Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Services

Service Details

Expert Witness and Dispute Support

Baker & O’Brien’s services to the legal community and its clients have included:  (a) asset valuations; (b) accident investigations of process plant accidents and incidences to determine cause and liability; (c) property damage and business interruption insurance losses; (d) contract disputes involving engineering, construction, and operations of process plants and pipelines; (e) product quality issues in the transportation, storage, and processing of hydrocarbons; and (f) assessments of procedures and safe practices employed in operations.  Our clients in the legal community include some of the world's largest law firms.  

In performing dispute resolution work, our consultants have advised legal teams on a wide range of technical and economic issues across the hydrocarbon processing industries.  This has often included discovery requests and preparation of deposition questions.  We have performed damage calculations, standard of care analyses, and normal industry practice analyses for our clients.  Our analyses and conclusions have been presented at court proceedings where our expert testimony has been relied upon by judges, juries, and arbitrators.
 

Related Experience

  • Air Emissions Dispute
    Reviewed air emissions data and categorized events; provided understanding and analysis to air events with respect to process equipment and refinery and chemical plant operations.
    Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Product Quality
  • Ammonia Manufacturing Litigation
    Assisted in a claim concerning allegations that equipment was the cause of a multi-million dollar business interruption claim.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated operating records, estimated business interruption losses due to a power outage, and provided expert testimony.
    Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ammonia Plant Insurance Dispute
    Assisted in a claims dispute between a major ammonia manufacturer and claims adjusters.  Evaluated claims involving construction defects and warranty work.  Assisted in documenting claim, inspected plant, evaluated project records, and reviewed maintenance records.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ammonia Plant Project Finance
    Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major European bank for the relocation of a 750 TPD ammonia plant. Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, and inspected progress prior to close of financing. Monitored construction progress and mechanical completion, and witnessed the plant performance test.
    Commercial Terms Review, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ammonia Plant Project Finance
    Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major European bank for the construction of a new world-scale ammonia plant. Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, reviewed contracts, and advised with negotiation of contracts. Monitored construction progress and mechanical completion, and witnessed the plant performance test.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ammonia/Urea Plant
    Worked in support of client and its attorneys to investigate the cause of a reactor failure and defense against claims by OSHA and third parties. Effort required extensive knowledge and analysis of process equipment and operating practices.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related
  • Application of Superfund Tax to Gas Processors
    Reviewed legislation relating to the Superfund Tax and its applicability to natural gas processors who produce natural gasoline at their facilities.  Compared natural gas processing with crude oil processing in order to show whether the Superfund Tax was intended to be levied on gas processors.
    Environmental
  • Asbestos Exposure Litigation
    Assisted a manufacturer of industrial equipment in defending personal injury claims related to asbestos exposure.  Assisted in discovery, assessed the likelihood and degree of employee exposure to asbestos during maintenance activities, and reviewed equipment specifications, project histories, and maintenance records for various power generation units.  Provided opinions regarding the potential for personal injury due to asbestos exposure in the course of normal work activities.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety, Toxic Tort
  • 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
  • Benzene Exposure
    Assessed possibility of employee exposures to benzene during prior refinery operations.  Reviewed plant operating history and emissions records and provided preliminary opinions regarding potential benzene exposure to plaintiffs.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related
  • Business Interruption Damages Claim by Concrete Supplier
    Assisted in a dispute between a concrete products producer and marketer against an oil refiner for damages allegedly incurred as a result of an incident at the oil refinery.  Examined the timeline of the incident and provided an independent damage estimate.  
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Business Interruption
    Performed an analysis of the schedule delay and financial impact from chemical plant downtime due to a major equipment fabrication error.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Safety
  • Business Interruption and Construction - Refining
    Monitored engineering and construction efforts undertaken to rebuild production facilities damaged by fire.  The engagement was to ascertain the appropriate construction period for business interruption claim purposes and to facilitate the incident root cause analysis.  Activities included daily site inspections, regular consultations with plant engineering and construction personnel, progress assessments, and development of independent project schedules.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • C4 Upgrade Project Due Diligence
    Conducted preliminary due diligence for a project to upgrade various mixed C4 streams into a range of higher valued butylenes streams and chemical products.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Caustic Soda Contract Dispute
    Reviewed caustic soda plant expansion and the ability of supplier to deliver the required volume of caustic soda under contract.  Advised on the reasonableness of the expansion construction schedule based on review of environmental permits, public data, and internal documents on construction activities.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Chemical Plant Accident Investigation
    Investigated an accident at a polyethylene production and storage facility. Reviewed equipment design, inspection and repair history, training of personnel, industry practices, and standards of care.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Chemical Plant Evaluation
    Provided an independent assessment at a chemical plant of recent maintenance and sustaining capital projects.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Chemical Plant Fair Market Valuations for Ad Valorem Tax Appeals
    Developed fair market valuations for two major chemical plant installations on behalf of the local appraisal district. The engagement included valuation by discounted cash flow, depreciated replacement cost, and comparable sales approaches, as well as a critique of the petitioner's methodologies and assumptions.
    Ad Valorem Taxes, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Chemical Plant Insurance Claim Support
    Provided comprehensive technical and accounting support for a property damage claim settlement and analysis for a chemical manufacturing plant that was damaged during a hurricane.  Work included review of all repair cost estimates and invoiced repair invoices, as well as analysis of claimed damages discovered and submitted post-recovery.  Assistance was also provided during final claim settlement negotiations.  
    Business Interruption, Property Damage
  • Class Action Environmental Litigation
    Provided assistance in evaluating environmental issues which led to a neighborhood lawsuit. Reviewed plant operating and emissions history and provided preliminary opinions regarding the potential for future impact on local community.
    Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Cogeneration Plant Property Tax Dispute
    Assisted municipality in developing preliminary value estimates for cogeneration facility under appeal. Work focused primarily on income approach values based on various forward pricing scenarios.
    Ad Valorem Taxes
  • Commercial Contract Litigation
    Assisted in a claim related to a force majeure incident related to the recommissioning of a facility after a hurricane.  Examined conformance with standard industry protocols and applicable laws, standards, and regulations.  Assessed whether the facility operator acted in a reasonably prudent manner with respect to the commercial and technical issues necessary to safely restart the facility as soon as possible.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Construction Dispute - Petrochemicals Plant
    Prepared a confidential "Cold Eyes Review" assessment concerning a contemplated claim between an owner and a contractor of a grassroots petrochemical facility.  Reviewed draft claims, researched evidence, and interviewed key personnel in order to produce an independent view of the claim.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Construction Dispute Litigation - Gas Plant
    Assisted in a litigated dispute between Owner-Operator and Engineering & Construction Contractor over whether a cryogenic gas plant, as engineered, procured, and constructed, met the stipulated contractual performance guarantees; prepared expert witness rebuttal report with respect to relevant issues.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Gasification, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Contract Dispute Resolution
    Evaluated inter-company petrochemical stream transfers and cost allocations pursuant to the mutually agreeable resolution of a contractual dispute between entities engaged in multiple across-the-fence feedstock and product exchanges.
    Pricing
  • Contractual Dispute
    Performed a due diligence of owner allegations and contractor claims pertaining to a Lump Sum-Turn Key contract termination.  Reviewed documents, schedules, witness statements, and expert reports to advise counsel on implications of contracting strategy and contract management following award.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Contractual Dispute - Property Tax
    Prepared an analysis of property taxes relative to refining complexity for a number of refineries in a particular region, using public information, for hearings with a district appraisal board.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Ad Valorem Taxes, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Cost Allocation Report
    Following a refinery fire incident and rebuild, performed an analysis of all elements of the repair costs, and produced a report that assessed and allocated repairs into three categories:  identical replacement, functional replacement, and upgrade.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Contamination Dispute
    Investigated a claim that refinery equipment damages were allegedly caused by a sour crude producer that injected high-metals crude into a ultra-sweet crude gathering pipeline.  Case settled prior to deposition and trial.
    Pipeline, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Metering Dispute
    Investigated alleged tampering with crude oil Automatic Custody Transfer volume and quality measuring devices.  Reviewed common carrier pipeline tariffs, inspected site, and analyzed measurement data.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, 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 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
  • 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 Royalty Litigation
    Assisted in a lawsuit between an oil company and a royalty owner of oil company's crude oil production for alleged underpayment.  Work included identification of the various markets for this crude oil to established whether its value in these markets was consistent with the price received.
    Crude Oil Valuation, 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
  • Damages from Steam Turbine Failure
    Assisted in determining economic damages resulting from failures associated with a new steam turbine that was provided and installed by a turbine manufacturer at a power generation facility. Conducted independent assessment of economic losses suffered by electric cooperative as a result of both short-term and long-term performance shortfalls and outages.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • Defective Product Lawsuit
    Provided an expert report concerning a dispute between a pressure safety relief device manufacturer and an operator of a claim that a device did not operate as designed in a reactor overpressure incident.
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Defend Wastewater Treater Air Emissions
    Requested to provide expert witness opinion of industrial standard of care for wastewater treater operations.  Issue concerned volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from a wastewater treater feed tank.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Delayed Coker Fire Investigation
    Assisted client in investigating the cause of a coker hydrocarbon release and fire, which resulted in multiple fatalities. Visited refinery and reviewed procedures and events preceding the incident to identify potential areas of causation and liability. Operating experience and knowledge of technical and safety issues and of industry and management practices helped the client in addressing specific claims issues.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Due Diligence of Gas Gathering and Processing Assets
    Conducted due diligence on gas gathering and processing assets within the Permian Basin in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas on behalf of lending group and prospective purchaser. Conducted physical inspection of the facilities, reviewed operation and maintenance records, assessed gas supply and competitive position, and reviewed financial assumptions and projections to ensure consistency with current gas supply contracts and asset performance.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Dust Collection System Risk Assessment
    Performed a quantitative risk assessment on a dust collection system associated with the multifolder process at a large paper products manufacturing facility. Purpose was to determine if OSHA stipulations were appropriate.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Economic Damages Litigation - Plant Explosion
    Retained concerning claims of design errors and failures in project management, following explosions and fires at a petrochemical plant.  Conducted in-depth reviews of engineering, procurement, and construction agreements; process technology and design basis; construction records; owner's operating procedures; and actual operating history since start-up of the plant.  Evaluated operating system provided against prevailing industry standards and examined potential for equipment failure.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Economic Damages Litigation - Plant Fire
    Following furnace damage and rebuild, provided expert regarding property damage costs and normal maintenance/scheduled turnaround/betterment costs. Similarly, business interruption costs were compiled with reference to market situation and product volumes that were available from inventory.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Electric Incident Investigation
    Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a power generation facility following the failures of a surge arrester and a backup battery system. Identified required inspection assistance, evaluated failed component inspection results and examined practices and procedures in place at the facility.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Estimate for Fire Rebuild
    Developed a cost estimate for replacing and/or purchasing new equipment and materials after damage from plant fire.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Property Damage
  • Ethylene Plant Construction Litigation
    Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that poor engineering work product contributed to a >$100 million cost overrun.  Assisted with discovery, inspected plant, evaluated construction documents, analyzed the project critical path, and analyzed lost income due to delays in the project schedule.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Evaluate Biodiesel Production Facility
    Provided due diligence review of a biodiesel facility in support of project financing. Reviewed capital costs, operating costs, process technology, and maintenance requirements.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Evaluation of Refinery Competitive Environment
    Assisted in a dispute between a major oil company and the Federal Trade Commission's claims regarding the anti-competitive nature of the company's proposed acquisition of a West Coast-based refining and marketing company. Prepared a detailed report analyzing the West Coast refining industry. Assessed the competitive position of each West Coast refinery processing Alaskan crude oil and how they might respond to changes in crude oil prices and/or availability.
    Pricing
  • Evaluation of Refinery Operating Procedures
    Acted as independent advisor in a dispute between a refinery and the Environmental Protection Agency following a period of excess emissions.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Expert Consulting Services
    Provided expert consulting services concerning a personal injury incident that involved a weld failure and a release of hydrocarbons.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Fair Market Valuation
    On behalf of a major U.S. gas power plant developer, estimated the fair market value of a 1,000 MW natural gas-fired electric power project. Evaluated turn key fixed-price contract for engineering, procurement, and construction for the combined-cycle generation facility along with utilities, rights-of-way, and permits. Reviewed the procurement and delivery of four natural gas turbines and two steam turbine generators.
    Pricing
  • Fair Market Valuation of Refinery for Ad Valorem Tax
    Fair market valuation of a major US Gulf Coast refinery for the local appraisal district.  Provided a critique of the valuation methodology used by the refinery as basis for lawsuit seeking reduced ad valorem taxes.
    Ad Valorem Taxes, Pricing
  • FCC NOx Allocation
    Prepared a report of FCC regenerator nitrogen oxides (NOx) production that allowed allocation of FCC NOx from a combined refinery stack.  The report was used to negotiate the allowable corporate average NOx limits with the EPA. 
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • FCCU Construction Litigation
    Assisted a major engineering and construction firm in defending allegations that construction errors in the installation of an FCCU catalyst cooler resulted in a significant business interruption claim.  Assisted in discovery, analyzed FCCU operating data, reviewed refinery operating records, evaluated design issues, calculated property damages and business interruption losses, and provided expert testimony.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Feasibility and Economics to Produce CARB Phase 3 Gasoline and Diesel
    Performed independent assessment of a refinery project to produce CARB gasoline and diesel. Assessment included feasibility, cost, and economics of the project. Study was performed for a prospective buyer of the refinery.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Fertilizers Company Privatization
    Performed due diligence for the purchase of several fertilizer plants on behalf of an investor.  These plants manufactured nitrogen fertilizers, phosphate fertilizers, methanol, and other related industrial chemicals.  Inspected company assets, assessed technology, analyzed feedstock and product markets, reviewed contracts, evaluated capital investment programs, and analyzed comparative manufacturing economics.
    Fertilizers, Pricing
  • Financial Model
    Developed a financial model for a large private equity firm to enable estimates of the future financial performance for the major business segments of a large international refining and petrochemical company.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Force Majeure Dispute
    Provided expert report relating to a claimed force majeure event, due to defects in critical equipment that was required to be installed during a turnaround.  The correction to the defects then resulted in the late delivery of the equipment that extended a petrochemical plant turnaround.   
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Formaldehyde Plant Construction Litigation
    Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that completion delays and poor plant performance at a European formaldehyde plant resulted in a multi-million dollar damage claim.  Assisted with discovery, inspected plant, evaluated plant operating records, reviewed construction contracts, valued the plant, and calculated damages.  Presented and defended conclusions at hearing.
    Arbitration, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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 Processing
    Performed a preliminary evaluation of the gas processing design, capital costs, and economics for a natural gas liquids recovery and fractionation facility and a condensate stabilization facility in the Republic of Turkmenistan.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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 Turbine Damage
    Assisted in a root-cause analysis and damages dispute concerning a major turbine failure in the start-up of a power plant.  
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Gas Well Incident
    Prepared expert report on behalf of client versus OSHA.  Matter involved failure of a pipe carrying natural gas that injured one contractor.  OSHA cited client for failure to provided a safe means of pressure relief for vessel (in-line heater) and piping.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • 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
  • Gas Wellhead Equipment Failure
    Performed root cause analysis of a gas well casing hanger which led to a well blow out.
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • 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 Contamination Dispute
    Provided expert report on refinery practices concerning caustic carryover in FCC gasoline mercaptan treaters.  Class action plaintiffs, consisting of retail station owners, alleged underground storage tank damage due to gasoline contamination.  
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Product Quality
  • 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
  • HF Alkylation Incident
    Investigated facts related to pump casing rupture where hydrofluoric acid was released. Reviewed refinery operations, training, and safety practices. Advised attorneys on generally accepted industry engineering practices and standards regarding design, operation, and maintenance of hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Historical Refinery Waste Generation
    Provided expert report on the probable types and amounts of wastes produced by a refinery during its 50-plus year operating life. Study was part of litigation involving assignment of responsibility for an EPA superfund site.
    Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Hurricane Rita Claim
    A petrochemicals facility experienced a loss of steam supply from an outside steam supplier and a subsequent unscheduled shutdown which, in turn, resulted in production losses and major damage to the facility.  The steam supplier attributed the steam outage to boiler damage caused by a hurricane, which had made landfall several months earlier.  Assisted by investigating the link between the hurricane and the steam supplier boiler outages.  
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Impact of Gasoline Toxics Regulations
    Quantified the impact of proposed changes in gasoline toxics regulations (MSAT-II) on each individual refinery in the U.S. Using our proprietary PRISM refinery modeling system, calculated investment costs, changes in operating costs and product yields. Our report was presented in testimony before the U.S. E.P.A.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Incident Analysis - Petrochemicals
    Performed an investigation analysis following fire and explosion incidents at a major Gulf Coast manufacturing facility.  The engagement entailed development of the sequence of events, root cause analysis, assessment of the decision to rebuild, and reconstruction monitoring.  An independent project schedule and cost estimate for the plant reconstruction was developed.
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Property Damage, Safety
  • 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 financial consortium.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Industrial Incident
    Investigated cause of dust cloud deflagration at a Vitamin E production facility. Assessed that bulk solids handling procedures were modified without considering the original safety design basis for the equipment. Developed expert opinions on causation.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Insurance Arbitration
    Investigated the circumstances surrounding an oil spill at a Gulf Coast refinery following a hurricane.  Work focused on 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
  • Insurance Litigation of Refinery Environmental Contamination
    Provided expert witness testimony and analysis in the litigation of insurance coverage for previous environmental contamination of petroleum refineries located on the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest.  Evaluated both liability and damage claims based on the multiple insurance contracts for each site.  
    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
  • Investigate Refinery Heater Explosion
    Performed root cause analysis of an explosion at a refinery heater and identified contributing factors. Performed a review of safe operating procedures, including shutdown and start-up of heaters. Provided expert testimony.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage, Safety
  • Investigation of Gas Processing Plant Incident
    Assisted in the investigation of an explosion and fire with resulting failure of natural gas supply from onshore crude oil, condensate, and natural gas processing facilities located offshore. Reviewed facility design, operating, and maintenance standards and prepared expert testimony.
  • Ion-Exchange Resin Plant
    Performed market study and competitive analysis of an ion-exchange resin plant on behalf of a major government agency bank. Study evaluated the financing of an ion-exchange resin manufacturer in the context of possible sale of the plant.
    Pricing
  • Isobutanol Valuation Study
    In order to assess the potential value of isobutanol as a gasoline blending component, performed simulations of refinery operations at a select group of West Coast refineries to calculate isobutanol value relative to blending ethanol into gasoline.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Jet Fuel Underpayment Claim
    Assessed jet fuel supply contracts to see if an overpayment claim was justified.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • Lender's Independent Engineer
    Served as independent engineer for a "grassroots" olefins project.  Prepared the technical due diligence for a US$4 billion facility on behalf of international export credit agencies and onshore and offshore lenders.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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 - Wastewater Treating
    Provided expert consulting support for a refinery wastewater treating environmental criminal matter. The work required previous experience with and a solid understanding of the plant processes and equipment which are used in treating industrial wastewater.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • 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
  • M&A Dispute
    Evaluated the foreseeability of project cost overruns that negatively impacted the economics of the acquisition of an EPC Firm.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Manufactured Gas Plant
    Provided technical assistance and review of historical documents in support of litigation regarding the environmental cleanup of a manufactured gas plant site.  The site, which had various gasification units in operation between approximately 1870 to 1950, had been used for a number of other purposes.  Analysis investigated the contamination present at the site to all previous and current gas plant operations.
    Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Impact of Low Sulfur Fuels Regulations
    Using our proprietary PRISM refinery modeling system, performed a refinery-by-refinery analysis of potential production of low sulfur fuels by U.S. refineries.  Analysis included the seasonal productions of conventional and reformulated gasolines and ULSD and also included jet fuel and high sulfur diesel production.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • 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
  • Midstream Acquisition Due Diligence
    Assisted energy distribution company with due diligence for potential transaction involving gas gathering and processing assets located in the Permian Basin.  Assets evaluated included over 4,000 miles of gas and liquid pipelines, four gas processing plants, and multiple gas treating plants.  Participated in data room reviews and management presentations with a focus on commercial, operational, and technical evaluations of midstream systems.  Developed comprehensive economic model of the integrated gathering and processing assets that was used to determine valuations and evaluate key sensitivities.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Pricing
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nitroparaffins Litigation
    Assisted in a dispute between an operator and and EPC firm concerning allegations that the process design contributed to an explosion at a nitroparaffins manufacturing plant.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated design issues, and provided expert testimony.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Offshore Pipeline Failure
    Conducted a review of flange failures on a large subsea crude pipeline off the coast of Southern California.  The review included original construction specifications, maintenance, inspection, and operation of the pipeline.  Also reviewed were the failed component repair plans and execution.  Recommendations included:  a) complete metallurgical flange analysis; b) preparation of an efficient repair and execution schedule for comparison and analysis of business interruption claim; and c) complete subsea modeling of the pipeline for the purpose of failure mode and time to failure predictions.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Offshore Pipeline Project
    Served as Independent Engineer on behalf of a major financial institution for a $200 million project to build a deepwater gas and oil-gathering system. Prepared a valuation of offshore pipelines and an onshore gas processing plant for gathering and processing of deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production in support of structured finance. Certified completion of the project for financial purposes.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
  • Offshore Platform Design
    Assessed design of elevated platform and ladders on a jack-up oil derrick which was under construction.  Compared design to industry standards.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore
  • Oil and Gas Royalty Valuation
    In support of a potential public offering, calculated the net present value of a defined royalty interest payable on all proceeds from the sale of crude oil, condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids produced from the Gippsland Basin in the Bass Strait off the coast of Australia. Worked in conjunction with an oil reservoir firm that prepared field production estimates over the next 20 years. Report became part of the offering memorandum submitted in compliance with local Public Securities Commission regulations.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Offshore, Pricing
  • Oil Company Privatization
    Performed due diligence for the purchase of an integrated oil company on behalf of an investor. Inspected company assets, assessed technology, analyzed feedstock and product markets, evaluated a capital investment program, and analyzed manufacturing economics.
  • 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
  • Paraxylene (PX) Contract Dispute
    On behalf of a major international buyer of paraxylene, prepared an expert analysis concerning damages claimed by a large US based supplier.  Analysis included a detailed evaluation of supplier's paraxylene manufacturing economics.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • Petrochemical Business Privatizations
    Developed market valuations, evaluated strategic business alternatives, and formulated short-term planning objectives for several diversified East European chemical companies undergoing the transition from state control to private ownership. Engagements included marketing efforts directed to attracting investors and joint venture partners.
    Pricing
  • PVC Plant Litigation
    Assisted in a dispute concerning allegations that an explosion at a major manufacturer of PVC resins was due to a poor process design that failed to meet government regulations and engineering standards.  Assisted in discovery, inspected the plant, evaluated procedures and work methods, reviewed applicable standards, and reviewed operating records.  
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Review of Power Development Projects
    Evaluated the economic value of five interim power projects in various stages of development for an international power project developer.
  • 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
  • Polyurethane Foam Litigation
    Assisted in claims concerning polyurethane foam system products that were alleged to be defective or unfit for their intended use.  Assisted in discovery, observed and reviewed work environment and work methods, evaluated manufacturing records, reviewed warranty claims, and prepared trial exhibits.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • 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
  • Refinery Equipment Sales
    Assisted the owner of a 60,000 BPD crude oil refinery in developing a marketing plan and finding potential customers for used process equipment. The assignment generated a sale of several major processing units to a local refiner for use in the manufacture of high-octane gasoline blending stocks.
    EPC-related
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Incident
    Analyzed processing operations and engineering design in a pulp and paper mill to determine sequence of events and possible causes of incident.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Refinery Performance Test Evaluation
    Investigated claims of poor performance of a $1 billion refinery project between a refiner and a major EPC contractor. Evaluated charge and yield, feedstock quality, and efficiency issues and assisted in documentation of response to claim.
    EPC-related, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Refinery and Chemical Plant Feedstock Valuations
    Identified and developed the financial impact due to the non-compliance with interplant agreements for feedstock and product transfers between a refinery and an adjacent chemical plant. 
    Pricing
  • Thermal Radiation Exposure
    Investigated an incident involving a claim of thermal radiation exposure during a refining unit fire.  Engineering reports, videos, weather conditions, unit design drawings, and published literature on levels of heat exposure from large hydrocarbon fires were evaluated.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, 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
  • Project Feasibility and Start-Up Assistance
    Retained by a financial institution to conduct an independent assessment of a refinery project to restart and expand idle equipment to produce transportation fuels and lube base oils.  The feasibility analysis included review of project costs, a product price forecast and margin outlook, as well as an assessment of the competitive market environment.  Provided assistance to the lender in structuring terms for loan agreement and establishing project milestones for the funding.  Monitored construction and revamp progress for the lender and certified mechanical completion of the project.  Following start-up of the units, attended performance test runs and provided certifications to the lender that the units met design throughput capacities and products met required quality specifications.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Finance Litigation
    Economic damages were claimed by the sponsors of a refinery project in Russia due to a failure to obtain funding from a financial institution.  Examined claim basis, economic assumptions relied on for the project feasibility study, and actual financial results that would have been realized if the refinery had been built.  Provided testimony concerning the relationship between industry margins and the losses incurred by the project sponsors.
    Pricing
  • Power Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided expert report and oral testimony on roles and responsibilities of: (1)  an EPC contractor under a Lump Sum-Turn Key contract; (2) owners in awarding and managing such projects; and (3) the capabilities of owner's and contractor's project management teams.  The project involved provision of EPC services to retrofit selective catalytic reduction equipment to existing power generation units, as mandated by the regulatory authorities.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Evaluation
    Retained by a financial institution to conduct an independent assessment of an asphalt refinery. In addition to an analysis of the market environment, the assessment included a review of the general condition of machinery and equipment and projected operating performance of the refinery.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Supply and Distribution
    Assisted in a dispute concerning 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
  • Refinery Valuation and Due Diligence
    Prepared an analysis of refining and marketing assets for a company that was considering acquisition of shares of a refining and marketing business located in South Korea. The analysis included refining and marketing economics, and due diligence of the facilities.
    Pricing
  • Refinery and Expansion Project Valuation
    Assisted a refinery owner in establishing a value for an existing refinery, the value of a large expansion project, and the additional value resulting from a guarantee clause associated with the expansion project.  The analysis included cash flow modeling, comparative sales assessments, and an evaluation of expansion project capital requirements and economics.
    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
  • Technology Assessment
    Working for potential investors, reviewed plans for a grassroots lube oil re-refining facility, and advised our client regarding technology and commercial risks.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Business Interruption
    Prepared detailed analyses of property damage, business interruption, and demurrage claims resulting from a vessel allision with a refinery dock.  
    Business Interruption, Property Damage, Waterborne/Marine
  • 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
  • Refinery Valuation Study
    Provided an opinion as to the fair market value of a large European refinery that changed ownership during the 1980s.  Party filed arbitration proceedings against its former partner, claiming that the refinery was sold for well below market value.  Prepared several reports that were submitted as evidence.
    Arbitration, Pricing
  • Power Project
    Supported lenders in mezzanine financing for construction of a cogeneration plant in Western Siberia.  Advised as to the collateral value of certain equipment ordered for the project and evaluated the technical capabilities of the company to manage the project under long-term project financing.
    EPC-related
  • 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
  • Refinery Acquisition Study
    Provided assessment of refinery technical and economic features for prospective buyer, including on-site inspection and projections of potential capital investments for refinery upgrades.
    Pricing
  • Power Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided advice on a construction dispute between owner and contractor regarding a project to upgrade and modify a power plant in the Caribbean, which had alleged defects related to the boiler heat recovery section, the desalination plant, seawater cooling piping, and instrumentation.
    EPC-related
  • Root Cause Analysis
    Conducted a Root Cause Failure Analysis on a high pressure steam turbine that failed following a planned outage at a cogeneration power plant. Evaluated outage work procedures, actual outage work undertaken, start-up monitoring results, and post-failure turbine inspection results on turbine disassembly.
    Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Piping Subcontractor Claim Evaluation
    Evaluated claims for additional quantities of materials needed, due to owner caused delay and disruption on a specialty chemical plant project.  
    EPC-related
  • Refinery Restart Due Diligence
    Performed a site inspection and advised potential investor regarding the technical and commercial viability of restarting a refinery that had been shut down for several years.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
  • Reciprocating Compressor Accident
    Reviewed details of non-fatal accident involving a restart of skid-mounted gas compression machinery at a producing well. Upon investigation of the facts, prepared report detailing the proximate cause of the incident.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Technical Review
    Performed technical review of chlor-alkali and calcium chloride processes and project plan on behalf of prospective lender. Reviewed the process design packages for the chlor-alkali and calcium chloride production facilities and provided opinions regarding the selected processes and their technical compatibility. Reviewed the project schedule and cost estimate for the facilities and provided input to the prospective lender regarding the appropriate level of contingency. Evaluated the contracting strategy and project execution plan and provided opinions.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • 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
  • Petroleum Refinery Dispute
    Provided overview of turnaround practices and industry standards utilized in the United States and Europe.  Evaluated decisions and practices utilized at the subject refinery to determine if those decisions were in compliance with standard practices and whether a decision to optimize the turnaround execution date was a factor in a plant incident.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Refinery Valuation Dispute
    Assisted in a dispute between minority shareholders and company management concerning claims that certain refinery assets were improperly valued when the group's ownership interests were purchased by the company's management.  Prepared a detailed valuation of the refinery assets in question and showed how their location, processing capability, and access to feedstocks contributed to their value relative to the competition.  Prepared an expert report and testified in Federal Court.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Refinery Business Interruption
    Determined the economic damages suffered by a refiner as a result of multiple incidents which eventually led to reduced feed to the refinery.  Project required the analysis of all refining units, including their actual and planned operations and maintenance.  Alternative utilizations of feedstock and supply of products were also investigated.
    Business Interruption
  • Pressure Vessel Failure
    Investigated the cause of a hydrocarbon release resulting from the brittle fracture of a pressure vessel during start-up at a petrochemical plant. Incident involved multiple injuries and deaths and extensive property damage. Issues studied include ethylene plant design, operating practices and procedures, start-up operations, instrumentation, and safety training.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Polyolefins Plant Explosion
    Assisted attorneys and company in preparation for litigation and negotiation with government agencies while investigating the cause of an explosion which caused the death of over 20 people. Assisted risk management in preparing and negotiating property damage and business interruption claims in excess of $1.3 billion.
    Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Property Damage, Safety
  • Refinery Fair Market Value Dispute
    On behalf of one of the interested parties in a bankrupt oil refinery, conducted a technical and economic evaluation of the facility to determine if the plant was economically viable and had value as a "going concern."  Study was submitted into evidence before an international arbitration tribunal established to determine the ultimate disposition of the facility.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Refinery Feasibility Study
    On behalf of a financial institution considering the financing of a "grassroots" refinery project, prepared a detailed feasibility study for the refinery.  The proposed facility was to be based outside of Phoenix, Arizona, where it was to serve the fast growing Phoenix/Tucson area with new "clean burning" fuels.  Analyzed regional product markets, existing and potential competition, alternate crude oil sources and availability, optimum refinery configuration, and by-product disposition.  Attended meetings with potential crude suppliers and product customers.  Feasibility study was also used in negotiations with equity participants.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Construction Dispute
    Engaged to assess claims that poor EPC performance resulted in significant cost increases and schedule delays in the construction of a residue catalytic cracking unit.  Case centered around whether the prime contractor had fulfilled all of its obligations under the sub-contract and had taken all agreed steps to contain identified potential cost overruns and other factors impacting the schedule.  Prepared an expert report on the project and provided evidence at the hearing.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Reactivation and Upgrading
    Worked on behalf of a major investment banking group to evaluate the plans of an independent refiner to upgrade and reactivate its 200,000 barrels per day refinery.  Conducted "due diligence" on the company's plans and specifications, evaluated likely economics, and assessed competitive forces in the marketplace.  Upon closing of the financial transaction, monitored the construction progress, schedule, and budget over a period of four years.  Reviewed all invoices for labor and materials and approved draw down of construction funds in accordance with the contractual agreements.
    EPC-related, Project Feasibility
  • Polypropylene Manufacturing Facility
    Provided a cash flow valuation of a polypropylene complex in support of an ad valorem tax matter. The valuation included analysis of recent historical operations, review of the markets for feedstocks and products, development of operating costs, and analysis of industry trends.
    Ad Valorem Taxes, Pricing
  • 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
  • Valuation of Refineries
    Performed valuation of three Russian mini refineries located in Western Siberia.  Work involved market analysis for crude oil and products, logistics infrastructure, refinery configuration and yield, and construction costs.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Polybutylene Pipe Litigation
    Assisted municipal water districts in asserting claims for tens of millions of dollars in damages resulting from defective polybutylene pipe.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated research and development records, reviewed state-of-the-art issues, and provided expert testimony.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Product Quality
  • Polypropylene Manufacturing
    Assisted in a dispute concerning insurance claims for property damage and business interruption in connection with a reactor incident during construction of a production facility.  
    Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Property Damage
  • Refinery Construction Dispute
    Assisted law firm representing Russian refiner in dispute with U.S. engineering firm that provided a refinery for a location in Russia.  Ascertained construction status of units and reviewed issues in dispute regarding design basis, scope of work, and costs for a modular refinery constructed in the U.S.
    EPC-related, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Process Plant Leasehold Settlements
    Assessed the market value of residual operating interests held by a major financial entity in several leased chemical processing facilities. Each engagement included an ongoing advisory role pursuant to successful negotiations for sale of the institution's ownership interests.
    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
  • Coal Gasification Plant Accident
    Provided assistance to a mechanical contractor for a root-cause investigation of a fatal accident at a coal gasification plant.
    Gasification, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Arbitration - Refinery Valuation
    In support of a valuation dispute, developed an economic model to assess the value of a fuels refinery.  Submitted an expert report and provided testimony.
    Arbitration, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Gas Plant Explosion & Subsequent Insurance Claims
    Assisted resolution of claims between insurance company and Owners/Operators related to a gas plant explosion.  Reviewed property damage and business interruption claims for accuracy and veracity.
    Business Interruption, Pipeline, Property Damage
  • 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
  • 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
  • Asphalt Refinery Valuation
    Concerning an owner's capability and obligation to pay a prior arbitration award, determined a retrospective fair market value of an asphalt refinery and provided testimony regarding the estimated value of the refinery assets.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
  • Project Cost Overrun Dispute
    For a large sour condensate stripper facility, evaluated a significant project cost increase over the original estimate, taking into account work scope changes, market escalation, the accuracy of the original estimate, and the impact of project delays.  An assessment was made of the reasonableness in each category and the likelihood of success with respect to cost recovery via litigation proceedings from a technical standpoint.  The project was designed and constructed during a period of rapidly escalating labor and material costs.
    EPC-related
  • Gas Processing Metallurgy Replacement
    Evaluated the reasonableness of a large project’s cost to replace the piping with a different metallurgy for a high-pressure, high-temperature sour gas reinjection facility in Central Asia.  Also opined on the industry knowledge of the proper metallurgy at the time of construction of the original facility.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Fall Protection Evaluation
    Investigated circumstances concerning the injury to a person who fell from a loading dock.  Provided opinions regarding general safety requirements, industry practices, and fall protection requirements for this type of activity.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related
  • Review Project Development Costs
    Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
    EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
    Using chemical engineering expertise, process design background, and experience in operations and manufacturing, provided an opinion on the likelihood of another firm’s ability to produce the same pharmaceutical chemical with comparable quality and value as the original product without utilizing trade secrets learned from the intellectual property owner.
    Intellectual Property, Product Quality
  • Gasoline Pricing Dispute
    Analyzed gasoline price anomalies that developed after a major hurricane made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Provided technical support for the use of Gulf Coast spot market pricing as the basis for gasoline sales contracts.
    Pricing
  • Crane Accident Claim Analysis
    Analyzed business interruption and property damage insurance claim by a refinery operator resulting from a crane accident. This included analysis of the cost to repair the physical damage from the accident, the impact to schedule and cost of a process unit turnaround that was in progress at the time of the accident, and valuation of lost production due to the accident.
    Business Interruption, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Gas Plant Emergency Shutdown Design Analysis
    To determine whether a system complied with key requirements, reviewed design of cryogenic gas plant emergency shutdown system in connection with a fire event to assess conformance with API RP 521 (Guide for Pressure Relieving and Depressuring Systems).  Provided affidavit of merit pursuant to Texas Civil Practice Section 150.002.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Lost Profits Claim
    Developed an opinion of reasonable lost profits, in excess of $100 million, resulting from a crude oil supply force majeure and refinery downtime after a fire. Reviewed testimony and refinery linear program files.
    Business Interruption
  • 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.
  • Natural Gas Gathering Disputes
    Provided expert report regarding claims involving natural gas measurement, prudent operations, natural gas pricing, surface estate issues, reasonable accommodations, and environmental considerations.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • 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
  • Failure Analysis of Pressure Washer
    Evaluated the cause of a failed hot water pressure washer used during a road construction project.
  • Oil Field Pipe Dispute-Insurance Claim
    Reviewed a claim involving an insurance dispute relating to proper preservation of drilling pipe in a storage yard following a hurricane.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • 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
  • 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
  • Refinery Contractor Indemnification Dispute
    Provided expert opinion concerning an indemnification dispute between a refiner and contractor, as well as the standard of care and practice in the industry concerning the design and construction of a piping relief system.  Also opined on the refinery owner’s responsibilities concerning the acceptance and maintenance of completed piping systems.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Gas Producer Contractual Dispute
    Provided expert report and testified in federal bankruptcy court concerning disposal costs of produced salt water, reasonableness of a farm-out joint venture agreement, costs of capital, and salvage value of production equipment.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Refinery Explosion, Subrogation of Insurance Claim
    Assisted in a dispute concerning a rebuild estimate, which was the subject of subrogation, for an oil refinery process plant damaged by an explosion.  
    Property Damage
  • 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
  • Preliminary Refinery Value Assessment
    Established a preliminary valuation assessment of a refinery for a local taxation district. Assessment was used in initial discussions with the taxpayer.
    Ad Valorem Taxes
  • Wellhead Value - Natural Gas
    Provided opinion with respect to effect of capital recovery of production facility costs on wellhead value of natural gas.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pricing
  • Petroleum Terminal Valuation
    Updated valuation of petroleum terminal and trans-mix processing facility completed previously in order to reflect changes in the business environment, and to reflect specific transaction scenarios designated by the client. 
    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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Review Insurance Claim
    Reviewed an insurance claim for refinery "opportunity loss" resulting from a dock closure because of an oil spill.
    Business Interruption
  • Dust Explosion Capability Testing
    Provided assistance in testing of explosiveness of resin dust during the operation of hand tools in a confined space.  Dust test results were videotaped and used for litigation support.
    Safety
  • 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
  • Dispute Support - Groundwater Contamination
    Provided expert witness support regarding a groundwater contamination claim at a closed refinery. Provided opinions regarding the standards of care and operation of the former refinery. Prepared a written expert report.
    Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Petroleum Refinery Due Diligence
    Prepared a due diligence report on a full conversion refinery, including a review of regional crude oil supply and regional products markets.  Reviewed refinery operations, including high level assessments of refinery safety and environmental performance.  Developed economic model of refinery and estimated market value.
    Pricing
  • Review Project Development Costs
    Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
    EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
  • Tube Sheet, Flare Tip Matter
    Investigated the cause of tubesheet and flare tip damage related to an unplanned sudden shutdown of the facility.  Evaluated whether damage was caused by the shutdown, long-term wear, or contractor error during installation.  Provided expert support through mediation and settlement efforts.  
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Biodiesel Plant Construction Dispute
    Evaluated engineering and construction practices in a dispute between an owner and EPC contractor due to cost overruns.  Issues included engineering and project management practices which required rework, and construction practices which created safety and operability issues.  Cost estimates were prepared for correcting the deficiencies.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Gas Compressor Incident Dispute
    Provided expert opinions concerning a gas compressor failure insurance claim related to:  (1) evaluating the gas processing facilities' maintenance and standard of care practices compared to industry standards; and (2) reviewing the operating practices and programs utilized at the facility to determine if these practices caused or contributed to the incident and subsequent damage.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Cause and Origin Analysis
    Conducted a cause and origin investigation of a fire at a natural gas combined cycle generation plant.  Investigation included in-plant interviews and review of operational data, as well as metallurgical investigation to determine the probable cause and origin of the fire.
    Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • 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
  • Review Infrastructure Assets
    Assisted client in evaluating infrastructure spending to support ongoing operations and maintenance activities.  Our review evaluated whether  the infrastructure assets were integral to the overall technological complex.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Production Sharing Dispute
    Reviewed amended field development plan with respect to a PSA dispute between government and operator consortium over a proposed multi-billion dollar increase in projected final costs. Prepared expert report, reply report, and provided oral testimony.
    Arbitration, EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Hurricane Damage Insurance Dispute
    Assessed the impact of a hurricane to a refinery and its impact on turnarounds being executed at residue upgrading process units.  Support included investigating failures incurred to a flare and to a heater, their relationship to the hurricane, and subsequent shutdowns of process units.  
    Operations/Maintenance
  • Refinery Risk Assessment
    In support of questions relating to company stock valuation, assessed the technical and commercial risks inherent in several refineries owned by a U.S. refining company.
  • Refinery Valuations
    Prepared annual property values for several major refineries amounting to several billion dollars.  Assisted with discovery, inspected each of the plants, and analyzed refinery operations and profitability.  Assisted in negotiating settlements.  Testified in public hearings before appeals boards.
    Ad Valorem Taxes, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Venture Development
    Performed economic evaluation and developed comprehensive financial models for a West Coast refinery restart and upgrade program.  The engagement included market analysis, evaluation of investment options, and support of project financing efforts.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
    Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
    Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
  • Review of Power Development Projects
    Evaluated the economic value of five interim power projects in various stages of development for an international power project developer.
    Project Feasibility
  • Settlement Hearing
    Testified on a dispute between an independent producer and a processor regarding the fairness of a proposed natural gas processing agreement in the Fort Worth Basin.
    Expert Witness/Testimony
  • 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
  • Supply Contract Dispute
    Assisted in breach of contract claims regarding a helium supply agreement from a large natural gas processing/treating complex.  Analyzed historical operation and performance of processing and extraction facilities, including sources and composition of gas supplies, plant shutdowns, and plant turndown capabilities.  Reviewed plant performance, including operating costs, efficiencies, and operating modes to support defendant's plant operations.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
  • 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
  • Turbine Fire
    Performed review of root cause analysis of the failure of a 125 MW generating steam turbine.
    Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Performance Improvement - Petrochemicals
    Assisted in a global study focused on analyzing the operating performance of steam crackers.  Participated as a member of a multi-disciplined team responsible for: reliability and operations data gathering, analysis, plant personnel interviews, and industry benchmarking of performance.  The study concluded with numerous recommendations to company senior management aimed at improving worldwide plant operational availability.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Upstream Process Equipment: Intellectual Property Infringement
    In support of a dispute between a technology owner and a manufacturer, provided an opinion on the likelihood or not of another firm’s ability to produce the same equipment with comparable features as the original product without utilizing trade secrets learned from the intellectual property owner.
    Intellectual Property
  • Gasification Process: Unauthorized Use of Proprietary Trade Secrets
    In support of a dispute between a technology owner and a start-up company, provided an opinion regarding the extent to which the start-up company may have relied on confidential and proprietary trade secrets, know-how, and other specific process information.  In developing an opinion,  reviewed all pertinent technical information, including experimental results and plant data, design details, and drawings from each party.  Engineering and design experience provided the background needed to understand if proprietary information had been incorporated in a new design.
    Gasification, Intellectual Property
  • Acetic Acid Process: Intellectual Property Infringement
    Using chemical engineering expertise, process design background, and experience in operations and manufacturing, provided an opinion on the likelihood of another firm’s ability to produce the same organic acids with comparable quality and value as the original product without utilizing trade secrets learned from the intellectual property owner.
    Intellectual Property, Product Quality
  • Jet Fuel Supply Contract Dispute
    Assisted a large refining client that was a defendant in a claim related to a force majeure declaration resulting from a hurricane. The dispute centered around a jet fuel supply contract and Baker & O'Brien assessed the supply conditions, transportation and other parameters related to the case.
    Commercial Terms Review
  • Refinery Fire Damage Assessment and Rebuild Costs
    Assisted in a dispute concerning fire damages and estimated rebuild costs at a petroleum refinery, as well as monitored the rebuild project.  
    Property Damage
  • Industrial Gas Contract Evaluation
    Evaluated a contract for supply of nitrogen to petrochemical facilities. Specifically assessed the nitrogen pricing terms and interpretations.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • 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
  • Gas Plant Fire Damage Repair Costs
    Assessed fire-related damages and estimated rebuild cost for a cooling tower at a gas plant.
    Property Damage
  • 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
  • Gas Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided expert advice with respect to standard and customary practices of gas plant design and construction.
    EPC-related
  • 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
  • PET Manufacturer Business Interruption Claim
    Assisted in a dispute concerning a petrochemicals business interruption claim and lawsuit after a declaration of force majeure by the manufacturer.  Reviewed pertinent data provided by defendant's counsel and prepared written reports, affidavits, and deposition regarding the claims.  
    Business Interruption
  • Fuel Contamination Investigation
    Investigated an occurrence of contaminated diesel fuel at a mine facility, as well as the claimed property damage and business interruption claims.  Assessed the root cause of the fuel contamination and prepared a presentation of our findings.  
    Product Quality
  • Dock Collision Business Interruption Claim
    Assisted in a dispute concerning a refinery business interruption claim and lawsuit after a marine vessel allision with a 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
    Following a plant incident caused by the ingress of water, we investigated upstream pipeline activities and operating records to determine the root cause of the incident.  
    Pipeline, Safety
  • Alaska Refinery Evaluation
    Assisted our client in evaluating the profitability of one of the refineries in Alaska. The evaluation provided inputs that were instrumental to the client in its ongoing discussions with a refiner regarding a long-term crude oil supply contract.
    Commercial Terms Review
  • Terminal Hurricane Damage Repair and Claim
    Assisted in a dispute concerning a rebuild estimate for a terminal damaged by a hurricane.  
    Property Damage
  • Heat Exchanger Failure Investigation
    Investigated cause and events surrounding the rupture of process precooler involving one fatality. Assisted outside counsel by evaluating plant maintenance, safety and operator training procedures compared to industry accepted practices, as well as developing an understanding of probable circumstances that led to the event.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • 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
  • Engineering & Construction - Liquidated Damages Dispute
    Reviewed claim relating to assessment of liquidated damages and inadequate delivery of Operating Manuals.
    Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related
  • 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 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
  • Hot Fuel Class Action Claim
    Provided expert witness testimony and litigation support in a class action lawsuit claiming that sales of retail gasoline should be temperature corrected at the pump. Evaluated seasonal gasoline property variability, among other key factors.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Product Quality
  • 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
  • MTBE Litigation - East Coast
    Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the New York Long Island area over the period 1980 to 2006 and submitted expert report.
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • 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.
  • MTBE Litigation - West Coast
    Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the Los Angeles basin over the period 1980 to 2006. Expert report submitted and deposition taken, however case settled prior to trial.
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Sulfuric Acid Plant Fire Investigation
    Investigated cause for sulfuric acid plant fire. Reviewed plant operating conditions prior to the fire and the unit design to identify the cause and potential contributing causes to the fire and subsequent explosions.
    Safety
  • 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 adjacent manufacturing facilities.  
    OSHA-related, Waterborne/Marine
  • Refinery Valuation and Synergy Analysis
    On behalf of two international refining companies, investigated and estimated the potential value of synergies that might be realized upon the combination of the two refineries. Provided indication of value capture, based on criteria provided by companies.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Coker Incident and Design Assessment
    Reviewed project management procedures and facilities design of an oil refinery project after a subsequent structural failure.  Provided written report and oral deposition regarding design responsibility and failure liability.  
    EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ethanol Contract Dispute
    Assisted in a dispute between gasoline marketing firm and an ethanol producer in arbitration over a long -term ethanol supply contract from a new production facility.  Testified in arbitration regarding the development of the contract pricing formula, how it was to be applied, and the shortcomings associated with it. 
    Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • MTBE Litigation and Expert Report
    Provided expert report on behalf of a joint defense group of gasoline marketing companies that discussed the many issues concerning why MTBE was chosen over ethanol to meet the federal gasoline 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.
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony, Product Quality
  • Air Compressor Incident Investigation
    Provided independent assessment of an accident that occurred at a container manufacturing facility involving an air compressor and high pressure piping. Efforts included reviewing the compressor operators' work practices and potential causes of the incident.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Power Transmission Fire Investigation
    Investigated the cause of major fire that resulted in a fatality.  
    Safety
  • 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
  • Heat Exchanger Failure Investigation
    Investigated circumstances concerning a heat exchanger failure that resulted in a fire and explosion, fatally injuring several employees. Investigation included evaluating relevant operating records and comparing these with design specifications to evaluate whether exchanger was operated, inspected and maintained in accordance within design parameters and industry practices. Prepared expert report.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Refinery Valuation Dispute and Arbitration
    Developed an opinion of the value of a joint venture company that owned and operated a large petroleum refinery in Eastern Europe. Evaluated the refinery's financial performance, capabilities and competitive position, as well as other valuation metrics, such as replacement cost and comparable refinery transactions. Provided testimony at international arbitration.
    Arbitration, Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Refinery Valuation: Ad Valorem Tax Support
    Developed income and cost indications of value for a refinery in an ad valorem tax dispute. 
  • Tank Truck Fatality Incident
    Provided inspection of truck tank and tank cleaning facilities related to a fatality accident. Investigation including collecting samples of tanker contents for further testing.
    Safety
  • 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
  • Methanol Contract Dispute
    Provided an expert opinion on several aspects related to a methanol supply contract dispute.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
  • Refinery Risk Assessment
    Assessed the technical and commercial risks inherent in each of several refineries owned by a U.S. refining company.
  • Refinery Business Interruption Assessment
    Estimated the lost profit (business interruption claim) stemming from a contractor incident which caused an extended refinery outage.
    Business Interruption
  • Hydrogen Sulfide Incident Investigation
    Following a fatality caused by exposure to hydrogen sulfide at a crude oil storage tank with a known sour gas atmosphere, investigated the causes for the incident and the operating and maintenance practices (standard of care) with respect to: supervision, training, and use of personal protective equipment.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Confined Space Incident and Dispute
    Provided support in a wrongful death dispute regarding a confined workspace incident.  The incident involved nitrogen asphyxiation where two maintenance contractors died.  Investigated the cause and origin of the incident, including work procedures and practices. 
    Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Piping Purchase Dispute
    Reviewed purchase order documentation for piping material and provided opinion on whether the material met the engineering specification and requirements.
  • Refinery Repair Costs Dispute
    Provided expert assistance and a written report for a dispute concerning reasonable contractor repair costs for an oil refinery unit after it had been damaged by fire.
    EPC-related, 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
  • 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
  • Contractor Tripping Incident
    Investigated circumstances concerning the personal injury of a contract employee. Provided opinions regarding general safety requirements, industry practices, contractor training and safety expertise and utilizing contractors for the activity being performed.
    Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Storage Tank Spill Incident
    Developed an expert witness report associated with a spill from a sour naphtha storage tank.  Reviewed numerous documents and depositions to develop opinions associated with the event.  Provided expert opinions on the standards of care and operation of a petroleum refinery. 
    Environmental, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Equipment Demolition / Fire Investigation
    Investigated circumstances of a large refinery fire related to a hydrocarbon release from a partially demolitioned open-ended pipe. Developed expert report of findings and provided opinions concerning industry practices and standards of care for the demolition of decommissioned facilities. Provided deposition and arbitration testimony.
    Arbitration, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Valve Failure Investigation: Herbicide Plant
    Investigated the design and operations of a batch reactor process for the manufacture of herbicides in relation to a piping failure.  Equipment material of construction was the focus of the analysis.  
  • Bitumen Valuation Dispute
    Initial meeting with attorneys to provide B&OB background on previous bitumen valuation studies.
  • 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
  • Gas Plant Construction Dispute
    Prepared expert report for AAA arbitration regarding alleged deficiencies by the EPC contractor relating to compliance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice (RAGAGEP) for adherence with OSHA requirements. Multiple issues, including control room safe location, electrical area classification, positive material identification, process hazard analysis, metallurgy selection, and building ventilation design were addressed.
    EPC-related, OSHA-related
  • Fall-Related Injury Investigation
    Investigated circumstances concerning the personal injury of a contract employee who fell inside a flue gas system during a refinery turnaround.  The investigation included evaluation of:  (1) refinery safe work practices compared to industry standards; (2) utilization of fall arrest systems to mitigate the presence of fall hazards; (3) the responsibilities of both operating companies and contractors to recognize and develop plans to mitigate fall hazards; and (4) responsibilities of both parties to execute and communicate turnaround work plans.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Flare Tower Design Review
    Independently reviewed the design of two flare towers for an LNG onshore facility. Commented on the EPCM contractor's responsibilities to review the work product of subcontractors and vendors.
    EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LNG
  • Stainless Steel Braided Hose Failure
    Provided technical expert witness assistance in dispute concerning the failure of a braided stainless steel hose in a medical facility.
  • Wind Turbine Generator Failure Analysis
    Analyzed and provided expert testimony on the frequent failure of doubly-fed electrical generators located at a wind power generation facility. Examined and critiqued: the previous investigations concerning the possible causes, whether possible causes were linked to design, manufacturing or operation; and whether adequate steps had been taken to obviate further failures. Opined on whether the equipment was fit for purpose.
    Operations/Maintenance
  • Storage Tank Foundation Failure
    Following the failure of a storage tank foundation, we reviewed the applicable documentation and prepared an affidavit concerning the standard of care used during its construction.  
  • 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.
  • Owner's Engineer for New Refinery Project
    Reviewed key project assumptions and provided guidance on various aspects of project development, including: transportation infrastructure; refinery design basis; EPC strategy and contract; refined product markets and pricing basis; crude oil sources, quality, and pricing assumptions; project financial model and economics.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Wyoming Refinery Appraisal
    Fair market appraisal of a refinery including connecting crude and products pipelines and storage assets to support debt financing. Project included income valuation with forecast prices, discounted cash flows, and replacement cost estimates for the refinery as well as the pipeline and storage assets.
  • Refinery Valuation for Ad Valorem Taxes
    Developed a cost approach estimate for the valuation of process units at a U.S. Gulf Coast Refinery.  Calculated a replacement cost new for the process units and adjusted for physical depreciation, functional obsolescence, and economic obsolescence to arrive at a physical asset value for the refinery's process units. 
    Ad Valorem Taxes, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Lawsuit Settlement Analysis (Refinery Metrics)
    Provided client with an analysis of key refinery operating data that helped evaluate their liability in an environmental contamination lawsuit. The analysis formed the basis of the client's settlement offer.
  • Hot Tap Incident
    Evaluated and incident involving a "hot tap" on processing pipeline and resultant leak. Assisted refinery owner and outside counsel in action brought against maintenance contractor.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Refinery Acquisition Screening and Valuation
    Provided refinery modeling, valuation and M&A support for a client that was considering a refinery acquisition.
  • Refinery Due Diligence Support
    Provided due diligence support for potential refinery acquisition. Developed cash flow models for valuing the refinery. Developed price forecast used in cash flow model. Evaluated key drivers and their impact on the refinery valuation.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Asbestos Insulation Litigation
    Advised client of typical engineering standards regarding the use of asbestos insulation prior to the early 1970s.
    Toxic Tort
  • 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
  • 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
  • Drilling Incident Investigation
    Following an incident on an oil drilling platform, assisted with the investigation to discern whether relevant practices, e.g., API and others, were followed.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • 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
  • Refinery Fire Insurance Claim
    Assisted in a dispute concerning a rebuild estimate, which was the subject of subrogation, for an oil refinery process plant damaged by fire.  
    Business Interruption, Property Damage
  • Nitrogen Manifold Failure
    Provided litigation support for nitrogen manifold explosion.
    Operations/Maintenance, Safety
  • Contract Company, Bankruptcy Dispute
    Supported client in a contractor bankruptcy case by providing  opinions concerning (1)  industry practices plant operators (owners) take to vet industrial contractors for consideration to perform work at their site; (2)  impact to operations following the suspension of work by a contractor during turnaround without prior notice; and (3) efforts owners may take to mitigate the impact of work suspension.  Developed expert report and provided deposition testimony. 
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Operations/Maintenance
  • Refinery Business Interruption Assessment
    Assisted in a dispute concerning factors which may have contributed to an explosion and prepared an estimate of lost profits stemming from the resultant loss incident.  
    Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Property Damage
  • Propane Pricing Analysis
    Evaluated the historical development of propane prices in a key North American market, and developed a report that assessed propane supply-demand dynamics and price response, given the increasing availability of supply.  Evaluated the evolution of company price postings and compared independently-assessed, third party prices to these postings.  Provided opinions on the best propane price reference points to be used in commercial supply contracts. 
    Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • Refinery Fire Claim
    Provided litigation support for a valve supplier with regards to an insurance subrogation claim associated with a refinery fire.  Determined extent of damage, cost and time to repair, and estimated business interruption if refinery facility had been designed per normal industry standard.
    Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Property Damage
  • 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
  • Tank Collapse Assessment
    Assessed contractor work practices associated with the collapse of  a storage tank that occurred during cleaning operations.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage, Safety
  • Logistics services company assessment
    Provided an independent financial and commercial assessment of a logistics services company that our client was considering purchasing.
  • Ethanol Plant Freeze Claim
    Reviewed an insurance claim associated with an idled ethanol manufacturing facility being re-started.  Purpose was to assess items listed in the claim to determine if damages were caused directly by a winter freeze or due to some other failure mechanism such as improper mothballing techniques or normal degradation of a once-operating facility.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Faulty Equipment Claim
    Assisted refinery operator with an insurance claim concerning the delivery and operations of a faulty air cooler.  Reviewed documentation and supported client to determine roles and responsibilities of the equipment supplier to design, fabricate and deliver equipment free from manufacturing defects.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Refinery Equipment Valuation
    Determined the estimated market value of idle refinery equipment that was designated as loan collateral.  Prepared a report valuing the equipment under different sales scenarios including as an entire refinery, by individual process units, by individual equipment item and as scrap value.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Refinery Turnaround Dispute Arbitration
    Investigated the cause/origin of a leak that developed on a process unit after a turnaround, leading to an extended shutdown.  Evaluated various damage models used to estimate the value of loss of use of the process unit and the reduced operation of the refinery.  Submitted an expert report on the leak liability issues and the estimated value of loss of use of the process unit and its effects on refinery operations.  
    Arbitration, Business Interruption, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Refinery Due Dilgence Assessment
    Provided an initial assessment of a Gulf Coast refinery for possible acquisition by the client.  Provided estimated refinery yields and profitability.
  • Gasoline Supply Analysis
    Prepared several regional maps showing sources of gasoline supply to various states including refineries, pipelines and waterborne routes.
    Pipeline
  • Debutanizer Tower, H2S Incident
    Developed an expert witness report associated with an incident concerning an H2S release during the scheduled turnaround activities involving a debutanizer tower. 
  • Refinery Economic Losses Due to Fire
    Prepared an assessment to quantify the economic damages resulting from a refinery fire that caused damage to equipment and a lengthy shutdown of a refinery distillation and conversion train.  Prepared a detailed report that documented both business interruption losses and repair costs for damaged equipment.  Provided testimony in deposition and district bench trial.
    Business Interruption, Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Property Damage
  • Power Plant Cooling Tower Operation
    Assisted in a dispute concerning whether or not the alleged excessive vibration observed in an operational cooling tower was outside the limits of operational integrity called for in the operating insurance policy. 
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Post-incident Equipment Preservation Review
    Assisted client by assessing preservation techniques and "mothballing" efforts following the catastrophic failure of a vessel at a specialty products company. Incident resulted in an insurance claim for damaged equipment and idled equipment in the vicinity of the vessel failure.  Efforts included assessing preservation techniques utilized at the plant compared to industry practices, developing an expert report, and providing expert testimony. 
    Operations/Maintenance
  • Paper Mill Safety Incident
    Assisted attorneys by investigating the circumstances concerning an incident that occurred at a paper plant during a scheduled turnaround that resulted in a fatality. Issues studied included assessing work practices and safety procedures utilized to prepare equipment for turnaround activities, including vessel entry and paper mill plant design. 
    Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Flash Fire Investigation
    Investigated circumstances concerning a flash fire that occurred during vessel entry and cleaning operations.  The investigation included the:  (1) assessment of refinery safe work practices  compared to industry standards and government regulations; (2) utilization of vessel entry and confined space safety practices to mitigate ignition hazards; and (3) responsibilities of both the operating company and contractor organization to recognize,  develop, and follow safe work plans to prevent potential flash fires from occurring during vessel entry.  Developed and submitted expert report. 
    Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
  • Refinery Due Diligence
    Evaluated the condition of refining assets for a potential acquisition.  Addressed any "fatal flaws" regarding acquisition and start-up of topping refinery.  Provided support for evaluating order-of-magnitude costs estimate required to inspect, repair, staff, and start up the complex. 
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Litigation Support for Asbestos Claim
    Asbestos Litigation---provided expert input and litigation support for trial preparation on refinery/chemical personnel's exposure to asbestos gaskets and equipment insulation materials. 
    Environmental, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety, Toxic Tort
  • 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
  • Refinery Business Interruption Dispute
    Following an unplanned shutdown, caused by extensive equipment damage, evaluated the refinery operation to confirm that all mitigation steps had been taken and also confirm the claimed business interruption losses.
    Business Interruption, Crude Oil Valuation, Forensic Analysis , LP/Planning Practice
  • Gas Plant Mediation Support
    Provided mediation support in relation to a helium supply agreement dispute.  
    EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Power Outage Cause and Origin
    A refinery suffered an unplanned shutdown due to a power outage.  At the time of the incident, the power source was from the grid via a third-party cogeneration station.  Analyzed facilities and procedures to determine which parties: the grid, the cogeneration station, and/or the refinery, contributed to the outage.
    Expert Witness/Testimony
  • Feedstock Supply Dispute
    Reviewed the incidents of feedstock disruption and its effects on production of a basic chemical by a chemical producer in its dispute concerning a long-term feedstock supply contract.  Dispute was settled at an early stage, prior to the preparation of an expert report.
    Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Operations/Maintenance
  • Ethanol Plant Business Interruption Dispute
    Reviewed an insurance claim for an ethanol plant "opportunity loss" due to a power outage resulting from repair work on main electrical feed cables after being damaged by a construction contractor. Reviewed operating expenses and ethanol pricing during the subject period and provided an opinion on the reasonableness of the size of the claim.
    Business Interruption, Pricing
  • Refinery Environmental Review
    Reviewed and reported on potential environmental solid waste issues associated with a large idled refinery in support of a client's bid for the facilities. Performed an on-site inspection of the refinery to identify potential environmental risks.
    Environmental, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Chemical Plant Construction Dispute
    Provided expert report on construction dispute concerning prefabricated module manufacturing quality and cost overrun issues.
    EPC-related
  • LNG Technical Advisor
    Provided technical support regarding the FERC filing process, reviewed FEED study deliverables from contractors, and advised with regard to other contracts in support of the project, including geotechnical issues, noise survey, vapor dispersion, etc.  Also reviewed progression and risks involved in estimates of project CAPEX and OPEX.  
    EPC-related, Project Feasibility
  • Gas Plant Construction Dispute
    Reviewed and testified on behalf of an owner constructing a gas plant in Northern Canada. Owner's claim was against the general mechanical contractor and primarily concerned cost and schedule.  The contract was a reimbursable contract.
    Arbitration, EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • EPC Construction Dispute
    Provided expert support in a construction dispute relating to a natural gas processing plant in North America.  The dispute primarily concerned engineering design issues and whether the installed facilities met contract, specification, and industrial standard requirements.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Fracking Equipment Fire
    Assisted with the Cause and Origin investigation of a fire on a blender used in a fracking operation.   
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • Marine Dock Business Interruption Claim
    Reviewed documents and provided analysis concerning a marine collision with the crude oil unloading dock, which resulted in a business interruption claim for a Gulf Coast refiner.
    Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
  • 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 Acquisition Assessment
    Prepared an initial profitability assessment of two refineries for possible acquisition.  Identified key drivers to profitability and the strengths and weaknesses of each refinery.
  • 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
  • Refinery Business Interruption Claim
    Provided technical support for a business interruption claim associated with a refinery fire.  Evaluated refinery linear program model used to develop the "but for" cases.  Prepared a report with recommended corrections to the linear program model "but for" case output.
    Business Interruption, LP/Planning Practice
  • Business Interruption Claim Analysis
    Reviewed preliminary business interruption calculations related to a ship collision incident at a refinery dock.  Developed a revised business interruption estimate, which resulted in a claim settlement.
    Property Damage, Waterborne/Marine
  • 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
  • Standard of Care During Ethylene Plant Outage
    Reviewed the shutdown and subsequent start-up of an ethylene plant following a utility outage.  Reviewed liquidated damage calculations.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Electrical Supply Disruption
    Following the sudden loss of electrical supply to a chemical plant, which resulted in equipment damage, the chemical plant owner claimed that the electricity supplier was negligent.  In addressing the root cause of the equipment damage, our work assessed the following parameters: (1) the nature of the supply contract; (2) the nature of the outage - whether intentional or inadvertent; (3) the chronology of events following the outage; (4) the designs of the electrical systems in question; and (5) the operational procedures in the event of a power outage and whether they were followed.
    Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Pipeline Pig Station Incident Investigation
    Reviewed information concerning a fire associated with the commissioning of a pipeline station and equipment skid. Purpose was to assess cause and origin for the incident and roles and responsibilities of the operating company and equipment supplier associated with the project. 
    Property Damage
  • 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
  • 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
  • Pulp and Paper Mill Construction Dispute
    Opined on engineering standard of care issues and issued an expert report for use in a dispute between the owner of a pulp and paper mill and an engineering firm as it related to a major turnaround project.
    EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
  • 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
  • Floating Production Platform Dispute
    Reviewed, opined, and prepared expert report regarding the project cost differences experienced during construction of the hull and integration of topsides for a semi-submersible platform, which was placed into service offshore of Brazil.  Our review included a change in the construction site, changes in construction strategy, and changes in the sequence of construction. 
    Arbitration, EPC-related, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore
  • Refinery Acquisition Assessment
    Provided initial due diligence for a potential refinery acquisition. Evaluated refinery profitability and strengths and weaknesses. Developed forecast for future refinery profitability. 
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • 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
  • Refinery Construction Dispute
    Assist client and provide expert consulting support assessing responsibilities of an EPC contractor, as well as project execution and start-up issues associated with the construction and start-up of a grassroots refinery. 
    Arbitration, Business Interruption, EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage
  • Gas Recovery Unit Valuation
    Prepared a fair market valuation assessment of a leased refinery gas recovery process unit located within a refinery.  Visited the site and assessed the overall condition of the asset.  Applied a cost approach to value the asset.  The valuation was used by the client to negotiate a buy-out of the leased process unit.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Natural Gas Measurement Dispute
    Assisted client with a "Discovery Request" regarding measurement of shale-play natural gas from a field meter.   Reviewed accounting records, photos, and meter specifications to determine if consistent with industry standards for measuring natural gas.  
    Commercial Terms Review, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Retail Marketing Contamination Dispute
    A gasoline marketer that had withdrawn from a particular region was being sued for alleged contamination from leaking underground storage tanks at retail marketing locations in that region. We were retained to provide an overview of the gasoline supply chain with an emphasis on the various types of retail operations and to review the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the number of retail outlets that were owned and controlled by that company in the relevant time period.
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
  • Propane Quality Review
    Reviewed claims regarding a propane quality dispute between a supplier at a new terminal and a retail distributor.  Reviewed propane quality test results and bills of lading to compare actual versus reported quality.  We provided technical findings to client and assisted in getting the matter settled.
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
  • 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
  • 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
  • LNG Due Diligence
    Provided technical support to the sponsor of a multi-train liquefaction project.  The scope of work included:  preparation of a technical due diligence report; in-depth review of the Open Book Estimate (OBE), schedule, and project execution plan; assessment of the EPC contractor’s capabilities and experience; high-level review of geotechnical issues; assistance in the development of an Operating and Maintenance (O&M) plan; input into the formation of sponsor’s project management team; and input into the development of owner’s costs, including appropriate levels of cost and schedule contingency.  Provided support to the sponsor with EPC contract negotiations.  
    Environmental, LNG, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Project Feasibility
  • Accident Liability
    Assisted in a personal injury claim following an incident in a petroleum refinery process unit.  Examined refinery conformity with the latest available industry technology, regulations, standards, and practices.  
    Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related, Safety