Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

Article
Air Emissions Dispute
Reviewed air emissions data and categorized events; provided understanding and analysis to air events with respect to process equipment and refinery and chemical plant operations.
Environmental , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Product Quality
Application of Superfund Tax to Gas Processors
Reviewed legislation relating to the Superfund Tax and its applicability to natural gas processors who produce natural gasoline at their facilities.  Compared natural gas processing with crude oil processing in order to show whether the Superfund Tax was intended to be levied on gas processors.
Environmental
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
Contamination at Bulk Petroleum Storage Facility
Evaluated the potential long-term contamination at a bulk storage facility resulting from the sediment contained in incoming hydrocarbons.
Environmental
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
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Provided technical assistance and review of historical documents in support of litigation regarding the environmental cleanup of a manufactured gas plant site.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
Underground Storage Tanks Claim
Assisted in a dispute concerning an allegation that Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) at a retail outlet had released gasoline vapors, resulting in contamination of groundwater with MTBE. Assignment included review of procedures for delivery of gasoline from tankers to UST, review of equipment and fittings used in UST, review of hydrogeological data regarding groundwater and contamination plumes, review of the design of vapor recovery systems, and calculations of vapor composition and amounts released. Prepared report to document findings and testified in deposition.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , OSHA-related , Toxic Tort
Substitute Natural Gas Market Study
Developed comprehensive market profile of SNG industry and market in North America, including operating and planned facilities, feedstock outlook, project incentives, and environmental issues.
Environmental , Gasification , Pricing
Refinery Competitiveness Study
Prepared a competitive positioning analysis for a Midwest Refinery that incorporates the impacts of the proposed Cap and Trade legislation in Congress. Addressed the potential financial impacts of Cap and Trade on the refining industry in PADDs 2 and 3.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Environmental , Pricing , Project Feasibility
U.S. Refinery Competitiveness Assessment
Assessed the expected future competitiveness of U.S. refineries in PADDs 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Developed a base scenario and price outlook to evaluate future relative cash margin performance for over 90 refineries considering large expansion projects.  Examined effects of key sensitivities, such as light/heavy crude oil price spreads, effects of carbon regulation, and the price differential between gasoline and diesel.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Environmental , Pricing , Project Feasibility
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
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
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
MTBE Litigation - East Coast
Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the New York Long Island area over the period 1980 to 2006 and submitted expert report.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony
MTBE Litigation - West Coast
Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the Los Angeles basin over the period 1980 to 2006. Expert report submitted and deposition taken, however case settled prior to trial.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony
MTBE Litigation and Expert Report
Provided expert report on behalf of a joint defense group of gasoline marketing companies that discussed the many issues concerning why MTBE was chosen over ethanol to meet the federal gasoline oxygenate requirements in the early 1990s. Also included was a discussion of how gasoline was supplied to the local region in California over the 1990s and early 2000s.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Product Quality
Storage Tank Spill Incident
Developed an expert witness report associated with a spill from a sour naphtha storage tank.  Reviewed numerous documents and depositions to develop opinions associated with the event.  Provided expert opinions on the standards of care and operation of a petroleum refinery. 
Environmental , OSHA-related , Safety
Refinery Hydrogen Demand Study
Quantified the hydrogen demand impact due to Gasoline Tier 3 regulations, the changing crude supply, and product demand in the USGC over a ten-year horizon.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Environmental
Refinery Sulfur Study
Quantified the cost impact for Canadian refiners to comply with a 10 ppm average gasoline sulfur specification to comply with the U.S. Tier 3 gasoline regulation.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Environmental
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ammonia Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of the financial advisor for the construction of a new small-scale biomass to nitrogen fertilizers complex.  Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, reviewed site and infrastructure considerations, and advised with negotiation of contracts.  
Commercial Terms Review , Environmental , Fertilizers , Gasification , Intellectual Property , Project Feasibility