Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Services

Service Details

Commercial Contracts

Baker & O'Brien consultants are frequently retained as consulting or testifying experts and have been qualified to offer evidence in many contract disputes involving the energy industry.  Typical assignments include:  (a) quality variations in crude oil supply and pipeline contracts; (b) product measurement discrepancies; (c) asset valuations; (d) force majeure; (e) operations and maintenance; f) production sharing; and (g) royalties.  Our clients have included oil and gas companies, trading houses, and underwriters and brokerage houses.

Related Experience

Related Experience
Ammonia Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major European bank for the relocation of a 750 TPD ammonia plant.  Work included an assessment of existing and new technology that was to be incorporated in the project.  The due diligence investigation analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, and inspected progress prior to close of financing.  Monitored construction progress, certified mechanical completion, and witnessed the plant performance test.  
Commercial Terms Review, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Audit of Gas Contract
Conducted an audit of the revenue settlement of natural gas liquids and residue gas per the terms of a gas processing agreement. Investigated causes of reduced product yields, and reviewed compressor operation, fuel consumption, and product and fuel allocation procedures.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Crude Oil Processing Contract Dispute
Served as expert witness concerning a dispute between an international oil trading company (Trader) and an independent refining company (Refiner), between whom there was a crude oil processing contract.  The Trader alleged that the Refiner misappropriated products to its own account.  Analyzed the refinery production and product disposition under each processing deal over a period of three years and calculated the damages under the alleged misappropriation.  Prepared an independent detailed damages claim for insurance purposes and defended the claim at trial.  
Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Product Quality
Jet Fuel Underpayment Claim
Assessed jet fuel supply contracts to see if an overpayment claim was justified.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
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
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
Market Value of Natural Gas
Determined the reasonableness of royalty payments for natural gas by comparing available arm's-length contracts, pricing, and actual costs of gathering, compressing, and processing the gas.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Natural Gas Royalty Dispute
On behalf of several producing companies, demonstrated the reasonableness of royalty payments for natural gas by comparing available arm's-length contracts, pricing, and actual costs of gathering, compressing, and processing the gas.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Natural Gas Tax Dispute
Following the imposition of a new oil and gas taxation regime, a dispute arose regarding the contractual right of local natural gas producers to "pass through" incremental taxes to their customers.  Served as expert witness.  Key work involved the development of a fair mechanism to allocate recovery and distribution costs between "jointly" produced hydrocarbons, including oil, condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.  Prepared and defended specific proposal in the arbitration proceedings.
Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
Oil Refining Crude Supply Dispute
Provided engineering and project management consulting services for litigated dispute between two large oil companies concerning an acidic crude oil supply agreement (high TAN crude, high acid crude). Prepared expert report.
Commercial Terms Review, Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
Paper Coating Plant Project Finance
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major financial institution for the construction of a new $100 million paper coating plant. Prepared due diligence, assessed technology, evaluated project scope of work and schedule, reviewed engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, and advised bank with respect to mitigation of project risks.
Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related, Project Feasibility
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
Chlorine Contract Dispute
In a lawsuit involving a long-term chlorine supply contract, provided litigation support relating to a series of force majeure events. Analyzed the chlorine producers options to mitigate the loss of contracted sales volumes.
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
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