-fabricated metal building located at the Fallon, Nevada, facility, and which provided us (through Vertex Refining NV) the right to acquire the applicable property/equipment subject to each Equipment Lease at any time prior to the expiration of the leases for $914,000 and $400,000, respectively. Additionally, $100,000 of the purchase price was retained by Safety-Kleen to acquire certain water rights necessary for operation of the Bango Plant. Finally, a required closing condition of the Sale Agreement was that we use a portion of the purchase price to exercise the purchase option set forth in that certain Lease With Option For Membership Interest Purchase (the “Bango Lease”) entered into on April 30, 2015, by and between us, Vertex Refining NV and Bango Oil, whereby, we had the option at any time during the term of the lease to purchase all of the equity interests of Bango Oil (the “Purchase Option”), effectively acquiring ownership of the Bango Plant. The Purchase Option was exercised by us on January 29, 2016 in connection with the closing of the Sale Agreement, at which time Bango Oil became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vertex Refining NV, and we paid approximately $9 million of consideration to Bango Oil in connection with the Purchase Option. The terms of the Bango Lease and Equipment Leases are described in greater detail in the Current Report on Form 8-K filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 5, 2015. Additionally, an aggregate of $16 million of the purchase price paid by Safety-Kleen in connection with the Sale Agreement was required to be paid by us to our then senior lender, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, at closing, which amount was paid at closing, and which funds were used to pay down amounts owed to Goldman Sachs Bank USA under our Goldman Credit Agreement, as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA”.
Additionally, at the closing, we placed $1.5 million in cash and $1 million worth of our common stock (1,108,928 shares, which have been returned to us and are in the process of being canceled as of the date of this filing) into escrow with the shares to be released 12 months following the closing (which shares we have requested be released from escrow, but have not yet received, as of the date of this filing) and the cash held in escrow to be released 18 months after the closing, in order to satisfy any indemnification claims made by Safety-Kleen pursuant to the terms of the Sale Agreement. On June 30 and December 31 of each year that any of our shares of common stock are in escrow, in the event the value of the shares held in escrow is less than $1 million, based on the then market price of our common stock, we are required to increase the number of shares of common stock held in escrow to total $1 million in aggregate value. No additional shares were required to be escrowed as of June 30, 2016 or as of December 31, 2016.
The Sale Agreement includes standard indemnification obligations of the parties, subject to certain caps on indemnification and deductibles. The closing of the transactions contemplated by the Sale Agreement was subject to usual and customary closing conditions, including requiring that we and Safety-Kleen enter into a Swap Agreement and Base Oil Agreement, all of which were satisfied prior to or at closing.
Houlihan Lokey acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Company in connection with the transaction.
The Company received net cash of approximately $17.3 million in connection with the transactions contemplated by the Sale Agreement, after deducting legal, administrative and banker fees; amounts paid in connection with the exercise of the Purchase Option; cash amounts set aside in escrow; and the purchase price of the equipment related to the Bango Plant as described above, of which $16 million was immediately paid to the Lender (defined below under “Part II - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA” ) to pay down amounts owed to Lender under the Goldman Credit Agreement (defined below under “Part II - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA”).
Subscription Agreement
On January 29, 2016, separate from and subsequent to the closing of the transactions contemplated by the Membership Interest Purchase Agreement, Fox Encore 05 LLC, the sole owner of Bango Oil, as seller ("Fox Encore"), entered into a Subscription Agreement with the Company whereby Fox Encore subscribed for and purchased 44,000 shares of newly-designated Series C Preferred Stock in consideration for $4 million. The 44,000 shares of Series C Preferred Stock are convertible into 4,400,000 shares of the Company’s common stock subject to the terms of a Certificate of Designation of the Series C Preferred Stock. On August 2, 2016, Fox Encore converted 12,432 shares of Series C Preferred Stock into 1,243,200 shares of the Company's common stock.
$5.15 Million Promissory Note

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On January 29, 2016, following the closing of, and separate from the transactions contemplated by, the Membership Interest Purchase Agreement, Vertex OH, borrowed $5.15 million from Fox Encore and provided a Promissory Note to Fox Encore to reflect such borrowed funds (the “Fox Note”), as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Fox Note”.

May 2016 Unit Offering

On May 13, 2016, we closed the transactions contemplated by the May 10, 2016 Unit Purchase Agreement (the “May 2016 Purchase Agreement”) entered into with certain accredited investors (the “May 2016 Investors”), pursuant to which we sold to the May 2016 Investors an aggregate of 12,403,683 units (the “May 2016 Units”), each consisting of (i) one share of Series B1 Preferred Stock of the Company, $0.001 par value per share (the “Series B1 Preferred Stock”) and (ii) one warrant to purchase one-quarter of a share of common stock of the Company, $0.001 par value per share, totaling an aggregate of warrants to purchase 3,100,926 shares of common stock (each a “May 2016 Warrant” and collectively, the “May 2016 Warrants”). The May 2016 Purchase Agreement and related transactions are described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Unit Offerings”.

Amended and Restated Credit and Guaranty Agreement
On January 29, 2016, we, Vertex Operating, certain of our other subsidiaries, Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Holdings, Inc., as lender (“Lender”) and Goldman Sachs Bank USA, a New York State-Chartered Bank, as Administrative Agent, Lead Arranger and Collateral Agent (“Agent”) entered into an Amended and Restated Credit and Guaranty Agreement (the “Restated Credit Agreement”), which amended and restated that certain $40 million Credit and Guaranty Agreement entered into between the parties on May 2, 2014 (as amended and modified to date, the “Goldman Credit Agreement”). The Restated Credit Agreement is described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA”.

Amendment No. 1 to Amended and Restated Credit and Guaranty Agreement

On May 9, 2016, we entered into Amendment No. 1 to the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (“Amendment No. 1”), which amended the Restated Credit Agreement as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA - Amendment No. 1 to Amended and Restated Credit”.

Vertex Recovery Management LA, LLC

On May 25, 2016, Vertex Recovery Management, LLC, our wholly-owned subsidiary (“VRM”) and Industrial Pipe, Inc. (“Industrial Pipe”), formed a joint venture Louisiana limited liability company, Vertex Recovery Management LA, LLC (“VRMLA”). VRM owns 51% and Industrial Pipe owns 49% of VRMLA. VRMLA is currently buying and preparing ferrous and non-ferrous scrap intended for large haul barge sales. We consolidated 100% of VRMLA’s operating loss of $22,844 for the nine months ended September 30, 2016 and then added the 49% or $11,193 loss attributable to the non-controlling interest back to the Company’s “Net income (loss) attributable to Vertex Energy, Inc.” in the Balance Sheet.

On June 5, 2016, we and Penthol C.V. (“Penthol”) of the Netherlands aka Penthol LLC (a Penthol subsidiary in the United States) reached an agreement for us to act as Penthol’s exclusive agent to provide marketing, sales, and logistical duties of Group III base oil from the United Arab Emirates to the United States. The start-up date was July 25, 2016, the agreement has a 5 year term through 2021, and the product will ship via truck, rail and barge.

Subsequent Events:

Credit and Guaranty Agreement
 
Effective February 1, 2017, we, Vertex Operating and substantially all of Vertex Energy’s other operating subsidiaries, other than E-Source, entered into a $20 million Credit Agreement with Encina Business Credit, LLC as agent and Encina Business Credit SPV, LLC and CrowdOut Capital LLC as lenders thereunder, as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement and Revolving Credit Facility with Encina Business Credit, LLC”.

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Revolving Credit Facility with Encina Business Credit, LLC
 
Effective February 1, 2017, we, Vertex Operating and substantially all of Vertex Energy’s other operating subsidiaries, other than E-Source, entered into a $10 million Revolving Credit Agreement with Encina Business Credit SPV, LLC as lender and Encina Business Credit, LLC as administrative agent, as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement and Revolving Credit Facility with Encina Business Credit, LLC” (collectively, the February 1, 2017 Credit Agreement and Revolving Credit Agreement as referred to herein as the “Credit Agreements”).

Intellectual Property
We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the United States and other jurisdictions as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology, trade secrets, technical know-how and other proprietary information. We also enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees.
We have two patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office relating to our TCEP technology:
System For Making A Usable Hydrocarbon Product From Used Oil” (#8,613,838), which was granted on December 24, 2013; and
Method for Making a Usable Hydrocarbon Product From Used Oil” (#8,398,847), which was granted on March 19, 2013.
We also have three patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office relating to our base oil and VGO technology:
Used Lubricating Oil Reclaiming” (#5,306,419), which was granted on April 26, 1994; and
Reconstituting Lubricating Oil” (#5,447,628), which was granted on September 5, 1995; and
Performance Grade Asphalt and Methods” (#6,203,606), which was granted on March 20, 2001.
In addition, we have developed a website and have registered www.vertexenergy.com as our domain name, which contains information we do not desire to incorporate by reference herein.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider each of the following risk factors and all of the other information set forth in this filing, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes, before investing in our common stock. The following risks and the risks described elsewhere in this filing, including in the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” could materially harm our business, financial condition, future results and cash flow. If that occurs, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

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RISKS RELATING TO OUR OUTSTANDING CREDIT FACILITIES,
DEBT AND RECEIVABLES
We will need to raise additional capital to meet the requirements of the terms and conditions of our Credit Agreements and to fund future acquisitions and our ability to obtain the necessary funding is uncertain.
We will need to raise additional funding to meet the requirements of the terms and conditions of our Credit Agreements. Additionally, we may need to raise additional funds through public or private debt or equity financing, via the sale of assets or through other various means to fund our obligations, or acquire assets and businesses in the future. In such a case, adequate funds may not be available when needed or may not be available on favorable terms. If we need to raise additional funds in the future, by issuing equity securities, dilution to existing stockholders will result, and such securities may have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of our common stock. If funding is insufficient at any time in the future and we are unable to generate sufficient revenue from new business arrangements, to complete planned acquisitions or operations, our results of operations and the value of our securities could be adversely affected. Future funding may not be available on favorable terms, if at all.
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow to meet our debt service and other obligations due to events beyond our control.
Our ability to generate cash flows from operations, to make scheduled payments on or refinance our indebtedness and to fund working capital needs and planned capital expenditures will depend on our future financial performance and our ability to generate cash in the future. Our future financial performance will be affected by a range of economic, financial, competitive, business and other factors that we cannot control, such as general economic, legislative, regulatory and financial conditions in our industry, the economy generally, the price of oil and other risks described below. A significant reduction in operating cash flows resulting from changes in economic, legislative or regulatory conditions, increased competition or other events beyond our control could increase the need for additional or alternative sources of liquidity and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, prospects and our ability to service our debt and other obligations. If we are unable to service our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs, we may be forced to adopt an alternative strategy that may include actions such as reducing or delaying capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our indebtedness, seeking additional capital, or any combination of the foregoing. If we raise additional debt, it would increase our interest expense, leverage and our operating and financial costs. We cannot assure you that any of these alternative strategies could be affected on satisfactory terms, if at all, or that they would yield sufficient funds to make required payments on our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs. Reducing or delaying capital expenditures or selling assets could delay future cash flows. In addition, the terms of existing or future debt agreements may restrict us from adopting any of these alternatives. We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash flows from operations or that future borrowings will be available in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs.
If for any reason we are unable to meet our debt service and repayment obligations, we would be in default under the terms of the agreements governing our indebtedness, which would allow our creditors at that time to declare all of our outstanding indebtedness to be due and payable. This would likely in turn trigger cross-acceleration or cross-default rights between our applicable debt agreements. Under these circumstances, our lenders could compel us to apply all of our available cash to repay our borrowings. In addition, the lenders under our credit facilities or other secured indebtedness could seek to foreclose on our assets that are their collateral. If the amounts outstanding under our indebtedness were to be accelerated, or were the subject of foreclosure actions, our assets may not be sufficient to repay in full the money owed to the lenders or to our other debt holders.
Uncertainty and illiquidity in credit and capital markets can impair our ability to obtain credit and financing on acceptable terms and can adversely affect the financial strength of our business partners.

Our ability to obtain credit and capital depends in large measure on the state of the credit and capital markets, which is beyond our control. Our ability to access credit and capital markets may be restricted at a time when we would like, or need, access to those markets, which could constrain our flexibility to react to changing economic and business conditions. In addition, the cost and availability of debt and equity financing may be adversely impacted by unstable or illiquid market conditions. Protracted uncertainty and illiquidity in these markets also could have an adverse impact on our lenders, commodity hedging counterparties, or our customers, preventing them from meeting their obligations to us.

From time to time, our cash needs may exceed our internally generated cash flow, and our business could be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to obtain necessary funds from financing activities. From time to time, we may need to supplement cash generated from operations with proceeds from financing activities. Uncertainty and illiquidity in financial markets may materially impact the ability of the participating financial institutions to fund their commitments to us under our liquidity

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facilities. Accordingly, we may not be able to obtain the full amount of the funds available under our liquidity facilities to satisfy our cash requirements, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial position.

We have substantial indebtedness which could adversely affect our financial flexibility and our competitive position. Our debt agreements have previously been declared in default, and our future failure to comply with financial covenants in our debt agreements could result in such debt agreements again being declared in default.
We have a significant amount of outstanding indebtedness. As of December 31, 2016, we owed approximately $9.4 million in accounts payable and accrued expenses. As of December 31, 2016, we owed $4 million under the Restated Goldman Credit Agreement, MidCap Loan Agreement (described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - MidCap Loan Agreement”), and Fox Note, provided that as disclosed below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement and Revolving Credit Facility with Encina Business Credit, LLC”, in February 2017, we borrowed certain funds under the Credit Agreements and paid off such debts owed under the Restated Goldman Credit Agreement, MidCap Loan Agreement and Fox Note in full. Notwithstanding such repayments, as of the date of this filing we owe $11,925,000 under the EBC Credit Agreement and $2,184,786 under the Revolving Credit Agreement (each defined and described below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement and Revolving Credit Facility with Encina Business Credit, LLC”), and are further required to redeem all outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock (which currently has a liquidation and redemption value of $29.5 million) on June 24, 2020.

Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences and significant effects on our business. For example, it could:
increase our vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes;
restrict us from taking advantage of business opportunities;
make it more difficult to satisfy our financial obligations;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt obligations; and
limit our ability to borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our business strategy or other general corporate purposes on satisfactory terms or at all.
We may need to raise additional funding in the future to repay or refinance the Credit Agreements and our accounts payable, and as such may need to seek additional debt or equity financing. Such additional financing may not be available on favorable terms, if at all. If debt financing is available and obtained, our interest expense may increase and we may be subject to the risk of default, depending on the terms of such financing. If equity financing is available and obtained it may result in our shareholders experiencing significant dilution. If such financing is unavailable, we may be forced to curtail our operations, which may cause the value of our securities to decline in value and/or become worthless. Furthermore, the fact that our prior credit agreements have previously been declared in default may negatively affect the perception of the Company and our ability to pay our debts as they become due in the future and could result in the price of our securities declining in value or being valued at lower levels than companies with similar histories of defaults.
The covenants in our credit and loan agreements restrict our ability to operate our business and might lead to a default under our credit agreements.
Our debt agreements limit, among other things, our ability to:
incur or guarantee additional indebtedness;

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create liens;
make payments to junior creditors;
make investments;
sell material assets;
affect fundamental changes in our structure;
make certain acquisitions;
sell interests in our subsidiaries;
consolidate or merge with or into other companies or transfer all or substantially all of our assets; and
engage in transactions with affiliates.
The Credit Agreements contain customary representations, warranties and requirements for the Company to indemnify the lenders and their affiliates. The Credit Agreements also include various covenants (positive and negative) binding upon the Company, including, prohibiting us from undertaking acquisitions or dispositions unless they meet the criteria set forth in the Credit Agreements, not incurring any capital expenditures in amount exceeding $3 million in any fiscal year that the Credit Agreements are in place, and requiring us to maintain at least $2.5 million of average borrowing availability under the Revolving Credit Agreement in any 30 day period.
As a result of these covenants and limitations, we may not be able to respond to changes in business and economic conditions and to obtain additional financing, if needed, and we may be prevented from engaging in transactions that might otherwise be beneficial to us. Our credit and loan agreements require, and our future credit facilities and loan agreements may require, us to maintain certain financial ratios and satisfy certain other financial condition tests. Our ability to meet these financial ratios and tests can be affected by events beyond our control, and we may not be able to meet those tests. The breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under our credit agreements or future credit facilities. Upon the occurrence of an event of default, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts outstanding under such credit agreements, including accrued interest or other obligations, to be immediately due and payable. If amounts outstanding under such credit agreements were to be accelerated, our assets might not be sufficient to repay in full that indebtedness and our other indebtedness.
Our credit agreements and loan agreements also contain cross-default and cross-acceleration provisions. Under these provisions, a default or acceleration under one instrument governing our debt may constitute a default under our other debt instruments that contain cross-default and cross-acceleration provisions, which could result in the related debt and the debt issued under such other instruments becoming immediately due and payable. In such event, we would need to raise funds from alternative sources, which funds might not be available to us on favorable terms, on a timely basis or at all. Alternatively, such a default could require us to sell assets and otherwise curtail operations to pay our creditors. The proceeds of such a sale of assets, or curtailment of operations, might not enable us to pay all of our liabilities.
Our ability to service our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future.
Our ability to make payments on our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. Our ability to generate cash is subject to general economic and market conditions and financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. Our business may not generate sufficient cash to fund our working capital requirements, capital expenditure, debt service and other liquidity needs, which could result in our inability to comply with financial and other covenants contained in our debt agreements, our being unable to repay or pay interest on our indebtedness, and our inability to fund our other liquidity needs. If we are unable to service our debt obligations, fund our other liquidity needs and maintain compliance with our financial and other covenants, we could be forced to curtail our operations, our creditors could accelerate our indebtedness and exercise other remedies and we could be required to pursue one or more alternative strategies, such as selling assets or refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness. However, such alternatives may not be feasible or adequate.

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Our failure to comply with the covenants in the documents governing our existing and future indebtedness could materially adversely affect our financial condition and liquidity.
In connection with the Credit Agreements, we agreed to comply with certain affirmative and negative covenants and agreed to meet certain financial covenants (described in greater detail above under “The covenants in our credit and loan agreements restrict our ability to operate our business and might lead to a default under our credit agreements”).
The Credit Agreements include customary events of default for facilities of a similar nature and size as the Credit Agreements, including if an event of default occurs under any agreement evidencing $500,000 or more of indebtedness of the Company; we fail to make any payment when due under any material agreement; subject to certain exceptions, any judgment is entered against the Company in an amount exceeding $500,000; and also provides that an event of default occurs if a change in control of the Company occurs, which includes if (a) Benjamin P. Cowart, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board and largest shareholder and Chris Carlson, the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, cease to own and control legally and beneficially, collectively, either directly or indirectly, equity securities in Vertex Energy, Inc., representing more than 15% of the combined voting power of all securities entitled to vote for members of the board of directors or equivalent on a fully-diluted basis, (b) the acquisition of ownership, directly or indirectly, beneficially or of record, by any person or group of securities representing more than 30% of the aggregate ordinary voting power represented by the issued and outstanding securities of Vertex Energy, Inc., or (c) during any period of 12 consecutive months, a majority of the members of the board of directors of the Company cease to be composed of individuals (i) who were members of that board or equivalent governing body on the first day of such period, (ii) whose election or nomination to that board or equivalent governing body was approved by individuals referred to in clause (i) above constituting at the time of such election or nomination at least a majority of that board or equivalent governing body or (iii) whose election or nomination to that board or other equivalent governing body was approved by individuals referred to in clauses (i) and (ii) above constituting at the time of such election or nomination at least a majority of that board or equivalent governing body.

A breach of any of the covenants of the Credit Agreements or any future agreements, if uncured, could lead to an event of default under any such document, which in some circumstances could give our creditors the right to demand that we accelerate repayment of amounts due and/or enforce their security interests over substantially all of our assets. This would likely in turn trigger cross-acceleration or cross-default rights in other documents governing our indebtedness. Therefore, in the event of any such breach, we may need to seek covenant waivers or amendments from our creditors or seek alternative or additional sources of financing, and we may not be able to obtain any such waivers or amendments or alternative or additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all. In addition, any covenant breach or event of default could harm our credit rating and our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and liquidity and/or cause our lenders to enforce their security interests which could ultimately result in the foreclosure of our assets, which would have a material adverse effect on our operations and the value of our securities.
Our obligations under the Credit Agreements are secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of our assets.
Our obligations under the Credit Agreements are secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of our assets. Additionally, substantially all of our subsidiaries agreed to guarantee our obligations under the Credit Agreements. As such, our creditors may enforce their security interests over our assets and/or our subsidiaries which secure the repayment of such obligations, take control of our assets and operations, force us to seek bankruptcy protection, or force us to curtail or abandon our current business plans and operations. If that were to happen, any investment in the Company could become worthless.
If we are unable to maintain a credit facility, it could have an adverse effect on our business.
We have historically been able to maintain lines of credit and other credit facilities similar to the Credit Agreements. We rely heavily on the availability and utilization of these lines of credit and credit facilities for our operations and for the purchase of inventory. If we are unable to renew or replace our facility or are unable to borrow funds under such facility or any future facility, we may be forced to curtail or abandon our current and/or future planned business operations.
RISKS RELATING TO OUR OPERATIONS, BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
General Risks
The price of oil and fluctuations in oil prices may have a negative effect on our results of operations.

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The majority of our operations are associated with collecting used oil, re-refining or otherwise processing a portion of such used oil and then selling both such re-refined/processed oil and the excess feedstock oil which we do not currently have the capacity to re-refine, to other customers. The prices at which we sell our re-refined/processed oil and extra feedstock are affected by changes in the reported spot market prices of oil. If applicable rates increase or decrease, we typically will charge a higher or lower corresponding price for our re-refined/processed oil and excess feedstock. The price at which we sell our re-refined/processed oil and excess feedstock is affected by changes in certain indices measuring changes in the price of heavy fuel oil, with increases and decreases in the indices typically translating into a higher or lower price for our re-refined/processed oil and excess feedstock. The cost to collect used oil, including the amounts we pay to obtain a portion of our used oil and therefore ability to collect necessary volumes as well as the fuel costs of our oil collection fleet, typically also increases or decreases when the relevant indices increase or decrease. However, even though the prices we can charge for our re-refined/processed oil and excess feedstock and the costs to collect and re-refine/processed used oil typically increase and decrease together, there is no assurance that when our costs to collect and re-refine/process used oil increase we will be able to increase the prices we charge for our re-refined/processed oil excess feedstock to cover such increased costs, or that our costs to collect and re-refine/process used oil will decline when the prices we can charge for re-refined/processed oil declines. These risks are exacerbated when there are rapid fluctuations in these oil indices.
In addition to the above, the value of re-refined and processed used oil is usually greater the more expensive oil is. As the price of oil decreases so does the spread between re-refined/processed used oil and refined oil and extremely low oil prices, such as the global markets have experienced during fiscal 2015 and 2016, customers will often be willing to pay the slightly higher cost of refined oil rather than paying for re-refined/processed oil. Furthermore, as the price of oil decreases, the price we can charge for re-refined/processed oil decreases, and while in general the cost of our feedstocks decrease, the fixed prices required to process such feedstock and operate our plans remain fixed. As such, in the event the price of oil remains low and we are not able to increase the prices we charge for re-refined/processed oil, our margins will likely decrease and it may not become economically feasible to continue to operate our facilities. In the event that were to occur we may be forced to shut down our facilities.
The occurrence of any of the events described above could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and could in turn cause the value of our securities to decline in value.
The prices of many of our products are subject to significant volatility.
Our principal products include marine fuel cutterstock and a higher-value feedstock for further processing, vacuum oil gas, base oil that is sold to lubricant packagers and distributors, pygas, gasoline blendstock and marine fuel cutterstock. The prices of these products are tied to the value of oil. Accordingly, our results of operations will be affected by fluctuations in the prevailing market price for oil. Historically, market prices for oil have fluctuated in response to a number of factors, including global changes in supply and demand resulting from changes in local and global economic conditions, changes in energy policies of U.S. and foreign governments, changes in international trading policies, OPEC, and other factors. While we seek to mitigate the risks associated with price declines, including in some situations, by using hedging, a significant decrease in the market price of any of our products or of oil would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flow. Furthermore, rapid and material changes in feedstock prices generally have an immediate and, often times, material impact on the Company’s gross margin and profitability resulting from the lag effect or lapse of time from the procurement of the feedstock until they are re-refined/processed and the finished products are sold. Our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected in the future by this volatility.
Our TCEP only makes commercial sense when the market price for oil is high.
We are currently utilizing TCEP to pre-treat our used motor oil feedstocks prior to shipping them to our facility at Marrero. We have not operated our TCEP for the purpose of producing finished cutterstock since the third quarter of fiscal 2015. As the price of oil decreased sharply in fiscal 2015 and 2016, we determined that it did not make economic sense to run our TCEP, which generates the greatest margins when oil prices are high. When oil prices are low, like they are currently, the fixed costs of TCEP are greater than the price we can charge for re-refined oil we can create using such technology. In the event oil prices remain low, moving forward we anticipate not operating TCEP, nor do we anticipate generating any revenues through the use of such technology and processes.

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Downturns and volatility in global economies and commodity and credit markets could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our results of operations are materially affected by the conditions of the global economies and the credit, commodities and stock markets. Among other things, we may be adversely impacted if our customers and suppliers are not able to access sufficient capital to continue to operate their businesses or to operate them at prior levels. A decline in consumer confidence or changing patterns in the availability and use of disposable income by consumers can negatively affect both our suppliers and customers. Declining discretionary consumer spending or the loss or impairment of a meaningful number of our suppliers or customers could lead to a dislocation in either feedstock availability or customer demand. Any tightening in credit supply could negatively affect our customers’ ability to pay for our products on a timely basis or at all and could result in a requirement for additional bad debt reserves. Although many of our customer contracts are formula-based, continued volatility in the oil market could negatively impact our revenues and overall profits. Counterparty risk on finished product sales can also impact revenue and operating profits when customers either are unable to obtain credit or refuse to take delivery of finished products due to market price declines.
If we are unable to retain current, and attain new, customers our revenue and cash flows could be reduced to levels that could adversely affect our results of operations.
Any of the following factors:
a material decrease in the supply or price of crude oil or petroleum related products in which we deal;
a material decrease in demand for the finished products in the markets we serve;
scheduled refinery turnarounds or unscheduled maintenance; and
operational problems or catastrophic events at any of our facilities,
could result in our inability to maintain current customers or attain new customers. If that were to happen our results of operations could be materially adversely affected and the value of our securities could decline in value.
We are dependent on third parties for the disposal of our waste streams.
We do not own any waste disposal sites. As a result, we are dependent on third parties for the disposal of waste streams. To date, disposal vendors have met their requirements but they may not continue to do so. If for some reason our current disposal vendors cannot perform up to standards, we may be required to replace them. Although we believe there are a number of potential replacement disposal vendors that could provide such services, we may incur additional costs and delays in identifying and qualifying such replacements. In addition, any mishandling of our waste streams by disposal vendors could expose us to liability. Any failure by disposal vendors to properly collect, transport, handle or dispose of our waste streams could expose us to liability, damage our reputation and generally have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We are dependent on third party generators and collectors for our feedstock.
Generators are entities that generate used oil through their daily operations such as automotive businesses conducting oil changes on consumer and commercial vehicles and industrial users changing lubricants on machinery and heavy equipment.
Collectors are typically local businesses that purchase used oil from generators and provide on-site collection services. The collection market is highly fragmented and we believe there are more than 400 used oil collectors in the United States.
We depend on generators to generate used oil feedstock and collectors to collect such feedstock. In the event a significant number of generators cease generating feedstock, or generators and collectors cease providing us their feedstock or otherwise materially change the current process by which feedstock is collected, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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Worsening economic conditions and trends and downturns in the business cycles of the industries we serve and which provide services to us would impact our business and operating results.
A significant portion of our customer base is comprised of companies in the chemical manufacturing and hydrocarbon recovery industries. The overall levels of demand for our products, refining operations, and future planned re-refined oil products are driven by fluctuations in levels of end-user demand, which depend in large part on general macroeconomic conditions in the U.S., as well as regional economic conditions. For example, many of our principal consumers are themselves heavily dependent on general economic conditions, including the price of fuel and energy, availability of affordable credit and capital, employment levels, interest rates, consumer confidence and housing demand. These cyclical shifts in our customers’ businesses may result in fluctuations in demand, volumes, pricing and operating margins for our services and products.
In addition to our customers, the suppliers of our feedstock may also be affected by downturns in the economy and adverse changes in the price of feedstock. For example, we previously experienced difficulty obtaining feedstock from our suppliers who, because of the sharp downturn in the price of oil (used and otherwise) have seen their margins decrease substantially, which in some cases have made it uneconomical for such suppliers to purchase feedstock from their suppliers and/or sell to us at the rates set forth in their contracts. Any similar decline in the price of oil and/or the economy in general could create a decrease in the supply of feedstock, prevent us from maintaining our required levels of output and/or force us to seek additional suppliers of feedstock, who may charge more than our current suppliers, and therefore adversely affect our results of operations.
Our operating margins and profitability may be negatively impacted by changes in fuel and energy costs.
We transport our feedstock, refined oil and re-refined oil, VGO and other materials with trucks and by rail. As a result, increases in shipping and transportation costs caused by increases in oil, gasoline and diesel prices have a significant impact on our operating expenses. The price and supply of oil and gas is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events beyond our control, including geopolitical developments, natural disasters, supply and demand for oil and natural gas, actions by OPEC and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries, regional production patterns and environmental concerns. A significant increase in transportation or fuel costs could lower our operating margins and negatively impact our profitability.
Additionally, the price at which we sell our refined oil and our re-refined oil, VGO and other materials is affected by changes in certain oil indexes. If the relevant oil index rises, we anticipate being able to increase the prices for our refined and re-refined oil. If the relevant oil index declines, we anticipate having to reduce prices for our refined and re-refined oil. However, the cost to collect used oil and refinery feedstock, including the amounts that must be paid to obtain used oil and feedstock, generally also increases or decreases when the relevant index increases or decreases. Even though the prices that can be charged for our refined and re-refined products and the costs to collect, refine, and re-refine the feedstock generally increase and decrease together, if the costs to collect, refine and re-refine used oil and petrochemical products increase in the future, we may not be able to increase the prices we charge for our refined and re-refined products to cover such increased costs. Additionally, the costs to collect, refine and re-refine used oil and petrochemical products may not decline if the prices we can charge for our products decline. If the prices we charge for our finished products and the costs to collect, refine and re-refine products do not move together or in similar magnitudes, our profitability may be materially and negatively impacted.
We are vulnerable to the potential difficulties associated with rapid growth.
We believe that our future success depends on our ability to manage the rapid growth that we have experienced, and the continued growth that we expect to experience organically and through acquisitions. Our growth places additional demands and responsibilities on our management to, among other things, maintain existing suppliers and customers and attract, recruit, retain and effectively manage employees, as well as expand operations. The following factors could present difficulties to us: lack of sufficient executive-level personnel and increased administrative burden; availability of suitable acquisition candidates, trucks, barges, tanks, rail cars and processing facilities; and the ability to provide focused service attention to our customers, among others.
Our contracts may not be renewed and our existing relationships may not continue, which could be exacerbated by the fact that a limited number of our customers represented a significant portion of our sales.
Our contracts and relationships in the black oil business include feedstock purchasing agreements with local waste oil collectors, feedstock sale agreements, a few key relationships in the bunkering, blending and No. 6 oil industry, and other relationships. Because our operations are extremely dependent on the black oil key bunkering, blending and No. 6 oil relationships as well as our third-party refining contracts, if we were to lose relationships, there would be a material adverse effect on our operations and results of operations. Additionally, if we were to lose any of our current local waste oil collectors, we could be

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required to spend additional resources locating and providing incentives for other waste oil collectors, which could cause our expenses to increase and/or cause us to curtail or abandon our business plans.
This is exacerbated by the fact that four companies represented 19%, 11%, 9% and 8% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016, and four companies represented approximately 24%, 15%, 8%, and 2% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015. As a result, if we were to lose any of our largest revenue producing relationships, we may be forced to expend additional resources attempting to secure replacement relationships, which may not be on as favorable terms as our current relationships, if such relationships can be secured at all.
A significant portion of our historical revenues are a result of our agreement with KMTEX.
We have an agreement in place with KMTEX, which specializes in the custom processing of petrochemicals and other chemicals. Our services include terminal storage and expert project management in materials handling, distillation, filtration, molecular sieve, and reaction chemistry, pursuant to which KMTEX agreed to process feedstock of certain petroleum distillates, which we provide to KMTEX to process into more valuable feedstocks, including pygas, gasoline blendstock and cutterstock, which agreement currently expires on December 31, 2018, provided that if not terminated by either party by written notice to the other, received within ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the initial term or any extension term, the agreement automatically renews for up to six additional one (1) year periods. However, either party can terminate the agreement at any time with ninety days prior written notice for any reason and with thirty days written notice upon the occurrence of certain material termination events as described in greater detail in the agreement. If KMTEX were to terminate our relationship and/or not agree to renew our agreement with it, we would be forced to spend resources attempting to locate another party which we could supply our feedstock which could take substantial time, if such alternative party is even available. If we are able to find another contracting party, the terms of the understanding or agreement with such contracting party may be on terms less favorable to us and/or may force us to transport our feedstock a greater distance. As a result of the above, if we were to lose our relationship with KMTEX our expenses may increase, our results of operations may decrease and/or it may cause us to curtail or abandon our business plans, all of which would likely cause the value of our securities to decrease in value.
We operate in competitive markets, and there can be no certainty that we will maintain our current customers or attract new customers or that our operating margins will not be impacted by competition.
The industries in which we operate are highly competitive. We compete with numerous local and regional companies of varying sizes and financial resources in our refining and feedstock consolidation operations, transportation services, feedstock collection and aggregation and used oil recycling, and we compete with larger oil companies, with significantly greater resources than us, in our oil re-refining operations. We expect competition to intensify in the future. Furthermore, numerous well-established companies are focusing significant resources on providing used oil collection, transportation, refining and re-refining services that will compete with our services. We may not be able to effectively compete with these other companies and competitive pressures, including possible downward pressure on the prices we charge for our products and services, may arise. In the event that we cannot effectively compete on a continuing basis, or competitive pressures arise, such inability to compete or competitive pressures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Disruptions in the supply of feedstock and/or increases in the cost of feedstock could have an adverse effect on our business.
We depend on the continuing availability of raw materials, including feedstock, to remain in production. Additionally, we depend on the price of such raw materials, including feedstock being reasonable to us in relation to the prices we are able to receive for our final products. A serious disruption in supply of feedstock, or significant increases in the prices of feedstock, could significantly reduce the availability of raw materials at our plants and which are available to be processed by our third-party processors. Additionally, increases in production costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
For example, we have previously experienced difficulty in obtaining feedstock from our suppliers who, because of the sharp downturn in the price of oil (used and otherwise) have seen their margins decrease substantially, which in some cases has made it uneconomical for such suppliers to purchase feedstock from their suppliers and/or sell to us at the rates set forth in their contracts. Any similar decline in the price of oil and/or the economy in general could create a decrease in the supply of feedstock, prevent us from maintaining our required levels of output and/or force us to seek out additional suppliers of feedstock, who may charge more than our current suppliers, and therefore adversely affect our results of operations.

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Unanticipated problems at, or downtime effecting, our facilities and those operated by third parties on which we rely, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our ability to process feedstocks depends on our ability to operate our refining/processing operations and facilities, and those operated by third parties on which we rely, including, but not limited to KMTEX, and the total time that such facilities are online and operational. The occurrence of significant unforeseen conditions or events in connection with the operation or maintenance of such facilities, such as the need to refurbish such facilities, shortages of workers or materials, adverse weather, including, but not limited to lightning strikes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, equipment failures, fires, explosions, oil or other leaks, damage to or destruction of property and equipment associated therewith, environmental releases and/or damage, government regulation changes affecting the use of such facilities, terrorist attacks, mechanical or physical failures of equipment, acts of God, or other conditions or events, could prevent us from operating our facilities, or prevent such third parties from operating their facilities, or could force us or such third parties to shut such facilities down for repairs, maintenance, refurbishment or upgrades for a significant period of time. In the event any of our facilities or those of third parties on which we rely are offline for an extended period of time it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and consequently the price of our securities.
The fees charged to customers under our agreements with them may not escalate sufficiently to cover increases in costs and the agreements may be suspended in some circumstances, which would affect our profitability.
Under our agreements with our customers, we may be unable to increase the fees that we charge our customers at a rate sufficient to offset any increases in our costs. Additionally, some customers’ obligations under their agreements with us may be permanently or temporarily reduced upon the occurrence of certain events, some of which are beyond our control, including force majeure events. Force majeure events may include (but are not limited to) events such as revolutions, wars, acts of enemies, embargoes, import or export restrictions, strikes, lockouts, fires, storms, floods, acts of God, explosions, mechanical or physical failures of our equipment or facilities of our customers. If the escalation of fees is insufficient to cover increased costs or if any customer suspends or terminates its contracts with us, our profitability could be materially and adversely affected.
Improvements in or new discoveries of alternative energy technologies could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Because our business depends on the demand for oil and used oil, any improvement in or new discoveries of alternative energy technologies (such as wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells and biofuels) that increase the use of alternative forms of energy and reduce the demand for oil, used oil and oil and used oil related products could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Improvements in or new methodologies or technology relating to the refining and re-refining of used oil feedstocks could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
In the event our competitors or future competitors design or implement new methodologies or new technology relating to the refining or re-refining of used oil feedstock it could reduce demand for our processes, or make such processes commercially irrelevant. In the event we are not able to duplicate or license such new methodologies or technology it could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is subject to operational and safety risks, including the risk of personal injury to employees and others.
Our operations involve risks such as truck accidents, equipment defects, malfunctions and failures. Additionally, our operations are subject to risk associated with releases of oil and other materials. Operation of our facilities involves additional risks of fire and explosion. Any of these risks could potentially result in injury or death of employees and others, a need to shut down or reduce operation of facilities, increased operating expense and exposure to liability for pollution and other environmental damage, and property damage or destruction.
While we seek to minimize our exposure to such risks through comprehensive training, compliance and response and recovery programs, as well as vehicle and equipment maintenance programs, if we were to incur substantial liabilities in excess of any applicable insurance, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Any such incidents could also tarnish our reputation and reduce the value of our brand. Additionally, a major operational failure, even if suffered by a competitor, may bring enhanced scrutiny and regulation of our industry, with a corresponding increase in operating expense.

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We may be subject to citizen opposition and negative publicity due to public concerns over our operations and planned future operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
There currently exists a high level of public concern over hazardous waste and refining and re-refining operations, including with respect to the location and operation of transfer, processing, storage and disposal facilities. Part of our business strategy is to increase our re-refining capacity through the construction of new facilities in growth markets. Zoning, permit and licensing applications and proceedings, as well as regulatory enforcement proceedings, are all matters open to public scrutiny and comment. Accordingly, from time to time we may be subject to citizen opposition and publicity which may damage our reputation and delay or limit the planned expansion and development of future facilities or operations or impair our ability to renew existing permits, any of which could prevent us from implementing our growth strategy and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We depend heavily on the services of our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Benjamin P. Cowart.
Our success depends heavily upon the personal efforts and abilities of Benjamin P. Cowart, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, who is employed by us pursuant to an employment contract which continues in effect until December 31, 2018, provided that the agreement automatically extends for additional one year terms thereafter in the event neither party provides the other at least 60 days prior notice of their intention not to renew the terms of the agreement. We do not currently have any “key man” life insurance policy in place for Mr. Cowart. The loss of Mr. Cowart or other key employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, the absence of Mr. Cowart may force us to seek a replacement who may have less experience or who may not understand our business as well, or we may not be able to find a suitable replacement.
Unanticipated problems or delays in building our facilities to the proper specifications may harm our business and viability.
Our future growth will depend on our ability to timely and economically complete and operate our re-refining facilities and operate our existing refining operations and facilities. If our operations are disrupted or our economic integrity is threatened for unexpected reasons, our business may experience a substantial setback. Moreover, the occurrence of significant unforeseen conditions or events in connection with the construction of our planned facilities may require us to reexamine our business model. Any change to our business model or management’s evaluation of the viability of our planned services may adversely affect our business. Construction costs for our future facilities may also increase to a level that would make a new facility too expensive to complete or unprofitable to operate. Contractors, engineering firms, construction firms and equipment suppliers also receive requests and orders from other companies and, therefore, we may not be able to secure their services or products on a timely basis or on acceptable financial terms. We may suffer significant delays or cost overruns as a result of a variety of factors, such as increases in the prices of raw materials, shortages of workers or materials, transportation constraints, adverse weather, equipment failures, fires, damage to or destruction of property and equipment, environmental damage, unforeseen difficulties or labor issues, any of which could prevent us from beginning or completing construction or commencing operations at future re-refining facilities.
Strategic relationships on which we rely are subject to change.
Our ability to identify and enter into commercial arrangements with feedstock suppliers and refined and re-refined oil clients depends on developing and maintaining close working relationships with industry participants. Our success in this area also depends on our ability to select and evaluate suitable projects as well as to consummate transactions in a highly competitive environment. These factors are subject to change and may impair our ability to grow.

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Disruptions to infrastructure and our and our partner’s facilities could materially and adversely affect our business.
Our business depends on the continuing availability of road, railroad, port, storage and distribution infrastructure and our re-refining facilities. Any disruptions in this infrastructure network or such re-refining facilities, whether caused by labor difficulties, earthquakes, storms, other natural disasters, human error or malfeasance or other reasons, could have a material adverse effect on our business. We rely on third parties to maintain the rail lines from our plants to the national rail network, and any failure by these third parties to maintain the lines could impede the delivery of products, impose additional costs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. For example, previous damage to our terminal facility located at Cedar Marine Terminal in Baytown, Texas as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008 (which caused the terminal to temporarily be out of operation) resulted in increased costs associated with the shipping of feedstock through third-party contractors, thereby raising the overall cost of the feedstock and lowering our margins. Additional hurricanes or natural disasters in the future could cause similar damage to our infrastructure, prevent us from generating revenues while such infrastructure is undergoing repair (if repairable) and/or cause our margins and therefore our results of operations to be adversely affected.
Additionally, we also experienced a fire at our Heartland facility in February 2016, which took the facility offline for repairs for a period of time. Any prolonged period during which the facilities we operate or acquire are non-operational or operational on a limited basis due to the decision to refurbish or upgrade such facilities, due to accidents or events which occur at such facilities, including, but not limited to fires, floods or other acts of God, or any other reason, including problems with the facilities, could adversely affect our revenues and results of operations. Furthermore, any period during which KMTEX’s facilities or our other facilities are offline could have an adverse effect on our revenues, force us to seek alternative re-refining facilities (which may be more expensive or require us to transport our feedstock over longer distances) and may increase our expenses, decreasing our operating margins.
Negative publicity may harm our operations and we may face additional expenses due to such negative publicity.
Only a relatively small number of entities operate in our industry including competitors, feedstock suppliers, re-refining operators, purchasers of our products and transportation companies. If issues arise with our products or third parties (including entities which operate in our industry) allege issues with our products, even if no issues with such products exist, such negative publicity may force us to change service providers, undertake certain transportation activities ourselves, at higher costs than third parties would charge, or cause certain of our buyers, sellers or service providers to cease working with us. The result of such actions may result in our expenses increasing, a decrease in our ability to purchase feedstock, or our ability to sell or transport our resulting products, which could cause our revenues to decrease and/or expenses to increase, which could cause a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our commercial success will depend in part on our ability to obtain and maintain protection of our intellectual property.
Our success will depend in part on our ability to maintain or obtain and enforce patent rights and other intellectual property protection for our technologies, to preserve our trade secrets, and to operate without infringing upon the proprietary rights of third parties. We currently have five registered patents in the United States (none, internationally). If we file additional patent applications for our technologies in the future, such patents may not be granted and the scope of any claims granted in any patent may not provide us with proprietary protection or a competitive advantage. Furthermore, our current patents, or future patents, if granted, may not be valid and may not afford us with protection against competitors with similar technology. The failure to obtain or maintain patents or other intellectual property protection on the technologies underlying our technologies may have a material adverse effect on our competitive position and business prospects. It is also possible that our technologies may infringe on patents or other intellectual property rights owned by others. We may have to alter our products or processes, pay licensing fees, defend an infringement action or challenge the validity of the patents in court, or cease activities altogether because of patent rights of third parties, thereby causing additional unexpected costs and delays to it. A license may not be available to us, if at all, upon terms and conditions acceptable to us and we may not prevail in any intellectual property litigation. Intellectual property litigation is costly and time consuming, and we may not have sufficient resources to pursue such litigation. If we do not obtain a license under such intellectual property rights, are found liable for infringement or are not able to have such patents declared invalid, we may be liable for significant money damages and may encounter significant delays in bringing products to market.
Competition may impair our success.
New technologies may be developed by others that could compete with our refining and re-refining technologies. In addition, we face competition from other producers of oil substitutes and related products. Such competition is expected to be intense and could significantly drive down the price for our products. Competition will likely increase as prices of energy in the commodities market, including refined and re-refined oil, rise. Additionally, new companies are constantly entering the market,

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thus increasing the competition even further. These companies may have greater success in the recruitment and retention of qualified employees, as well as in conducting their own refining and re-refining operations, and may have greater access to feedstock, market presence, economies of scale, financial resources and engineering, technical and marketing capabilities, which may give them a competitive advantage. In addition, actual or potential competitors may be strengthened through the acquisition of additional assets and interests. If we are unable to compete effectively or adequately respond to competitive pressures, this may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and could also have a negative impact on our ability to obtain additional capital from investors.
Potential competition from our existing employees could negatively impact our profitability.
Although Mr. Cowart and certain other employees of ours are prohibited from competing with us (i) while they are employed with us and for six months thereafter, and (ii) in the business of transporting, storing, processing and refining petroleum products, crudes and lubricants in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, until August 31, 2017, none of such individuals will be prohibited from competing with us after such six-month period ends, subject to the non-competition restriction expiring August 31, 2017. Accordingly, any of these individuals could be in a position to use industry experience gained while working with us to compete with us. Such competition could increase our costs to obtain feedstock, and increase our costs for contracting use of operating assets and services such as third-party refining capacity, trucking services or terminal access. Furthermore, such competition could distract or confuse customers, reduce the value of our intellectual property and trade secrets, or result in a reduction in the prices we are able to obtain for our finished products. Any of the foregoing could reduce our future revenues, earnings or growth prospects.
Competition due to advances in renewable fuels may lessen the demand for our products and negatively impact our profitability.
Alternatives to petroleum-based products and production methods are continually under development. For example, a number of automotive, industrial and power generation manufacturers are developing alternative clean power systems using fuel cells or clean-burning gaseous fuels that may address increasing worldwide energy costs, the long-term availability of petroleum reserves and environmental concerns, which if successful could lower the demand for our services. If these non-petroleum based products and oil alternatives continue to expand and gain broad acceptance such that the overall demand for our products is reduced, we may not be able to compete effectively in the marketplace.
We will rely on new technology to conduct our business, including TCEP and our technology could become ineffective or obsolete.
We will be required to continually enhance and update our technology to maintain our efficiency and to avoid obsolescence. Currently TCEP is not producing product because the total revenues and gross profit margins are below the Company's expectations.
Additionally, the costs moving forward of enhancing and updating and/or replicating our technology or creating new technology may be substantial and may be higher than the costs that we anticipated for technology maintenance and development. If we are unable to maintain the efficiency of our technology, replicate our technology, or create new technologies our ability to manage our business and to compete may be impaired. Even if we are able to maintain technical effectiveness, our technology may not be the most efficient means of reaching our objectives, in which case we may incur higher operating costs than we would if our technology was more effective. The impact of these potential future technical shortcomings, including but not limited to the failure of TCEP, and/or the costs associated with enhancing or replicating TCEP could have a material adverse effect on our prospects, business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Our operations would be negatively affected if we are unable to use our facilities in the future.
If we were not able to use any one or more of our facilities moving forward, our ability to generate revenue and compete in the marketplace would be negatively affected. If we are unable to use our facilities for any reason, we will not be able to effectively generate revenue or compete with additional technologies brought to market by our competitors, the volume of our finished products, would decline and our finished products could be worth less and if our competitors are willing to pay more for feedstock than we are, they could drive up prices, which would cause our revenues to decrease, and cause our cost of sales to increase, respectively. Additionally, if we are forced to pay more for feedstock, our cash flows will be negatively impacted and our margins will decrease.

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Our business is subject to local, legal, political, and economic factors which are beyond our control.
We believe that the current political environment for refining and re-refining facilities is sufficiently supportive to enable us to continue to operate our facilities and in the future plan and implement the construction of additional facilities; however, there are risks that conditions will change in an adverse manner. These risks include, but are not limited to, environmental issues, land use, air emissions, water use, zoning, workplace safety, restrictions imposed on the re-refining industry such as restrictions on production, substantial changes in product quality standards, restrictions on feedstock supply, price controls and export controls. Any changes in financial incentives, investment regulations, policies or a shift in political attitudes are beyond our control and may adversely affect our business, plans for future facilities, and future financial results.
Additionally, the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Coast Guard and Homeland Security and various federal, state, local and foreign agencies exercise broad powers over our transportation operations, generally governing such activities as authorization to engage in motor carrier operations, safety and permits to conduct transportation business. We may also become subject to new or more restrictive regulations that the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency or other authorities impose, including regulations relating to engine exhaust emissions, the hours of service that our drivers may provide in any one-time period, security and other matters. Compliance with these regulations could increase our costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
Our business may be harmed by anti-terrorism measures.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States and increased concerns regarding future terrorist attacks, federal, state and municipal authorities implemented and are implementing various security measures, including checkpoints and travel restrictions on large trucks. Although many companies are adversely affected by slowdowns in the availability of freight transportation, the negative impact could affect our business disproportionately. For example, if the security measures disrupt or impede the timing of our deliveries of feedstock, we may not have sufficient feedstock to run our re-refining processes at full capacity, or may incur increased expenses to do so. These measures may significantly increase our costs and reduce our operating margins and income.
Our business is geographically concentrated and is therefore subject to regional economic downturns.
Our operations and customers are concentrated principally in the Gulf Coast,upper Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic. Therefore, our business, financial condition and results of operations are susceptible to regional economic downturns and other regional factors, including state regulations and budget constraints and severe weather conditions. In addition, as we seek to expand in our existing markets, opportunities for growth within this region may become more limited and the geographic concentration of our business may increase.
If we cannot maintain adequate insurance coverage, we will be unable to continue certain operations.
Our business exposes us to various risks, including claims for causing damage to property and injuries to persons that may involve allegations of negligence or professional errors or omissions in the performance of our services. Such claims could be substantial. We believe that our insurance coverage is presently adequate and similar to, or greater than, the coverage maintained by other similarly situated companies in the industry. If we are unable to obtain adequate or required insurance coverage in the future, or if such insurance is not available at affordable rates, we could be in violation of our permit conditions and other requirements of the environmental laws, rules and regulations under which we operate. Such violations could render us unable to continue certain of our operations. These events could result in an inability to operate certain assets and significantly impair our financial condition.
Our insurance policies do not cover all losses, costs or liabilities that we may experience.
We maintain insurance coverage, but these policies do not cover all of our potential losses, costs or liabilities. We could suffer losses for uninsurable or uninsured risks, or in amounts in excess of our existing insurance coverage, which would significantly affect our financial performance. Our insurance policies also have deductibles and self-retention limits that could expose us to significant financial expense. Our ability to obtain and maintain adequate insurance may be affected by conditions in the insurance market over which we have no control. The occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our business requires that we maintain various types of insurance. If such insurance is not available or not available on economically acceptable terms, our business would be materially and adversely affected.

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Claims above our insurance limits, or significant increases in our insurance premiums, may reduce our profitability.
We currently employ 58 full-time drivers. From time to time, some of these employee drivers are involved in automobile accidents. We currently carry liability insurance of $1,000,000 for our drivers, subject to applicable deductibles, and carry umbrella coverage up to $25,000,000. We currently employ over 200 employees. Claims against us may exceed the amounts of available insurance coverage. If we were to experience a material increase in the frequency or severity of accidents, liability claims or workers’ compensation claims or unfavorable resolutions of claims, our operating results could be materially affected.
Litigation related to personal injury from the operation of our business may result in significant liabilities and limit our profitability.
The hazards and risks associated with the transport, storage, and handling, treatment and disposal of used oil and other hydrocarbon products (such as fires, spills, explosions and accidents) may expose us to personal injury claims, property damage claims and/or products liability claims from our employees, customers or third parties. As protection against such claims and operating hazards, we maintain insurance coverage against some, but not all, potential losses. However, we may sustain losses for uninsurable or uninsured risks, or in amounts in excess of existing insurance coverage. Due to the unpredictable nature of personal injury litigation, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome of any future claims or lawsuits, and we may be held liable for significant personal injury or damage to property or third parties, or other losses, that are not fully covered by our insurance, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The litigation environment in which we operate poses a significant risk to our businesses.

We may be involved from time to time in the ordinary course of business in lawsuits involving employment, commercial, and environmental issues, other claims for injuries and damages, and shareholder and class action litigation, among other matters. We may experience negative outcomes in such lawsuits in the future. Any such negative outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business, liquidity, financial condition and results of operations. We evaluate litigation claims and legal proceedings to assess the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes and to estimate, if possible, the amount of potential losses. Based on these assessments and estimates, we establish reserves and disclose the relevant litigation claims or legal proceedings, as appropriate. These assessments and estimates are based on the information available to management at the time and involve a significant amount of judgment. Actual outcomes or losses may differ materially from such assessments and estimates. The settlement or resolution of such claims or proceedings may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. In addition, judges and juries in certain jurisdictions in which we conduct business have demonstrated a willingness to grant large verdicts, including punitive damages, to plaintiffs in personal injury, property damage and other tort cases. We use appropriate means to contest litigation threatened or filed against us, but the litigation environment in these areas poses a significant business risk to us and could cause a significant diversion of management resources and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Increases in energy costs will affect our operating results and financial condition.
Our production costs will be dependent on the costs of the energy sources used to run our facilities and to procure feedstock. These costs are subject to fluctuations and variations, and we may not be able to predict or control these costs. If these costs exceed our expectations, this may adversely affect our results of operations.
Fluctuations in fuel costs could impact our operating expenses and results.
We operate a fleet of transportation, collection and aggregation trucks to collect and transport used oil and re-refined oil products, among other things. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events beyond our control, including, among others, geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regional production patterns. We have experienced increases in the cost of fuel over the past several years. Although in the past, we have been able to pass-through some of these costs to our customers, we may not be able to continue to do so in the future. A significant increase in our fuel or other transportation costs could lower our operating margins and negatively impact our profitability.
Our hedging activities may prevent us from benefiting fully from increases in oil prices and may expose us to other risks, including counterparty risk.

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We use derivative instruments to hedge the impact of fluctuations in oil prices on our results of operations and cash flows. To the extent that we engage in hedging activities to protect ourselves against commodity price declines, we may be prevented from fully realizing the benefits of increases in oil prices above the prices established by our hedging contracts. In addition, our hedging activities may expose us to the risk of financial loss in certain circumstances, including instances in which the counterparties to our hedging contracts fail to perform under the contracts. Finally, we are subject to risks associated with the adoption of derivatives legislation and regulations (including under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) related to derivative contracts which if adopted, could have an adverse impact on our ability to hedge risks associated with our business. If regulations adopted in the future require that we post margin for our hedging activities or require our counterparties to hold margin or maintain capital levels, the cost of which could be passed through to us, or impose other requirements that are more burdensome than current regulations, hedging transactions in the future would become more expensive than we experienced in the past.
Competitors that produce their own supply of feedstocks, have more extensive retail outlets, or have greater financial resources may have a competitive advantage.

The refining and re-refining industries are highly competitive with respect to both feedstock supply and refined/re-refined product markets. We compete with many companies for available supplies of feedstocks and for outlets for our products. We do not produce any of our feedstocks. Some of our competitors, however, obtain a portion of their feedstocks from their own production and some have more extensive retail outlets than we have. Competitors that have their own production or extensive retail outlets (and greater brand-name recognition) are at times able to offset losses from their operations with profits from producing or retailing operations, and may be better positioned to withstand periods of depressed margins or feedstock shortages.

Some of our competitors also have materially greater financial and other resources than we have. Such competitors have a greater ability to bear the economic risks inherent in all phases of our business. In addition, we compete with other industries that provide alternative means to satisfy the energy and fuel requirements of our industrial, commercial and individual customers.

Risks Relating to Accounting and Internal Controls

We incur significant costs as a result of operating as a fully reporting company in connection with Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, and our management is required to devote substantial time to compliance initiatives.
We incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses in connection with our status as a fully reporting public company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”) and rules subsequently implemented by the SEC have imposed various requirements on public companies, including requiring changes in corporate governance practices. As such, our management and other personnel are required to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time consuming and costly. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective internal controls for financial reporting and disclosure of controls and procedures. Our testing may, and has in the past, revealed deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses. Our compliance with Section 404 will require that we incur substantial accounting expense and expend significant management efforts. We may need to hire additional accounting and financial staff with appropriate public company experience and technical accounting knowledge to comply with such compliance requirements. Moreover, if we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner, or if we identify deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses, the market price of our stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which would require additional financial and management resources.
We have reported material weaknesses in the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting, and if we cannot maintain effective internal controls or provide reliable financial and other information in the future, investors may lose confidence in our SEC reports.
We are reporting a material weakness in the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in this report, as described below under "Part II"-"Item 9A. Controls and Procedures". Specially, we identified the following material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016:
Accounting and reporting resources. The Company does not have the accounting and financial reporting resources to adequately and timely address complex and unusual accounting issues and related disclosures as well as perform a high level management review to detect material errors in the financial statements.

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The material weakness described above, or other material weaknesses which we become aware of in the future, could result in us determining that our controls and procedures are not effective in future periods or could result in a material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.
Effective internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures are necessary for us to provide reliable financial and other reports and effectively prevent fraud. If we cannot maintain effective internal controls or provide reliable financial or SEC reports or prevent fraud, investors may lose confidence in our SEC reports, our operating results and the trading price of our common stock could suffer and we might become subject to litigation.
The report of our independent registered public accounting firm has previously expressed substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern and future reports may similarly express a going concern.
Our auditors indicated in their report on the Company’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 that conditions existed that raise a substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern due to our net loss for the year ended December 31, 2015. A similar future “going concern” opinion could impair our ability to finance our operations through the sale of equity, incurring debt, or other financing alternatives and/or negatively affect our relationships with customers and suppliers and/or negatively effect the willingness of our suppliers to allow us to maintain credit with them. Our ability to continue as a going concern will depend upon our ability to grow our operations and integrate newly acquired assets and operations, our ability to acquire additional assets and operations, and our ability to improve operating margins and regain profitability. If we are unable to achieve these goals, our business would be jeopardized and the Company may not be able to continue. If we ceased operations, it is likely that all of our investors would lose their investment.
Our ability to use our net operating loss carry-forwards may be subject to limitation.
Under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, substantial changes in our ownership may limit the amount of net operating loss carry-forwards that could be utilized annually in the future to offset our taxable income. Specifically, this limitation may arise in the event of a cumulative change in ownership of our company of more than 50% within a three-year period. Any such annual limitation may significantly reduce the utilization of our net operating loss carry-forwards before they expire. Transactions that may occur in the future may trigger an ownership change pursuant to Section 382, and prior transactions may be deemed to have triggered an ownership change pursuant to Section 382, the result of which could limit the amount of net operating loss carryforwards that we can utilize annually to offset our taxable income, if any. Any such limitation could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our inventory is subject to significant impairment charges in the event the prices of oil and gas fall sharply after such inventory is acquired.
We did not have an inventory impairment charge for the period ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. In the event, commodity prices fall sharply during any period requiring the Company to take a non-cash charge/adjustment to the value of our products in inventory taking into account the lower market value for the products being held for sale. Similar significant impairment charges could negatively affect our balance sheet, result in us not meeting certain debt ratios set forth in our credit and loan agreements, and negatively affect our cash flows. Future significant impairment charges and/or significant decreases in oil prices could have a material adverse effect on our balance sheet, debt covenants (including creating an event of default) and could further cause the value of our securities to decline in value.
Future conditions might require us to make write-downs in our assets, which would adversely affect our balance sheet and results of operations.
We review our long-lived tangible and intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. We also test our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment at least annually on December 31, or when events or changes in the business environment indicate that the carrying value of a reportable segment may exceed its fair value. During and as of the end of each of 2016 and 2015, we determined that $0 and $5,199,803, respectively, in asset write-downs were required. However, if conditions in any of the businesses in which we compete were to deteriorate, we could determine that certain of our assets were impaired and we would then be required to write-off all or a portion of our costs for such assets. Any such significant write-offs would adversely affect our balance sheet and results of operations.

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Risks Relating to Acquisitions
We face risks associated with the integration of the businesses, assets and operations acquired from E-Source, Omega and Heartland.
We previously acquired substantially all of the assets and operations of E-Source, which provides dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage services at industrial facilities throughout the Gulf Coast; Omega Holdings including Omega Refining (including the Marrero, Louisiana re-refinery and Omega’s Myrtle Grove complex in Belle Chasse, Louisiana) and Heartland, as related to and used in an oil re-refinery and, in connection with the collecting, aggregating and purchasing of used lubricating oils and the re-refining of such oils into processed oils and other products.
The majority of these acquisitions represented new business lines and operations for us and while our management has significant prior experience in connection with oil refining and re-refining, it does not have any experience with or in connection with the specific operations of E-Source or those assets and operations acquired from Omega or Heartland and we may not be able to successfully integrate the acquisitions into our operations and such acquisitions may not positively affect our operations and cash flow. Acquisitions such as these involve numerous risks, including difficulties in the assimilation of the acquired businesses. The consolidation of our operations with the operations of the acquired companies, including the consolidation of systems, procedures, personnel and facilities and the achievement of anticipated cost savings, economies of scale and other business efficiencies presents significant challenges to our management. The acquisition of the acquired businesses and/or our failure to successfully integrate the acquired businesses could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, financial condition and results of operations.
Our strategy includes pursuing acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures and our potential inability to successfully integrate newly-acquired companies or businesses, or successfully manage our partnerships and joint ventures may adversely affect our financial results.
In the future, we may seek to grow our business by investing in new or existing facilities or technologies, making acquisitions (similar to the acquisitions of Omega and Heartland) or entering into partnerships and joint ventures. Acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures or investments may require significant managerial attention, which may divert management from our other activities and may impair the operation of our existing businesses. Any future acquisitions of businesses or facilities could entail a number of additional risks, including:
the failure to successfully integrate the acquired businesses or facilities or new technology into our operations;
incurring significantly higher than anticipated capital expenditures and operating expenses;
disrupting our ongoing business;
dissipating our management resources;
failing to maintain uniform standards, controls and policies;
the inability to maintain key pre-acquisition business relationships;
loss of key personnel of the acquired business or facility;
exposure to unanticipated liabilities; and
the failure to realize efficiencies, synergies and cost savings.
We may also assume liabilities and environmental liabilities as part of acquisitions (including the Omega acquisition). Although we will endeavor to accurately estimate and limit liabilities and environmental liabilities presented by the businesses or facilities to be acquired, some liabilities, including ones that may exist only because of the past operations of an acquired business or facility, may prove to be more difficult or costly to address than we then estimate. It is also possible that government officials responsible for enforcing environmental laws may believe an environmental liability is more significant than we then estimate, or that we will fail to identify or fully appreciate an existing liability before we become legally responsible to address it. We may have no recourse, or only limited recourse, to the former owners of such properties in the event such liabilities are present. As a

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result, if a liability were asserted against us based upon ownership of an acquired property, we might be required to pay significant sums to settle it, which could adversely affect our financial results and cash flow.
The consolidation of our operations with the operations of acquired companies, including the consolidation of systems, procedures, personnel and facilities, the relocation of staff, and the achievement of anticipated cost savings, economies of scale and other business efficiencies, presents significant challenges to our management, particularly if several acquisitions occur at the same time. Fully integrating an acquired company or business into our operations may take a significant amount of time. We may not be successful in overcoming these risks or any other problems encountered with acquisitions. To the extent we do not successfully avoid or overcome the risks or problems related to any acquisitions, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected. Future acquisitions also could impact our financial position and capital needs, and could cause substantial fluctuations in our quarterly and yearly results of operations. Acquisitions could include significant goodwill and intangible assets, which may result in future impairment charges that would reduce our stated earnings or increase our stated losses.
We may not successfully identify and complete acquisitions on favorable terms or achieve anticipated synergies relating to any acquisitions, and such acquisitions could result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures and require significant management resources.
We regularly review potential acquisitions of complementary businesses, services or products. However, we may be unable to identify suitable acquisition candidates in the future. Even if we identify appropriate acquisition candidates, we may be unable to complete or finance such acquisitions on favorable terms, if at all. In addition, the process of integrating an acquired business, service or product into our existing business and operations may result in unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. Integration of an acquired company also may require significant management resources that otherwise would be available for ongoing development of our business. Moreover, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisition or strategic alliance and such transactions may not generate anticipated financial results. Future acquisitions could also require us to incur debt, assume contingent liabilities or amortize expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could harm our business.
Our ability to make acquisitions may be adversely impacted by our outstanding indebtedness and by the price of our stock.
Our ability to make future business acquisitions, particularly those that would be financed solely or in part through cash from operations, may be curtailed due to our obligations to make payments of principal and interest on our outstanding indebtedness. We may not have sufficient capital resources, now or in the future, and may be unable to raise sufficient additional capital resources on terms satisfactory to us, if at all, in order to meet our capital requirements for such acquisitions. In addition, the terms of our indebtedness include covenants that directly restrict, or have the effect of restricting, our ability to make certain acquisitions while this indebtedness remains outstanding. To the extent that the amount of our outstanding indebtedness has a negative impact on our stock price, using our common stock as consideration will be less attractive for potential acquisition candidates. The future trading price of our common stock could limit our willingness to use our equity as consideration and the willingness of sellers to accept our shares and as a result could limit the size and scope of our acquisition program. If we are unable to pursue strategic acquisitions that would enhance our business or operations, the potential growth of our business and revenues may be adversely affected.
Legal, Environmental, Governmental and Regulatory Risks
Currently pending or future litigation or governmental proceedings could result in material adverse consequences, including judgments or settlements.
From time to time, we are involved in lawsuits, regulatory inquiries and may be involved in governmental and other legal proceedings arising out of the ordinary course of our business. Many of these matters raise difficult and complicated factual and legal issues and are subject to uncertainties and complexities. The timing of the final resolutions to these types of matters is often uncertain. Additionally, the possible outcomes or resolutions to these matters could include adverse judgments or settlements, either of which could require substantial payments, adversely affecting our results of operations and liquidity.
Climate change may adversely affect our facilities and our ongoing operations.

The potential physical effects of climate change on our operations are highly uncertain and depend upon the unique geographic and environmental factors present. Examples of such effects include rising sea levels at our coastal facilities, changing storm patterns and intensities, and changing temperature levels. As many of our facilities are located near coastal areas, rising sea levels may disrupt our ability to operate those facilities or transport feedstock and products. Extended periods of such disruption could have an adverse effect on our results of operation. We could also incur substantial costs to protect or repair these facilities.

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We are subject to numerous environmental and other laws and regulations and, to the extent we are found to be in violation of any such laws and regulations, our business could be materially and adversely affected.
We are subject to extensive federal, state, provincial and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment which, among other things:
regulate the collection, transportation, handling, processing and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes;
impose liability on persons involved in generating, handling, processing, transporting or disposing hazardous materials;
impose joint and several liability for remediation and clean-up of environmental contamination; and
require financial assurance that funds will be available for the closure and post-closure care of sites where hazardous wastes are stored, processed or disposed.
The breadth and complexity of all of these laws and regulations impacting us make consistent compliance extremely difficult and often result in increased operating and compliance costs, including requiring the implementation of new programs to promote compliance. Even with these programs, we and other companies in the industry are routinely faced with legal and administrative proceedings which can result in civil and criminal penalties, interruption of business operations, fines or other sanctions and require expenditures.
Our operations involve the risks of fuel spillage or seepage, environmental damage and hazardous waste disposal, among others. If we are involved in a spill or other accident involving hazardous substances, or if we are found to be in violation of applicable environmental laws or regulations, it could significantly increase our cost of doing business.
Additionally, under current law, we may be held liable for damage caused by conditions that existed before we acquired our assets and/or before we took control of our leased properties or if we arranged for the transportation, disposal or treatment of hazardous substances that cause environmental contamination. In the future, we may be subject to monetary fines, civil or criminal penalties, remediation, clean-up or stop orders, injunctions, orders to cease or suspend certain practices or denial of permits required to operate our facilities and conduct our operations. The outcome of any proceeding and associated costs and expenses could have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial condition.
Our trucking operations are subject to a number of federal, state and local rules and regulations generally governing such activities as authorization to engage in motor carrier operations, safety compliance and reporting, contract compliance, insurance requirements, taxation and financial reporting. We could be subject to new or more restrictive regulations, such as regulations relating to engine emissions, drivers’ hours of service, occupational safety and health, ergonomics or cargo security. Compliance with such regulations could substantially reduce equipment productivity, and the costs of compliance could increase our operating expenses.
Environmental laws also govern the presence, maintenance and removal of asbestos-containing building materials, or ACBM, and may impose fines and penalties for failure to comply with these requirements. Such laws require that owners or operators of buildings containing ACBM (and employers in such buildings) properly manage and maintain the asbestos, adequately notify or train those who may come into contact with asbestos, and undertake special precautions, including removal or other abatement, if asbestos would be disturbed during renovation or demolition of a building or plant. In addition, the presence of ACBM in our properties or plants may expose us to third-party liability (e.g., liability for personal injury associated with exposure to asbestos).
Environmental laws and regulations are subject to change and may become increasingly stringent or relaxed. Interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and regulations, or the adoption of new laws and regulations, may require us to modify or curtail our operations or replace or upgrade our facilities or equipment at substantial costs which we may not be able to pass on to our customers. On the other hand, if new laws and regulations are less stringent, then our customers or competitors may be able to compete with us more effectively, without reliance on our services, which could decrease the need for our services and/or increase competition which could adversely affect our revenues and profitability, if any.

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We are required to obtain and maintain permits, licenses and approvals to conduct our operations in compliance with such laws and regulations. If we are unable to maintain our currently held permits, licenses and approvals, we may not be able to continue certain of our operations. If we are unable to obtain any additional permits, licenses and approvals which may be required as we expand our operations, we may be forced to curtail or abandon our current and/or future planned business operations.
Environmental risks and regulations may adversely affect our business.
All phases of designing, constructing and operating our refining and re-refining plants present environmental risks and hazards. We are subject to environmental regulation implemented or imposed by a variety of federal, state and municipal laws and regulations as well as international conventions. Among other things, environmental legislation provides for restrictions and prohibitions on spills and discharges, as well as emissions of various substances produced in association with our operations. Legislation also requires that facility sites be operated, maintained, abandoned and reclaimed in such a way that would satisfy applicable regulatory authorities. Compliance with such legislation can require significant expenditures and a breach could result in the imposition of fines and penalties, some of which could be material. Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner we expect may result in stricter standards and enforcement, larger fines and liability, as well as potentially increased capital expenditures and operating costs. The presence or discharge of pollutants in or into the air, soil or water may give rise to liabilities to governments and third parties and may require us to incur costs to remedy such presence or discharge.
Environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and permit requirements, and the potential for further expanded laws, regulations and permit requirements may increase our costs or reduce demand for our products and thereby negatively affect our business. Environmental permits required for our operations are subject to periodic renewal and may be revoked or modified for cause or when new or revised environmental requirements are implemented. Changing and increasingly strict environmental requirements and the potential for further expanded regulation may increase our costs and can affect the manufacturing, handling, processing, distribution and use of our products. If so affected, our business and operations may be materially and adversely affected. In addition, changes in these requirements may cause us to incur substantial costs in upgrading or redesigning our facilities and processes, including our waste treatment, storage, disposal and other waste handling practices and equipment. For these reasons, we may need to make capital expenditures beyond those currently anticipated to comply with existing or future environmental or safety laws. The application of environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and permit requirements to our business may cause us to limit our production, significantly increase the costs of our operations and activities, reduce the market for our products or to otherwise adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations or prospects.
Climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of greenhouse gases could result in increased operating and capital costs and reduced demand for our products.
There is a growing belief that emissions of greenhouse gases, or GHGs, such as carbon dioxide and methane, may be linked to climate change. Climate change and the costs that may be associated with its impacts and the regulation of GHGs have the potential to affect our business in many ways, including negatively impacting the costs of our operations, transportation costs, feedstock costs and demand for our products (due to changes in both costs and weather patterns).
In recent years, the U.S. Congress has from time to time considered adopting legislation to reduce emissions of GHGs and almost one-half of the states have already taken legal measures to reduce emissions of GHGs primarily through the planned development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap and trade programs. Most of these cap and trade programs work by requiring major sources of emissions, such as electric power plants, or major producers of fuels, such as refineries and gas processing plants, to acquire and surrender emission allowances. The number of allowances available for purchase is generally reduced each year in an effort to achieve the overall GHG emission reduction goal.
Depending on the scope of a particular program, we could be required to purchase and surrender allowances for GHG emissions resulting from our operations. Although most of the state-level initiatives have to date been focused on large sources of GHG emissions, such as electric power plants, it is possible that smaller sources such as our operations could become subject to GHG-related regulation. Depending on the particular program, we could be required to control emissions or to purchase and surrender allowances for GHG emissions resulting from our operations. Independent of Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted regulations controlling GHG emissions under its existing Clean Air Act authority. For example, on December 15, 2009, the EPA officially published its findings that emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other GHGs present an endangerment to human health and the environment because emissions of such gases are, according to the EPA, contributing to warming of the earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes. These findings by the EPA allow the agency to proceed with the adoption and implementation of regulations that would restrict emissions of greenhouse gases under existing provisions of the federal Clean Air Act. In 2009, the EPA adopted rules regarding regulation of GHG emissions from motor vehicles. In 2010, EPA also issued a final rule, known as the “Tailoring Rule,” that makes certain large stationary sources and modification projects subject

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to permitting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. In addition, on September 22, 2009, the EPA issued a final rule requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from specified large greenhouse gas emission sources in the U.S. beginning in 2011 for emissions occurring in 2010. None of our facilities currently generate enough greenhouse gasses to be subject to this reporting requirement under this rule, but we could become subject to such reporting requirements in the future.
Although it is not possible at this time to accurately estimate how potential future laws or regulations addressing greenhouse gas emissions would impact our business, any future federal laws or implementation of regulations that may be adopted to address greenhouse gas emissions could require us to incur increased operating costs and could adversely affect demand for our feedstocks and resulting products, and/or increase our transportation costs. The potential increase in the costs of our operations resulting from any legislation or regulation to restrict emissions of greenhouse gases could include new or increased costs to operate and maintain our facilities, install new emission controls on our facilities, acquire allowances to authorize our greenhouse gas emissions, pay any taxes related to our greenhouse gas emissions and administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program. While we may be able to include some or all of such increased costs in the rates charged for our products, such recovery of costs is uncertain. Moreover, incentives to conserve energy or use alternative energy sources could reduce demand for our products and/or lower the supply of our feedstocks. We cannot predict with any certainty at this time how these possibilities may affect our operations. Many scientists have concluded that increasing concentrations of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere may produce climate change that could have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, droughts, and floods and other climatic events; if such effects were to occur, they could have an adverse effect on our operations.
The adoption of regulations implementing recent financial reform legislation could impede our ability to manage business and financial risks by restricting our use of derivative instruments as hedges against fluctuating commodity prices.
The U.S. Congress adopted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). This comprehensive financial reform legislation establishes federal oversight and regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities that participate in that market. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the SEC and other regulators to promulgate rules and regulations implementing the new legislation. The CFTC has adopted regulations to set position limits for certain futures and option contracts in the major energy markets and for swaps that are their economic equivalents. Certain bona fide hedging transactions or derivative instruments would be exempt from these position limits. The Dodd-Frank Act may also require compliance with margin requirements and with certain clearing and trade-execution requirements in connection with certain derivative activities. The final rules will be phased in over time according to a specified schedule which is dependent on finalization of certain other rules to be promulgated by the CFTC and the SEC.
The Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations could significantly increase the cost of some commodity derivative contracts (including through requirements to post collateral), materially alter the terms of some commodity derivative contracts and reduce the availability of some derivatives to protect against risks we encounter. While we are not currently party to any commodity derivative contracts, we may enter into such contracts in the future and the Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations may have the effect of making our results of operations more volatile and our cash flows may be less predictable, if we are unable to enter into commodity derivative contracts or similar hedging transactions in the future. Finally, the Dodd- Frank Act was intended, in part, to reduce the volatility of oil and natural gas prices, which some legislators attributed to speculative trading in derivatives and commodity instruments related to oil and natural gas. If the Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations result in lower commodity prices, our revenues could be adversely affected. Any of these consequences could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We could be subject to involuntary shutdowns or be required to pay significant monetary damages or remediation costs if we are found to be a responsible party for the improper handling or the release of hazardous substances.
As a company engaged in the sale, handling, transportation, storage, recycling and disposal of materials that are or may be classified as hazardous by federal, state, provincial or other regulatory agencies, we face risks of liability for environmental contamination. The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, or “CERCLA” or Superfund, and similar state laws impose strict liability for clean-up costs on current or former owners and operators of facilities that release hazardous substances into the environment, as well as on the businesses that generate those substances or transport them. As a potentially responsible party, or “PRP,” we may be liable under CERCLA for substantial investigation and cleanup costs even if we operate our business properly and comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. Liability under CERCLA may be joint and several, which means that if we were found to be a business with responsibility for a particular CERCLA site, we could be required to pay the entire cost of the investigation and cleanup, even though we were not the party responsible for the release of the hazardous substance and even though other companies might also be liable. Even if we are able

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to identify who the other responsible parties might be, we may not be able to compel them to contribute to the remediation costs, or they might be insolvent or unable to contribute due to lack of financial resources.
Our facilities and the facilities of our clients and third-party contractors may have generated, used, handled and/or disposed of hazardous substances and other regulated wastes. Environmental liabilities could exist, including cleanup obligations at these facilities or at off-site locations, which could result in future expenditures that cannot be currently quantified and which could materially reduce our profits. In addition, new services or products offered by us could expose us to further environmental liabilities for which we have no historical experience and cannot estimate our potential exposure to liabilities.
Our operations are subject to numerous statutory and regulatory requirements, which may increase in the future.
Our operations are subject to numerous statutory and regulatory requirements, and our ability to continue to hold licenses and permits required for our businesses is subject to maintaining satisfactory compliance with such requirements. These requirements may increase in the future as a result of statutory and regulatory changes. Although we are very committed to compliance and safety, we may not, either now or in the future, be in full compliance at all times with such statutory and regulatory requirements. Consequently, we could be required to incur significant costs to maintain or improve our compliance with such requirements.
We may also assume additional environmental liabilities as part of further acquisitions. Although we will endeavor to accurately estimate and limit environmental liabilities presented by the businesses or facilities to be acquired, some liabilities, including ones that may exist only because of the past operations of an acquired business or facility, may prove to be more difficult or costly to address than we then estimate. It is also possible that government officials responsible for enforcing environmental laws may believe an environmental liability is more significant than we then estimate, or that we will fail to identify or fully appreciate an existing liability before we become legally responsible to address it.
We may be subject in the normal course of business to judicial, administrative or other third-party proceedings that could interrupt or limit our operations, require expensive remediation, result in adverse judgments, settlements or fines and create negative publicity.
Governmental agencies may, among other things, impose fines or penalties on us relating to the conduct of our business, attempt to revoke or deny renewal of our operating permits, franchises or licenses for violations or alleged violations of environmental laws or regulations or as a result of third-party challenges, require us to install additional pollution control equipment or require us to remediate potential environmental problems relating to any real property that we or our predecessors ever owned, leased or operated or any waste that we or our predecessors ever collected, transported, disposed of or stored. Individuals, citizens groups, trade associations or environmental activists may also bring actions against us in connection with our operations that could interrupt or limit the scope of our business. Any adverse outcome in such proceedings could harm our operations and financial results and create negative publicity, which could damage our reputation, competitive position and stock price. We may also be required to take corrective actions, including, but not limited to, installing additional equipment, which could require us to make substantial capital expenditures. We could also be required to indemnify our employees in connection with any expenses or liabilities that they may incur individually in connection with regulatory action against us. These could result in a material adverse effect on our prospects, business, financial condition and our results of operations.
The adoption of climate change legislation or regulation could result in increased operating costs and reduced demand for the refined products we produce.

The U.S. government, including the EPA, as well as several state and international governments, have either considered or adopted legislation or regulations in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These proposed or promulgated laws apply or could apply in states where we have interests or may have interests in the future. In addition, various groups suggest that additional laws may be needed in an effort to address climate change, as illustrated by the Paris Agreement negotiated at the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, referred to as COP 21, which entered into force on November 4, 2016. We cannot predict the extent to which any such legislation or regulation will be enacted and, if so, what its provisions would be. To the extent we incur additional costs required to comply with the adoption of new laws and regulations that are not ultimately reflected in the prices of our products and services, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows in future periods could be materially adversely affected. In addition, demand for the products we produce could be adversely affected.


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Risks Related to Our Recovery Division
Our Recovery division participates from time to time in one-time projects, which could create fluctuations in revenue and gross profit from quarter to quarter.
Our Recovery division periodically participates in one-time, non-ongoing projects and therefore we expect to see fluctuations in revenue and gross profit from this division from quarter to quarter and period to period. Consequently, the results of operations, net income (loss), revenue and gross profit for our Recovery division for any quarter or period may not be indicative of the results of operations, net income (loss), revenue and gross profit for any subsequent quarter or period.
Recovery division customers may cancel or delay projects.
Recovery division customers may cancel or delay projects for reasons beyond our control. If projects are delayed, the timing of our revenues could be affected. Revenue recognition occurs over long periods of time and is subject to unanticipated delays. If we receive relatively large orders in any given quarter, fluctuations in the levels of our quarterly backlog can result because the backlog in that quarter may reach levels that may not be sustained in subsequent quarters. As a result, our backlog may not be indicative of our future revenues.
The dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage operations of our Recovery division subjects us to operational and safety risks.
Our Recovery division provides dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage services at industrial facilities throughout the Gulf Coast. The division also owns and operates a fleet of trucks and other vehicles used for shipping and handling equipment and scrap materials. Such operations could potentially result in releases of hazardous materials, injury or death of our employees or third parties, environmental contamination claims, and claims for damage to property both from third parties and our customers and clients. These risks expose us to potential liability for pollution and other environmental damages, personal injury, loss of life, business interruption, and property damage or destruction. While we seek to minimize and obtain insurance to limit our exposure to such risks, such actions and insurance may not be adequate to cover all of our potential liabilities and such insurance may not in the future be available at commercially reasonable rates. If we were to incur substantial liabilities in excess of policy limits or at a time when we were not able to obtain adequate liability insurance on commercially reasonable terms, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected to a material extent. Furthermore, should our safety record deteriorate, we could be subject to a potential reduction of revenues from our Recovery division.
Risks Related to Our Common Carrier Operations
We face competition from other common carriers and transportation providers.
Crossroad is a common carrier that provides transportation and logistical services for liquid petroleum products, as well as other hazardous materials and waste streams. We face competition from trucking companies, railroads, motor carriers and, to a lesser extent, ships and barges. In addition to price competition, we face competition with respect to transit times and quality and reliability of service. Any future improvements or expenditures materially increasing the quality or reducing the cost of alternative modes of transportation, and/or increased competition from competitors, including competitors with more resources than us, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Additionally, any future consolidation of the trucking industry could materially affect the competitive environment in which we operate.

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Risks Related to Our Prior Offering Terms
We face significant penalties and damages in the event registration statements we filed to register certain securities sold in our prior offerings are subsequently suspended or terminated.
We previously agreed to register the shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and upon exercise of the warrants sold in connection therewith under the Securities Act, for resale. The agreements pursuant to which we sold such securities, provide for liquidated damages upon the occurrence of certain events. The amount of the liquidated damages is 1.0% of the aggregate subscription amount paid by an investor for the units (i.e., Series B Preferred Stock and warrants and/or Series B1 Preferred Stock and warrants) affected by the event that are still held by the investor upon the occurrence of the event, due on the date immediately following the event that caused such failure (or the 30th day following such event if the event relates to the suspension of the registration statement), and each 30 days thereafter, with such payments to be prorated on a daily basis during each 30 day period, subject to a maximum of an aggregate of 6% per year (per transaction). If we fail to pay any liquidated damages in full within seven days after the date payable, we are required to pay interest thereon at a rate of 12% per annum until paid in full. In the event the registration statement, which has previously been declared effective within the timeframe required by the purchase agreement, is subsequently suspended or terminated, or we otherwise fail to meet certain requirements set forth in the purchase agreements, we could be required to pay significant penalties which could adversely affect our cash flow and cause the value of our securities to decline in value.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR SECURITIES
General Risks
Our Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin P. Cowart, has significant voting control over us, including the appointment of Directors and may have interests that differ from other shareholders. Mr. Cowart, as a significant shareholder, may, therefore, take actions that are not in the interest of other shareholders.
Benjamin P. Cowart, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, beneficially owns approximately 27.1% of our common stock (not including shares issuable upon exercise of options and warrants held by Mr. Cowart) and 17.2% of our total voting stock, and as such, Mr. Cowart exercises significant control in determining the outcome of corporate transactions or other matters, including the election of directors, mergers, consolidations, the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, and also the power to prevent or cause a change in control. The interests of Mr. Cowart may differ from the interests of the other stockholders and thus result in corporate decisions that are adverse to other shareholders. Should conflicts of interest arise, Mr. Cowart may not act in the best interests of our other shareholders and conflicts of interest may not be resolved in a manner favorable to our other shareholders.
Securities analysts may not cover our common stock and this may have a negative impact on our common stock’s market price.
The trading market for our common stock will depend, in part, on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts. We currently have limited research coverage by securities and industry analysts. If one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our common stock, changes their opinion of our shares or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease and we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our stock price and trading volume to decline.
Shareholders may be diluted significantly through our efforts to obtain financing and satisfy obligations through the issuance of additional securities.
Wherever possible, our Board of Directors will attempt to use non-cash consideration to satisfy obligations. In many instances, we believe that the non-cash consideration will consist of restricted shares of our common stock, preferred stock or warrants to purchase shares of our common stock. Our Board of Directors has authority, without action or vote of the shareholders, but subject to NASDAQ rules and regulations (which generally require shareholder approval for any transactions which would result in the issuance of more than 20% of our then outstanding shares of common stock or voting rights representing over 20% of our then outstanding shares of stock), to issue all or part of the authorized but unissued shares of common stock, preferred stock or warrants to purchase such shares of common stock. In addition, we may attempt to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock, possibly at a discount to market in the future. These actions will result in dilution of the ownership interests of existing

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shareholders, may further dilute common stock book value, and that dilution may be material. Such issuances may also serve to enhance existing management’s ability to maintain control of us, because the shares may be issued to parties or entities committed to supporting existing management.
We currently have a sporadic and volatile market for our common stock, and the market for our common stock is and may remain sporadic and volatile in the future.
We currently have a sporadic and volatile market for our common stock, which market is anticipated to remain sporadic and volatile in the future, and will likely be subject to wide fluctuations in response to several factors, including, but not limited to:
actual or anticipated variations in our results of operations;
our ability or inability to generate revenues;
the number of shares in our public float;
increased competition; and
conditions and trends in the market for oil refining and re-refining services, transportation services and oil feedstock.
Our common stock is currently listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market. Our stock price may be impacted by factors that are unrelated or disproportionate to our operating performance. These market fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rates or international currency fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Shareholders and potential investors in our common stock should exercise caution before making an investment in us, and should not rely solely on the publicly quoted or traded stock prices in determining our common stock value, but should instead determine the value of our common stock based on the information contained in our public reports, industry information, and those business valuation methods commonly used to value private companies.
Additionally, the market price of our common stock historically has fluctuated significantly based on, but not limited to, such factors as general stock market trends, announcements of developments related to our business, actual or anticipated variations in our operating results, our ability or inability to generate new revenues, and conditions and trends in the industries in which our customers are engaged.
In recent years, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price fluctuations that have oftentimes been unrelated to the operating performance of the affected companies. Similarly, the market price of our common stock may fluctuate significantly based upon factors unrelated or disproportionate to our operating performance. These market fluctuations, as well as general economic, political and market conditions, such as recessions, interest rates or international currency fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future, and therefore only appreciation of the price of our common stock will provide a return to our stockholders.
We currently anticipate that we will retain all future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. We do not intend to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any payment of cash dividends will depend upon our financial condition, capital requirements, earnings and other factors deemed relevant by our Board of Directors. As a result, only appreciation of the price of our common stock, which may not occur, will provide a return to our stockholders.

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There may be future sales and issuances of our common stock, which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and dilute shareholders ownership of common stock.
The exercise of any options granted to executive officers, directors and other employees under our equity compensation plans, the exercise of outstanding warrants, the conversion of outstanding convertible securities and other issuances of our common stock in the future could have an adverse effect on the market price of the shares of our common stock. We are not restricted from issuing additional shares of common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive shares of common stock, provided that we are subject to the requirements of the Nasdaq Capital Market (which generally require shareholder approval for any transactions which would result in the issuance of more than 20% of our then outstanding shares of common stock or voting rights representing over 20% of our then outstanding shares of stock), subject to certain exceptions. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market or the perception that such sales might occur could materially adversely affect the market price of the shares of our common stock. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering or transaction will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings or issuances. Additionally, the sale of a significant portion of our common stock may cause the value of our common stock to decline in value.
Our outstanding options, warrants and convertible securities may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.
 
We have (i) 3,206,916 outstanding stock options at a weighted average exercise price of $4.33 per share; (ii) 7,353,061 outstanding warrants to purchase 7,353,061 shares of common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $2.34 per share; (iii) 462,644 shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of our 462,644 outstanding shares of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock (which convert on a one-for-one basis (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations) into common stock); (iv) 3,277,856 shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of our 3,277,856 outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock (which convert on a one-for-one basis (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations) into common stock); (v) 12,393,608 shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of our 12,393,608 outstanding shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock (which convert on a one-for-one basis (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations) into common stock); and (vi) 3,156,800 shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of our 31,568 outstanding shares of Series C Convertible Preferred Stock (which each convert into 100 shares of common stock (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations)). For the life of the options and warrants, the holders have the opportunity to profit from a rise in the market price of our common stock without assuming the risk of ownership. The issuance of shares upon the exercise of outstanding securities will also dilute the ownership interests of our existing stockholders.
 
The availability of these shares for public resale, as well as any actual resales of these shares, could adversely affect the trading price of our common stock. We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our common stock pursuant to the exercise of outstanding options or warrants or conversion of other securities, or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our common stock may have on the market price of our common stock. Sales or distributions of substantial amounts of our common stock (including shares issued in connection with an acquisition), or the perception that such sales could occur, may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

The issuance and sale of common stock upon exercise of the June 2015 Warrants and May 2016 Warrants may cause substantial dilution to existing stockholders and may also depress the market price of our common stock.
 
The June 2015 Warrants (described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Unit Offerings”) have an exercise price of $3.01 per share and the May 2016 Warrants (described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Unit Offerings”) have an exercise price of $1.53 per share. The June 2015 Warrants are exercisable beginning on December 26, 2015, and expire December 24, 2020. The May 2016 Warrants are exercisable between November 14, 2016 and November 13, 2021. The June 2015 and May 2016 Warrants contain a cashless exercise provision in connection with any shares that are not then registered by the Company. Although the June 2015 and May 2016 Warrants may not be exercised by the holders thereof if such exercise would cause such holder to own more than 9.999% of our outstanding common stock (or 4.999% in connection with certain holders), this restriction does not prevent such holders from exercising some of the warrants, selling those shares, and then exercising the rest of the warrants, while still staying below the 9.999% limit (or 4.999% limit as applicable). In this way, the holders of the warrants could sell more than this limit while never actually holding more shares than this limit allows. If the holders of the warrants choose to do this, it will cause substantial dilution to the then holders of our common stock.
 

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If exercises of the June 2015 Warrants and May 2016 Warrants and sales of such shares issuable upon exercise thereof take place, the price of our common stock may decline. In addition, the common stock issuable upon exercise of the June 2015 Warrants and May 2016 Warrants may represent overhang that may also adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Overhang occurs when there is a greater supply of a company’s stock in the market than there is demand for that stock. When this happens the price of the company’s stock will decrease, and any additional shares which shareholders attempt to sell in the market will only further decrease the share price. If the share volume of our common stock cannot absorb shares sold by the Warrant holders, then the value of our common stock will likely decrease.


Risks Relating to our Preferred Stock
We have established preferred stock which can be designated by the Board of Directors without shareholder approval and have established Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock, which give the holders thereof a liquidation preference and the ability to convert such shares into our common stock.
 
We have 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock authorized, which includes 5,000,000 shares of designated Series A Preferred Stock of which approximately 0.5 million shares are issued and outstanding, 10 million designated shares of Series B Preferred Stock, of which 3,277,856 shares are issued and outstanding, 17 million designated shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock, of which 12,393,608 shares are issued and outstanding and 44,000 designated shares of Series C Preferred Stock, of which 31,568 are issued and outstanding. The Series A Preferred Stock has a liquidation preference of $1.49 per share. The Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred stock have a liquidation preference of $3.10 per share and $1.56 per share, respectively, payable only after the liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Stock are satisfied. The Series C Preferred Stock has a liquidation preference of $100.00 per share, payable only after the liquidation preference on the Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock are satisfied. As a result, if we were to dissolve, liquidate or sell our assets, the holders of our Series A Preferred Stock would have the right to receive up to the first approximately $0.7 million in proceeds from any such transaction, holders of our Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock would have the right to receive up to approximately $29.5 million of the remaining proceeds from any such transaction, and the holders of our Series C Preferred Stock would have the right to receive up to $3.2 million of the remaining proceeds from any such transaction, after the payment of amounts owed to certain other of our creditors, but before any amount is paid to the holders of our common stock. The payment of the liquidation preferences could result in common stock shareholders not receiving any consideration if we were to liquidate, dissolve or wind up, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Additionally, the existence of the liquidation preferences may reduce the value of our common stock, make it harder for us to sell shares of common stock in offerings in the future, or prevent or delay a change of control. Furthermore, the conversion of Series A Preferred Stock, Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock (each of which convert on a one-for-one basis (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations)) into common stock and the conversion of Series C Preferred Stock into common stock (which convert into 100 shares of common stock (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations)) may cause substantial dilution to our common shareholders. Because our Board of Directors is entitled to designate the powers and preferences of the preferred stock without a vote of our shareholders, subject to NASDAQ rules and regulations, our shareholders will have no control over what designations and preferences our future preferred stock, if any, will have.
 
In addition to the above, we are required to redeem any non-converted shares of (a) Series B Preferred Stock, which remain outstanding on June 24, 2020, at the rate of $3.10 per share (or $10.2 million in aggregate as of the date of this filing); and (b) Series B1 Preferred Stock, which remain outstanding on June 24, 2020, at the rate of $1.56 per share (or $19.3 million in aggregate as of the date of this filing), subject to the terms of our senior loan documents, which funds we may not have, or which may not be available on favorable terms, if at all.


The issuance of common stock upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock will cause immediate and substantial dilution to existing shareholders.
The Series B Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at any time at $3.10 per share (initially a one-for-one basis). If the Company’s common stock trades at or above $6.20 per share for a period of 20 consecutive trading days, the Company may at such time force conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) into common stock of the Company. The Series B1 Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at the holder’s option at any time after closing at $1.56 per share (initially a one-for-one basis). If the Company’s common stock trades at or above $3.90 per

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share for a period of 20 consecutive trading days at any time following the earlier of (a) the effective date of a resale registration statement which we are required to file to register the resale of the shares of common stock underlying the Series B1 Preferred Stock and May 2016 Warrants pursuant to the May 2016 Purchase Agreement, or (b) November 13, 2016, the Company may at such time force conversion of the Series B1 Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) into common stock of the Company. The Series C Preferred Stock is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at any time at $1.00 per share (initially a 100-for-one basis).
The issuance of common stock upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock will result in immediate and substantial dilution to the interests of other stockholders since the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock may ultimately receive and sell the full amount of shares issuable in connection with the conversion of such Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock. Although the Series B Preferred Stock, and Series B1 Preferred Stock may not be converted by the holders thereof if such conversion would cause such holder to own more than 9.999% of our outstanding common stock (4.999% in the case of certain holders), and the Series C Preferred Stock may not be converted by the holder thereof if such conversion would cause the holder to own more than 4.999% of our outstanding common stock, these restrictions do not prevent such holders from converting some of their holdings, selling those shares, and then converting the rest of their holdings, while still staying below the 9.999%/4.999% limit. In this way, the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock could sell more than these limits while never actually holding more shares than the limits allow. If the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock , Series B1 Preferred Stock or Series C Preferred Stock choose to do this, it will cause substantial dilution to the then holders of our common stock.
Our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock accrue a cash dividend.
Our Series B Preferred Stock accrues a dividend, payable quarterly in arrears (based on calendar quarters), in the amount of 6% per annum of the original issuance price of the Series B Preferred Stock ($3.10 per share or $25.7 million in aggregate as of the date of this report). The dividend is payable by the Company, at the Company’s election, in registered common stock of the Company (if available) or cash, provided that any cash dividend payment is subject to us previously having repaid all amounts owed to our senior lender. In the event dividends are paid in registered common stock of the Company, the number of shares payable will be calculated by dividing (a) the accrued dividend by (b) 90% of the arithmetic average of the volume weighted average price (VWAP) of the Company’s common stock for the 10 trading days immediately prior to the applicable date of determination (the “June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event may the Company pay dividends in common stock unless the applicable June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price is above $2.91. If the Company is prohibited from paying, or chooses not to pay the dividend in cash (due to contractual senior credit agreements or other restrictions) or is unable to pay the dividend in registered common stock, the dividend will be paid in-kind in Series B Preferred Stock shares at $3.10 per share.
The Series B1 Preferred Stock accrues a dividend, payable quarterly in arrears (based on calendar quarters), in the amount of 6% per annum of the original issuance price of the Series B1 Preferred Stock ($1.56 per share or $19.5 million in aggregate), provided that such dividend increases to 9% if certain Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA targets are not met during 2016-2017, until the earlier of (a) the date the next target is met, or (b) June 30, 2018 (provided that the Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA target for the six months ended December 31, 2016 was met). The dividend is payable by the Company, at the Company’s election, in registered common stock of the Company (if available) or cash, provided that any cash dividend payment is subject to us previously having repaid all amounts owed to our senior lender, which has been repaid to date. In the event dividends are paid in registered common stock of the Company, the number of shares payable will be calculated by dividing (a) the accrued dividend by (b) 90% of the VWAP of the Company’s common stock for the 10 trading days immediately prior to the applicable date of determination (the “May 2016 Dividend Stock Payment Price”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event may the Company pay dividends in common stock unless the applicable May 2016 Dividend Stock Payment Price is above $1.52. If the Company is prohibited from paying, or chooses not to pay, the dividend in cash (due to contractual senior credit agreements or other restrictions) or is unable to pay the dividend in registered common stock, the dividend will be paid in-kind in Series B1 Preferred Stock shares at $1.56 per share.

We may not have sufficient available cash to pay the dividends as they accrue. The payment of the dividends, or our failure to timely pay the dividends when due, could reduce our available cash on hand, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cause the value of our stock to decline in value. Additionally, the issuance of shares of common stock or additional shares of Series B Preferred Stock or Series B1 Preferred Stock in lieu of cash dividends (and the subsequent conversion of such Series B Preferred Stock or Series B1 Preferred Stock into common stock pursuant to the terms of such Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock) could cause substantial dilution to the then holders of our common stock.

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We may be required to issue additional shares of Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock upon the occurrence of certain events.
As described above, in the event we do not have available cash to pay the dividends which accrue on the Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock in cash, we are prohibited from paying such dividends in cash, or choose not to pay such dividends in cash and/or we do not have sufficient registered shares of common stock available to allow for the payment of such dividends in common stock, we are required to pay such dividends in-kind in (a) Series B Preferred Stock shares at $3.10 per share, which will also include a $3.10 per share liquidation preference in connection with the Series B Preferred Stock dividends; and (b) Series B1 Preferred Stock shares at $1.56 per share, which will also include a $1.56 per share liquidation preference in connection with the Series B1 Preferred Stock, and the right to convert into common stock on a one-for-one basis.
The issuance and sale of common stock upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock may depress the market price of our common stock; and the redemption of the Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock, if not converted into common stock prior to the required redemption date, will require significant additional funds.
If conversions of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock and sales of such converted shares take place, the price of our common stock may decline. In addition, the common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock, Series B1 Preferred Stock and Series C Preferred Stock may represent overhang that may also adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Overhang occurs when there is a greater supply of a company’s stock in the market than there is demand for that stock. When this happens the price of the company’s stock will decrease, and any additional shares which shareholders attempt to sell in the market will only further decrease the share price. If the share volume of our common stock cannot absorb converted shares sold by the Series B Preferred Stock holders, then the value of our common stock will likely decrease.
In addition to the above, we are required to redeem any non-converted shares of (a) Series B Preferred Stock, which remain outstanding on June 24, 2020, at the rate of $3.10 per share (or $10.2 million in aggregate as of the date of this filing); and (b) Series B1 Preferred Stock, which remain outstanding on June 24, 2020, at the rate of $1.56 per share (or $19.3 million in aggregate as of the date of this filing), which funds we may not have, or which may not be available on favorable terms, if at all.


Risks Relating to Our Listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market
Our Common Stock may be delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market if we cannot satisfy Nasdaq’s continued listing requirements.
Among the conditions required for continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, Nasdaq requires us to maintain at least $2.5 million in stockholders’ equity or $500,000 in net income over the prior two years or two of the prior three years, to have a majority of independent directors, and to maintain a stock price over $1.00 per share. Our stockholders’ equity may not remain above Nasdaq’s $2.5 million minimum, we may not generate over $500,000 of yearly net income moving forward, we may not be able to maintain independent directors, and we may not be able to maintain a stock price over $1.00 per share (our 52 week low as of the date of this filing was $0.90). If we fail to timely comply with the applicable requirements, our stock may be delisted. In addition, even if we demonstrate compliance with the requirements above, we will have to continue to meet other objective and subjective listing requirements to continue to be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. Delisting from the Nasdaq Capital Market could make trading our common stock more difficult for investors, potentially leading to declines in our share price and liquidity. Without a Nasdaq Capital Market listing, stockholders may have a difficult time getting a quote for the sale or purchase of our stock, the sale or purchase of our stock would likely be made more difficult and the trading volume and liquidity of our stock could decline. Delisting from the Nasdaq Capital Market could also result in negative publicity and could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional capital. The absence of such a listing may adversely affect the acceptance of our common stock as currency or the value accorded by other parties. Further, if we are delisted, we would also incur additional costs under state blue sky laws in connection with any sales of our securities. These requirements could severely limit the market liquidity of our common stock and the ability of our stockholders to sell our common stock in the secondary market. If our common stock is delisted by Nasdaq, our common stock may be eligible to trade on an over-the-counter quotation system, such as the OTCQB market, where an investor may find it more difficult to sell our stock or obtain accurate quotations as to the market value of our common stock. In the event our common stock is delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market, we may not be able to list our common stock on another national securities exchange or obtain quotation on an over-the counter quotation system.

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If we are delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market, your ability to sell your shares of our common stock could also be limited by the penny stock restrictions, which could further limit the marketability of your shares.
If our common stock is delisted, it could come within the definition of “penny stock” as defined in the Exchange Act and would then be covered by Rule 15g-9 of the Exchange Act. That Rule imposes additional sales practice requirements on broker-dealers who sell securities to persons other than established customers and accredited investors. For transactions covered by Rule 15g-9, the broker-dealer must make a special suitability determination for the purchaser and receive the purchaser’s written agreement to the transaction prior to the sale. Consequently, Rule 15g-9, if it were to become applicable, would affect the ability or willingness of broker-dealers to sell our securities, and accordingly would affect the ability of stockholders to sell their securities in the public market. These additional procedures could also limit our ability to raise additional capital in the future.
Due to the fact that our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market, we are subject to financial and other reporting and corporate governance requirements which increase our costs and expenses.
We are currently required to file annual and quarterly information and other reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission that are specified in Sections 13 and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Additionally, due to the fact that our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market, we are also subject to the requirements to maintain independent directors, comply with other corporate governance requirements and are required to pay annual listing and stock issuance fees. These obligations require a commitment of additional resources including, but not limited, to additional expenses, and may result in the diversion of our senior management’s time and attention from our day-to-day operations. These obligations increase our expenses and may make it more complicated or time consuming for us to undertake certain corporate actions due to the fact that we may require Nasdaq approval for such transactions and/or Nasdaq rules may require us to obtain shareholder approval for such transactions.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Not applicable.
Item 2. Properties
Properties and Facilities
The Company owns three oil collection facilities operated by H&H Oil, which are located in Houston, Austin, and Corpus Christi, Texas. The three owned locations range from 2 acres to 5 acres in area and have offices, storage tank facilities, small warehouse facilities for operations and yard areas for the parking of trucks. These facilities are related to the operations of the Black Oil division.
In addition, the Company leases three smaller facilities, one located in San Antonio, Texas one in Mission, Texas, and one in Dallas, Texas each with a small yard for the parking of trucks, small storage tanks and an office. The San Antonio facility is leased under a thirty-six month lease which expired in June 2013 (subject to our right to renew the lease for an additional twelve months and/or purchase the property at the end of the lease term), which has a rental cost of $2,500 per month, provided that while not formally extended, we continue to operate under the same terms of the now expired lease. The Mission, Texas lease has a term expiring on November 1, 2019, and a rental cost of $650 per month. The Dallas lease expired in August 31, 2015, but we continue to lease this facility on month to month basis for a rental cost of $3,000 per month. These facilities are related to the operations of the Black Oil division.
The Company leases a 19 acre tank terminal facility in Baytown, Texas, where it aggregates the majority of the used motor oil for its TCEP technology. The TCEP technology is located on-site at this facility, which also has facilities for the loading and unloading of trucks and barges located near the Houston Ship Channel. The lease relating to this facility expires on November 30, 2032. The monthly rent relating to this facility is approximately $25,000 per month through November 2027, and $30,000 per month during the remaining term of the lease. The lease contains a provision providing the landlord the right to buy out our rights under the lease for the fair market value of such rights (as provided in the lease agreement) upon the occurrence of any change of control of the Company, including the sale of substantially all of our assets; or our merger with another entity which results in our shareholders holding less than 50% of the voting stock of the post-merger entity. Additionally, we have a right of first refusal to buy the landlord’s interest in the property leased in the event the landlord receives a bona fide offer to sell the premises and notifies us of its intent to accept such offer. This facility is related to the operations of the Black Oil division.

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We also lease approximately 5,893 square feet of office space at our current principal executive office located at 1331 Gemini St., Suite 250, Houston, Texas 77058. The office rent is $9,723 per month from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013; $10,067 per month from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015; and $10,411 from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017, and the lease expires on June 30, 2017. This property relates to general administrative functions of the Company and is proportionally allocated to each of our three divisions.
The Company leases three smaller facilities, one located in Zanesville, Ohio, one in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, and one in Ravenswood, West Virginia each with a small yard for the parking of trucks, small storage tanks and an office. The Zanesville facility is leased under a twelve month lease with automatic renewals (subject to either party providing a written notice to the other party of the intent to cancel the lease prior to thirty days from the expiration of the current term), which has a rental cost of $3,500 per month. The Mount Sterling, Kentucky lease has a term expiring on March 22, 2018, automatically renewable thereafter on a month-to-month basis, pursuant to the terms of the lease, and a rental cost of $1,750 per month. The Ravenswood, West Virginia lease had a term expiring October 1, 2016, but we continue to lease this facility on a month to month basis for a rental cost of $1,739 per month.
The Company owns five other facilities, which are located in Ohio. Two facilities located in Columbus, of which one is the location of our refinery and the other is for the storage of feedstocks and finished products. There are two locations in Zanesville, of which one is used for an office, small warehouse facilities for operations and a yard area for the parking of trucks, and the other is used for bulk used oil storage and as a transfer facility. The fifth facility is located in Norwalk and is used for bulk storage of used oil and as a transfer facility. All properties relate to the operations of the Black Oil division.

Marrero Facility:
We lease a used motor oil refinery located in Marrero, Louisiana. The facility was constructed in 1992 by Chevron Texaco, can currently process more than 180,000 gallons per day and has a total storage capacity of nearly 17 million gallons. The facility is accessible by truck, rail, and barge. The lease has a term expiring in April 2018, with a monthly rental cost of $283,000. The lease also provides us the right to extend the lease for up to four additional five year extension terms through April 2038. This facility is related to the operations of the Black Oil division.
Myrtle Grove:
We lease 45 acres of land on the Gulf Coast in Myrtle Grove, Louisiana. The site, which is currently being developed, is located approximately 26 miles from the Marrero facility (described above). Existing infrastructure includes offices and maintenance buildings, a lab, a control room, and a process area with existing piling and concrete, loading and unloading areas and fire protection for the process area. We also own and/or lease additional refining equipment located on site. The lease has a term expiring in May 2017, and a rental cost of $50,000 per month. The lease also has 10 additional five year term renewal options through 2067, with the rental cost of each extension term increasing by 8% of the preceding term. This facility is related to the operations of the Black Oil division.
Churchill County, Nevada Facility:
Prior to our entry into the Sale Agreement (described and defined below under “2016 Material Events-Purchase and Sale Agreement, Churchill County, Nevada Plant”), we, through Vertex Refining NV, leased a used oil re-refining plant located on approximately 40 acres in Churchill County, Nevada (the “Bango Plant”). The lease for the Bango Plant was entered into on April 30, 2015. The term of the Bango lease was to continue until August 10, 2025, subject to our right under certain circumstances to extend such lease. No rent was due under the Bango lease until January 1, 2016, at which time rent in the amount of $244,000 per month was due for the remainder of the term of the lease. The lease also allowed us the option to pay 2016 rent in shares of our common stock. The Bango lease also provided for a purchase option which we exercised as part of the transactions contemplated by the Sale Agreement. As a result of the Sale Agreement we no longer lease or own the Bango Plant.
In addition to the Bango lease for the Bango Plant, Vertex Refining NV was also party to two Lease and Purchase Agreements (the “Equipment Leases”) which began on April 30, 2015, and continued until the date of the closing of the Sale Agreement. The Equipment Leases provided for the use of a rail facility and related equipment and a pre-fabricated metal building located at the plant. The Equipment Leases were to expire on December 31, 2016, subject to certain rights Vertex Refining NV had to terminate the leases earlier. The monthly rental costs for the leases were $16,300 and $3,800 per month, respectively, provided no rent was due for fiscal 2015. As a result of the Sale Agreement we are no longer party to the Equipment Leases.

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Golden State: 
In connection with the initial closing of the Omega Transaction (see above), our subsidiary, Vertex Refining NV, LLC ("Vertex Refining NV") acquired 100% of the issued and outstanding membership interests in Golden State Lubricants Works, LLC ("GSLW").  GSLW leased a blending and storage facility (the "Facility") with attached office space in Bakersfield, California. The Facility has total tank capacity of nearly 5 million gallons and offers excellent rail and truck access. The lease has a term expiring March 31, 2026 with monthly rental cost of $59,800. After exploring various options with respect to the Facility, it was decided that this asset did not fit the long range plans of the Company.  In August, 2015, we notified the landlord that we were no longer planning to pay the monthly rental. The landlord has not formally terminated the lease, or released GSLW from any obligations under the lease.
We believe that our current facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our current needs, and that suitable additional or substitute space will be available as needed. However, we continue to evaluate the purchase or lease of additional properties or the consolidation of our properties, as our business requires.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we may become party to litigation or other legal proceedings that we consider to be a part of the ordinary course of our business.
Vertex Refining LA, LLC, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Vertex Operating, was named as a defendant, along with numerous other parties, in five lawsuits filed on or about February 12, 2016, in the Second Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, Case No. 121749, by Russell Doucet et. al., Case No. 121750, by Kendra Cannon et. al., Case No. 121751, by Lashawn Jones et. al., Case No. 121752, by Joan Strauss et. al. and Case No. 121753, by Donna Allen et. al. The suits relate to alleged noxious and harmful emissions from our facility located in Marrero, Louisiana. The suits seek damages for physical and emotional injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses and deprivation of the use and enjoyment of plaintiffs’ homes. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and oppose the relief sought in the complaints, provided that at this stage of the litigation, the Company has no basis for determining whether there is any likelihood of material loss associated with the claims and/or the potential and/or the outcome of the litigation.

E-Source, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vertex Operating, was named as a defendant (along with Motiva Enterprises, LLC, (“Motiva”)) in a lawsuit filed in the Sixtieth (60th) Judicial District, Jefferson County, Texas, on April 22, 2015. Pursuant to the lawsuit, Whole Environmental, Inc. ("Whole"), made certain allegations against E-Source, and Motiva. The claims include Breach of Contract and Quantum Meruit actions relating to asbestos abatement and remediation operations performed for defendants at Motiva’s facility in Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas. The plaintiff alleges it is due monies earned. Defendants have denied any amounts due plaintiff. The suit seeks damages of approximately $864,000, along with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, the fair value of certain property alleged to be converted by defendants and reimbursement of legal fees. E-Source has asserted a counterclaim against Whole for the filing of a mechanic’s lien in excess of any amount(s) actually due as well as a cross-claim against Motiva. Under the terms of E-Source’s contract with Motiva, Motiva was to pay all sums due to any sub-contractors of E-Source. If any additional monies are owed to Whole, those monies should be paid by Motiva. E-Source seeks to recover the balance due under its contract with Motiva of approximately $1,000,000. The case is set for trial in the summer of 2017. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against the allegations made in the complaint. The Company has no basis of determining whether there is any likelihood of material loss associated with the claims and/or the potential and/or the outcome of the litigation.



Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.


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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
On February 13, 2013, our common stock began trading on the NASDAQ Capital Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol “VTNR”.
The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices for our common stock on the NASDAQ, for the quarters presented. Prices represent inter-dealer quotations without adjustments for markups, markdowns, and commissions, and may not represent actual transactions.
QUARTER ENDING
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
FISCAL 2016
 
 
 
December 31, 2016
$
1.42

 
$
0.90

September 30, 2016
$
1.55

 
$
1.10

June 30, 2016
$
2.01

 
$
0.92

March 31, 2016
$
2.21

 
$
0.63

 
 
 
 
FISCAL 2015
 
 
 
December 31, 2015
$
2.80

 
$
1.00

September 30, 2015
$
2.85

 
$
1.67

June 30, 2015
$
3.45

 
$
1.90

March 31, 2015
$
4.41

 
$
3.14

HOLDERS
As of March 13, 2017, there were approximately (a) 585 holders of record of our common stock, not including holders who hold their shares in street name, and 33,258,027 shares of common stock issued and outstanding (which number includes 1,258,928 shares of common stock held in escrow in order to satisfy the indemnification obligations of certain prior acquisitions and sale transactions undertaken by us, of which 1,108,928 shares have been returned to us and are in the process of being canceled as of the date of this filing); (b) 104 holders of record of our 462,644 outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock; (c) 11 holders of record of our 3,277,856 outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock; (d) 17 holders of record of our 12,393,608 outstanding shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock; and (e) one holder of record of our 31,568 outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Stock.
DIVIDENDS
We have not paid any dividends on our common stock to date and do not anticipate that we will be paying dividends in the foreseeable future. Any payment of cash dividends on our common stock in the future will be dependent upon the amount of funds legally available, our earnings, if any, our financial condition, our anticipated capital requirements and other factors that our Board of Directors may think are relevant. However, we currently intend for the foreseeable future to follow a policy of retaining all of our earnings, if any, to finance the development and expansion of our business and, therefore, do not expect to pay any dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Additionally, the terms of our preferred stock impose restrictions on our ability to pay dividends.
EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION
The Company previously assumed World Waste’s 2004 Incentive Stock Option Plan (the “2004 Plan”), which was approved by shareholders, and provided for the issuance of a total of up to 200,000 shares of common stock and options to acquire common stock to employees, directors and consultants.
The Company also previously assumed World Waste’s 2007 Incentive Stock Plan (the “2007 Plan”), which was not shareholder-approved. The 2007 Plan provided for the issuance of a total of up to 600,000 shares of common stock and options to acquire common stock to employees, directors and consultants.

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Effective May 16, 2008, our Board of Directors approved our 2008 Stock Incentive Plan, which was subsequently approved by a majority of our shareholders on December 3, 2008, which allows the Board of Directors to grant up to an aggregate of 600,000 qualified and non-qualified stock options, restricted stock and performance based awards of securities to our officers, directors and consultants to help attract and retain our qualified personnel (the “2008 Plan”).
Effective July 15, 2009, our Board of Directors approved our 2009 Stock Incentive Plan, which was subsequently approved by a majority of our shareholders on July 14, 2010, which allows the Board of Directors to grant up to an aggregate of 1,575,000 qualified and non-qualified stock options, restricted stock and performance based awards of securities to our officers, directors and consultants to help attract and retain qualified personnel (the “2009 Plan”).
Effective on April 25, 2013, the Board of Directors adopted, subject to the ratification of our shareholders, the Company’s 2013 Stock Incentive Plan (the “2013 Plan” and collectively with the 2008 Plan and the 2009 Plan, the “Plans”), which was subsequently approved by the Company’s shareholders on June 7, 2013, which allowed the Board of Directors to grant up to an aggregate of 1,575,000 qualified and non-qualified stock options, restricted stock and performance based awards of securities to our officers, directors and consultants to help attract and retain qualified personnel. On July 20, 2015, the Board of Directors approved an amendment to the 2013 Plan to increase by 2 million shares the number of shares available under the 2013 Plan, which was ratified by the shareholders of the Company on September 16, 2015.
The following table provides information as of December 31, 2016 regarding the 2004 Plan, the 2007 Plan and the Plans (including individual compensation arrangements), except as described below, under which equity securities are authorized for issuance:
Plan Category
 
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights*
 
Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights*
 
Number of securities available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding those in first column)*
Equity compensation plans approved by the security holders
 
2,583,750
 
$4.19
 
3,821,444
Equity compensation plans not approved by the security holders
 
 
$—
 
Total
 
2,583,750
 
 
 
3,821,444
*    Does not include securities available for future issuance under equity compensation plans approved by security holders and not approved by security holders of World Waste, assumed in the Merger, which the Company does not plan to issue any additional securities in connection with.
Description of Capital Stock
Common Stock
The total number of authorized shares of our common stock is 750,000,000 shares, $0.001 par value per share.
Each share of our common stock is entitled to equal dividends and distributions per share with respect to the common stock when, as and if declared by our Board of Directors. No holder of any shares of our common stock has a preemptive right to subscribe for any of our securities, nor are any shares of our common stock subject to redemption or convertible into other securities. Upon liquidation, dissolution or winding-up of the Company, and after payment to our creditors and preferred shareholders, if any, our assets will be divided pro rata on a share-for-share basis among the holders of our common stock. Each share of our common stock is entitled to one vote on all shareholder matters. Shares of our common stock do not possess any cumulative voting rights.
Preferred Stock
The total number of “blank check” authorized shares of our preferred stock is 50,000,000 shares, $0.001 par value per share. The total number of authorized shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock (“Series A Preferred”) is 5,000,000; the total number of authorized shares of Vertex’s Series B Preferred Stock is 10,000,000 (“Series B Preferred Stock”); the total number of authorized shares of Vertex's Series B1 Preferred Stock is 17,000,000 ("Series B1 Preferred Stock") and the total number of authorized shares of Vertex’s Series C Convertible Preferred Stock is 44,000 (“Series C Preferred Stock”).

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Series A Preferred
Holders of outstanding shares of Series A Preferred are entitled to receive dividends, when, as, and if declared by our Board of Directors. No dividends or similar distributions may be made on shares of capital stock or securities junior to our Series A Preferred until dividends in the same amount per share on our Series A Preferred have been declared and paid. In connection with a liquidation, winding-up, dissolution or sale of the Company, each share of our Series A Preferred is entitled to receive $1.49 prior to similar liquidation payments due on shares of our common stock or any other class of securities junior to the Series A Preferred. Shares of Series A Preferred are not entitled to participate with the holders of our common stock with respect to the distribution of any remaining assets of the Company.
Each share of Series A Preferred is entitled to that number of votes equal to the number of whole shares of common stock into which it is convertible. Generally, holders of our common stock and Vertex Series A Preferred vote together as a single class.
Shares of Series A Preferred automatically convert into shares of our common stock on the earliest to occur of the following:
The affirmative vote or written consent of the holders of a majority of the then-outstanding shares of Series A Preferred;
If the closing market price of our common stock averages at least $15.00 per share over a period of 20 consecutive trading days and the daily trading volume averages at least 7,500 shares over such period;
If we consummate an underwritten public offering of our securities at a price per share not less than $10.00 and for a total gross offering amount of at least $10 million; or
If a sale of the Company occurs resulting in proceeds to the holders of Series A Preferred of a per share amount of at least $10.00.
Each share of Series A Preferred converts into one share of common stock, subject to adjustment.
Series B Preferred Stock
The Series B Preferred Stock accrues a dividend, payable quarterly in arrears (based on calendar quarters), in the amount of 6% per annum of the original issuance price of the Series B Preferred Stock ($3.10 per share).
The dividend is payable by the Company, at the Company’s election, in registered common stock of the Company (if available) or cash. In the event dividends are paid in registered common stock of the Company, the number of shares payable will be calculated by dividing (a) the accrued dividend by (b) 90% of the arithmetic average of the volume weighted average price (VWAP) of the Company’s common stock for the 10 trading days immediately prior to the applicable date of determination (the “June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event may the Company pay dividends in common stock unless the applicable June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price is above $2.91. If the Company is prohibited from paying, or chooses not to pay, the dividend in cash (due to contractual senior credit agreements or other restrictions) or is unable to pay the dividend in registered common stock, the dividend will be paid in kind in Series B Preferred Stock shares at $3.10 per share.
The Series B Preferred Stock includes a liquidation preference (in the amount of $3.10 per share) which is junior to the Company’s Series A Preferred Stock, ranks senior to the Company’s Series C Preferred Stock and ranks equally with the Series B1 Preferred Stock. The Series B Preferred Stock also ranks junior to the Company’s credit facilities and other debt holders as provided in further detail in the designation of the Series B Preferred Stock (the “Series B Designation”).
The Series B Preferred Stock prohibits us from (i) increasing or decreasing (other than by redemption or conversion (as described in the Series B Designation)) the total number of authorized shares of Series B Preferred Stock (except to the extent required to issue payment-in-kind shares); (ii) re-issuing any shares of Series B Preferred Stock converted or redeemed; (iii) creating, or authorizing the creation of, or issuing or obligating the Company to issue shares of, any class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series B Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, the payment of dividends and rights of redemption, or increase the authorized number of shares of any additional class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series B Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, the payment of dividends and rights of redemption; (iv) effecting an exchange, reclassification, or cancellation of all or a part of the Series B Preferred Stock (except pursuant to the terms of the Series B Designation); (v) effecting an exchange, or

50



creating a right of exchange, of all or part of the shares of another class of shares into shares of Series B Preferred Stock; (vi) issuing any shares of Series B Preferred Stock other than pursuant to the Purchase Agreement or as payment-in-kind shares; (vii) altering or changing the rights, preferences or privileges of the Series B Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of such series; or (viii) amending or waiving any provision of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws relative to the Series B Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of Series B Preferred Stock in any material respect as compared to holders of other series, in each case without the prior written consent of holders of Series B Preferred Stock holding a majority of the then outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock.

The Series B Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at the holder’s option at $3.10 per share (initially a one-for-one basis). If the Company’s common stock trades at or above $6.20 per share for a period of 20 consecutive trading days, the Company may at such time force conversion of the Series B Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) into common stock of the Company.
The Series B Preferred Stock votes together with the common stock on an as-converted basis, provided that each holder’s voting rights are subject to and limited by the Series B Beneficial Ownership Limitation described below.
The Company has the option to redeem the outstanding shares of Series B Preferred Stock at $3.10 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends on such Series B Preferred Stock redeemed, at any time beginning on June 24, 2017, and the Company is required to redeem the Series B Preferred Stock at $3.10 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends, on June 24, 2020.
The Series B Preferred Stock contains a provision prohibiting the conversion of such Series B Preferred Stock into common stock of the Company, if upon such conversion, the holder thereof would beneficially own more than 9.999% of the Company’s then outstanding common stock (the “Series B Beneficial Ownership Limitation”). The Series B Beneficial Ownership Limitation does not apply to forced conversions undertaken by the Company pursuant to the terms of the designation (summarized above).
Series B1 Preferred Stock
 
The Series B1 Preferred Stock is subject to the terms and conditions and has the rights and preferences set forth in the Certificate of Designation of Vertex Energy, Inc. Establishing the Designation, Preferences, Limitations and Relative Rights of Its Series B1 Preferred Stock (the “Series B1 Designation”), which was filed with the Secretary of State of Nevada on May 12, 2016. The Series B1 Preferred Stock accrues a dividend, payable quarterly in arrears (based on calendar quarters), in the amount of 6% per annum of the original issuance price of the Series B1 Preferred Stock ($1.56 per share), provided that such dividend increases to 9% if the Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA (defined below) targets described below are not met during the periods indicated below during 2016-2017, until the earlier of (a) the date the next target is met, or (b) June 30, 2018. “Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA” means the Company’s operating income, plus (i) share-based compensation expense, (ii) depreciation and amortization, (iii) goodwill impairment charges, (iv) acquisition related expenses, (v) nonrecurring restructuring charges, and (vi) other non-cash expenses or one-time items, all as calculated in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles, as consistently applied by the Company.
 
The Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA targets are as follows:
 
Measurement Period
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA
For the six months ending December 31, 2016
Negative $1,000,000
For the three months ending March 31, 2017
$1,000,000
For the six months ending June 30, 2017
$3,500,000
For the nine months ending September 30, 2017
$5,500,000
For the twelve months ending December 31, 2017
$7,500,000
 
The Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA target for the six months ending December 31, 2016 was met.

The dividend is payable by the Company, at the Company’s election, in registered common stock of the Company (if available) or cash, subject to the terms of the Company’s senior loan documents. In the event dividends are paid in registered common stock of the Company, the number of shares payable will be calculated by dividing (a) the accrued dividend by (b) 90% of the arithmetic average of the volume weighted average price (VWAP) of the Company’s common stock for the 10 trading days immediately prior to the applicable date of determination (the “May 2016 Dividend Stock Payment Price”). Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event may the Company pay dividends in common stock unless the applicable May 2016 Dividend Stock Payment

51



Price is above $1.52. If the Company is prohibited from paying, or chooses not to pay, the dividend in cash (due to contractual senior credit agreements or other restrictions) or is unable to pay the dividend in registered common stock, the dividend will be paid in-kind in additional shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock shares based on a value of $1.56 per share.
 
The Series B1 Preferred Stock includes a liquidation preference (in the amount of $1.56 per share) which is junior to the Company’s Series A Preferred Stock, ranks senior to the Company’s Series C Preferred Stock and ranks equally with the Series B Preferred Stock. The Series B1 Preferred Stock also ranks junior to the Company’s credit facilities and other debt holders as provided in further detail in the Series B1 Designation.
 
The Series B1 Preferred Stock prohibits us from (i) increasing or decreasing (other than by redemption or conversion (as described in the Series B1 Designation)) the total number of authorized shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock (except to the extent required to issue payment-in-kind shares); (ii) re-issuing any shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock converted or redeemed; (iii) creating, or authorizing the creation of, or issuing or obligating the Company to issue shares of, any class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series B1 Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, the payment of dividends and rights of redemption, or increase the authorized number of shares of any additional class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series B1 Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, the payment of dividends and rights of redemption; (iv) issuing, incurring or obligating the Company to issue or incur any indebtedness that is convertible into, or exchangeable for, any equity security of the Company or instruments derivative of any equity security of the Company; (v) granting any rights to require a mandatory repurchase, retirement or redemption by the Company of any of the Company’s equity securities or instruments derivative of its equity securities on or prior to June 24, 2020, or issuing, incurring or obligating the Company to issue or incur, any indebtedness with a maturity date on or prior to June 24, 2020, that is convertible into, or exchangeable for, equity securities or instruments derivative of the Company’s equity securities; (vi) effecting an exchange, reclassification, or cancellation of all or a part of the Series B1 Preferred Stock (except pursuant to the terms of the Series B1 Designation); (vii) effecting an exchange, or creating a right of exchange, of all or part of the shares of another class of shares into shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock; (viii) issuing any shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock other than pursuant to the Purchase Agreement or as payment-in-kind shares; (ix) altering or changing the rights, preferences or privileges of the Series B1 Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of such series; or (x) amending or waiving any provision of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws relative to the Series B1 Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock in any material respect as compared to holders of other series, in each case without the prior written consent of holders of Series B1 Preferred Stock holding a majority of the then outstanding shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock.

The Series B1 Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at the holder’s option at any time after closing on a one-for-one basis. If the Company’s common stock trades at or above $3.90 per share for a period of 20 consecutive trading days at any time, the Company may at such time force conversion of the Series B1 Preferred Stock (including accrued and unpaid dividends) into common stock of the Company.
 
The Series B1 Preferred Stock votes together with the common stock on an as-converted basis, provided that each holder’s voting rights are subject to and limited by the Series B1 Beneficial Ownership Limitation described below.
 
The Company has the option to redeem the outstanding shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock at $1.716 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends on such Series B1 Preferred Stock redeemed, at any time beginning on June 20, 2017 (the two year anniversary of the closing of the Company’s June 2015 offering of Series B Preferred Stock) and the Company is required to redeem the Series B1 Preferred Stock at $1.56 per share, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends on June 24, 2020 (the five year anniversary of the closing of the Company’s June 2015 offering of Series B Preferred Stock).
 
The Series B1 Preferred Stock contains a provision prohibiting the conversion of the Series B1 Preferred Stock into common stock of the Company, if upon such conversion or exercise, as applicable, the holder thereof would beneficially own more than 9.999% (provided that certain holders of the Series B1 Preferred Stock have contractually agreed to a lower conversion limit of 4.999%) of the Company’s then outstanding common stock (the “Series B1 Beneficial Ownership Limitation”). The Series B1 Beneficial Ownership Limitation does not apply to forced conversions undertaken by the Company pursuant to the terms of the Series B1 Designation (summarized above).


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Series C Convertible Preferred Stock
The Series C Preferred Stock does not accrue a dividend, but has participation rights on an as-converted basis, to any dividends paid on the Company’s common stock (other than dividends paid solely in common stock). Each Series C Preferred Stock share has a $100 face value, and a liquidation preference (in the amount of $100 per share) which is junior to the Company’s other outstanding shares of preferred stock, senior credit facilities and other debt holders as provided in further detail in the designation, but senior to the common stock.
The Series C Preferred Stock is convertible into shares of the Company’s common stock at the holder’s option at any time at $1.00 per share (initially a 100:1 basis (subject to adjustments for stock splits and recapitalizations)). The Series C Preferred Stock votes together with the common stock on an as-converted basis, provided that each holder’s voting rights are subject to and limited by the Series C Beneficial Ownership Limitation described below and provided further that notwithstanding any of the foregoing, solely for purposes of determining the Voting Rights, the Voting Rights accorded to such Series C Convertible Preferred Stock will be determined as if converted at $1.05 per share (the market value of the common stock as of the close of trading on the day prior to the original issuance date of the Series C Preferred Stock), and subject to equitable adjustment as discussed in the designation. There are no redemption rights associated with the Series C Preferred Stock.
The Series C Preferred Stock contains a provision prohibiting the conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock into common stock of the Company, if upon such conversion or exercise, as applicable, the holder thereof would beneficially own more than 4.999% of the Company’s then outstanding common stock (the “Series C Beneficial Ownership Limitation”). The Series C Beneficial Ownership Limitation may be increased up and down on a per holder basis, with 61 days prior written notice from any holder, provided the Series C Beneficial Ownership Limitation may never be higher than 9.999%.
So long as any shares of Series C Preferred Stock are outstanding, we are prohibited from undertaking any of the following without first obtaining the approval of the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Stock: (a) increasing or decreasing (other than by redemption or conversion) the total number of authorized shares of Series C Preferred Stock; (b) re-issuing any shares of Series C Preferred Stock converted; (c) creating, or authorizing the creation of, or issuing or obligating the Company to issue shares of, any class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series C Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, or increasing the authorized number of shares of any additional class or series of capital stock unless the same ranks junior to (and not pari passu with) the Series C Preferred Stock with respect to the distribution of assets on the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company; (d) effecting an exchange, reclassification, or cancellation of all or a part of the Series C Preferred Stock (except pursuant to the terms of the designation); (e) effecting an exchange, or creating a right of exchange, of all or part of the shares of another class of shares into shares of Series C Preferred Stock (except pursuant to the terms of the designation); (f) issuing any additional shares of Series C Preferred Stock; (g) altering or changing the rights, preferences or privileges of the shares of Series C Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of such series; or (h) amending or waiving any provision of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws relative to the Series C Preferred Stock so as to affect adversely the shares of Series C Preferred Stock in any material respect as compared to holders of other series of shares.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
For the period from September 30, 2015 to December 31, 2015, a total of approximately $379,518 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock. We were prohibited from paying such dividends in shares of common stock because the applicable June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price was below $2.91. Pursuant to the terms of our Goldman Credit Agreement and Restated Goldman Credit Agreement (both described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Credit and Guaranty Agreement with Goldman Sachs Bank USA”) we were prohibited from paying the dividend in cash and therefore we paid the accrued dividends in-kind by way of the issuance of 122,425 restricted shares of Series B Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B Preferred Stock in January 2016. If converted in full, the 122,425 shares of restricted Series B Preferred Stock would convert into 122,425 shares of our common stock. As the issuance of the Series B Preferred Stock in-kind in satisfaction of the dividends did not involve a “sale” of securities under Section 2(a)(3) of the Securities Act, we believe that no registration of such securities, or exemption from registration for such securities, was required under the Securities Act. Notwithstanding the above, to the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipients were “accredited investors”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities

53



Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

Effective on or around January 21, 2016, we paid the January 2016 rent due pursuant to the terms of the Bango Lease in shares of our common stock, pursuant to the terms of such lease, which allowed us to pay 110% of the rent which would otherwise be due in cash (i.e., $268,400 of share based rent compared to $244,000 of cash based rent), as calculated using the volume weighted average price (“VWAP”) of our common stock for the 10-day period preceding the first day of each month, which VWAP for the month of January 2016 was $1.10 per share. As such, we issued the then owner of Bango Oil, Fox Encore, an aggregate of 244,000 shares of our restricted common stock in lieu of cash rent due pursuant to the Bango Lease for the month of January 2016. We claim an exemption from registration for the issuance and sale of such shares pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the foregoing issuance did not involve a public offering, the recipient was an “accredited investor”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities were offered without any general solicitation by us or our representatives. No underwriters or agents were involved in the foregoing issuance and we paid no underwriting discounts or commissions. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

As described above under “Part I - Item 1. Business - 2016 Material Events - Purchase and Sale Agreement, Churchill County, Nevada Plant”, in connection with the closing of the Sale Agreement, we placed $1.5 million in cash and $1 million worth of our common stock (1,108,928 shares) into escrow with 50% of the shares to be released 12 months following the closing and the remainder of the shares held in escrow to be released 18 months after the closing, in order to satisfy any indemnification claims made by the buyer pursuant to the terms of the Sale Agreement, which shares have been returned to us and are in the process of being canceled as of the date of this filing. On June 30 and December 31 of each year that any of our shares of common stock are in escrow, in the event the value of the shares held in escrow is less than $1 million, based on the then market price of our common stock, we are required to increase the number of shares of common stock held in escrow to total $1 million in aggregate value. To the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipient was an “accredited investor”, and will acquire the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

As described above under “Part I - Item 1. Business - 2016 Material Events - Subscription Agreement”, we sold 44,000 shares of Series C Preferred Stock to Fox Encore in consideration for $4 million, which convert into common stock on a 100-for-1 basis, and which if fully converted would convert into 4,400,000 shares of common stock. We claim an exemption from registration for the issuance and sale of such shares pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the foregoing issuance did not involve a public offering, the recipient was an “accredited investor”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities were offered without any general solicitation by us or our representatives. No underwriters or agents were involved in the foregoing issuance and we paid no underwriting discounts or commissions. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

In February 2016, a holder of Series A Convertible Preferred Stock of the Company converted 120,227 shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock into 120,227 shares of our common stock. All of the shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series A Preferred Stock shares were exempt from registration pursuant to an exemption from registration afforded by Section 3(a)(9) and 3(a)(10) of the Securities Act.

For the period from December 31, 2015 to March 31, 2016, a total of approximately $373,500 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock. We were prohibited from paying such dividends in shares of common stock because the applicable June 2015 Dividend Stock Payment Price was below $2.91. Pursuant to the terms of our Goldman Credit Agreement with our senior lender, we were prohibited from paying the dividend in cash and therefore we paid the accrued dividends in-kind

54



by way of the issuance of 124,258 restricted shares of Series B Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B Preferred Stock in April 2016. If converted in full, the 124,258 shares of restricted Series B Preferred Stock would convert into 124,258 shares of our common stock. As the issuance of the Series B Preferred Stock in-kind in satisfaction of the dividends did not involve a “sale” of securities under Section 2(a)(3) of the Securities Act, we believe that no registration of such securities, or exemption from registration for such securities, was required under the Securities Act. Notwithstanding the above, to the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipients were “accredited investors”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

In May 2016, we sold the May 2016 Units (including the shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock and the May 2016 Warrants) to the May 2016 Investors under the May 2016 Purchase Agreement (each as described in greater detail below under “Part II. - Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Liquidity and Capital Resources - Unit Offerings”) in transactions exempt from registration under the Securities Act, in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) thereof and Rule 506(b) of Regulation D of the Securities Act. Each of the Investors represented that it is an accredited investor within the meaning of Rule 501(a) of Regulation D, and acquired the May 2016 Units for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The Units were offered without any general solicitation by the Company or its representatives. The Units were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws. If converted in full, the 12,403,683 shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock would convert into 12,403,683 shares of our common stock. If exercised in full, the holders of the warrants to purchase 3,100,926 shares of common stock would be due 3,100,926 shares of common stock upon such exercise.

For the period from April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016, a total of approximately $264,074 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and for the period from May 13, 2016 to June 30, 2016, a total of approximately $145,123 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B1 Preferred Stock. We were prohibited from paying such dividends in shares of common stock and in cash and therefore we paid the accrued dividends in-kind by way of the issuance of 62,822 restricted shares of Series B Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B Preferred Stock in July 2016 and the issuance of 97,875 restricted shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B1 Preferred Stock in July 2016. If converted in full, the 62,822 shares of Series B Preferred Stock would convert into 62,822 shares of common stock and the 97,875 shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock would convert into 97,875 shares of common stock. As the issuance of the Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock in-kind in satisfaction of the dividends did not involve a “sale” of securities under Section 2(a)(3) of the Securities Act, we believe that no registration of such securities, or exemption from registration for such securities, was required under the Securities Act. Notwithstanding the above, to the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipients were “accredited investors”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom . The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

For the period from July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016, a total of approximately $214,227 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and for the period from July 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016, a total of approximately $290,246 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B1 Preferred Stock. We were prohibited from paying such dividends in shares of common stock and in cash and therefore we paid the accrued dividends in-kind by way of the issuance of 73,437 restricted shares of Series B Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B Preferred Stock in October 2016 and the issuance of 187,534 restricted shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B1 Preferred Stock in October 2016. If converted in full, the 73,437 shares of Series B Preferred Stock would convert into 73,437 shares of common stock and the 187,534 shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock would convert into 187,534 shares of common stock. As the issuance of the Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock in-kind in satisfaction of the dividends did not involve a “sale” of securities under Section 2(a)(3) of the Securities Act, we believe that no registration of such securities, or exemption from registration for such securities, was required under the Securities Act. Notwithstanding the above, to the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities

55



Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipients were “accredited investors”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

In October 2016, a holder of our Series B1 Convertible Preferred Stock converted 403,217 shares of our Series B1 Convertible Preferred Stock into 403,217 shares of our common stock.

In November 2016, a holder of our Series B Convertible Preferred Stock converted 1,739,272 shares of our Series B Convertible Preferred Stock into 1,739,272 shares of our common stock.

We claim an exemption from registration provided by Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act for such issuances, as the securities were exchanged by us with our existing security holders in a transaction where no commission or other remuneration was paid or given directly or indirectly for soliciting such exchange.

For the period from October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, a total of approximately $214,227 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B Preferred Stock and for the period from October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, a total of approximately $290,246 of dividends accrued on our outstanding Series B1 Preferred Stock. We were prohibited from paying such dividends in shares of common stock and in cash and therefore we paid the accrued dividends in-kind by way of the issuance of 48,447 restricted shares of Series B Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B Preferred Stock in January 2017 and the issuance of 184,297 restricted shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock pro rata to each of the then holders of our Series B1 Preferred Stock in October 2016. If converted in full, the 48,447 shares of Series B Preferred Stock would convert into 48,447 shares of common stock and the 184,297 shares of Series B1 Preferred Stock would convert into 184,297 shares of common stock. As the issuance of the Series B Preferred Stock and Series B1 Preferred Stock in-kind in satisfaction of the dividends did not involve a “sale” of securities under Section 2(a)(3) of the Securities Act, we believe that no registration of such securities, or exemption from registration for such securities, was required under the Securities Act. Notwithstanding the above, to the extent such shares are deemed “sold or offered”, we claim an exemption from registration pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) and/or Rule 506 of Regulation D of the Securities Act, since the transaction did not involve a public offering, the recipients were “accredited investors”, and acquired the securities for investment only and not with a view towards, or for resale in connection with, the public sale or distribution thereof. The securities are subject to transfer restrictions, and the certificates evidencing the securities contain an appropriate legend stating that such securities have not been registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold absent registration or pursuant to an exemption therefrom. The securities were not registered under the Securities Act and such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the Securities Act and any applicable state securities laws.

In January 2017, two holders of our Series B1 Convertible Preferred Stock converted 66,564 and 10,000 shares, respectively, of our Series B1 Convertible Preferred Stock into 66,564 and 10,000 shares of our common stock, respectively.

In January 2017, a holder of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock converted 30,072 shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock into 30,072 shares of our common stock.

We claim an exemption from registration provided by Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act for such issuances, as the securities were exchanged by us with our existing security holders in a transaction where no commission or other remuneration was paid or given directly or indirectly for soliciting such exchange.

Use of Proceeds From Sale of Registered Securities
None.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
None.

56



Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Our selected consolidated financial data shown below should be read together with “Part II” - “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and respective notes included in “Part II” - “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”. The data shown below is not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period.
 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
98,078,914

 
$
146,942,461

 
$
258,904,867

 
$
161,967,252

 
$
134,573,243

Income (loss) from operations
$
(10,112,514
)
 
$
(14,093,041
)
 
$
(10,494,621
)
 
$
7,051,203

 
$
2,391,250

Basic net income (loss) per share
(0.51
)
 
(0.86
)
 
(0.23
)
 
0.44

 
0.30

Diluted net income (loss) per share
(0.51
)
 
(0.86
)
 
(0.23
)
 
0.39

 
0.25

Weighted average number of basic common shares outstanding
30,520,820

 
28,181,096

 
23,807,780

 
17,830,194

 
12,138,229

Weighted average number of diluted common shares outstanding
30,520,820

 
28,181,096

 
23,807,780

 
20,182,829

 
14,866,134

 
Years Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
1,701,435

 
$
765,364

 
$
6,017,076

 
$
2,678,628

 
$
807,940

Working capital (deficit)
$
(1,268,192
)
 
$
(10,498,637
)
 
$
(29,327,453
)
 
$
8,042,589

 
$
3,712,745

Total assets
$
86,985,968

 
$
93,644,816

 
$
133,822,231

 
$
64,546,356

 
$
49,102,377

Long-term obligations
$
6,214,103

 
$
7,088,263

 
$
12,125,574

 
$
10,157,101

 
$
18,083,457

Total liabilities
$
28,667,747

 
$
40,753,674

 
$
75,202,259

 
$
26,210,133

 
$
28,702,020

Total stockholders’ equity
$
41,230,119

 
$
40,935,935

 
$
58,619,972

 
$
38,336,223

 
$
20,400,357

The key operational issue contributing to the differences between 2016 and 2015 was the steady decline of commodity prices. This resulted in lower 2015 revenues and cost of goods sold without a corresponding decrease in our fixed costs. During the first half of 2016, other operating differences between 2016 and 2015, were the sale of the Bango assets during the first quarter of 2016. In addition, we processed fewer barrels due to the fire that occurred at our Heartland Refinery during the second quarter of 2016.
See "Note 16, Disposition", in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in “Part II. Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a full description of a disposition which affected the comparability of the selected financial data, which is incorporated herein by reference.


57



Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Strategy and Plan of Operations
The Principal elements of our strategy include:
Expand Feedstock Supply Volume.  We intend to expand our feedstock supply volume by growing our collection and aggregation operations.  We plan to increase the volume of feedstock we collect directly by developing new relationships with generators and working to displace incumbent collectors; increasing the number of collection personnel, vehicles, equipment, and geographical areas we serve; and acquiring collectors in new or existing territories.  We intend to increase the volume of feedstock we aggregate from third-party collectors by expanding our existing relationships and developing new vendor relationships.  We believe that our ability to acquire large feedstock volumes will help to cultivate new vendor relationships because collectors often prefer to work with a single, reliable customer rather than manage multiple relationships and the uncertainty of excess inventory.
Broaden Existing Customer Relationships and Secure New Large Accounts.  We intend to broaden our existing customer relationships by increasing sales of used motor oil and re-refined products to these accounts. In some cases, we may also seek to serve as our customers’ primary or exclusive supplier.  We also believe that as we increase our supply of feedstock and re-refined products that we will secure larger customer accounts that require a partner who can consistently deliver high volumes.
Re-Refine Higher Value End Products.  We intend to develop, lease, or acquire technologies to re-refine our feedstock supply into higher-value end products.  We believe that the expansion of our facilities and our technology, and investments in additional technologies, will enable us to upgrade feedstock into end products, such as lubricating base oil, that command higher market prices than the current re-refined products we produce.
Pursue Selective Strategic Relationships or Acquisitions.  We plan to grow market share by consolidating feedstock supply through partnering with or acquiring collection and aggregation assets.  Such acquisitions and/or partnerships could increase our revenue and provide better control over the quality and quantity of feedstock available for resale and/or upgrading as well as providing additional locations for the implementation of TCEP, if we deem such commercially reasonable.  In addition, we intend to pursue further vertical integration opportunities by acquiring complementary recycling and processing technologies where we can realize synergies by leveraging our customer and vendor relationships, infrastructure, and personnel, and by eliminating duplicative overhead costs.
Alternative Energy Project Development. We will continue to evaluate and potentially pursue various alternative energy project development opportunities.  These opportunities may be a continuation of the projects sourced originally by World Waste Technologies, Inc., a development stage municipal solid waste conversion company we merged with in April 2009, and/or may include new projects initiated by us.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Description of Material Financial Line Items:
Revenues
We generate revenues from three existing operating divisions as follows:
BLACK OIL - Revenues for our Black Oil division are comprised primarily of product sales from our re-refineries and feedstock sales (used motor oil) which are purchased from generators of used motor oil such as oil change shops and garages, as well as a network of local and regional suppliers.  Volumes are consolidated for efficient delivery and then sold to third-party re-refiners and fuel oil blenders for the export market.  In addition, through used oil re-refining, we re-refine used oil into different commodity products.  The Houston, Texas TCEP facility finished product is then sold by barge as a fuel oil cutterstock. Through the operations at our Marrero, Louisiana facility, we produce a Vacuum Gas Oil (VGO) product from used oil re-refining which is then sold via barge to crude refineries to be utilized as an intermediate feedstock in the refining process. Through the operations at our Columbus, Ohio facility we produce a base oil finished product which is then sold via truck or rail car to end users for blending, packaging and marketing of lubricants.
REFINING AND MARKETING - The Refining and Marketing division generates revenues relating to the sales of finished products. The Refining and Marketing division gathers hydrocarbon streams in the form of petroleum distillates, transmix and

58



other chemical products that have become off-specification during the transportation or refining process. These feedstock streams are purchased from pipeline operators, refineries, chemical processing facilities and third-party providers, and then processed at a third-party facility under our direction. The end products are typically three distillate petroleum streams (gasoline blendstock, pygas and fuel oil cutterstock), which are sold to major oil companies or to large petroleum trading and blending companies. The end products are delivered by barge and truck to customers.
RECOVERY - The Recovery division is a generator solutions company for the proper recovery and management of hydrocarbon streams. This division also provides dismantling, demolition, decommission and marine salvage services at industrial facilities. We own and operate a fleet of trucks and other vehicles used for shipping and handling equipment and scrap materials.
Our revenues are affected by changes in various commodity prices including crude oil, natural gas, #6 oil and metals.
Cost of Revenues
BLACK OIL - Cost of revenues for our Black Oil division are comprised primarily of feedstock purchases from a network of providers. Other cost of revenues include processing costs, transportation costs, purchasing and receiving costs, analytical assessments, brokerage fees and commissions, and surveying and storage costs.
REFINING AND MARKETING - The Refining and Marketing division incurs cost of revenues relating to the purchase of feedstock, purchasing and receiving costs, and inspection and processing of the feedstock into gasoline blendstock, pygas and fuel oil cutter by a third party. Cost of revenues also includes broker’s fees, inspection and transportation costs.
RECOVERY - The Recovery division incurs cost of revenues relating to the purchase of hydrocarbon products, purchasing and receiving costs, inspection, demolition and transporting of metals and other salvage and materials. Cost of revenues also includes broker’s fees, inspection and transportation costs.
Our cost of revenues are affected by changes in various commodity indices, including crude oil, natural gas, #6 oil and metals. For example, if the price for crude oil increases, the cost of solvent additives used in the production of blended oil products, and fuel cost for transportation cost from third party providers will generally increase. Similarly, if the price of crude oil falls, these costs may also decline.
General and Administrative Expenses
Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other employee-related benefits for executive, administrative, legal, financial and information technology personnel, as well as outsourced and professional services, rent, utilities, and related expenses at our headquarters, as well as certain taxes. 
Depreciation and Amortization Expenses
Our depreciation and amortization expenses are primarily related to the property, plant and equipment and intangible assets acquired in connection with the Holdings, E-Source, Omega Refining acquisitions and Warren Ohio Holdings Co., LLC f/k/a Heartland Group Holdings, LLC ("Heartland") asset purchase, described in greater detail above under “Part I - Item 1. Business - Prior Material Acquisitions”.


59



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016 COMPARED TO THE THREE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015
Set forth below are our results of operations for the three months ended December 31, 2016, as compared to the same period in 2015.
 
Three Months Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Revenues
$
31,055,936

 
$
20,875,827

 
$
10,180,109

 
49
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of revenues
25,758,117

 
20,497,691

 
5,260,426

 
26
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross profit (loss)
5,297,819

 
378,136

 
4,919,683

 
1,301
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reduction of contingent liability

 
(6,069,000
)
 
6,069,000

 
100
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative expenses (exclusive of merger related expenses)
4,804,400

 
6,982,422

 
(2,178,022
)
 
(31
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
1,569,414

 
1,920,416

 
(351,002
)
 
(18
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acquisition related expenses
64,857

 
11,584

 
53,273

 
460
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total selling, general and administrative expenses
6,438,671

 
2,845,422

 
3,593,249

 
126
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income (loss) from operations
(1,140,852
)
 
(2,467,286
)
 
1,326,434

 
54
 %
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
Provision for doubtful accounts

 
1,995,180

 
(1,995,180
)
 
(100
)%
Goodwill Impairment

 
(4,922,353
)
 
4,922,353

 
(100
)%
Interest Income
1,522

 
(4,475
)
 
5,997

 
134
 %
Gain (loss) on sale of assets
(1,323
)
 
92,261

 
(93,584
)
 
(101
)%
Gain (loss) on change in derivative liability
(674,309
)
 
2,844,430

 
(3,518,739
)
 
(124
)%
Gain (loss) on futures liability
(196,560
)
 
155,660

 
(352,220
)
 
(226
)%
Interest Expense
(373,900
)
 
(728,780
)
 
354,880

 
(49
)%
Total other income (expense)
(1,244,570
)
 
(568,077
)
 
(676,493
)
 
(119
)%
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
Income (loss) before income tax
(2,385,422
)
 
(3,035,363
)
 
649,941

 
21
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income tax (expense) benefit

 

 

 
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net Income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest
13,372

 

 
13,372

 
100
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss) attributable to Vertex Energy, Inc.
$
(2,398,794
)
 
$
(3,035,363
)
 
$
636,569

 
21
 %

60



Each of our segments' gross profit during the three months ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 were as follows:
 
Three Months Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Black Oil
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Total revenue
$
23,757,821

 
$
17,004,934

 
$
6,752,887

 
40
 %
     Total cost of revenue
19,123,192

 
17,244,210

 
1,878,982

 
11
 %
     Gross profit (loss)
$
4,634,629

 
$
(239,276
)
 
$
4,873,905

 
2,037
 %
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three Months Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Refining And Marketing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Total revenue
$
3,168,730

 
$
2,687,922

 
$
480,808

 
18
 %
     Total cost of revenue
2,893,913

 
2,270,299

 
623,614

 
27
 %
     Gross profit (loss)
$
274,817

 
$
417,623

 
$
(142,806
)
 
(34
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three Months Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Recovery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     Total revenue
$
4,129,385

 
$
1,182,971

 
$
2,946,414

 
249
 %
     Total cost of revenue
3,741,012

 
983,182

 
2,757,830

 
281
 %
     Gross profit (loss)
$
388,373

 
$
199,789

 
$
188,584

 
94
 %
Total revenues increased 49% for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, due primarily to higher commodity prices. as well as increased volumes of product produced during the fourth quarter 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Total volume increased 21%; however gross profit increased 1,301% for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared to 2015. Additionally, our per barrel margin increased 1,061% relative to the three months ended December 31, 2015.  The majority of this increase was the result of the adjustments in prices of feedstock (described below) during the fourth quarter of 2016 which resulted in positive gross profit during this period. In our collection division we successfully initiated a charge for services program. As a result of this program we currently have customers who are charged for each service performed and others who are charged a monthly fee for as many services performed in that month. The combination of our fee structure change along with our increased third party supply we were able to make progress in lowering our cost of feedstock during the fourth quarter.
Our Black Oil division’s volume increased approximately 14% during the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This increase was due to the increase in production at our Marrero and Heartland facilities during the three months ended December 31, 2016. Overall volume for the Refining and Marketing division increased 22% during the three month period ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015. This division experienced a decrease in production of 3% for its gasoline blendstock for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. Our fuel oil cutter volumes increased 111% for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. Our pygas volumes increased 2% for the three months ended December 31, 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015.
We experienced no change in the volume of our TCEP refined product during the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. We did not produce any TCEP finished product during the three months ended December 31, 2016 nor during the same period in 2015.
During the three months ended December 31, 2016, the processing costs for our Refining and Marketing business located at KMTEX were $479,608. Revenues for the same period were $3,168,730 while loss from operations was $346,470. During the three months ended December 31, 2015, the processing costs were $415,725. Revenues for the same period were $2,687,922 while loss from operations was $259,886.

61



In addition, commodity prices increased approximately 38% for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. The average posting (U.S. Gulfcoast Residual Fuel No. 6 3%) for the three months ended December 31, 2016 increased $11.38 per barrel from a three month average of $29.78 per barrel during the three months ended December 31, 2015 to $41.16 per barrel during the three months ended December 31, 2016.
Overall gross profit increased 1,301% and our margin per barrel increased approximately 1,061% for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.  This increase was a result of the improvement in our feedstock pricing, which is a result of various initiatives during the period pursuant to which we were able to lower our costs of procuring used motor oil during the three months ended December 31, 2016. In our street collections and third party purchasing we were focused to lower the prices paid to generators and suppliers for used motor oil during 2016. Additionally, our street collections operations changed to a charge for services model where we implemented service fees for the handling of used motor oil, the managing of used oil filters, and various other services performed by our collection division during the second half of 2016 compared to this being a cost and us paying for these services to be done in prior periods. With the gradual increase in commodity prices during this period, along with our change to service charges model helped to offset the lower finished product values.
We had selling, general and administrative expenses (exclusive of merger related expenses and depreciation and amortization) of $4,804,400 for the three months ended December 31, 2016, compared to $6,982,422 from the prior year's period, a decrease of $2,178,022 or 31% from the prior period, due to a decrease in overall administrative expenses. We incurred an additional $64,857 of acquisition related expenses during the three months ended December 31, 2016 related to the acquisition of a collection route consisting of collecting, shipping and selling used oil, oil filters, antifreeze and other related services in the state of Louisiana in 2016. We recognized a $4,922,353 Goodwill Impairment in 2015, which eliminated the goodwill balance. This result occurred primarily due to the adverse impact of declining oil prices on current and anticipated future oil activity. Of the total, $1,367,838 relates to our Recovery segment and $3,554,515 relates to our Black Oil segment. Our Refining and Marketing segment has no goodwill recorded.
We had loss before income taxes of $2,385,422 for the three months ended December 31, 2016 compared to a loss before income taxes of $3,035,363 for the three months ended December 31, 2015.


62



RESULTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016 COMPARED TO THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015 

Year Ended December 31,





2016

2015

$ Change

% Change
Revenues
$
98,078,914


$
146,942,461


$
(48,863,547
)

(33
)%












Cost of revenues
81,759,814


136,246,273


(54,486,459
)

(40
)%












Gross profit
16,319,100


10,696,188


5,622,912


53
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reduction of contingent liability

 
(6,069,000
)
 
6,069,000

 
100
 %












Selling, general and administrative expenses (exclusive of merger related expenses)
19,966,426


24,046,464


(4,080,038
)

(17
)%












Depreciation and amortization
6,277,215

 
6,636,593

 
(359,378
)
 
(5
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Acquisition related expenses
187,973


175,172


12,801


7
 %












Total selling, general and administrative expenses
26,431,614


24,789,229


1,642,385


7
 %












Income (loss) from operations
(10,112,514
)

(14,093,041
)

3,980,527


28
 %












Other Income (expense)
 


 


 


 

Provision for doubtful accounts

 
(654,820
)
 
654,820

 
100
 %
Goodwill impairment

 
(4,922,353
)
 
4,922,353

 
100
 %
Other income
5,974

 
(4,446
)
 
10,420

 
234
 %
Gain (loss) on sale of assets
9,631,712


13,944


9,617,768


68,974
 %
Gain (loss) on change in value of derivative liability
49,876

 
5,479,463

 
(5,429,587
)
 
(99
)%
Gain (loss) on futures contracts
(548,380
)
 
551,090

 
(1,099,470
)
 
(200
)%
Interest expense
(3,094,956
)

(3,580,726
)

485,770


14
 %
Total other income (expense)
6,044,226


(3,117,848
)

9,162,074


294
 %












Income (loss) before income tax
(4,068,288
)

(17,210,889
)

13,142,601


76
 %












Income tax benefit (expense)
117,646


(5,306,000
)

5,423,646


102
 %












Net income (loss)
(3,950,642
)

(22,516,889
)

18,566,247


82
 %












Net income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest
2,179




2,179


100
 %












Net income (loss) attributable to Vertex Energy, Inc.
$
(3,952,821
)

$
(22,516,889
)

$
18,564,068


82
 %

63



Each of our segment’s gross profit during these periods was as follows:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
$ Change
 
% Change
Black Oil
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total revenue
$
76,634,940

 
$
103,890,188

 
$
(27,255,248
)
 
(26
)%
Total cost of revenue
63,700,341

 
100,425,891

 
(36,725,550
)
 
(37
)%
Gross profit
$
12,934,599

 
$
3,464,297

 
$
9,470,302

 
273
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Refining And Marketing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total revenue
$
13,154,777

 
$
31,154,066

 
$
(17,999,289
)
 
(58
)%
Total cost of revenue
10,772,867

 
27,814,225

 
(17,041,358
)
 
(61
)%
Gross profit
$
2,381,910

 
$
3,339,841

 
$
(957,931
)
 
(29
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Recovery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total revenue
$
8,289,197

 
$
11,898,207

 
$
(3,609,010
)
 
(30
)%
Total cost of revenue
7,286,606

 
8,006,157

 
(719,551
)
 
(9
)%
Gross profit
$
1,002,591

 
$
3,892,050

 
$
(2,889,459
)
 
(74
)%
Our revenues and cost of revenues are significantly impacted by fluctuations in commodity prices; decreases in commodity prices typically result in decreases in revenue and cost of revenues. Our gross profit is to a large extent a function of the market discount we are able to obtain in purchasing feedstock, as well as how efficiently management conducts operations.
Total revenues decreased 33% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the year ended December 31, 2015, due primarily to decreased volumes (as described below) in addition to sharp declines in finished product prices during the first half of the year. Additionally, the average posting (U.S. Gulfcoast Residual Fuel No. 6 3%) for 2016 decreased $8.51 per barrel from a 2015 average of $40.74 per barrel to an average of $32.23 per barrel during 2016. On average, prices we received for our products decreased 21% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the year ended December 31, 2015.
Volume for our Black Oil division decreased 16% during fiscal 2016 compared to 2015. This volume decrease is attributable to the decreased amount of product which was processed through our facilities in Columbus, Ohio and our TCEP facility during the period ended December 31, 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. Our per barrel margin in the Black Oil division increased approximately 345% for the year ended December 31, 2016 from the same period in 2015. The increase in margins was due to the changes made in our street collections and third party purchasing in connection with our focus on lowering the prices paid to generators and suppliers for used motor oil during 2016. Additionally, our street collections operations changed to a charge for services model where we implemented service fees for the handling of used motor oil, the managing of used oil filters, and various other services performed by our collection division during the second half of 2016. As volumes and production increase in our Black Oil division it often takes a few quarters to recognize increased additional per barrel margin, this is because of the fact that when we move into a new geographic location it takes us a period of time before we are able to realize and benefit from economies of scale.
Our Black Oil business, which includes our TCEP facility, the Marrero facility and the Heartland facility, generated revenues of $76,634,940 for the year ended December 31, 2016, with cost of revenues of $63,700,341, producing a gross profit of $12,934,599. During the year ended December 31, 2015, these revenues were $103,890,188 with cost of revenues of $100,425,891, producing a gross profit of $3,464,297. Gross profit increased for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to 2015, as a result of increased finished product values through our various facilities and the implementation of charges for services as previously discussed.
Total volume company-wide decreased 22% during fiscal 2016 compared to 2015, and our per barrel margin increased approximately 26% for fiscal 2016, compared to 2015. This increase was a result of lower prices we paid for feedstock and charging for services through our street collections division, increased costs to run the business, fixed costs remaining the same and the recent expansions into Columbus, Ohio and Marrero, Louisiana as well as the overall impact from the falling commodity markets during 2015.

64



Our Refining and Marketing division experienced a decrease in production of 39% for its fuel oil cutterstock product for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, and our fuel oil cutterstock commodity prices decreased approximately 20% over the same period. The average posting (U.S. Gulfcoast No. 2 Waterborne) during 2016 decreased $12.76 per barrel from $63.77 per barrel for 2016 to $51.01 per barrel for 2015.
Our pygas production decreased 31% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the same period in 2015 and commodity prices decreased approximately 14% for our pygas finished product for 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
Our gasoline blendstock volumes decreased 79% for the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to 2015.  The average posting (U.S. Gulfcoast Unleaded 87 Waterborne) during 2016 decreased $.22 per gallon from $1.57 per gallon for 2015 to $1.35 per gallon during 2015. The overall decrease in revenues associated with our Refining and Marketing division was due to decreases in volumes as well as commodity prices for the year ended December 31, 2016.
Overall volume for the Refining and Marketing division decreased 47% during the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to the year ended December 31, 2015. Margins per barrel increased in the Refining and Marketing division as a result of market conditions as well as decreased volumes.
During the year ended December 31, 2016, the processing costs for our Refining and Marketing business located at KMTEX were $1,992,433. Revenues for the same period were $13,154,777 while loss from operations was $402,317. During the year ended December 31, 2015, the processing costs for our Refining and Marketing business located at KMTEX were $3,845,209. Revenues for the same period were $31,154,066 while income from operations was $363,708.
Our TCEP technology was not operated during the year ended December 31, 2016 producing finished product due to market conditions. Our TCEP technology was not operated during the 2015 fourth quarter (for the purpose of producing finished cutterstock),yet it generated revenues of $14,611,336 during the year ended December 31, 2015, with cost of revenues of $14,051,582, producing a gross profit of $559,754. The TCEP process is currently being utilized as a pre-treatment for the Used Motor Oil being purchased in the Texas market and then being sent to our Marrero, Louisiana facility. We currently do not have an estimate as to when or if we may utilize this technology for the production of finished cutterstock in the future.
Our Recovery division includes the business operations of Vertex Recovery as well as that of E-Source. Revenues for this division decreased during 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015. This division periodically participates in project work that is not ongoing, thus we expect to see fluctuations in revenue and gross profit from period to period. These projects are typically bid related and can take time to line out and get going; however we believe these are very good projects for the Company and we anticipate more in the upcoming periods.
Prevailing prices of certain commodity products can significantly impact our revenues and cash flows. As noted above the revenue variances from fiscal 2015 to 2016 were largely impacted due to the changes in commodity pricing between the two periods as detailed below.
The following table sets forth the high and low spot prices during 2016 for our key benchmarks.
2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benchmark
 
High
 
Date
 
Low
 
Date
U.S. Gulfcoast No. 2 Waterborne (dollars per gallon)
 
$
1.55

 
December 30
 
$
0.78

 
January 20
U.S. Gulfcoast Unleaded 87 Waterborne (dollars per gallon)
 
$
1.73

 
December 29
 
$
0.89

 
February 9
U.S. Gulfcoast Residual Fuel No. 6 3% (dollars per barrel)
 
$
47.50

 
December 30
 
$
16.24

 
January 19
NYMEX Crude oil (Dollars per barrel)
 
$
54.06

 
December 28
 
$
26.21

 
February 9
Reported in Platt's US Marketscan (Gulf Coast)

65



The following table sets forth the high and low spot prices during 2015 for our key benchmarks.
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Benchmark
 
High
 
Date
 
Low
 
Date
U.S. Gulfcoast No. 2 Waterborne (dollars per gallon)
 
$
1.96

 
April 30
 
$
0.89

 
December 14
U.S. Gulfcoast Unleaded 87 Waterborne (dollars per gallon)
 
$
2.06

 
June 10
 
$
1.10

 
December 22
U.S. Gulfcoast Residual Fuel No. 6 3% (dollars per barrel)
 
$
54.73

 
May 6
 
$
20.04

 
December 30
NYMEX Crude oil (Dollars per barrel)
 
$
60.93

 
May 6
 
$
34.73

 
December 18
Reported in Platt's US Marketscan (Gulf Coast)
We saw on average a fairly unstable market in each of the benchmark commodities we track during 2016 and 2015. During the first half of 2016, the commodity markets experienced a steady decline due to overall global economic conditions mostly related to supply and demand for the products we track, and their improvement throughout the second half of 2016.
Our margins are a function of the difference between what we are able to pay for raw materials and the market prices for the range of products produced. The various petroleum products produced are typically a function of Crude Oil indices and are quoted on multiple exchanges such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (“NYMEX”).  These prices are determined by a global market and can be influenced by many factors, including but not limited to supply/demand, weather, politics, and global/regional inventory levels. As such, we cannot provide any assurances regarding results of operations for any future periods, as numerous factors outside of our control affect the prices paid for raw materials and the prices (for the most part keyed to the NYMEX) that can be charged for such products. Additionally, for the near term, results of operations will be subject to further uncertainty, as the global markets and exchanges, including the NYMEX, continue to experience volatility.
Gross profit increased 53% from $10,696,188 for the year ended December 31, 2015 to $16,319,100 for the year ended December 31, 2016, primarily due to changes made to our business specifically around our street collections of used motor oil where we are now charging for our services of collecting used motor oil and filters versus paying in prior years, and the slight improvement in commodity prices during the second half of 2016.
We had selling, general and administrative expenses (exclusive of acquisition related expenses and depreciation and amortization) of $19,966,426 for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $24,046,464 from the prior year’s period, a decrease of $4,080,038 or 17% from the prior period, due to a decrease in the associated costs of maintaining the Bango facility until the sale in 2016.
We had total other income of $6,044,226 for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to total other expense of $3,117,848 for the year ended December 31, 2015. The main reasons for the increase in other income was a $9,617,768 increase in gain on sale of assets to $9,631,712 for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $13,944 for the year ended December 31, 2015 (as described in greater detail below), $4,922,353 of goodwill impairment in connection with the full impairment of the goodwill related to our Black Oil and Recovery divisions and a $485,770 decrease in interest expense associated with the credit agreements, described below under “Liquidity and Capital Resources” during 2015, compared to 2016. We had $49,876 and $5,479,463 of gain on change in value of derivative liability for the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, in connection with a beneficial conversion feature on certain warrants granted in June 2015 and May 2016, as described in greater detail in "Note 15. Preferred Stock and Temporary Equity" to the consolidated financial statements included herein under "Part II"-"Item 8- Financial Statements and Supplementary Data".
We had a loss on futures contracts of $548,380 for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to a gain on futures contracts of $551,090 for the year ended December 31, 2015. We use futures contracts to offset the effects of the market value changes in our hedged items, as well as to avoid significant volatility that might arise due to market exposure.
We had gain on the sale of assets of $9,631,712 for the year ended December 31, 2016, mainly related to the purchase and sale of the Bango facility in January 2016.
    
We had a loss before income taxes of $4,068,288 for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to a loss before income taxes of $17,210,889 for the year ended December 31, 2015, a 76% decrease.  The decrease in net loss before taxes was largely

66



due to changes made to our business as discussed above and the slight improvement during the second half of 2016 in commodity prices, the decreased operating expenses related, in addition to the decreased selling, general and administrative expenses.  We had no reduction in contingent liability during the 12 months ended December 31, 2016. We had a reduction in contingent liability during the 12 months ended December 31, 2015 of $6,069,000 which positively affected income from operations during 2015.
We had an income tax benefit of $117,646 during the 12 month period ended December 31, 2016, compared to an income tax expense of $5,306,000 during the 12 month period ended December 31, 2015.
We had a net loss of $3,952,821 for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to a net loss of $22,516,889 for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease in net loss of $18,564,068 or 82% from the prior period for the reasons described above.
Our revenues and cost of revenues are significantly impacted by fluctuations in commodity prices; decreases in commodity prices typically result in decreases in revenue and cost of revenues.  Our gross profit is to a large extent a function of the market discount we are able to obtain in purchasing feedstock, as well as how efficiently management conducts operations.


67



Set forth below, we have disclosed a quarter-by-quarter summary of our statements of operations and statements of operations by segment information for the quarters ended December 31, September 30, June 30, and March 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively.