Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

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Condensate Feedstock Contract Dispute
Assisted in a claim between: (1) a European refiner and ultimate condensate supplier, and (2) an intermediary company, concerning allegations that the intermediary company was prevented from obtaining condensate supplies for sale to the refiner.  Studied the potential availability and quality of condensates in the producing region and elsewhere.  Identified potentially suitable condensates for the refinery.  Based on forecasts of oil and petroleum product prices, prepared an estimate of potential economic damages.  Described how term feedstock contracts for condensate are typically concluded.  Testified at an arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pricing Western Europe
Crude Oil Marketing and Trading Reorganization
Conducted review of crude oil marketing and trading practices of major international oil company operating in Europe. Prepared analysis of the organization, key practices, and operating systems. Recommended changes in structure and practices to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability. Western Europe
Fischer Tropsch (FT) Market Study
Conducted a market study for intermediate and finished products resulting from FT synthesis of a gas source in West Africa. The study assessed the best markets and projected netback prices for FT diesel, jet, and naphtha, as well as a review of the marketability of intermediate (unfinished) FT products.
Pricing , Product Quality , Project Feasibility North America Western Europe
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 Western Europe
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 Western Europe
Ion-Exchange Resin Plant
Performed market study and competitive analysis of an ion-exchange resin plant on behalf of a major government agency bank. Study evaluated the financing of an ion-exchange resin manufacturer in the context of possible sale of the plant.
Pricing Western Europe
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 Western Europe
Petrochemical Business Privatizations
Developed market valuations, evaluated strategic business alternatives, and formulated short-term planning objectives for several diversified East European chemical companies undergoing the transition from state control to private ownership. Engagements included marketing efforts directed to attracting investors and joint venture partners.
Pricing Western Europe
Refinery Valuation Study
Provided an opinion as to the fair market value of a large European refinery that changed ownership during the 1980s.  Party filed arbitration proceedings against its former partner, claiming that the refinery was sold for well below market value.  Prepared several reports that were submitted as evidence.
Arbitration , Pricing Western Europe
Refinery Gasification Study
Identified and ranked refineries as potential candidates for residue gasification projects.  Screened refineries in terms of their crude capacity, crude slate, bottoms products, hydrogen users, and location to neighboring plants.  Also, provided a macro level review of European countries that would potentially have a synergistic benefit from a gasification project.
Gasification , Pricing , Project Feasibility Western Europe
Refinery Operations Snapshot
Provided client with an estimate of actual crude runs by grade, product yields, and operating costs for a European refinery in 2007 based on our proprietary PRISM refinery database and simulator.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Pricing Western Europe
Refinery Fair Market Value Dispute
On behalf of one of the interested parties in a bankrupt oil refinery, conducted a technical and economic evaluation of the facility to determine if the plant was economically viable and had value as a "going concern."  Study was submitted into evidence before an international arbitration tribunal established to determine the ultimate disposition of the facility.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing Western Europe
Refining and Supply Strategy
Assisted the European division of a major integrated oil company in the development of a refining and supply strategy for its refining and marketing business in Western Europe.  The assignment included the benchmarking of the client's current performance versus competitors, development of future market scenarios, and projections of financial performance for various strategic initiatives that could be implemented by the refining business unit.
Pricing Western Europe
Price Forecast - Northwest Europe
Prepared a five-year price forecast for Northwest Europe, considering global and regional supply/demand fundamentals and the relationship between oil and gas pricing, among other factors.
Pricing Western Europe
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 Western Europe
Refining and Marketing Privatization
Assisted a state-owned integrated oil company in Central Europe in completing a strategic planning study for its downstream refining and marketing business. The study considered potential markets and pricing for crude oil and refined products. Opportunities to optimize the operation and logistics of the company's refining and marketing system were evaluated in view of maximizing the value of the assets prior to privatization.
LP/Planning Practice , Physical Asset Appraisal Western Europe
Refining Assessment
Analyzed the profit improvement potential for an asphalt and naphthenic lube specialty refiner, which focused on the existing operating and planning practices of several refineries in the network. Recommended several zero capital cost improvements to be implemented.
LP/Planning Practice , Pricing Western Europe
Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
Project Feasibility , Waterborne/Marine Western Europe
Commercial Contract Negotiations
Assisted with supply contract disputes relating to “take-or-pay” type obligations and “price adjustment” provisions.
Operations/Maintenance , Pricing North America Western Europe
M&A in the Cement Industry
Performed acquisitions (share and asset) with hands on accountability for economic valuations, financial and market analysis, development of strategic rationale, approval documentation / presentations, deal negotiation, due diligence, legal agreements, and management and integration planning.
Pricing North America Western Europe
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 Western Europe
Independent Planning Consultant
In the early 1990s, a major oil company agreed to purchase a former Soviet block country’s refining and marketing assets. Additionally, there was an agreement to build a state-of-the-art grassroots refinery. Until the streaming of the grassroots refinery later in the decade, the oil company operated the existing refining assets on behalf of the national office of privatization. The role of the independent consultant was to ensure that the operation was not “optimized” at the expense of the country’s taxpayers. Participated in the preparation of monthly operating plans with the operating company and presentations to the national office of privatization over a two-year period.
LP/Planning Practice , Pricing Western Europe
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 North America Western Europe Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia Middle East and Africa Asia Pacific
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 Western Europe
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
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 Western Europe
Refinery Valuation and Synergy Analysis
On behalf of two international refining companies, investigated and estimated the potential value of synergies that might be realized upon the combination of the two refineries. Provided indication of value capture, based on criteria provided by companies.
PRISM Data or Analysis Western Europe
Piping Purchase Dispute
Reviewed purchase order documentation for piping material and provided opinion on whether the material met the engineering specification and requirements. Western Europe
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 Western Europe
Prepare Northwest Europe Price Forecast
Prepared a five year price forecast for crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals in Northwest Europe.
Pricing Western Europe
PRISM Refinery Data
Provided refinery capacity, throughput, product yield, and cash flow estimates for two European refineries in support of preliminary acquisition discussions.
PRISM Data or Analysis Western Europe
Northwest Europe Price Forecast
Developed a five year outlook for crude oil, refined products and petrochemical prices for a European refining company.
Pricing Western Europe
Power Plant Cooling Tower Operation
Assisted in a dispute concerning whether or not the alleged excessive vibration observed in an operational cooling tower was outside the limits of operational integrity called for in the operating insurance policy.  Western Europe
Oil Company Due Diligence
Retained to visit data room and prepare due diligence report summarizing facilities and environmental information for multiple oil fields and an oil processing and export terminal. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Physical Asset Appraisal Western Europe Middle East and Africa