Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Industries

Industry Details

Transportation and Storage

Baker & O'Brien consultants have considerable experience in the transportation, storage, and distribution of energy raw materials and finished products. We are frequently called upon to analyze the costs associated with truck, rail, pipeline, and/or marine transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and chemical feedstocks. We undertake feasibility studies associated with pipelines and petroleum storage facilities. We investigate the source and implications of leaks, fires, explosions, and other operating incidents that periodically occur during the operation of such facilities. Our consultants have provided evidence and expert testimony regarding proper maintenance and safe operating practices for all types of transportation systems.

Related Experience

  • Bankruptcy Reorganization
    Developed, in conjunction with senior management, reorganization plans for various operating segments of a major trading and transport company. The resulting business plan formed the foundation of the company's successful reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy.
    Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • Bitumen Valuation Study
    Developed a methodology using a marker crude oil to value bitumen at the production site.  Methodology addressed differences in qualities (sulfur, acid number) and refining yields.  Transportation costs from the valuation hub to the production site were developed.  Blending methodologies were evaluated to develop bitumen blends for comparison to the marker crude oil.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Black Oil Storage
    Provided an assessment of terminal facilities in the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas. Assessed historical and projected crude oil supply and demand for California.
  • California Crude Oil Study
    Developed a detailed California crude oil supply, demand, and transportation balance (by refinery) for a mid-size independent California crude oil producer. Results were used in client's annual report for shareholders and security analysts.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
  • Chemical Pipeline Market Study
    On behalf of an acquisitive client, researched, identified, and characterized chemical pipeline operations in the U.S. to form a database of prospective business opportunities.  The engagement included contacting each prospective target to ascertain an initial level of interest in pursuing commercial arrangements with the client.  The study identified several attractive prospects and provided an overall measure of the market dimensions.
    Pipeline
  • Company Reorganization Study
    Following the bankruptcy of a major Singapore-based shipyard, with significant oil interests throughout Southeast Asia, worked with the company's lenders to restructure and reorganize the company's asset base. Made visits to all major company sites and prepared report outlining current status. Recommended the disposition of non-core assets and the reorganization of core assets into a smaller and less highly leveraged entity. Following acceptance of most of recommendations by creditors' committee, company was able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection.
    Waterborne/Marine
  • 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
  • Construction Dispute - Gas Plant
    Provided expert reports and testimony regarding project management issues, alleged defects, and liquidated damages for international arbitration between owner and contractor.  The project involved an offshore platform, an undersea pipeline, an onshore pipeline, an onshore cryogenic gas processing plant, and a sales gas pipeline.
    Arbitration, EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Gasification, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore, Pipeline
  • 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
  • Crude Oil Gathering System Evaluation
    On behalf of an independent U.S. refiner, conducted an in-depth study of its crude oil gathering and transportation system.  Our study included  reviews of physical assets and crude oil purchase and transportation agreements, and evaluation of the economics of retention versus disposition.  Our results and conclusions were used by the client in its asset rationalization plans.
    Pipeline, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Import Terminal Feasibility
    Examined the feasibility of a deep water import terminal to meet the domestic refining industry's needs for imported crude oil as West Coast crude production declines. The analysis included a review of the history of imported crude oil for West Coast refineries, the current outlook for domestic production declines, crude oil import trends, shipping logistics, refinery capabilities, and future opportunities for moving crude oils to refining facilities east of the Rocky Mountains.
    Pipeline, Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
  • Crude Oil Market Studies
    Prepared several detailed assessments of West Coast crude oil markets for an independent California producer. Studies included preparation of detailed regional balances, identification of target refineries for client's crude oil, and estimation of its value relative to imported and domestic alternatives. Results were presented to client's executive management and at its banker and security analyst conferences.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Crude Oil Marketing Study
    Assisted the U.S. General Accounting Office in evaluating the potential for marketing of Naval Reserve crude (Elk Hills) in markets east of the Rockies.  Work included evaluation of breakeven refining values, assessment of yield and contaminant penalties, and analysis of the potential for supplying this crude to the Gulf Coast market.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Marketing Study
    Provided support to a major Canadian crude oil pipeline transporter in the customization of the PRISM model, Baker & O'Brien's proprietary refining industry analysis tool, the company had licensed from Baker & O'Brien. Support included addition of crude oils of specific interest to the client.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Pipeline Acquisition
    On behalf of an international pipeline company, prepared an assessment of the acquisition of a fifty percent ownership in a pipeline system that transports crude oil from Canada into the U.S. Study included crude oil supply/demand projections for the markets served.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Quality Dispute
    Acted as expert witness in a dispute between a major oil company and a small crude oil supplier that allegedly delivered "dumbbell" crude into the oil company's common carrier pipeline system.  Prepared a report covering standard industry pipeline practices, crude oil quality acceptance, crude oil trading, and refining values of various crude oils.  Calculated damages incurred as a result of the poor quality crude oil delivered and the impact on refiners receiving crude from the pipeline.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pipeline, Pricing, Product Quality
  • 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
  • Crude Oil Supply Evaluation
    On behalf of a major pipeline and terminal company, prepared a detailed assessment of future crude oil supply and demand balances for the U.S. West Coast, with an emphasis on California. The assessment was used by the client as a key part of its justification for a new crude oil import terminal, capable of handling VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers), to be constructed in the Port of Los Angeles. Results were presented to community and state government groups.
    Pipeline, Waterborne/Marine
  • Crude Oil Terminal and Pipeline Study
    Assisted in the site selection study for a new crude oil terminal and a pipeline connecting the terminal to an existing refinery.
    Pipeline, Project Feasibility
  • Ethanol Terminal Blending Facility Evaluation
    On behalf of a private equity firm, reviewed a site development plan for a coastal ethanol receiving terminal and associated gasoline blending facility.  Evaluated the market competition for terminalling services within the local area.
    Pricing, Product Quality
  • 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
  • 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
  • Gas Measurement Dispute
    Performed a preliminary audit of natural gas measurement discrepancies between an unregulated gathering system and an interstate pipeline. Identified periods that meters were out of service and utilized system balance to estimate deliveries.
    Pipeline
  • Gas Pipeline Rupture Dispute
    Performed an independent assessment of the costs incurred, including the lost natural gas inventory, on a ruptured interstate gas transmission line for which the owner requested a multi-million dollar damage reimbursement.  A report was prepared for mediation which resulted in a negotiated settlement.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Pricing
  • 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
  • Gas Well Production Dispute
    Reviewed gas well production (meter readings) and pipeline pressure history to determine if gas was delivered into gathering system when the system was not being monitored and the local injection compressor was not operating. 
    Pipeline
  • Gasoline Blending Compliance
    Provided analysis for a refiner that does not produce finished gasoline on the prospects for producing gasoline that meets all API and ASTM requirements. Analyzed the options available to the refinery for blending reformate fractions and whether aromatics or benzene would likely be the constraining specification as it relates to the "anti-dumping" rule. Evaluated potential early compliance with the EPA's mobile source air toxics (MSAT2) program.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Gasoline Spill Litigation
    Assisted in a dispute between a retail marketer and contractor concerning allegations that contractor's work contributed to a gasoline spill from a retail gas station that contaminated the well water of 130 homes.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated the mechanical integrity of equipment, examined unique theories of causation, inspected site, and attended destructive testing procedures.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Grassroots Refinery Feasibility Study
    Conducted a feasibility study for a grassroots refinery project that included assessment of potential crude oil supplies, various refinery configurations, and a detailed analysis of target markets and product distribution logistics.  The study also included an integrated coke gasification complex to supply hydrogen, power, and steam to the refinery.  Capital cost estimates were prepared and project economics were developed for a range of scenarios.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Heliport Pipeline Leak
    Prepared expert rejoinder report on leakage from fuel storage, pipeline, and loading system located at a heliport and marine dock.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related
  • Import Terminal Study
    On behalf of four major oil companies, provided a screening study focused on the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles to determine the future adequacy of the overall port infrastructure and facilities.
    Waterborne/Marine
  • Independent Engineer
    Retained as the Independent Engineer for the "grassroots" Tangguh LNG Liquefaction Project in Indonesia.  Prepared the technical due diligence for the US$3 billion facility on behalf of a consortium of Chinese banks.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Insurance Arbitration
    Investigated the circumstances surrounding an oil spill at a Gulf Coast refinery following a hurricane. Work activity centered around whether the refiner acted as a "prudent operator" before and after the hurricane and whether the owner was entitled to a claim for damages based on an insurance policy's pollution exclusion clause. Prepared a written report for submission into evidence in an international arbitration.
    Arbitration, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Interstate Pipeline Inspection Practices
    Provided expert testimony on inspection and maintenance practices for interstate petroleum products pipelines. Issues included reasonable depth of additional overfill and width of maintenance right-of-way.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Jet Fuel Contamination Dispute
    Following product quality issues in major interstate product pipeline movements, reviewed product injection practices and analyses at pipeline injection point. Evaluated analyses at various points along the pipeline to assess possibility of quality degradation.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Product Quality
  • Litigation - MTBE
    Assisted in defense of oil companies charged with supplying gasoline containing the additive MTBE, which was alleged to have contaminated water supplies. Baker & O'Brien was involved in reviewing and analyzing refinery supply, pipeline distribution, and retail marketing of gasoline in the area subject to the dispute.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Toxic Tort
  • Litigation - MTBE
    Prepared expert testimony on the issue that MTBE use in reformulated gasoline (RFG) was the result of a federal mandate to use oxygenates in RFG. The legal result was to consolidate several state MTBE cases into federal court. Several other studies performed, including the ability to use other oxygenates and the costs of ethanol logistics.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Toxic Tort
  • Long-term Outlook - Global Refining and Light/Sweet Crude
    Completed a study that examined longer-term developments of the worldwide refining industry and strategies for maximizing the sales value of light, sweet crude grades.  The study identified and evaluated a long-term pricing strategy for light/sweet crude oil as a response to expected changes in crude oil quality, environmental legislation and mandates, and regional growth trends in petroleum demand.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • LPG Pipeline Contamination
    Evaluated pipeline contamination and potential sources of contaminants from various sources.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Product Quality
  • LPG Pipeline Specifications
    Evaluated pipeline tariffs, product specifications, connection agreements, and liquefied petroleum gas sales agreements, including the determination of fractionator feedstock and product economics, for the export of liquefied petroleum gas to northern Mexico from fractionation facilities in West Texas.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pipeline, Product Quality
  • 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
  • Manufacturing Facility and Plant Evaluation
    Performed an on-site assessment of a pipe manufacturing facility to determine operational viability. Key assessments made on mechanical integrity and reliability of the process equipment, technical understanding and organizational strength of facility personnel, and related operational issues.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Multi-Refinery Synergies
    Analyzed the synergies and economic advantages of companies that operate multiple refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Analysis included advantages in crude acquisition; turnaround and routine maintenance; feedstock and product transportation; efficient processing of intermediate streams; and optimal capital investment.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Natural Gas Pipeline and Processing Plant Due Diligence
    Assisted an electric utility in its merger with a gas transmission and distribution company. Inspected pipeline and processing facilities and reviewed natural gas and natural gas liquids supply and marketing issues. Conducted operations review and an analysis of staffing levels.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Natural Gas Royalty Litigation
    Evaluated the design and historical capital costs of a natural gas pipeline system in western Oklahoma. Reviewed system material balances and operator's natural gas measurement practices.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Pricing
  • 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
  • Valuation of Pipelines and Gas Plant
    Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major bank to value and certify completion of a project to build offshore pipelines and an onshore gas processing plant for gathering and processing of deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. The valuation was prepared for the lender in support of $200 million of structured finance.
    EPC-related, Offshore, Pipeline
  • Sulfuric Acid Storage Incident
    Retained to assist in the investigation of a fatality incident at a sulfuric acid processing and storage facility.  Reviewed equipment design, inspection and repair history, operating procedures, training of personnel, and industry practices.  Assisted legal team with on-site investigation and interaction with local, state, and federal agencies.  Reviewed conclusions by root cause analysis for consistency and factual support.
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Salt Water Disposal Tank Explosion
    Investigated the cause and origin of a storage tank explosion at an oil and gas salt water disposal facility in Colorado. Conducted site investigation and facility/equipment inspections, evaluated system design and operation, and conducted witness interviews. Determined cause of explosion and worked with company management to evaluate existing policies and procedures for potential areas of improvement.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Physical Asset Appraisal, Safety
  • Refinery Product Distribution Outlook
    On behalf of a large, publicly-traded master limited partnership engaged in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of petroleum, we assessed the five-year outlook for refinery production, liquid storage capacity, and major pipeline flows on the USGC.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • Supply/Demand Forecast
    Constructed PRISM refinery models of all of the Australian refineries for use by a client for its strategic planning efforts.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Supply and Distribution
    Assisted insurance underwriters in understanding and assessing the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on jet fuel prices for the Gulf Coast market.  The sequence of events and impacts on individual suppliers were developed, as well as an allocation of outages and price differentials attributable to each hurricane.  Our analysis of pricing activity also considered estimates of normalized versus event-based price movements in the overall market.
    Pricing
  • Subsea Pipeline Rupture
    Assisted attorneys in investigating the circumstances surrounding a rupture of a subsea crude oil pipeline caused by a vessel dragging an anchor. This assignment included a review of the impact on crude oil gathering system and receiving terminal operations, the owner's emergency response, subsea pipeline repair costs, and a determination of the maximum insurable loss.
    Business Interruption, Offshore, Pipeline, Property Damage, Safety, Waterborne/Marine
  • Refinery Business Interruption
    Prepared detailed analyses of property damage, business interruption, and demurrage claims resulting from a vessel colliding into a refinery dock.  
    Business Interruption, Property Damage, Waterborne/Marine
  • 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
  • Review of Facilities Safety Issues
    Assisted in technical review of safety related issues at crude oil production and gathering facilities.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Pipeline, Safety
  • RFS Infrastructure Study
    Prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute (API) that analyzed the potential logistics and infrastructure bottlenecks on a year-by-year basis to 2012 that could result from the industry trying to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Analyzed the relative competitiveness of a group of refineries in a specific region.  The study included an analysis of the local supply and demand balance, and a forecast of product movements into and out of the region.  Using our proprietary PRISM system, modeled each refinery in its current configuration and in its expected configurations eight years in the future.  Profit margins were calculated for each refinery under three different product price scenarios.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Refinery Product Delivered Cost Data
    Assisted a client with the historical analysis of refined product supply patterns and costs in the U.S., with a particular emphasis on delivered cost of supply for transportation fuels. Provided five years of delivered product volume and cost data (by calendar quarter), for all major gasoline and distillate grades, for 85 U.S. markets, as produced and transported from over 130 fuels refineries.
    Pricing
  • Transmix and Biodiesel Processor Valuation
    Developed a business valuation for an entity engaged in transmix processing, biodiesel production, and ethanol terminaling. The engagement entailed analysis of historical, current, and projected cash flows from operations to generate an income-based value for the enterprise. The work included updates to valuations of operations previously assessed by Baker & O'Brien, as well as analysis of new facilities.
    Pricing
  • Pipeline Contamination Dispute
    Assisted in a claim involving an alleged y-grade/NGL pipeline contamination from a gas processing facility.  Examined the following key areas to evaluate the claim: pipeline hydraulics, laboratory records, chronology of pipeline sample data, reasonableness of claimed expenses, gas processing facility operation, and records.   
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • 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
  • U.S. Midcontinent Crude Valuation
    Evaluated crude oil refining values and logistics for several targeted refineries in the U.S. midcontinent area.  Evaluated expected price parity points for domestic crude oils versus competing grades delivered to the refineries via pipeline.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pipeline, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Tank Truck Explosion Investigation
    Investigated the potential causes and sources of ignition for an explosion that destroyed a road tanker, used to haul raw natural gas liquids from a gas treating plant, that was in a repair shop for the replacement of a pressure relief valve. 
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Product Supply Contract Review
    Following the notice of cancellation of a product supply agreement based on crude processing, to be replaced with an agreement where refined product prices were to be supplied based on adjustments to posted prices, evaluated the economics of the proposed supply contract compared with the existing crude processing agreement.  Determined the required level of discount to OPIS prices to match product cost under the existing crude processing arrangement.
    Commercial Terms Review, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • 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
  • 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
  • Petroleum Products Terminal Expansion
    On behalf of a worldwide independent storage group, undertook a marketing study to support the expansion of an existing petroleum products and chemical storage terminal. Study addressed the potential growth in Southeast Asian products trade, the demand outlook for independent storage, and likely future terminal rates. Expansion proceeded to successful completion based on study results.
  • 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
  • Pipeline Divestiture
    Undertook a comprehensive market analysis and competitive assessment of a major refined products pipeline system and formed various strategic options for asset disposition. The conclusions developed from the engagement supported the client's subsequent decision to divest certain asset segments.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • Refining Market Forecast
    Investigated business interruption claims from fuels refineries, lube refineries, cement plants, fuels distributors, and chemicals manufacturers due to the closure of marine access following the release of oil into the waters surrounding the plants.  
    Business Interruption
  • MTBE Litigation
    Prepared declaration of gasoline distribution issues in northern California, including rebuttal of other experts' analyses of gasoline distribution.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Propane Storage Assessment
    Prepared an analysis of an underground propane storage system to determine causes of leakage and potential corrective actions.
  • Petrochemical Terminal Fire
    Reviewed testimony, expert reports, and forensic evidence and attended depositions to determine cause and origin of terminal fire.  Prepared report addressing electrostatic discharge theory, petrochemical handling procedures, employee training, and management issues. 
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Safety
  • MTBE Litigation
    Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to central Illinois over the period 1980 to 2006. 
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Terminal Facility Due Diligence
    Conducted financial and operational due diligence on behalf of lenders for a large regional petroleum terminal facility with associated transmix processing and commercial waste treatment operations. Tasks included inspection of facilities, assessment of competitive market position, evaluation of financial performance, and estimation of potential market value for the facilities.
  • Tennessee Gasoline and Ethanol Blending
    Provided an expert report and expert testimony on the production and distribution of ethanol and gasoline, particularly branded gasoline, in the state of Tennessee.  Provided a refiner perspective of the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on gasoline blending, distribution, and marketing operations.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Pipeline Pigging Accident
    Reviewed injury accident that occurred while pigging a gathering pipeline to remove formation water produced with natural gas. Provided an expert report regarding applicable industry standards regarding operation of vacuum truck for disposal of formation, as well as observations regarding the contractual responsibilities of the tank truck operator and the production operator.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Safety
  • MTBE Litigation
    Provided expert report that evaluated and discussed the issues concerning why MTBE was chosen over ethanol to the federal 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. 
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Bitumen Diluent Study
    Developed a market study regarding diluent to be used by Canadian Oil Sands bitumen producers. This included projected supply and demand balances, logistics requirements, and impact from unconventional natural production.
    Pricing
  • Project Development Dispute
    Prepared an expert report and delivered a deposition and testimony at jury trial in a dispute involving a project development claim. The dispute focused on the value and likelihood of successful completion for two projects in the early stages of development: a natural gas salt dome storage facility and a petroleum products terminal.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • NGL Pipeline Due Diligence
    Reviewed data presented by a potential NGL pipeline seller on behalf of a potential buyer. The review focused on mechanical integrity and other safety issues.
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
  • Gas Gathering and Treating Due Diligence
    Performed due diligence of West Texas natural gas gathering and treating system. Reviewed contracts and facilities, assessed competition, developed economic model, and estimated market value of assets.
  • Gas Treating Facility Explosion Investigation
    Investigated cause of system overpressure and shutdown of downstream pipelines which led to flange gasket failure and fire.  Reviewed system design, construction, and overpressure protection at wellheads located upstream to determine cause of failure.   
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Safety
  • Gasoline and Diesel Terminal Due Diligence
    Performed technical due diligence for terminal assets on behalf of financial firm.  Visited the facilities and reviewed relevant documentation to advise the client on issues concerning the operability, safety, and physical conditions of the facilities and potential future maintenance and capital costs.
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Waterborne/Marine
  • Refinery and Pipeline Systems Valuation
    Provided values of a refinery, crude oil gathering, and products marketing system to be recorded as fair values for purchase price allocation purposes.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • Refinery Cash Margin study
    Provide a comparison of cash refining margins for PADDs 1 through 4 versus expected cash refining margins when inland crude oil transport bottlenecks to the USGC have been relieved.
    Pricing
  • Condensate Gathering System Due Diligence
    Assisted client with engineering due diligence on a Texas condensate gathering system focusing on pipeline mechanical integrity issues.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
  • Horizontal Drilling Property Damage
    Reviewed damage to private property (farmland) allegedly caused during the installation of an underground pipeline.  A portion of the pipeline was installed using the technique of horizontal directional drilling (HDD). 
    EPC-related, Pipeline, Property Damage
  • Monterey Shale Oil Study
    On behalf of a California refiner, reviewed the potential for production of Monterey shale crude oil in the San Joaquin Valley and the accessibility of this crude to the client's refining system.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Natural Gas Gathering Fee Dispute
    Reviewed natural gas contracts to opine on whether addition of a gas gathering fee was consistent with typical commercial experience on intrastate pipelines.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pipeline
  • Market Study for Crude Oil Rail Unloading Terminal
    Provided an update to a previous report on U.S. light crude oil supply/demand and implications for a new crude oil unloading terminal in a large refining center on the USGC. Supplemented the report with an analysis of heavy crude oil rail transport opportunities.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
    Supplemented the client's team performing due diligence as part of a potential transaction regarding a crude oil gathering and mainline pipeline system.  Our focus was on the engineering aspects of new facilities and facilities under construction.  We provided an opinion on whether the new facilities, and the facilities under construction, appeared to be designed to applicable industry specifications.
    EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
    Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
    Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
  • Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
    Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
    Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
  • Shipyard Insurance Claim Analysis
    Assessed a business interruption claim filed by a shipyard that resulted from a third-party incident. Based upon our analysis of the claimant's business operations and performance, claim estimates were developed that formed the basis for settlement negotiations.
    Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
  • Terminal Facility Valuation
    Reviewed the operating results and management projections for a terminal and transmix processing facility to develop an income-based valuation for the business enterprise. This engagement was one of a series of valuations prepared by Baker & O'Brien to support the financing requirements for this business since its inception.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • 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
  • Trans-Alaskan Pipeline (TAPS) Quality Bank
    Provided expert testimony before extended hearings of both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (2004) and the Alaskan Public Utilities Commission (2007) with respect to the methodology used to value various Alaskan crude oil streams entering TAPS.  Issues included how to calculate the refining values of such crude oils in U.S. West Coast refineries and how changes in the indicated market values of crude oils should be handled from a retrospective basis.  
    Crude Oil Valuation, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pipeline, Pricing, Product Quality
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Marine Accident Investigation
    Investigated causes for contamination of a cargo of residual fuel aboard a barge that exploded and sank.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality, Property Damage, Safety, Waterborne/Marine
  • Product Terminal and Transmix Processing Valuation
    Physical asset appraisal and business valuation of a refined product terminal and transmix processing facility. Estimated the replacement cost and deferred replacement value of the physical assets to provide a depreciation basis for taxes. Valued the business enterprise using a discounted cash flow approach based on an analysis and projection of transmix processing and product terminal activities.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Wholesale Supply Contract Dispute
    Reviewed supply contract dispute and claims that customer was overcharged for product delivered to customer's retail locations. Completed an analysis of refinery gate prices, regional wholesale pricing, and transportation charges for deliveries to each location to determine if overall charges to customer were consistent with transportation logistics and contractual obligations.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • Product Pipeline and Terminal Valuation
    Prepared a valuation of a pipeline and related terminal associated with client's refinery. The valuation was used by the client for accounting and tax allocation purposes.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
  • Alberta Bitumen Valuation Study
    Evaluated various approaches to valuing Canadian Oil Sands bitumen blends (DilBit). Approaches for valuation at a Hardisty, Alberta basis included: differential to a marker crude oil, refinery return on investment, parity to Mexican Maya and other approaches, including statistical regression. Evaluated approaches and potential marker crude oils and provided recommendations to client.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • MTBE Contamination Litigation
    Supported several oil company clients in defense of claims that the inclusion of MTBE in gasolines supplied to the State of New Hampshire caused contamination of water wells in the state. Provided information on the supply of MTBE-blended gasolines to the State and assessed availability of other oxygenates (primarily ethanol) to meet EPA requirements for oxygenated fuels. Testified at trial.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Product Quality
  • Isobutanol Value in Gasoline
    Prepared initial screening study to assess the potential benefits and issues associated with marketing isobutanol as a gasoline-blend component within the U.S. Provided isobutanol gasoline blend valuations versus ethanol/alkylate for a list of target refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Fuel Contamination Investigation
    Investigated an occurrence of contaminated diesel fuel at a molybdenum mine in Colorado, as well as the claimed property damage and business interruption claims of the mine owner. Assessed the root cause of the fuel contamination and prepared a presentation of our findings.
    Product Quality
  • Dock Collision Business Interruption Claim
    Assisted with analysis of a business interruption claim and lawsuit from a refinery after a marine vessel collided with the refinery dock. Analyzed need for extraordinary refined product marine and pipeline movements, as well as trading activity and demurrage claims.
    Commercial Terms Review, Waterborne/Marine
  • Pipeline Pigging Incident Investigation
    Reviewed plant incident resulting from pigging activity upstream of gas inlet line and filling plant gas feed line with water.
    Pipeline, Safety
  • Terminal Hurricane Damage Repair and Claim
    In support of a dispute between claimant and insurer, assisted with rebuild estimate for terminal damaged by hurricane.
    Property Damage
  • Gasoline Supply Contract Dispute
    Represented a major refiner in a dispute related to lack of performance alleged by a large local service station chain. Reviewed the contract terms and provided testimony via deposition.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Construction Dispute and Arbitration
    Following previous arbitrations regarding liability for change orders and delays associated with a refinery expansion/upgrade, Baker & O'Brien was engaged by the contractor to estimate the "quantum" amounts associated with over 400 individual claims that had been addressed by the arbitration tribunal and its technical advisor. We testified regarding our estimates at a final arbitration hearing.
    EPC-related
  • Ethanol Class Action Litigation
    Assisted a major Florida fuel marketer in Florida in defense against class action claims that ethanol-blended fuels had resulted in damaged boat engines, fuel tanks, and other marine/recreational equipment. Reviewed terminal blending and quality control practices, the actual quality and formulation of gasolines delivered to Florida consumers, and state specifications controlling the quality of such gasolines.
    Commercial Terms Review, Product Quality
  • Hydrogen Pipeline Construction Cost Dispute
    Assisted client in a dispute concerning settlement costs in regards to a canceled construction contract for a hydrogen pipeline. 
    EPC-related, Pipeline
  • North Carolina Gasoline and Ethanol Blending Analysis
    Provided an expert report on the production and distribution of ethanol and gasoline, particularly branded gasoline, in the state of North Carolina. Provided a refiner's perspective of the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on gasoline blending, distribution and marketing operations, considering the options, alternatives and risks of selling gasoline without ethanol.
  • 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
  • Refinery Business Interruption - Marine Spill
    Conducted an assessment of business interruption damages stemming from downtime caused by an oil spill which disrupted marine traffic at several refineries.
    OSHA-related, Waterborne/Marine
  • 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.
  • Utah Shale Oil Market Study
    Developed target markets, estimated values for upgraded shale oil in various U.S. refineries, and expected price netbacks to the project site. Developed crude oil supply and demand balances to determine which crude oils would be displaced and the expected pricing impacts.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • Terminal Acquisition Due Diligence Support
    Conducted a review of fuel oil and asphalt terminal assets in support of a potential acquisition. Provided input and recommendations as to the overall quality of the assets, including a review of previous expenditures and maintenance records.
    Operations/Maintenance
  • Process Plant Fire Protection Review
    Reviewed fire protection recommendations by other firms and assisted client in understanding API and NFPA standards that are generally applicable in the process industry.
  • Undersea Pipeline Damage Repair Costs
    Assisted client by providing opinion on reasonableness of claimed repair costs to an undersea pipeline damaged by a ships's anchor.
    EPC-related, Offshore, Pipeline, Property Damage
  • Product Pipeline Terminal Valuation
    Prepared a terminal valuation based on a discounted cash flow analysis of transmix and terminal businesses and an appraisal of the physical assets.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
  • Crude Oil Rail Transport Study
    Provided an assessment of refinery crude oil processing capability and crude oil pipeline receipt options to enable client to assess crude-by-rail options that might be available to U.S. refiners.
  • Natural Gas Midstream Due Diligence
    Conducted due diligence on gas gathering assets in East Texas for a prospective purchaser. Inspected facilities, reviewed pipeline and facility construction records, confirmed regulatory status, evaluated pipeline integrity management program, and assessed process safety.
  • Crude Oil Market Study
    Provided a forecast of North American crude oil production through 2030 by quality and by major producing region. Evaluated the extent to which the North American refining industry could accommodate a lighter crude oil slate. Identified expected change in crude flow patterns and imports.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • PRISM Data Extracts
    Provided PRISM data extracts for several refineries located near the Utica shale formation.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • PADD 4 Products Supply/Demand Study
    Forecasted PADD 4 refined products supply and demand through 2020 considering potential refinery expansions, refining economics, logistics and product consumption trends. Outlined the potential implications of changing supply/demand patterns on PADD 4 refined product prices.
    Pricing
  • High TAN Crude Oil Refinery Study
    Identified U.S. Gulf Coast refineries processing high TAN crude oil. Estimated capital cost to convert heavy sour crude refineries currently processing low TAN crude oil to high TAN refineries. Considered a Canadian bitumen/diluent blended crude oil as the basis. Calculated the metallurgy and light ends processing costs associated with refinery conversion to high TAN crude oil.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline
  • 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
  • Port of Houston Power Disruption
    Reviewed the power outage caused by a contractor at a Port of Houston container facility, to assess the Contractor's potential exposure to claims from the Port Authority.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Property Damage
  • Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
    On behalf of an investment group, provided technical and operational due diligence of an interstate (FERC regulated) crude oil pipeline system. Our focus included the review of asset integrity, design, system capacity, and operating costs of an existing asset and the design, project execution plan, schedule, cost estimate, and projected operating costs of a proposed pipeline.
    Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Residual Fuel Oil Valuation
    Provided an assessment of the quantity, quality, and value of fuel oil recovered during demolition of storage tanks at a power plant.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Black Wax Crude Oil Market Study
    Reviewed qualities of Utah Black Wax crude oil versus other sweet crude oils to determine key criteria which would lead a refiner to process to Utah Black Wax crude oil. Used criteria to screen existing U.S. refineries for their ability/incentive to process the Utah Black Wax crude oil.
  • Crude Oil Terminal Study
    Surveyed existing crude oil storage costs on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Evaluated current and future crude oil storage capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and developed an outlook for near-term crude oil storage costs. Provided input to client's greenfield crude oil terminal project.
  • Ethanol Blending Lawsuit
    Working on behalf of a petroleum industry trade organization, in defense of major gasoline branded companies, provided analysis and opinions related to the potential impact on brand quality from allowing ethanol splash-blending by third parties. Provided expert testimony at trial.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Product Quality
  • 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
  • Pipeline Quality Bank Dispute
    Reviewed claims by a crude oil refiner to adjust the valuation of the residuum cut in the TAPS Quality Bank.  Reviewed the residual fuel markets and the delayed coking capacities and operations for several West Coast refiners.  Provided written and oral testimony before a FERC Administrative Law Judge.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pipeline, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Storage Study
    Supported various feasibility studies related to development of a crude oil storage project on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Activities included a survey of Houston and Port Arthur-area crude oil storage costs, an assessment of medium term lease rates, and an evaluation of days of crude oil storage, both historically and projected, given the changing crude oil flow dynamics from the Eagle Ford and Permian regions.
    Project Feasibility
  • Logistics services company assessment
    Provided an independent financial and commercial assessment of a logistics services company that our client was considering purchasing.
  • Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
    Conducted asset due diligence activities:  inspected facility under construction; provided market incentives, operating costs, risk overview, and staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics. 
    Crude Oil Valuation, Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
  • Asphalt Refinery Due Diligence
    Performed due diligence on behalf of a financial institution for funding the startup of an idle asphalt refinery.  Advised client on technical issues related to running black/yellow (Uinta) wax crude in the asphalt refinery.  Work included evaluation of the condition of the process units and infrastructure, assays of feedstocks, analysis of yields, and evaluation of process bottlenecks. 
    Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
  • LNG Capital Cost Review
    On behalf of potential offtakers and equity investors of one train, Baker & O’Brien performed a follow-up review of the updated Open Book Estimate (OBE) of a two-train liquefaction project, including common use of certain existing regasification facilities. 
    EPC-related, LNG
  • Environmental Impact Support - Rail Terminal and Refinery
    Prepared an expert report on behalf of a local government agency, as part of an environmental impact process, to address the key technical changes resulting from a project to construct a crude oil rail terminal and modify an existing refinery to allow it to process increased amounts of light domestic crude oil.   
    Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice
  • Refined Products Terminal Study
    To support a client's due diligence efforts for a potential petroleum products terminal acquisition, undertook a market study to evaluate the current refined products supply and demand balance on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Key market drivers were identified which could impact future market growth.
  • Permian Basin Market Review
    Analyzed Permian Basin crude oil production, production forecasts, infrastructure projects, and price differentials for a midstream company.  Provided input for annual investor presentation.
    Pipeline
  • Gasoline Supply Analysis
    Prepared several regional maps showing sources of gasoline supply to various states including refineries, pipelines and waterborne routes.
    Pipeline
  • Condensate/Diluent Analysis
    Developed a diluent supply and demand balance to determine if U.S. lease condensate is being blended into Canadian bitumen for import into the U.S.  Evaluated multiple approaches to identify any potential U.S. lease condensate being blended into Canadian bitumen.
  • Asphalt Refinery Dispute
    Provided analyses on locating an asphalt refinery on a property and expert witness deposition testimony involving the construction of an asphalt refinery.
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Crude Oil Flow Projections for Pipeline Acquisition
    Evaluated the current regional supply and demand balance for crude oil and developed medium-term forecasts, given expectations for area refinery expansions and crude oil production changes.  Developed projections for crude oil transportation volumes in an existing crude oil trunkline that was considered for acquisition.
    Pipeline
  • Gas Plant Acquisition Dispute
    After concluding a transaction, the acquiring party claimed that the facilities were not sufficient to conduct business due to deficiencies related to design, construction, safety, and failure to meet environmental regulations.  Visited the plant to interview key personnel, viewed the physical facilities, and reviewed relevant operational, safety, and engineering design information.  Our findings and opinions were presented in an expert report which was submitted into evidence.
    Arbitration, Expert Witness/Testimony, OSHA-related
  • Terminal Due Diligence
    Provided technical due diligence support for a large terminal acquisition opportunity involving approximately 50 terminals, 700 tanks, and 30MMbbls of storage.
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Waterborne/Marine
  • Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
    Conducted asset due diligence activities:  (1) inspected facility under construction; (2) provided market incentives; (3) operating costs; (4) risk overview; and (5) staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics.
    Operations/Maintenance, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Condensate Splitter Market Study
    Developed market study and economics for a "grassroots" Eagle Ford condensate splitter located in Corpus Christi.  Evaluated alternate locations and presented to CEO and management.  
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Oil Disposition Study
    Developed economics of crude disposition alternatives for producer's growing production of light tight oil.  Alternatives included local and distant refining values with appropriate logistics costs.
    Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice, Pipeline, Pricing
  • GTL Commercialization Study
    Performed due diligence on a new GTL process to evaluate possible routes to commercialization.  The work program included the following steps:  (1) verification of mass balance; (2) comparison of laboratory and pilot plant yields; (3) evaluation of alternative technologies; (4) assessment of scale-up issues; (5) review of preliminary commercial design; (6) estimate of capital costs; and (7) the development of an economic model that included sensitivity analyses for capital costs, yields and prices.
    Project Feasibility
  • Barge Loading Incident Investigation
    Investigated a marine over pressure and rupture incident which occurred while loading a barge with light stabilized hydrocarbons.
    Safety
  • Pipeline Contractor Business Interruption Claims
    Reviewed business interruption claims made by welding contractors related to a pipeline incident that resulted in damage to the contractors' equipment.  Prepared a report documenting our findings of the business loss claims.
    Business Interruption, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Gasoline Supply Map
    Prepared a regional map showing sources of gasoline supply to a specific state, including refineries, pipelines, and waterborne routes. Analyzed gasoline supply logistics from terminals within, or near, the subject state.
  • Crude Oil Supply Contract Dispute
    Provided an expert report for a crude oil supplier who lost its contract to a refiner.  Provided a valuation versus alternative crude oils as to the value of the cancelled crude oil supply contract.  Dispute settled prior to trial.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Physical Asset Appraisal, Waterborne/Marine
  • Refinery Business Interruption Claim
    On behalf of an insurer, calculated the business interruption expense for a Gulf Coast refinery associated with a delay in receiving crude oil via ship.  Reviewed calculations provided by the refinery and opined on associated business interruption impacts associated with the delay in receiving crude oil shipments.  Provided an expert report, which enabled a settlement in the dispute.
    Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
  • Crude Oil Storage Support
    Surveyed industry sources to develop an estimate of the current crude oil storage costs in the Texas Gulf Coast area.  Developed an estimate of the current crude oil storage capacity and petroleum refinery capacity in the Houston area.
    Project Feasibility
  • Pacific Northwest Market Study
    Prepared a market study of the Pacific Northwest U.S., which included the refined products supply and demand balance and logistics systems.  The emphasis of the study was on current and future jet fuel supply and demand in the region. Evaluated jet fuel logistic systems for Pacific Northwest.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Gas Pipeline Dispute
    As a member of the three person dispute resolution board for a gas pipeline construction project, reviewed, evaluated, and determined liability for project claims brought before the board.  
    Commercial Terms Review
  • Refined Products Pipeline Market Study
    Developed a supply and demand forecast by market area for a major refined products pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest.  Project involved analyzing historical supply trends and demand by market area and forecasting expected pipeline flows under various refinery utilization scenarios.
    Pipeline
  • Pipeline Specifications Dispute
    A new pipeline owner was seeking to impose tighter diesel specifications on a pipeline. Provided an expert report and testimony regarding common carrier pipeline diesel product specifications in a regulatory hearing.  The dispute was ultimately settled prior to the hearing.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
  • Pipeline Operating Practices
    A lawsuit was filed against a major U.S. pipeline company stating that its operating practices during maintenance at a gas gathering line resulted in a fire and the injury of two contract workers who were the plaintiffs. We were asked to opine on the cause of the fire. The matter was settled out of court prior to reports being issued or testimony being presented.          
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Crude Oil Quality Bank Study
    Recommended a crude oil quality bank methodology for the different types of crude oil to be stored in a new USGC crude oil storage facility.  Reviewed other existing quality banks and developed recommendations and methodology for managing a crude oil quality bank.
    Product Quality
  • Transmix Facility Due Diligence
    Completed technical, financial, and operational due diligence analysis on behalf of lenders for an existing transmix processing facility and associated terminal.  Tasks included inspection of facilities, assessment of competitive market position, and an evaluation of a new hydrotreater project for ULSD production.
    Commercial Terms Review, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
  • Canadian Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Evaluated the competitive position of several Canadian refineries located in Eastern Canada and Ontario.  Evaluated refinery configurations, crude oil slate and product yield, and profitability versus a group of regional competitor refineries.  Presented the crude oil and product logistics systems for each of the Canadian refineries being studied.  
  • Terminal Due Diligence
    Performed a technical due diligence of a Gulf Coast refinery tank farm and associated transfer pipelines for a prospective investor.  Reviewed inspection and maintenance records of the assets during a site visit.  Reviewed numerous operating performance documents from a data room.  Prepared a technical due diligence report outlining our findings.
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • St James Louisiana Crude Supply Study
    Analyzed crude supply sources and pipeline flows for the Southern Louisiana refining market in conjunction with a potential pipeline acquisition.  Forecasted crude supply availability by grade in the St. James trading hub and analyzed impact of new crude oil pipelines in the market.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • California Terminal Due Diligence
    Assisted midstream buyer with valuation of a large Northern California petroleum terminal.  Delivered market study presentation to company management to assist in due diligence and valuation using market metrics.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Permian Basin Crude Oil Supply and Logistics
    Provided supporting material related to Permian Basin crude oil production growth and logistic infrastructure for a pipeline owner's annual investor presentation.