Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

Article
Ammonia Manufacturing Litigation
Assisted an equipment manufacturer in defending allegations that its equipment was the cause of a multi-million dollar business interruption claim.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated operating records, estimated business interruption losses due to a power outage, and provided expert testimony. 
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Ammonia Plant Insurance Dispute
Assisted in evaluating insurance claims asserted by a major ammonia manufacturer.  Work included evaluation of the technical basis for claims involving construction defects and warranty work amounting to $3 million.  Assisted in documenting claims, inspected the plant, evaluated project records, and reviewed maintenance records.  
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Ammonia Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major European bank for the relocation of a 750 TPD ammonia plant.  Work included an assessment of existing and new technology that was to be incorporated in the project.  The due diligence investigation analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, and inspected progress prior to close of financing.  Monitored construction progress, certified mechanical completion, and witnessed the plant performance test.  
Commercial Terms Review , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Ammonia Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major European bank for the construction of a new world-scale ammonia plant. Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, and advised with negotiation of contracts. Monitored construction progress and mechanical completion, and witnessed the plant performance test.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Ammonia/Urea Plant Failure Analysis
Worked in support of client and its attorneys to investigate the cause of a reactor failure and defend against claims by OSHA and third parties.  Work involved extensive analysis of process equipment and operating practices used in ammonia and urea manufacture. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related
Asbestos Exposure Litigation
Assisted a manufacturer of industrial equipment in defending personal injury claims related to asbestos exposure.  Assisted in discovery, assessed the likelihood and degree of employee exposure to asbestos during maintenance activities, and reviewed equipment specifications, project histories, and maintenance records for various power generation units.  Provided opinions regarding the potential for personal injury due to asbestos exposure in the course of normal work activities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety , Toxic Tort
Bankruptcy Reorganization
Developed, in conjunction with senior management, reorganization plans for various operating segments of a major trading and transport company. The resulting business plan formed the foundation of the company's successful reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Benzene Exposure
Assessed possibility of employee exposures to benzene during prior refinery operations.  Reviewed plant operating history and emissions records and provided preliminary opinions regarding potential benzene exposure to plaintiffs.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related
Business Interruption Damages Claim by Concrete Supplier
Assisted in a dispute between a concrete products producer and marketer against an oil refiner for damages allegedly incurred as a result of an incident at the oil refinery.  Examined the timeline of the incident and provided an independent damage estimate.  
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Business Interruption and Construction - Refining
Monitored engineering and construction efforts undertaken to rebuild production facilities damaged by fire.  The engagement was to ascertain the appropriate construction period for business interruption claim purposes and to facilitate the incident root cause analysis.  Activities included daily site inspections, regular consultations with plant engineering and construction personnel, progress assessments, and development of independent project schedules.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Chemical Plant Accident Investigation
Investigated an accident at a polyethylene production and storage facility. Reviewed equipment design, inspection and repair history, training of personnel, industry practices, and standards of care.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Chemical Plant Evaluation
Provided an independent assessment at a chemical plant of recent maintenance and sustaining capital projects.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Class Action Environmental Litigation
Provided assistance in evaluating environmental issues which led to a neighborhood lawsuit. Reviewed plant operating and emissions history and provided preliminary opinions regarding the potential for future impact on local community.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Commercial Contract Litigation
Assisted in a claim related to a force majeure incident related to the recommissioning of a facility after a hurricane.  Examined conformance with standard industry protocols and applicable laws, standards, and regulations.  Assessed whether the facility operator acted in a reasonably prudent manner with respect to the commercial and technical issues necessary to safely restart the facility as soon as possible.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Construction Dispute Litigation - Gas Plant
Assisted in a litigated dispute between Owner-Operator and Engineering & Construction Contractor over whether a cryogenic gas plant, as engineered, procured, and constructed, met the stipulated contractual performance guarantees; prepared expert witness rebuttal report with respect to relevant issues.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Gasification , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Cost Allocation Report
Following a refinery fire incident and rebuild, performed an analysis of all elements of the repair costs, and produced a report that assessed and allocated repairs into three categories:  identical replacement, functional replacement, and upgrade.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pricing
Crude Oil Sludge Accumulation
Following a claim concerning sludge accumulation in crude oil storage tanks over a twenty-year period, advised as to the creation of sludge in crude oil tanks, its accumulation, the ways to prevent or control it, and the conventional ways of dealing with it.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Damages from Steam Turbine Failure
Assisted in determining economic damages resulting from failures associated with a new steam turbine that was provided and installed by a turbine manufacturer at a power generation facility. Conducted independent assessment of economic losses suffered by electric cooperative as a result of both short-term and long-term performance shortfalls and outages.
Business Interruption , EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Defective Product Lawsuit
Provided an expert report concerning a dispute between a pressure safety relief device manufacturer and an operator of a claim that a device did not operate as designed in a reactor overpressure incident.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Defend Wastewater Treater Air Emissions
Requested to provide expert witness opinion of industrial standard of care for wastewater treater operations.  Issue concerned volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from a wastewater treater feed tank.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Delayed Coker Fire Investigation
Assisted client in investigating the cause of a coker hydrocarbon release and fire, which resulted in multiple fatalities. Visited refinery and reviewed procedures and events preceding the incident to identify potential areas of causation and liability. Operating experience and knowledge of technical and safety issues and of industry and management practices helped the client in addressing specific claims issues.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Due Diligence of Gas Gathering and Processing Assets
Conducted due diligence on gas gathering and processing assets within the Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas on behalf of lending group and prospective purchaser. Conducted physical inspection of the facilities, reviewed operation and maintenance records, assessed gas supply and competitive position, and reviewed financial assumptions and projections to ensure consistency with current gas supply contracts and asset performance.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pricing
Dust Collection System Risk Assessment
Performed a quantitative risk assessment on a dust collection system associated with the multifolder process at a large paper products manufacturing facility. Purpose was to determine if OSHA stipulations were appropriate.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Economic Damages Litigation - Plant Explosion
Retained concerning claims of design errors and failures in project management, following explosions and fires at a petrochemical plant.  Conducted in-depth reviews of engineering, procurement, and construction agreements; process technology and design basis; construction records; owner's operating procedures; and actual operating history since start-up of the plant.  Evaluated operating system provided against prevailing industry standards and examined potential for equipment failure.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Economic Damages Litigation - Plant Fire
Following furnace damage and rebuild, provided expert regarding property damage costs and normal maintenance/scheduled turnaround/betterment costs. Similarly, business interruption costs were compiled with reference to market situation and product volumes that were available from inventory.
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
Electric Incident Investigation
Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a power generation facility following the failures of a surge arrester and a backup battery system. Identified required inspection assistance, evaluated failed component inspection results and examined practices and procedures in place at the facility.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Estimate for Fire Rebuild
Developed a cost estimate for replacing and/or purchasing new equipment and materials after damage from plant fire.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Property Damage
Ethylene Plant Construction Litigation
Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that poor engineering work product contributed to a >$100 million cost overrun.  Assisted with discovery, inspected plant, evaluated construction documents, analyzed the project critical path, and analyzed lost income due to delays in the project schedule.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Evaluate Biodiesel Production Facility
Provided due diligence review of a biodiesel facility in support of project financing. Reviewed capital costs, operating costs, process technology, and maintenance requirements.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pricing , Product Quality
Evaluation of Refinery Operating Procedures
Acted as independent advisor in a dispute between a refinery and the Environmental Protection Agency following a period of excess emissions.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Expert Consulting Services
Provided expert consulting services concerning a personal injury incident that involved a weld failure and a release of hydrocarbons.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
FCC NOx Allocation
Prepared a report of FCC regenerator nitrogen oxides (NOx) production that allowed allocation of FCC NOx from a combined refinery stack.  The report was used to negotiate the allowable corporate average NOx limits with the EPA. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
FCCU Construction Litigation
Assisted a major engineering and construction firm in defending allegations that construction errors in the installation of an FCCU catalyst cooler resulted in a significant business interruption claim.  Assisted in discovery, analyzed FCCU operating data, reviewed refinery operating records, evaluated design issues, calculated property damages and business interruption losses, and provided expert testimony.
Business Interruption , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Force Majeure Dispute
Provided expert report relating to a claimed force majeure event, due to defects in critical equipment that was required to be installed during a turnaround.  The correction to the defects then resulted in the late delivery of the equipment that extended a petrochemical plant turnaround.   
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Formaldehyde Plant Construction Litigation
Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that completion delays and poor plant performance at a European formaldehyde plant resulted in a multi-million dollar damage claim.  Assisted with discovery, inspected plant, evaluated plant operating records, reviewed construction contracts, valued the plant, and calculated damages.  Presented and defended conclusions at hearing.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Litigation - Fuels Terminal Operations Assessment
Performed expert advice on fuels terminal operations that focused on the practices and procedures with an emphasis on the filling of product tanks.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage , Safety
Gas Turbine Damage
Assisted in a root-cause analysis and damages dispute concerning a major turbine failure in the start-up of a power plant.  
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Gas Well Incident
Prepared expert report on behalf of client versus OSHA.  Matter involved failure of a pipe carrying natural gas that injured one contractor.  OSHA cited client for failure to provided a safe means of pressure relief for vessel (in-line heater) and piping.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Gas Wellhead Equipment Failure
Performed root cause analysis of a gas well casing hanger which led to a well blow out.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Gasoline Spill Litigation
Assisted in a dispute between a retail marketer and contractor concerning allegations that contractor's work contributed to a gasoline spill from a retail gas station that contaminated the well water of 130 homes.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated the mechanical integrity of equipment, examined unique theories of causation, inspected site, and attended destructive testing procedures.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
HF Alkylation Incident
Investigated facts related to pump casing rupture where hydrofluoric acid was released. Reviewed refinery operations, training, and safety practices. Advised attorneys on generally accepted industry engineering practices and standards regarding design, operation, and maintenance of hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Historical Refinery Waste Generation
Provided expert report on the probable types and amounts of wastes produced by a refinery during its 50-plus year operating life. Study was part of litigation involving assignment of responsibility for an EPA superfund site.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Hurricane Rita Claim
A petrochemicals facility experienced a loss of steam supply from an outside steam supplier and a subsequent unscheduled shutdown which, in turn, resulted in production losses and major damage to the facility.  The steam supplier attributed the steam outage to boiler damage caused by a hurricane, which had made landfall several months earlier.  Assisted by investigating the link between the hurricane and the steam supplier boiler outages.  
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Incident Analysis - Petrochemicals
Performed an investigation analysis following fire and explosion incidents at a major Gulf Coast manufacturing facility.  The engagement entailed development of the sequence of events, root cause analysis, assessment of the decision to rebuild, and reconstruction monitoring.  An independent project schedule and cost estimate for the plant reconstruction was developed.
Business Interruption , EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Property Damage , Safety
Industrial Incident
Investigated cause of dust cloud deflagration at a Vitamin E production facility. Assessed that bulk solids handling procedures were modified without considering the original safety design basis for the equipment. Developed expert opinions on causation.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Insurance Arbitration
Investigated the circumstances surrounding an oil spill at a Gulf Coast refinery following a hurricane.  Work focused on whether the refiner acted as a "prudent operator" before and after the hurricane and whether the owner was entitled to a claim for damages based on an insurance policy's pollution exclusion clause.  Prepared a written report for submission into evidence in an international arbitration.
Arbitration , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Insurance Litigation of Refinery Environmental Contamination
Provided expert witness testimony and analysis in the litigation of insurance coverage for previous environmental contamination of petroleum refineries located on the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest.  Evaluated both liability and damage claims based on the multiple insurance contracts for each site.  
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Interstate Pipeline Inspection Practices
Provided expert testimony on inspection and maintenance practices for interstate petroleum products pipelines. Issues included reasonable depth of additional overfill and width of maintenance right-of-way.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Investigate Refinery Heater Explosion
Performed root cause analysis of an explosion at a refinery heater and identified contributing factors. Performed a review of safe operating procedures, including shutdown and start-up of heaters. Provided expert testimony.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage , Safety
Jet Fuel Contamination Dispute
Following product quality issues in major interstate product pipeline movements, reviewed product injection practices and analyses at pipeline injection point. Evaluated analyses at various points along the pipeline to assess possibility of quality degradation.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline , Product Quality
Lender's Independent Engineer
Served as independent engineer for a "grassroots" olefins project.  Prepared the technical due diligence for a US$4 billion facility on behalf of international export credit agencies and onshore and offshore lenders.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Litigation - Wastewater Treating
Provided expert consulting support for a refinery wastewater treating environmental criminal matter. The work required previous experience with and a solid understanding of the plant processes and equipment which are used in treating industrial wastewater.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
LPG Pipeline Contamination
Evaluated pipeline contamination and potential sources of contaminants from various sources.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline , Product Quality
M&A Dispute
Evaluated the foreseeability of project cost overruns that negatively impacted the economics of the acquisition of an EPC Firm.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Manufactured Gas Plant
Provided technical assistance and review of historical documents in support of litigation regarding the environmental cleanup of a manufactured gas plant site.  The site, which had various gasification units in operation between approximately 1870 to 1950, had been used for a number of other purposes.  Analysis investigated the contamination present at the site to all previous and current gas plant operations.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Marine Terminal Development
Reviewed design requirements and monitored construction, start-up, and operation of a project to develop a bulk liquids terminal.  Work included review of dredging requirement, schedule, and interfaces between this project and a project to export ammonia from the terminal.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Waterborne/Marine
Midstream Acquisition Due Diligence
Assisted energy distribution company with due diligence for potential transaction involving gas gathering and processing assets located in the Permian Basin.  Assets evaluated included over 4,000 miles of gas and liquid pipelines, four gas processing plants, and multiple gas treating plants.  Participated in data room reviews and management presentations with a focus on commercial, operational, and technical evaluations of midstream systems.  Developed comprehensive economic model of the integrated gathering and processing assets that was used to determine valuations and evaluate key sensitivities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pipeline , Pricing
Natural Gas Production Facilities
Served as one of two project managers responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction of a 200 million cubic feet per day natural gas recovery facility in central Algeria to provide the feedstock for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Algerian coast. At the time of installation, the $250-million project was the largest of its kind in the world. Conducted negotiations with local labor, equipment, and utility suppliers. Arranged meetings with local environmental agencies to ensure compliance with all national environmental rules and regulations.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , LNG , Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Royalty Litigation
Evaluated the design and historical capital costs of a natural gas pipeline system in western Oklahoma. Reviewed system material balances and operator's natural gas measurement practices.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline , Pricing
Nitroparaffins Litigation
Assisted in a dispute between an operator and and EPC firm concerning allegations that the process design contributed to an explosion at a nitroparaffins manufacturing plant.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated design issues, and provided expert testimony.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Offshore Pipeline Failure
Following a business interruption claim concerning number of failures on a large subsea crude oil pipeline, examined original construction specifications, maintenance, inspection, and operation records of the pipeline.  Also reviewed the repair plans and repair execution of the failed components and made recommendations to include:  a) comprehensive metallurgical analyses; b) preparation of an efficient repair and execution schedule; and c) complete subsea modeling of the pipeline for the purpose of failure mode and time to failure predictions.    
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Offshore , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Offshore Pipeline Project
Served as Independent Engineer on behalf of a major financial institution for a $200 million project to build a deepwater gas and oil-gathering system. Prepared a valuation of offshore pipelines and an onshore gas processing plant for gathering and processing of deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production in support of structured finance. Certified completion of the project for financial purposes.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Offshore , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Paraxylene (PX) Contract Dispute
On behalf of a major international buyer of paraxylene, prepared an expert analysis concerning damages claimed by a large US based supplier.  Analysis included a detailed evaluation of supplier's paraxylene manufacturing economics.
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
PVC Plant Litigation
Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that an explosion at a major manufacturer of PVC resins was due to a poor process design that failed to meet government regulations and engineering standards.  Assisted in discovery, inspected the plant, evaluated procedures and work methods, reviewed applicable standards, and reviewed operating records.  
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Propane Product Quality Dispute
Investigated the design and operation of a natural gas liquid fractionation, storage, and loading facility located on the Red Sea to determine potential causes of alleged hydrogen sulfide contamination of propane cargoes.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Pulp and Paper Mill Incident
Analyzed processing operations and engineering design in a pulp and paper mill to determine sequence of events and possible causes of incident.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Sulfuric Acid Storage Incident
Retained to assist in the investigation of a fatality incident at a sulfuric acid processing and storage facility.  Reviewed equipment design, inspection and repair history, operating procedures, training of personnel, and industry practices.  Assisted legal team with on-site investigation and interaction with local, state, and federal agencies.  Reviewed conclusions by root cause analysis for consistency and factual support.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Thermal Radiation Exposure
Investigated an incident involving a claim of thermal radiation exposure during a refining unit fire.  Engineering reports, videos, weather conditions, unit design drawings, and published literature on levels of heat exposure from large hydrocarbon fires were evaluated.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Salt Water Disposal Tank Explosion
Investigated the cause and origin of a storage tank explosion at an oil and gas salt water disposal facility in Colorado. Conducted site investigation and facility/equipment inspections, evaluated system design and operation, and conducted witness interviews. Determined cause of explosion and worked with company management to evaluate existing policies and procedures for potential areas of improvement.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Physical Asset Appraisal , Safety
Refinery Best Practices
Analyzed multiple refineries of a major international petroleum firm to determine economic limitations and causes of performance gaps versus competitors. The study reports consisted of analyses of practices, performance targets, and recommendations for improvement initiatives. The work involved site visits, employee interviews, final reports, and presentations to company management and refinery personnel.
LP/Planning Practice , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Review of Facilities Safety Issues
Assisted in technical review of safety related issues at crude oil production and gathering facilities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Pipeline , Safety
Planning and Economics Implementation Assistance
Made an assessment of the implementation plan and "change readiness" associated with a project to improve the short-term planning, optimization, and decision-making processes for a global refining and marketing company.  Assessed key stakeholder impressions of the improvement project and provided feedback to senior management to ensure a successful outcome.
LP/Planning Practice , Operations/Maintenance
Root Cause Analysis
Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a high pressure steam turbine that failed following a planned outage at a cogeneration power plant. Evaluated outage work procedures, actual outage work undertaken, start-up monitoring results, and post-failure turbine inspection results on turbine disassembly.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Restart Due Diligence
Performed a site inspection and advised potential investor regarding the technical and commercial viability of restarting a refinery that had been shut down for several years.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
Reciprocating Compressor Accident
Reviewed details of non-fatal accident involving a restart of skid-mounted gas compression machinery at a producing well. Upon investigation of the facts, prepared report detailing the proximate cause of the incident.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Pipeline Contamination Dispute
Assisted in a claim involving an alleged y-grade/NGL pipeline contamination from a gas processing facility.  Examined the following key areas to evaluate the claim: pipeline hydraulics, laboratory records, chronology of pipeline sample data, reasonableness of claimed expenses, gas processing facility operation, and records.   
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Tank Truck Explosion Investigation
Investigated the potential causes and sources of ignition for an explosion that destroyed a road tanker, used to haul raw natural gas liquids from a gas treating plant, that was in a repair shop for the replacement of a pressure relief valve. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Petroleum Refinery Dispute
Provided overview of turnaround practices and industry standards utilized in the United States and Europe.  Evaluated decisions and practices utilized at the subject refinery to determine if those decisions were in compliance with standard practices and whether a decision to optimize the turnaround execution date was a factor in a plant incident.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Pressure Vessel Failure
Investigated the cause of a hydrocarbon release resulting from the brittle fracture of a pressure vessel during start-up at a petrochemical plant. Incident involved multiple injuries and deaths and extensive property damage. Issues studied include ethylene plant design, operating practices and procedures, start-up operations, instrumentation, and safety training.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Polyolefins Plant Explosion
Assisted attorneys and company in preparation for litigation and negotiation with government agencies while investigating the cause of an explosion which caused the death of over 20 people. Assisted risk management in preparing and negotiating property damage and business interruption claims in excess of $1.3 billion.
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Property Damage , Safety
Coal Gasification Plant Accident
Provided assistance to a mechanical contractor for a root-cause investigation of a fatal accident at a coal gasification plant.
Gasification , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Refinery Force Majeure Claims
Prepared expert reports and testified in an international arbitration involving multiple product supply disputes between a refinery and an adjacent chemical plant. Reviewed force majeure claims related to catalytic cracking technology, product supply contracts, and utility supply interruptions.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Review Project Development Costs
Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance
Crane Accident Claim Analysis
Analyzed business interruption and property damage insurance claim by a refinery operator resulting from a crane accident. This included analysis of the cost to repair the physical damage from the accident, the impact to schedule and cost of a process unit turnaround that was in progress at the time of the accident, and valuation of lost production due to the accident.
Business Interruption , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Refinery Contractor Indemnification Dispute
Provided expert opinion concerning an indemnification dispute between a refiner and contractor, as well as the standard of care and practice in the industry concerning the design and construction of a piping relief system.  Also opined on the refinery owner’s responsibilities concerning the acceptance and maintenance of completed piping systems.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Lube Oil Re-Refining Assessment
Prepared an assessment of lube oil re-refining plant to determine causes of problems related to reliability and operating performance.
Operations/Maintenance
NGL Pipeline Due Diligence
Reviewed data presented by a potential NGL pipeline seller on behalf of a potential buyer. The review focused on mechanical integrity and other safety issues.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pipeline
Plant Commissioning Review
Provided initial guidance and comments regarding the development of a commissioning and start-up schedule for a polypropylene plant. Provided initial input into how plant start-up incidents affected the commissioning schedule.
Business Interruption , Operations/Maintenance
Dispute Support - Groundwater Contamination
Provided expert witness support regarding a groundwater contamination claim at a closed refinery. Provided opinions regarding the standards of care and operation of the former refinery. Prepared a written expert report.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Review Project Development Costs
Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance
Tube Sheet, Flare Tip Matter
Investigated the cause of tubesheet and flare tip damage related to an unplanned sudden shutdown of the facility.  Evaluated whether damage was caused by the shutdown, long-term wear, or contractor error during installation.  Provided expert support through mediation and settlement efforts.  
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Gas Compressor Incident Dispute
Provided expert opinions concerning a gas compressor failure insurance claim related to:  (1) evaluating the gas processing facilities' maintenance and standard of care practices compared to industry standards; and (2) reviewing the operating practices and programs utilized at the facility to determine if these practices caused or contributed to the incident and subsequent damage.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Gasoline and Diesel Terminal Due Diligence
Performed technical due diligence for terminal assets on behalf of financial firm.  Visited the facilities and reviewed relevant documentation to advise the client on issues concerning the operability, safety, and physical conditions of the facilities and potential future maintenance and capital costs.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Waterborne/Marine
Cause and Origin Analysis
Conducted a cause and origin investigation of a fire at a natural gas combined cycle generation plant.  Investigation included in-plant interviews and review of operational data, as well as metallurgical investigation to determine the probable cause and origin of the fire.
Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Hurricane Damage Insurance Dispute
Assessed the impact of a hurricane to a refinery and its impact on turnarounds being executed at residue upgrading process units.  Support included investigating failures incurred to a flare and to a heater, their relationship to the hurricane, and subsequent shutdowns of process units.  
Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Due Diligence
Assisted financial client with a due diligence study of a European Refinery.  Visited the site and received briefing from refinery management.  Developed cash flow model of historic and projected operations.  Tuned cash flow model to match past four year's of operations and cash flow results.  Developed five year price forecasts for crude oil and refined products in Europe.  Reviewed operating and maintenance expenses.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
Supplemented the client's team performing due diligence as part of a potential transaction regarding a crude oil gathering and mainline pipeline system.  Our focus was on the engineering aspects of new facilities and facilities under construction.  We provided an opinion on whether the new facilities, and the facilities under construction, appeared to be designed to applicable industry specifications.
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Strategic Sourcing: Refining Materials and Services
Assisted a major, integrated oil and gas company in implementing a strategic sourcing initiative for its refining and petrochemical businesses. The initiative focused on developing a strategic and low cost supply of sulfuric acid, process chemicals, and maintenance services to the client's various refining and petrochemical facilities, which achieved cost savings of up to 25%.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Supply Contract Dispute
Assisted in breach of contract claims regarding a helium supply agreement from a large natural gas processing/treating complex.  Analyzed historical operation and performance of processing and extraction facilities, including sources and composition of gas supplies, plant shutdowns, and plant turndown capabilities.  Reviewed plant performance, including operating costs, efficiencies, and operating modes to support defendant's plant operations.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Terminal Operations
Provided litigation support assistance and expert opinion for case involving historic Standard of Care issues with petroleum product terminals.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Toxic Tort
Turbine Fire
Performed review of root cause analysis of the failure of a 125 MW generating steam turbine.
Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Joint-Operating Agreements
Responsible for joint venture management with a mandate to ensure operator compliance within operating agreements (JOAs).  Responsible for overseeing non-operator audits with a goal to bring about greater operator accountability and transparency.  
LNG , Operations/Maintenance
Commercial Contract Negotiations
Assisted with supply contract disputes relating to “take-or-pay” type obligations and “price adjustment” provisions.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Plastics Recycling Feasibility Study
Evaluated a small German refinery for potential conversion to a plastics recycling plant. Assessed technology, retrofit requirements, operating costs, and logistics. Presented economics, capital investment plan, and likely subsidy requirements to the board of directors.
Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
Performance Improvement Initiatives in Worldwide Refineries
Helped design and direct a consulting project to identify the most successful profit improvement initiatives at top performing worldwide refineries. Audited and examined company culture, energy usage, refinery losses, personnel training, safety practices, environmental controls, process operations, technical services, administration, planning and economics, capital investments, maintenance, and reliability factors. Identified and documented those initiatives, which proved most successful, including their duration, need, and value added. Assignments were in the U.S., U.K., Romania, Korea, and West Africa.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , LP/Planning Practice , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline , Pricing
Privatization of Olefins Plant
Evaluated an olefins plant for competitiveness in operating costs, yields, feed supply, and product marketing. Identified and documented strengths and weaknesses and presented the key initiatives, which would be needed to ensure a successful transaction. Estimated the fair market value.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Product Quality
Terminal and Pipeline Studies
Managed several competitive assessments of major crude oil and refined products logistics systems, including pipeline transportation and inland and coastal storage terminals.
Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Maintenance and Reliability Improvement Program
Managed the development of a client’s routine maintenance and reliability improvement program that identified areas of concern and implemented new work practices aimed at improving competitiveness. Efforts reduced maintenance costs and improved operating performance.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Turnaround Optimization Studies
Performed numerous turnaround optimization studies and execution reviews for refineries and petrochemical companies worldwide. Areas of focus included analyzing the work selection process, reviewing work execution schedules, evaluating the facilities preparedness to perform the turnaround, and optimizing turnaround cycles or start dates.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Maintenance Contracting Strategies
Worked with international clients to analyze existing maintenance and turnaround contracting strategies, contractor availability, and local cultures to identify areas of concern and develop strategies for improvement.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Reliability and Maintenance Continuous Improvement Initiatives
Improved efforts to eliminate equipment defects and unscheduled outages by developing and incorporating the use of reliability indices to identify problem equipment. Reliability teams were then able to prioritize concerns to focus reliability improvement initiatives in areas of highest risk to safety, operational performance, and profits. This defect elimination program was utilized as the cornerstone for the plant’s continuous improvement initiatives.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Pipeline Operating Dispute
Assisted in a dispute between an owner and an operator of a recently-constructed crude oil pipeline.  Prepared an expert report concerning:  (1) the facilities that should have been provided as part of the capital project to construct the pipeline; (2) the equipment necessary to operate and maintain the pipeline; and (3) whether defects found during the early operating period were the result of improper equipment design specifications and construction, or improper operation and maintenance.  Testified at arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Commercial Terms Review , Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Marine Accident Investigation
Investigated causes for contamination of a cargo of residual fuel aboard a barge that exploded and sank.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality , Property Damage , Safety , Waterborne/Marine
Performance Improvement - Petrochemicals
Assisted in a global study focused on analyzing the operating performance of steam crackers.  Participated as a member of a multi-disciplined team responsible for: reliability and operations data gathering, analysis, plant personnel interviews, and industry benchmarking of performance.  The study concluded with numerous recommendations to company senior management aimed at improving worldwide plant operational availability.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Heat Exchanger Failure Investigation
Investigated cause and events surrounding the rupture of process precooler involving one fatality. Assisted outside counsel by evaluating plant maintenance, safety and operator training procedures compared to industry accepted practices, as well as developing an understanding of probable circumstances that led to the event.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Pump Failure Investigation: Maintenance Shop
Reviewed rotating equipment maintenance shop's pump maintenance and rebuild procedures. Provided written report describing potential causation of power plant rotating equipment failures and recommendations to improve maintenance shop quality control.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Coker Incident and Design Assessment
Reviewed project management procedures and facilities design of an oil refinery project after a subsequent structural failure.  Provided written report and oral deposition regarding design responsibility and failure liability.  
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance
Air Compressor Incident Investigation
Provided independent assessment of an accident that occurred at a container manufacturing facility involving an air compressor and high pressure piping. Efforts included reviewing the compressor operators' work practices and potential causes of the incident.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Heat Exchanger Failure Investigation
Investigated circumstances concerning a heat exchanger failure that resulted in a fire and explosion, fatally injuring several employees. Investigation included evaluating relevant operating records and comparing these with design specifications to evaluate whether exchanger was operated, inspected and maintained in accordance within design parameters and industry practices. Prepared expert report.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Terminal Acquisition Due Diligence Support
Conducted a review of fuel oil and asphalt terminal assets in support of a potential acquisition. Provided input and recommendations as to the overall quality of the assets, including a review of previous expenditures and maintenance records.
Operations/Maintenance
Confined Space Incident and Dispute
Provided support in a wrongful death dispute regarding a confined workspace incident.  The incident involved nitrogen asphyxiation where two maintenance contractors died.  Investigated the cause and origin of the incident, including work procedures and practices. 
Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Polypropylene Plant Due Diligence Support
Provided technical due diligence support for a moth-balled polypropylene plant. Evaluated capacity, historical utilization and mechanical availability and other factors.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
LNG Liquefaction Capital and Operating Costs
On behalf of a confidential client with a proposed world-scale LNG liquefaction plant, prepared high-level cost estimates for two phases of the project: 1) the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) phase and, 2) the operating phase.  Provided cost data for client’s financial model to help assess the risks and viability of the project.
EPC-related , LNG , Operations/Maintenance
Contractor Tripping Incident
Investigated circumstances concerning the personal injury of a contract employee. Provided opinions regarding general safety requirements, industry practices, contractor training and safety expertise and utilizing contractors for the activity being performed.
Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Equipment Demolition / Fire Investigation
Investigated circumstances of a large refinery fire related to a hydrocarbon release from a partially demolitioned open-ended pipe. Developed expert report of findings and provided opinions concerning industry practices and standards of care for the demolition of decommissioned facilities. Provided deposition and arbitration testimony.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Wind Turbine Generator Failure Analysis
Analyzed and provided expert testimony on the frequent failure of doubly-fed electrical generators located at a wind power generation facility. Examined and critiqued: the previous investigations concerning the possible causes, whether possible causes were linked to design, manufacturing or operation; and whether adequate steps had been taken to obviate further failures. Opined on whether the equipment was fit for purpose.
Operations/Maintenance
Hot Tap Incident
Evaluated and incident involving a "hot tap" on processing pipeline and resultant leak. Assisted refinery owner and outside counsel in action brought against maintenance contractor.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
On behalf of an investment group, provided technical and operational due diligence of an interstate (FERC regulated) crude oil pipeline system. Our focus included the review of asset integrity, design, system capacity, and operating costs of an existing asset and the design, project execution plan, schedule, cost estimate, and projected operating costs of a proposed pipeline.
Commercial Terms Review , EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Drilling Incident Investigation
Following an incident on an oil drilling platform, assisted with the investigation to discern whether relevant practices, e.g., API and others, were followed.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Water Treatment/Injection Contract Dispute
Engaged to provide expert witness assistance with technical issues regarding water treatment facilities.  Reviewed project, maintenance and operational costs and schedules, in addition to the performance of the facilities.  Testified in an ICC arbitration hearing in New York conducted in Spanish/English.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Nitrogen Manifold Failure
Provided litigation support for nitrogen manifold explosion.
Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Contract Company, Bankruptcy Dispute
Supported client in a contractor bankruptcy case by providing  opinions concerning (1)  industry practices plant operators (owners) take to vet industrial contractors for consideration to perform work at their site; (2)  impact to operations following the suspension of work by a contractor during turnaround without prior notice; and (3) efforts owners may take to mitigate the impact of work suspension.  Developed expert report and provided deposition testimony. 
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Tank Collapse Assessment
Assessed contractor work practices associated with the collapse of  a storage tank that occurred during cleaning operations.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage , Safety
Ethanol Plant Freeze Claim
Reviewed an insurance claim associated with an idled ethanol manufacturing facility being re-started.  Purpose was to assess items listed in the claim to determine if damages were caused directly by a winter freeze or due to some other failure mechanism such as improper mothballing techniques or normal degradation of a once-operating facility.
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Faulty Equipment Claim
Assisted refinery operator with an insurance claim concerning the delivery and operations of a faulty air cooler.  Reviewed documentation and supported client to determine roles and responsibilities of the equipment supplier to design, fabricate and deliver equipment free from manufacturing defects.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Refinery Turnaround Dispute Arbitration
Investigated the cause/origin of a leak that developed on a process unit after a turnaround, leading to an extended shutdown.  Evaluated various damage models used to estimate the value of loss of use of the process unit and the reduced operation of the refinery.  Submitted an expert report on the leak liability issues and the estimated value of loss of use of the process unit and its effects on refinery operations.  
Arbitration , Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
Conducted asset due diligence activities:  inspected facility under construction; provided market incentives, operating costs, risk overview, and staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics. 
Crude Oil Valuation , Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
Asphalt Refinery Due Diligence
Performed due diligence on behalf of a financial institution for funding the startup of an idle asphalt refinery.  Advised client on technical issues related to running black/yellow (Uinta) wax crude in the asphalt refinery.  Work included evaluation of the condition of the process units and infrastructure, assays of feedstocks, analysis of yields, and evaluation of process bottlenecks. 
Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
Asphalt Refinery Dispute
Provided analyses on locating an asphalt refinery on a property and expert witness deposition testimony involving the construction of an asphalt refinery.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
Terminal Due Diligence
Provided technical due diligence support for a large terminal acquisition opportunity involving approximately 50 terminals, 700 tanks, and 30MMbbls of storage.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pipeline , Waterborne/Marine
Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
Conducted asset due diligence activities:  (1) inspected facility under construction; (2) provided market incentives; (3) operating costs; (4) risk overview; and (5) staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing , Project Feasibility
Pipeline Contractor Business Interruption Claims
Reviewed business interruption claims made by welding contractors related to a pipeline incident that resulted in damage to the contractors' equipment.  Prepared a report documenting our findings of the business loss claims.
Business Interruption , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Post-incident Equipment Preservation Review
Assisted client by assessing preservation techniques and "mothballing" efforts following the catastrophic failure of a vessel at a specialty products company. Incident resulted in an insurance claim for damaged equipment and idled equipment in the vicinity of the vessel failure.  Efforts included assessing preservation techniques utilized at the plant compared to industry practices, developing an expert report, and providing expert testimony. 
Operations/Maintenance
Paper Mill Safety Incident
Assisted attorneys by investigating the circumstances concerning an incident that occurred at a paper plant during a scheduled turnaround that resulted in a fatality. Issues studied included assessing work practices and safety procedures utilized to prepare equipment for turnaround activities, including vessel entry and paper mill plant design. 
Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Flash Fire Investigation
Investigated circumstances concerning a flash fire that occurred during vessel entry and cleaning operations.  The investigation included the:  (1) assessment of refinery safe work practices  compared to industry standards and government regulations; (2) utilization of vessel entry and confined space safety practices to mitigate ignition hazards; and (3) responsibilities of both the operating company and contractor organization to recognize,  develop, and follow safe work plans to prevent potential flash fires from occurring during vessel entry.  Developed and submitted expert report. 
Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Refinery Due Diligence
Evaluated the condition of refining assets for a potential acquisition.  Addressed any "fatal flaws" regarding acquisition and start-up of topping refinery.  Provided support for evaluating order-of-magnitude costs estimate required to inspect, repair, staff, and start up the complex. 
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
Litigation Support for Asbestos Claim
Asbestos Litigation---provided expert input and litigation support for trial preparation on refinery/chemical personnel's exposure to asbestos gaskets and equipment insulation materials. 
Environmental , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety , Toxic Tort
Gas Plant Mediation Support
Provided mediation support in relation to a helium supply agreement dispute.  
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance
Feedstock Supply Dispute
Reviewed the incidents of feedstock disruption and its effects on production of a basic chemical by a chemical producer in its dispute concerning a long-term feedstock supply contract.  Dispute was settled at an early stage, prior to the preparation of an expert report.
Arbitration , Commercial Terms Review , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Environmental Review
Reviewed and reported on potential environmental solid waste issues associated with a large idled refinery in support of a client's bid for the facilities. Performed an on-site inspection of the refinery to identify potential environmental risks.
Environmental , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
GTL Facility Due Diligence
Performed due diligence for a company evaluating an equity investment in a GTL facility under construction.  Reviewed project budget and schedule for completion. Evaluated the amount of contingency included in the budget, confirmed the status of payments to contractors and other service providers, and interviewed project representatives regarding mechanical completion and commissioning plans.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Fertilizer Complex Economic Model
Constructed an economic model to analyze the financial performance of a fertilizer complex that produced ammonia and other nitrogen chemicals.  Evaluated expected operations and financial performance subsequent to the completion of an ongoing capital expansion project.  
EPC-related , Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
EPC Construction Dispute
Provided expert support in a construction dispute relating to a natural gas processing plant in North America.  The dispute primarily concerned engineering design issues and whether the installed facilities met contract, specification, and industrial standard requirements.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Standard of Care During Ethylene Plant Outage
Reviewed the shutdown and subsequent start-up of an ethylene plant following a utility outage.  Reviewed liquidated damage calculations.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Electrical Supply Disruption
Following the sudden loss of electrical supply to a chemical plant, which resulted in equipment damage, the chemical plant owner claimed that the electricity supplier was negligent.  In addressing the root cause of the equipment damage, our work assessed the following parameters: (1) the nature of the supply contract; (2) the nature of the outage - whether intentional or inadvertent; (3) the chronology of events following the outage; (4) the designs of the electrical systems in question; and (5) the operational procedures in the event of a power outage and whether they were followed.
Business Interruption , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
GTL Technology Assessment
Provided a fatal flaw analysis, evaluated the technology application and integration, reviewed the cost estimate accuracy range, and assessed the financial model for a natural gas to wax proposed project.  Particular emphasis was placed on the ability to scale-up the process, the assumptions for plant capacity and availability, and the project schedule.
EPC-related , Intellectual Property , Operations/Maintenance , Project Feasibility
IPP/Refinery Power Generation Outage Dispute
Assessed the cause(s) of supplier's steam and electricity generation failure and mitigating actions by the refinery/petrochemical customer. Preliminary findings and a document request were provided to the client.
Arbitration , Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Lender's Engineer - GTL Plant
Served as Independent Engineer on behalf of a major Australian bank for the construction of a GTL plant.  Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, and reviewed contracts.  Inspected equipment and confirmed permits were in place prior to authorizing draw-down certificates.  Monitored construction progress, confirmed expenditures, and compared these expenditures against budget.
Commercial Terms Review , Environmental , EPC-related , Gas to Liquids , Operations/Maintenance
Pipeline Specifications Dispute
A new pipeline owner was seeking to impose tighter diesel specifications on a pipeline. Provided an expert report and testimony regarding common carrier pipeline diesel product specifications in a regulatory hearing.  The dispute was ultimately settled prior to the hearing.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Pipeline Operating Practices
A lawsuit was filed against a major U.S. pipeline company stating that its operating practices during maintenance at a gas gathering line resulted in a fire and the injury of two contract workers who were the plaintiffs. We were asked to opine on the cause of the fire. The matter was settled out of court prior to reports being issued or testimony being presented.          
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Refinery Construction Dispute
Assist client and provide expert consulting support assessing responsibilities of an EPC contractor, as well as project execution and start-up issues associated with the construction and start-up of a grassroots refinery. 
Arbitration , Business Interruption , EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
GTL Facility Due Diligence
Performed due diligence for a company evaluating an equity investment in a GTL facility under construction.  Reviewed project budget and schedule for completion. Evaluated the amount of contingency included in the budget, confirmed the status of payments to contractors and other service providers; interviewed project representatives regarding mechanical completion and commissioning plans.
Environmental , EPC-related , Gas to Liquids , Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Measurement Dispute
Assisted client with a "Discovery Request" regarding measurement of shale-play natural gas from a field meter.   Reviewed accounting records, photos, and meter specifications to determine if consistent with industry standards for measuring natural gas.  
Commercial Terms Review , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Transmix Facility Due Diligence
Completed technical, financial, and operational due diligence analysis on behalf of lenders for an existing transmix processing facility and associated terminal.  Tasks included inspection of facilities, assessment of competitive market position, and an evaluation of a new hydrotreater project for ULSD production.
Commercial Terms Review , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Project Feasibility
Retail Marketing Contamination Dispute
A gasoline marketer that had withdrawn from a particular region was being sued for alleged contamination from leaking underground storage tanks at retail marketing locations in that region. We were retained to provide an overview of the gasoline supply chain with an emphasis on the various types of retail operations and to review the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the number of retail outlets that were owned and controlled by that company in the relevant time period.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Propane Quality Review
Reviewed claims regarding a propane quality dispute between a supplier at a new terminal and a retail distributor.  Reviewed propane quality test results and bills of lading to compare actual versus reported quality.  We provided technical findings to client and assisted in getting the matter settled.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Terminal Due Diligence
Performed a technical due diligence of a Gulf Coast refinery tank farm and associated transfer pipelines for a prospective investor.  Reviewed inspection and maintenance records of the assets during a site visit.  Reviewed numerous operating performance documents from a data room.  Prepared a technical due diligence report outlining our findings.
Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal
LNG Due Diligence
Provided technical support to the sponsor of a multi-train liquefaction project.  The scope of work included:  preparation of a technical due diligence report; in-depth review of the Open Book Estimate (OBE), schedule, and project execution plan; assessment of the EPC contractor’s capabilities and experience; high-level review of geotechnical issues; assistance in the development of an Operating and Maintenance (O&M) plan; input into the formation of sponsor’s project management team; and input into the development of owner’s costs, including appropriate levels of cost and schedule contingency.  Provided support to the sponsor with EPC contract negotiations.  
Environmental , LNG , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline , Project Feasibility
Refinery Flare Incident
Following a fire during a scheduled flare system maintenance turnaround, retained to assess the feasibility of safely hot tapping the flare header to install a stopple and allow removal of a large gate valve upstream of a flare knock-out drum.  In consultation with other parties, assessed: (1) the flare system equipment, (2) the refinery hot tap procedures, and (3) evaluated if the activities could be performed safely.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety