Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

 

Article
Business/Technology Valuation
Conducted a due diligence assessment and preliminary economic valuation of an existing business with proprietary technology designed to significantly reduce crude oil exploration and finding costs.
Pricing Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Evaluation of New Crude Production
Evaluated a new crude oil stream produced by the client from offshore platforms in the West African country of Equatorial New Guinea.  Evaluation included identification of potential markets and the values of this crude oil into these markets.
Crude Oil Valuation , Offshore , Product Quality , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Fertilizer Project Due Diligence Assessment
In conjunction with a leading upstream consulting firm, conducted a due diligence assessment of gas resources for the purpose of developing a fertilizer complex associated with onshore and offshore gas production under development. The assignment entailed delineating the quantity and quality of gas resources available to support the prospective fertilizer project and estimating costs to deliver natural gas suitable for producing nitrogen fertilizers to the project.
Fertilizers , Offshore , Pricing , Product Quality , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Global Gasification Feedstock Analysis
Conducted an analysis of the potential low-cost carbon feedstocks for a grassroots gasification project to produce a combination of synthetic fuels and electricity.  The study investigated sources and delivered costs for various feedstocks, including coal, petroleum coke, and low-valued refinery streams such as residuum and cracked fuel oils.  Historical data was used to assess pricing mechanisms for world petroleum coke prices, including delivered coal prices to Japan and Western Europe.
Gas to Liquids , LNG , Pricing , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Grassroots Refinery Study
Built a grassroots refinery model using our proprietary PRISM refinery modeling system. Our client (a PRISM licensee) then used the model to evaluate the economics of various refinery configurations.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Pricing Middle East and Africa
Lube Oil Market Study
On behalf of a major oil company, prepared a forecast of the worldwide supply/demand balance for paraffinic lube oil base stocks to support the development of a new high technology manufacturing facility to be located in Saudi Arabia. Project was a joint venture between the company and the Saudi Arabian government. Output from the project was intended to serve the high growth areas of the Middle East and Far East.
Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Modular Refinery Conceptual Study
Performed a conceptual analysis of a small, skid-mounted refinery operating in the Middle East to serve local markets.  Assessed the likely configuration and capital costs and yields, given an assumed crude slate.
Pricing Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
New Petroleum Products Terminal
On behalf of a major international construction company, prepared a preliminary feasibility study on a new petroleum products import terminal to serve the local market .  Study included facility layout and size estimates for docks and storage tanks.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pipeline , Project Feasibility , Waterborne/Marine Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Refinery Evaluation
Prepared a study of the economics of various alternative operating modes, including expansion through addition of new processing units, for an independent refinery in the United Arab Emirates. Study included assessment and ranking of a variety of feedstocks and processing schemes and utilized a model specifically developed for the refinery.
LP/Planning Practice , Pricing Middle East and Africa
Refinery Manufacturing Options Study
Prepared an investment strategy to manufacture transportation fuels. Evaluated yields, investment, and operating economics to produce gasoline and diesel fuel from residual materials. Presented conclusions for consideration by the company's board of directors.
Pricing , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Refinery Feasibility Study
Performed a feasibility study for a small, skid-mounted refinery to be operated in Kurdistan to serve local markets. Reviewed contractor proposal regarding likely configuration, crude slate, capital costs, and yields.
EPC-related , Pricing , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
TEL vs. MMT Blending Study
On behalf of a chemical supplier, reviewed the use of tetraethyl lead (TEL) as an octane enhancing gasoline additive in a Middle Eastern country from 2000 to 2006 compared to using methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT).
Pricing Middle East and Africa
TEL Usage in Southeast Asia
On behalf of a chemical supplier, reviewed the use of tetraethyl lead (TEL) as a gasoline additive in a Southeast Asian country from 1999 to 2005 compared to the technical requirement based on the quality of the country's base gasoline and the required octane target.
Pricing Middle East and Africa Asia Pacific
Replacement Cost Determination
Provided a comprehensive estimate of replacement costs for oil and gas producing facilities, offshore production and drilling platforms, gathering systems, storage facilities, and processing plants. These costs were used as a basis for establishing appropriate levels of insurance coverage for a major petroleum corporation.
Offshore , Physical Asset Appraisal Middle East and Africa
World Scale Alumina Refinery - Independent Engineer
Teamed with a mining consulting firm to provide independent engineering support to lenders of a world-scale, multi-billion dollar grassroots alumina refinery to be located in Guinea, West Africa. Reviewed project execution plan and entire design package for the proposed facility, including alumina refinery, power plant, import/export facilities, and all associated infrastructure. Prepared several interim reports during the initial engineering phase before project was abandoned due to political unrest within the country.
Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Crude Oil Valuation and Marketing Plan
Identified target markets, coordinated the assay evaluation, assessed market values, and developed a marketing plan and marketing brochure for a new crude oil to be produced in offshore West Africa.  The initial crude oil sales price was estimated, based on quality and location, and was presented in terms of global crude price benchmark grades.
Crude Oil Valuation , Pricing , Product Quality Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Refinery Construction Dispute
Evaluated dispute between a mechanical subcontractor and owner on a refinery expansion project in the Middle East. Evaluated issues related to delay and disruption caused by material delivery delays.
EPC-related Middle East and Africa
Crude Quality Analysis
Assisted with crude oil quality analysis from new production field in order to establish initial valuation estimates.
Crude Oil Valuation , Pricing , Product Quality Middle East and Africa
Offshore Oil Lease Development Dispute
Provided an assessment and expert report that determined estimates of the economic value for an undeveloped oil block in offshore Sierra Leone.  The analysis synthesized an FPSO development approach and various scenarios of reserve volumes, development timelines, and oil prices to arrive at an indicative value for lease development.
Offshore , Pricing , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
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
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
Independent Engineer for New Refinery in Egypt
Technical due diligence for financing of a 200,000 B/D merchant export refinery in Egypt. Our review included opinions on site selection, owner's development plan, supply agreements, offtake agreements, EPC Contracts, refinery unit technologies including sulfur recovery, 'over-the-fence' utility interface, crude oil supply and product export terminal facilities. Our review also included opinions on environmental compliance, licenses and permits, CAPEX, construction schedule, completion risk, OPEX and technical comment to the financial model .
Commercial Terms Review , EPC-related , Physical Asset Appraisal Middle East and Africa
Refinery Demurrage Claims
Reviewed ship demurrage claims regarding refinery force majeure issues. Developed report on issues including residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) operations and prudent operating procedures.
Commercial Terms Review , Waterborne/Marine Middle East and Africa
Petroleum Revenue Override Dispute
Reviewed contract, evaluated contract terms and key definitions and analyzed royalties related to a large West African oil, gas, LNG and petrochemical complex.
Pricing Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Chemical Plant Fire Repair
Provided technical advice and consultation for recommended repair procedures for vessels and piping damaged in a chemical plant fire. 
EPC-related , Physical Asset Appraisal Middle East and Africa
Used Refinery Relocation
Conducted an initial review to identify the status of a proposed refinery project (North Africa) and comment on the potential to utilize the surplus process equipment from a U.S. refinery that had been shut down.
Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
Refractory Failure Investigation
Provided expertise and technical assistance related to the evaluation of a failed refractory in a methanol reformer. 
Business Interruption , Forensic Analysis , OSHA-related , Property Damage Middle East and Africa
Production Facility EPC Dispute
Reviewed and opined on different aspects of a dispute between the developer of an oil production facilities project and the EPC contractor.  Assessed variation/change orders for entitlement and reviewed claims of preferential engineering (versus functional design).   
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony Middle East and Africa
LPG Terminal
Lenders' Engineer review for development of an LPG terminal consisting of LPG tankage, gasoil tankage, loading facilities, and associated pipelines and equipment.  The facilities were planned to accommodate annual throughput volumes of 1,150,000 tons of LPG and 940,000 tons of gasoil, with minimum guaranteed volumes of 700,000 tons of LPG and 600,000 tons of gasoil with planned future facilities for increased throughput volumes, bunkering operations, and third-party storage.
EPC-related , Project Feasibility , Waterborne/Marine Middle East and Africa
Refinery Design Review
Grassroots refinery was to be a modular-fabrication with an on-site assembly on a greenfield site in North East Africa.  Due to the characteristics of the crude oil (heavy, waxy and high naphthenic acid content), process design included Visbreaker-type technology.  An evaluation was made of the process design and the project economics. 
Physical Asset Appraisal , Pipeline , Product Quality , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa
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 Middle East and Africa
Insulation Works Dispute
Provided expert witness assistance with technical issues regarding the installation of insulation on an LNG facility.  Baker & O'Brien reviewed the technical issues, prepared an expert report, and testified regarding our opinions in an ICC Arbitration hearing.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , LNG Middle East and Africa
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
Construction Dispute - Gas Processing Plant
Dispute involving delay and disruption, welding, and testing during gas plant debottlenecking project.  Contractor claimed that multiple owner changes had resulted in significant additional costs, including delay.  Owner claimed that the costs resulting from the changes were previously paid and that the delay in completion was due to the contractor’s poor management of the project.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Intellectual Property Middle East and Africa
Project Feasibility - LNG
On behalf of the major oil company project sponsor, prepared a capital cost estimate for a proposed world-scale, “grassroots” liquefaction plant.  The cost estimate was used to evaluate competing Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) technology packages from engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor/licensors.  
LNG , Project Feasibility Middle East and Africa