Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

Article
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 South and Central America
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 South and Central America
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 South and Central America
Caribbean Refinery Privatization
Prepared a business plan and presentation brochure for privatization of a refinery on behalf of a group of international investors.  Identified likely partners in the U.S. for marketing of the refinery's production of reformulated gasoline and distillate fuels.  Identified several potential crude oil suppliers and assisted in preliminary negotiations for term crude oil contracts.  Presented project to major European investment banks. South and Central America
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 South and Central America
Construction Dispute - Petrochemicals Plant
Prepared a confidential "Cold Eyes Review" assessment concerning a contemplated claim between an owner and a contractor of a grassroots petrochemical facility.  Reviewed draft claims, researched evidence, and interviewed key personnel in order to produce an independent view of the claim.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care South and Central America
Crude Oil Evaluation
Evaluated several processing alternatives and combinations of various refining assets located in the Caribbean and on the U.S. Gulf Coast to process heavy Ecuadorian crude oil production.
Crude Oil Valuation , Product Quality South and Central America
Lube Oil Market Assessment
Conducted a survey of the potential market for naphthenic lubricating oils in South and Central America. Analysis was used to complete a full feasibility study of a new Venezuelan-based refinery to manufacture these products.
Product Quality , Project Feasibility South and Central America
Marine Cargo Contamination
Investigated causes for contamination of a cargo of gasoline delivered by ship to Ecuador. Work included review of contract requirements, gasoline blending practices, surveyor procedures, and issues related to laboratory testing of gasoline.
Product Quality , Waterborne/Marine South and Central America
Market Analysis and Term Supply Contracting - Synthetic Crude Oil
Assisted a Venezuelan joint venture company in developing a marketing strategy for a new synthetic crude oil. The assignment included an evaluation of the potential market for the new production, modeling of refinery values for the new production, detailed assessments of potential supply agreements, and assistance in term contract negotiations.
Commercial Terms Review , Crude Oil Valuation , Pricing , Product Quality South and Central America
Marketing Effort for Ecuadorian Crude
On behalf of a major international oil trading company, developed ongoing valuations for Ecuadorian Oriente crude oil in the US West Coast and Gulf Coast markets. Client used the results to achieve maximum values for the Oriente crude that it marketed under a long-term contract.
Crude Oil Valuation , Pricing South and Central America
Power Plant Construction Dispute
Provided advice on a construction dispute between owner and contractor regarding a project to upgrade and modify a power plant in the Caribbean, which had alleged defects related to the boiler heat recovery section, the desalination plant, seawater cooling piping, and instrumentation.
EPC-related South and Central America
Technical Review
Performed technical review of chlor-alkali and calcium chloride processes and project plan on behalf of prospective lender. Reviewed the process design packages for the chlor-alkali and calcium chloride production facilities and provided opinions regarding the selected processes and their technical compatibility. Reviewed the project schedule and cost estimate for the facilities and provided input to the prospective lender regarding the appropriate level of contingency. Evaluated the contracting strategy and project execution plan and provided opinions.
Pricing , Project Feasibility South and Central America
Refinery Integration Study
Undertook a comprehensive study of the local Venezuelan refining industry to identify potential areas of synergy between individual refineries and the possibility of closer cooperation to maximize overall industry profitability.
Pricing , Project Feasibility South and Central America
Pipeline Contractual Dispute
Assisted in a claim between a major U.S. energy provider and project promoters concerning claims that the energy provider defrauded project promoters when it proceeded with the construction of an international natural gas pipeline.  Submitted report outlining the differences between energy provider's project and the promoters' project.
Commercial Terms Review , Pipeline South and Central America
Wholesale Trade Practices
Assisted a South American national oil company in reviewing trade practices for the wholesale marketing of petroleum products. Advised the client on wholesale price formation and marketing practices in free markets.
Pricing South and Central America
Project Management
Executed several mid-to-large pipeline and facility projects in multiple international locations, overcoming challenging cultural and language differences.  Performed feasibility studies, detailed design, procurement, construction, inspection, hydrotesting, risk assessments, and pipeline integrity.
EPC-related , LNG , Offshore , Pipeline , Project Feasibility South and Central America Asia Pacific
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 North America South and Central America Western Europe Middle East and Africa
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 North America South and Central America Western Europe Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa
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 North America South and Central America Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia Western Europe Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa
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 North America South and Central America Western Europe Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa
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 North America South and Central America Western Europe Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa
Acetic Acid Process: Intellectual Property Infringement
Using chemical engineering expertise, process design background, and experience in operations and manufacturing, provided an opinion on the likelihood of another firm’s ability to produce the same organic acids with comparable quality and value as the original product without utilizing trade secrets learned from the intellectual property owner.
Intellectual Property , Product Quality South and Central America
Engineering & Construction - Liquidated Damages Dispute
Reviewed claim relating to assessment of liquidated damages and inadequate delivery of Operating Manuals.
Commercial Terms Review , EPC-related South and Central America
Crude Oil Terminal Study
Assisted client in identifying new crude oil business opportunities for a large off-shore oil terminal that it had recently acquired. Analyzed regional crude oil supply and demand patterns and expected trends, and considered other opportunities such as crude oil blending. South and Central America
Refinery Feasibility and Economics Study
Conducted an economic feasibility study for a proposed refinery in Central America. The study evaluated indigenous crude oil supply and imported crude oil, as well as expected product netback prices compared to the status quo of imports.
Pricing , Project Feasibility South and Central America
Crude Oil Pipeline Due Diligence
Provided technical, commercial, and market due diligence for acquisition of pipeline transportation rights in Latin America. Carried out a technical review of the oil pipeline and pump station facilities. Reviewed the tariff setting mechanism and analyzed key inputs. Developed a tariff model and ran sensitivity scenarios to predict future pipeline tariffs. Carried out regional market study to compare alternate transportation modes (pipeline versus truck) and reviewed forecasts for crude oil production and transportation.
Pipeline South and Central America
European Refinery Competitiveness
On behalf of a large industry participant, evaluated the relative competitiveness of refineries operating in Western Europe.  Utilized our proprietary PRISM modeling and database system to extract individual refinery margin and cost metrics and projected the likely future positions of the client's refineries on the cost and margin curves. South and Central America
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 South and Central America
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 South and Central America
Floating Production Platform Dispute
Reviewed, opined, and prepared expert report regarding the project cost differences experienced during construction of the hull and integration of topsides for a semi-submersible platform, which was placed into service offshore of Brazil.  Our review included a change in the construction site, changes in construction strategy, and changes in the sequence of construction. 
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Offshore South and Central America