Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

Article
Crude Oil Marketing Strategy
Prepared a marketing strategy for new production in Russia's Sakhalin Island region. The study analyzed potential markets for new production of crude oil, transportation options and costs, and contracting strategies.
Crude Oil Valuation , Offshore , Pricing , Product Quality Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Agrochemicals Manufacturing
Performed due diligence for the purchase of several fertilizer plants on behalf of an investor.  These plants manufactured nitrogen fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, methanol, and other related industrial chemicals.  Inspected company assets, assessed technology, analyzed feedstock and product markets, reviewed contracts, evaluated capital investment programs, and analyzed comparative manufacturing economics.
Fertilizers , Pricing Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Gas Processing
Performed a preliminary evaluation of the gas processing design, capital costs, and economics for a natural gas liquids recovery and fractionation facility and a condensate stabilization facility in the Republic of Turkmenistan.
Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Gas to Liquids Evaluation
On behalf of a major oil and gas producer, prepared a conceptual design for a Fischer-Tropsch based gas-to-liquids unit using low value associated gas to produce LPG, gasoline, and zero sulfur diesel.  Developed estimates of charge and yield, capital and operating costs, and project development and capital spending schedules.
Gas to Liquids , Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Global Polyethylene Study
Conducted a global market analysis to determine export market potential for a proposed ethylene/polyethylene complex. The study encompassed development of global supply/demand balances and price forecasts, as well as an analysis of prospective competitors' process economics.
EPC-related , Pricing Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Finance Litigation
Economic damages were claimed by the sponsors of a refinery project in Russia due to a failure to obtain funding from a financial institution.  Examined claim basis, economic assumptions relied on for the project feasibility study, and actual financial results that would have been realized if the refinery had been built.  Provided testimony concerning the relationship between industry margins and the losses incurred by the project sponsors.
Pricing Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Power Project
Supported lenders in mezzanine financing for construction of a cogeneration plant in Western Siberia.  Advised as to the collateral value of certain equipment ordered for the project and evaluated the technical capabilities of the company to manage the project under long-term project financing.
EPC-related Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Pipeline Quality Bank Dispute
Assisted in a dispute involving crude oil quality bank payments demanded by a pipeline consortium transporting a company's oil through Central Asia.  Studied the quality bank calculation procedure in order to demonstrate if the methodology described in the tariff had been properly applied.  Provided examples of methodologies used in other quality banks.  Prepared quality bank calculations based on application of the methodology.  Testified at an arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Crude Oil Valuation , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , Pricing , Product Quality Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
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 Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Crude Oil Supply
Identified and evaluated feedstocks for a proposed new refinery in eastern Russia. Assessment included contacting potential suppliers and shippers.
Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Valuation of Refineries
Performed valuation of three Russian mini refineries located in Western Siberia.  Work involved market analysis for crude oil and products, logistics infrastructure, refinery configuration and yield, and construction costs.
Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Construction Dispute
Assisted law firm representing Russian refiner in dispute with U.S. engineering firm that provided a refinery for a location in Russia.  Ascertained construction status of units and reviewed issues in dispute regarding design basis, scope of work, and costs for a modular refinery constructed in the U.S.
EPC-related , Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Products Terminal Feasibility Study
Prepared feasibility study and cost estimate to modernize and increase throughput capacity of a petroleum products terminal on the Black Sea.
Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Feasibility Studies
Assisted an engineering and construction firm in preparing feasibility studies for two projects in Russia.  One of the projects was a new "grassroots" refinery project, and the other project was to build a new FCC gasoline complex in an existing refinery.  Work included modeling of refinery operations and yields, analysis of feedstock and products markets, and evaluation of project economics.
Pricing , Project Feasibility Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Project Cost Overrun Dispute
For a large sour condensate stripper facility, evaluated a significant project cost increase over the original estimate, taking into account work scope changes, market escalation, the accuracy of the original estimate, and the impact of project delays.  An assessment was made of the reasonableness in each category and the likelihood of success with respect to cost recovery via litigation proceedings from a technical standpoint.  The project was designed and constructed during a period of rapidly escalating labor and material costs.
EPC-related Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Gas Processing Metallurgy Replacement
Evaluated the reasonableness of a large project’s cost to replace the piping with a different metallurgy for a high-pressure, high-temperature sour gas reinjection facility in Central Asia.  Also opined on the industry knowledge of the proper metallurgy at the time of construction of the original facility.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
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 Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Lost Profits Claim
Developed an opinion of reasonable lost profits, in excess of $100 million, resulting from a crude oil supply force majeure and refinery downtime after a fire. Reviewed testimony and refinery linear program files.
Business Interruption Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
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 Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Shale Oil Market Study
Prepared market study for upgraded shale oil in several refining centers over extended project life. Estimated refining value and ocean freight in selected refineries to yield netback value at upgrader dock. Compared estimated refining value for upgraded shale oil to estimated refining value of typical swing crudes for each region.
Crude Oil Valuation , Pricing , Product Quality Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Review Infrastructure Assets
Assisted client in evaluating infrastructure spending to support ongoing operations and maintenance activities.  Our review evaluated whether  the infrastructure assets were integral to the overall technological complex.
EPC-related , Industry Practice/Standard of Care Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Production Sharing Dispute
Reviewed amended field development plan with respect to a PSA dispute between government and operator consortium over a proposed multi-billion dollar increase in projected final costs. Prepared expert report, reply report, and provided oral testimony.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
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
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
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 Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Gas Plant Construction Dispute
Provided expert advice with respect to standard and customary practices of gas plant design and construction.
EPC-related Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia
Refinery Valuation Dispute and Arbitration
Developed an opinion of the value of a joint venture company that owned and operated a large petroleum refinery in Eastern Europe. Evaluated the refinery's financial performance, capabilities and competitive position, as well as other valuation metrics, such as replacement cost and comparable refinery transactions. Provided testimony at international arbitration.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony Russia, Eastern Europe, & Central Asia