Baker & O'Brien, Inc.


Service Details

Markets and Strategy

Baker & O'Brien consultants are frequently retained to forecast future markets for hydrocarbons, chemicals, alternate energy sources, or new technologies.  These studies are used by our clients throughout the world in planning for expansion of existing businesses or in seeking out new business opportunities.  We have assessed the potential markets for crude oils, refined petroleum products, ethanol and other bio-fuels, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gases, industrial gases, and process technologies, as well as a wide variety of chemical products.  Clients for such studies have ranged from the world’s largest energy corporations to small entrepreneurial companies seeking to better understand the markets for new or innovative products or technologies.  Our continuous contact with the many diverse segments of the energy industry enables us to stay abreast of developments and trends that may impact our clients’ future goals and objectives.

Issues that we often address during the preparation of market studies include:

  • The future quantitative supply/demand balance for the product or service in question, including analyses of how competitive factors, changing government regulations, and/or different economic assumptions might alter the results;
  • Determination of the basic price setting mechanism in the relevant market and how factors such as increasing demand, more stringent specifications, competing products or services, or climate change legislation might re-set that mechanism;
  • Our clients’ market positioning, including how they compare to their major competitors in terms of cost, technology, and market power.  In such cases, we also assess the ease of market entry, as well as any barriers to entry by new competitors based on feedstock costs, capital investment, or regulatory limitations; and
  • How the cost of feedstocks, product pricing, asset capabilities, and market outlook all combine to determine our clients’ relative strengths or weaknesses, and whether there are options to mitigate any identified weaknesses.

Related Experience

  • Asian Refinery Study
    Assisted client in building PRISM refinery models of several Southeast Asian refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Asphalt Market Study
    Provided a financial institution with an assessment of the market for paving asphalt in California.  Study focused on current and short-term future markets and included the results of interviews with California paving grade asphalt producers, contractors, and buyers.
  • Benzene Production Study
    Studied benzene production economics for inland refiner, including benzene price forecast and transportation cost to USGC.  Reviewed benzene consumers and future market potential.  Estimated the capital cost for benzene production and shipping facilities.
    Pipeline, Pricing, Waterborne/Marine
  • Biodiesel Plant Due Diligence
    Performed a site inspection and advised a potential investor on the commercial and technical risks associated with converting a chemical plant to biodiesel production.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Bitumen Economics/Refinery Reconfiguration
    Using the PRISM refinery simulator, calculated the economics of replacing the current refinery crude slate with Canadian synthetic-bitumen (syn-bit) or condensate-bitumen (dil-bit) blends. Cases were considered with and without capital investments and potential investment costs were also estimated.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Bitumen Processing Study
    Used our proprietary PRISM refinery model to determine the bitumen processing capability of several U.S. refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Product Quality
  • Bitumen Valuation
    Reviewed historical supply and demand of high TAN crude oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries and addressed future trends which would impact a TAN discount.  Estimated a TAN discount using two methodologies:  Market based approach and Return on Capital investment approach.  Calculated the impact on bitumen value as a result of asphaltenes content.  Calculated the value added by a diluent recovery unit in a Canadian Oil Sands upgrader.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Bitumen Valuation Study
    Developed a methodology using a marker crude oil to value bitumen at the production site.  Methodology addressed differences in qualities (sulfur, acid number) and refining yields.  Transportation costs from the valuation hub to the production site were developed.  Blending methodologies were evaluated to develop bitumen blends for comparison to the marker crude oil.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Black Oil Storage
    Provided an assessment of terminal facilities in the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas. Assessed historical and projected crude oil supply and demand for California.
  • 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
  • California Crude Oil Study
    Developed a detailed California crude oil supply, demand, and transportation balance (by refinery) for a mid-size independent California crude oil producer. Results were used in client's annual report for shareholders and security analysts.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
  • Carbon Dioxide Forecast
    Using the PRISM refinery simulator, calculated and compared the carbon dioxide emissions for two processing options: (1) a bitumen upgrader in Canada combined with a refinery in the U.S. versus; (2) an integrated upgrader/refinery at the U.S. location.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Caribbean Refinery Privatization
    Prepared a business plan and presentation brochure for privatization of a refinery on behalf of a group of international investors.  Identified likely partners in the U.S. for marketing of the refinery's production of reformulated gasoline and distillate fuels.  Identified several potential crude oil suppliers and assisted in preliminary negotiations for term crude oil contracts.  Presented project to major European investment banks.
  • Chemical Pipeline Market Study
    On behalf of an acquisitive client, researched, identified, and characterized chemical pipeline operations in the U.S. to form a database of prospective business opportunities.  The engagement included contacting each prospective target to ascertain an initial level of interest in pursuing commercial arrangements with the client.  The study identified several attractive prospects and provided an overall measure of the market dimensions.
  • Clean Fuels Studies
    Assisted industry trade associations and government agencies in evaluating issues related to the transition to new clean fuels specifications in the U.S. Work included modeling of refinery operations to determine the impact of the new specifications on manufacturing costs for ultra-low sulfur gasoline and diesel fuels.
    Product Quality
  • Company Reorganization Study
    Following the bankruptcy of a major Singapore-based shipyard, with significant oil interests throughout Southeast Asia, worked with the company's lenders to restructure and reorganize the company's asset base. Made visits to all major company sites and prepared report outlining current status. Recommended the disposition of non-core assets and the reorganization of core assets into a smaller and less highly leveraged entity. Following acceptance of most of recommendations by creditors' committee, company was able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection.
  • Conceptual Design of Technical Services Department
    Performed a conceptual design of a Technical Services Division for a petroleum refining technology licensing company. The objective was to restructure the company's technology delivery methodology to generate improved gross margins, increase customer satisfaction and retention, and additional products and services. Advised the client on defining the critical aspects of the Technical Services Division and the best approach to designing and implementing the new group structure and function.
    Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil and Refined Products Business Restructuring
    Assessed the viability and financial prospects of a proposed business restructuring designed to eliminate refining operations and develop pipeline supply options. The analysis results facilitated the client's successful efforts to finance and implement the restructuring plan.
  • Crude Oil Evaluation
    Evaluated several processing alternatives and combinations of various refining assets located in the Caribbean and on the U.S. Gulf Coast to process heavy Ecuadorian crude oil production.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Evaluation
    Assisted an independent California crude oil producer in establishing a pricing formula for sale of its heavy oil production under a long-term contract. The analysis included a historical review of relative crude values and the key price drivers affecting the value differences between grades.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Gathering System Evaluation
    On behalf of an independent U.S. refiner, conducted an in-depth study of its crude oil gathering and transportation system.  Our study included  reviews of physical assets and crude oil purchase and transportation agreements, and evaluation of the economics of retention versus disposition.  Our results and conclusions were used by the client in its asset rationalization plans.
    Pipeline, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Import Terminal Feasibility
    Examined the feasibility of a deep water import terminal to meet the domestic refining industry's needs for imported crude oil as West Coast crude production declines. The analysis included a review of the history of imported crude oil for West Coast refineries, the current outlook for domestic production declines, crude oil import trends, shipping logistics, refinery capabilities, and future opportunities for moving crude oils to refining facilities east of the Rocky Mountains.
    Pipeline, Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
  • Crude Oil Market Studies
    Prepared several detailed assessments of West Coast crude oil markets for an independent California producer. Studies included preparation of detailed regional balances, identification of target refineries for client's crude oil, and estimation of its value relative to imported and domestic alternatives. Results were presented to client's executive management and at its banker and security analyst conferences.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Marketing and Trading Reorganization
    Conducted review of crude oil marketing and trading practices of major international oil company operating in Europe. Prepared analysis of the organization, key practices, and operating systems. Recommended changes in structure and practices to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability.
  • Crude Oil Marketing Strategy
    Prepared a marketing strategy for new production in Russia's Sakhalin Island region. The study analyzed potential markets for new production of crude oil, transportation options and costs, and contracting strategies.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Offshore, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Marketing Study
    Assisted the U.S. General Accounting Office in evaluating the potential for marketing of Naval Reserve crude (Elk Hills) in markets east of the Rockies.  Work included evaluation of breakeven refining values, assessment of yield and contaminant penalties, and analysis of the potential for supplying this crude to the Gulf Coast market.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil 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 Supply Evaluation
    On behalf of a major pipeline and terminal company, prepared a detailed assessment of future crude oil supply and demand balances for the U.S. West Coast, with an emphasis on California. The assessment was used by the client as a key part of its justification for a new crude oil import terminal, capable of handling VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers), to be constructed in the Port of Los Angeles. Results were presented to community and state government groups.
    Pipeline, Waterborne/Marine
  • Crude Oil Terminal and Pipeline Study
    Assisted in the site selection study for a new crude oil terminal and a pipeline connecting the terminal to an existing refinery.
    Pipeline, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Utilization Study
    Assisted an Australian crude oil producer in preparing and submitting a "brief" to the Australian Government regarding the impact of large new volumes of Australian crude oil on the domestic refining industry. Analyzed the crude oil supplies available to each refinery and estimated the new investment that might be needed to process crude oils containing increased volumes of light ends. Assisted in making recommendations to the Government on the framing of new regulations to lessen the impact on both the industry and the consumer.
    Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Valuation
    Conducted a valuation for a new grade of Atlantic crude oil production, likely to be marketed to refineries in the U.S. East Coast and U.S. Gulf Coast. The study used PRISM for several specific refineries to calculate refinery breakeven values for the target crude in comparison to several competing grades. The analysis also included a historical review of the calculated relative crude refining values and the key price drivers affecting the value differences between grades.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Crude Oil Supply Study
    Assisted client in constructing a crude oil supply balance for PADD II and developed incremental crude oil valuations for refineries in PADD II using PRISM, Baker & O'Brien's proprietary refining industry analysis tool.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Ethanol Impact on Refinery Margins
    Assessed the impact to U.S. refining margins that would likely result from aggressive growth in ethanol production in the U.S. The study examined the likely distribution of ethanol by PADD under an aggressive ethanol growth scenario, the resulting gasoline supply and demand balances, and the consequent impact on margins over a 10-year period.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Ethanol Supply and Demand Study
    Studied and presented the effects of ethanol supply and demand scenarios on regional gasoline supply and demand for a small domestic refiner.
  • Ethanol Supply Demand Evaluation & Pricing Forecast
    Prepared an evaluation of ethanol manufacturing business for a U.S. company considering major capital investments to enter that business.  Developed an analysis which included ethanol supply/demand projections for key gasoline markets, forecasts of future ethanol pricing within those markets, and key sensitivities.
  • Evaluation of New Crude Production
    Evaluated a new crude oil stream produced by the client from offshore platforms in the West African country of Equatorial New Guinea.  Evaluation included identification of potential markets and the values of this crude oil into these markets.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Offshore, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Fischer Tropsch (FT) Liquids Market Study
    Evaluated potential markets for Fischer Tropsch products, and the logistical requirements to access those markets from a coal-to-liquids facility.  The products included LPG, naphtha, jet fuel, and diesel, and the analysis included expected netback pricing (FOB the plant) to support financial modeling of the capital project.
    Gas to Liquids, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Fischer Tropsch (FT) Market Study
    Conducted a market study for intermediate and finished products resulting from FT synthesis of a gas source in West Africa. The study assessed the best markets and projected netback prices for FT diesel, jet, and naphtha, as well as a review of the marketability of intermediate (unfinished) FT products.
    Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Gasification Project Assessment
    Assisted in the evaluation of a petcoke-to-substitute natural gas facility to support possible equity investment. Assessment included review of technology, commercial issues, and economics.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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 Market Study
    Provided an analysis of the gasoline market in several mid-continent cities, including a twenty-year price forecast for a client considering market entry.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Global Gasification Feedstock Analysis
    Conducted an analysis of the potential low-cost carbon feedstocks for a grassroots gasification project to produce a combination of synthetic fuels and electricity.  The study investigated sources and delivered costs for various feedstocks, including coal, petroleum coke, and low-valued refinery streams such as residuum and cracked fuel oils.  Historical data was used to assess pricing mechanisms for world petroleum coke prices, including delivered coal prices to Japan and Western Europe.
    Gas to Liquids, LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Global Polyethylene Study
    Conducted a global market analysis to determine export market potential for a proposed ethylene/polyethylene complex. The study encompassed development of global supply/demand balances and price forecasts, as well as an analysis of prospective competitors' process economics.
    EPC-related, Pricing
  • 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
  • Grassroots Refinery Study
    Built a grassroots refinery model using our proprietary PRISM refinery modeling system. Our client (a PRISM licensee) then used the model to evaluate the economics of various refinery configurations.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • GTL Diesel Blending Study
    Performed several diesel blending studies in different refinery configurations using PRISM to calculate the Green House Gas benefits of using GTL diesel as a potential blendstock.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality
  • HF Alkylation Restrictions Impact Analysis
    Investigated and analyzed the impact of various potential restrictions on the use of HF alkylation technology in U.S. Refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • 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
  • Import Terminal Study
    On behalf of four major oil companies, provided a screening study focused on the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles to determine the future adequacy of the overall port infrastructure and facilities.
  • Independent Power Production
    Assisted in the development proposals for two independent power projects in southeastern Japan. One facility, which was successfully implemented, involved a $180 million investment for a petroleum coke-fired 130 megawatt condensing turbine generator. Assisted in the creation of a sophisticated linear program model, which was used to justify the project, based on cash flows and probable rates of return.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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.
  • 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 Underpayment Claim
    Assessed jet fuel supply contracts to see if an overpayment claim was justified.
    Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
  • Litigation - MTBE
    Assisted in defense of oil companies charged with supplying gasoline containing the additive MTBE, which was alleged to have contaminated water supplies. Baker & O'Brien was involved in reviewing and analyzing refinery supply, pipeline distribution, and retail marketing of gasoline in the area subject to the dispute.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Toxic Tort
  • Litigation - MTBE
    Prepared expert testimony on the issue that MTBE use in reformulated gasoline (RFG) was the result of a federal mandate to use oxygenates in RFG. The legal result was to consolidate several state MTBE cases into federal court. Several other studies performed, including the ability to use other oxygenates and the costs of ethanol logistics.
    Expert Witness/Testimony, Toxic Tort
  • Long-term Outlook - Global Refining and Light/Sweet Crude
    Completed a study that examined longer-term developments of the worldwide refining industry and strategies for maximizing the sales value of light, sweet crude grades.  The study identified and evaluated a long-term pricing strategy for light/sweet crude oil as a response to expected changes in crude oil quality, environmental legislation and mandates, and regional growth trends in petroleum demand.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Lube Oil Market Assessment
    Conducted a survey of the potential market for naphthenic lubricating oils in South and Central America. Analysis was used to complete a full feasibility study of a new Venezuelan-based refinery to manufacture these products.
    Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Lube Oil Market Study
    On behalf of a major oil company, prepared a forecast of the worldwide supply/demand balance for paraffinic lube oil base stocks to support the development of a new high technology manufacturing facility to be located in Saudi Arabia. Project was a joint venture between the company and the Saudi Arabian government. Output from the project was intended to serve the high growth areas of the Middle East and Far East.
    Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • Marketing Effort for Ecuadorian Crude
    On behalf of a major international oil trading company, developed ongoing valuations for Ecuadorian Oriente crude oil in the US West Coast and Gulf Coast markets. Client used the results to achieve maximum values for the Oriente crude that it marketed under a long-term contract.
    Crude Oil Valuation, 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.
  • Multi-Refinery Synergies
    Analyzed the synergies and economic advantages of companies that operate multiple refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Analysis included advantages in crude acquisition; turnaround and routine maintenance; feedstock and product transportation; efficient processing of intermediate streams; and optimal capital investment.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Natural Gas Asset Strategic Initiative
    Prepared job descriptions and qualifications as part of a new organizational strategy of a fully integrated natural gas division.
    Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • 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
  • Oil Sands Downstream Integration Venture
    Assisted a producer of Canadian oil sands in assessing potential joint venture partners and refinery acquisition targets for processing diluted bitumen in the U.S.  Conducted modeling and analysis of prospective refineries and advised the client on likely capital expenditures required for processing increasing volumes of diluted bitumen.  Performed technical due diligence, assisted with cash flow valuation analysis, and supported negotiations.
  • 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.
  • Refinery Evaluation
    Prepared a study of the economics of various alternative operating modes, including expansion through addition of new processing units, for an independent refinery in the United Arab Emirates. Study included assessment and ranking of a variety of feedstocks and processing schemes and utilized a model specifically developed for the refinery.
    LP/Planning Practice, Pricing
  • 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.
  • Refinery Manufacturing Options Study
    Prepared an investment strategy to manufacture transportation fuels. Evaluated yields, investment, and operating economics to produce gasoline and diesel fuel from residual materials. Presented conclusions for consideration by the company's board of directors.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Evaluation
    Used PRISM, Baker & O'Brien's proprietary refining industry analysis tool, to establish relative refinery profitability for Philadelphia refining system. Developed proposal to install instrumentation upgrades and be paid through a percentage of the improved economic value.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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 Product Distribution Outlook
    On behalf of a large, publicly-traded master limited partnership engaged in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of petroleum, we assessed the five-year outlook for refinery production, liquid storage capacity, and major pipeline flows on the USGC.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • 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.
  • Supply/Demand Forecast
    Constructed PRISM refinery models of all of the Australian refineries for use by a client for its strategic planning efforts.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Technology Commercialization
    Performed due diligence on a new gas-to-liquids (GTL) process to evaluate possible routes to commercialization.  The work program included the following steps: verification of mass balance, comparison of laboratory and pilot plant yields, evaluation of alternative technologies, assessment of scale-up issues, review of preliminary commercial design, estimate of capital costs, and the development of an economic model that included sensitivity analyses for capital costs, yields, and prices.
    Gas to Liquids, Intellectual Property, Project Feasibility
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 Gasification Study
    Identified and ranked refineries as potential candidates for residue gasification projects.  Screened refineries in terms of their crude capacity, crude slate, bottoms products, hydrogen users, and location to neighboring plants.  Also, provided a macro level review of European countries that would potentially have a synergistic benefit from a gasification project.
    Gasification, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Substitute Natural Gas Market Study
    Developed comprehensive market profile of SNG industry and market in North America, including operating and planned facilities, feedstock outlook, project incentives, and environmental issues.
    Environmental, Gasification, Pricing
  • Refinery Acquisition Planning
    On behalf of an acquisitive client, developed a summary of the U.S. refining business to focus on the supply/demand and competitive forces within the market.  Provided information regarding historical U.S. refinery M&A transactions and a summary of typical due diligence focus items.  Screened several potential acquisition candidates and developed a shortlist of opportunities which appeared to best align with the strategic objectives of the client.
  • 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
  • Refinery Feasibility Study
    Studied the possible development of a grassroots refinery that included an assessment of the refinery's potential feedstock, refined product yields, operating costs, and earnings capability.  Utilizing Baker & O'Brien's proprietary PRISM refining industry analysis software and data services, developed a ten-year outlook for refining margins/crack spreads, modeled alternative refinery configurations, and conducted a competitive assessment of the proposed refinery compared to key regional competitors.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • RFS Infrastructure Study
    Prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute (API) that analyzed the potential logistics and infrastructure bottlenecks on a year-by-year basis to 2012 that could result from the industry trying to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Analyzed the relative competitiveness of a group of refineries in a specific region.  The study included an analysis of the local supply and demand balance, and a forecast of product movements into and out of the region.  Using our proprietary PRISM system, modeled each refinery in its current configuration and in its expected configurations eight years in the future.  Profit margins were calculated for each refinery under three different product price scenarios.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • U.S. Refining and Marketing Strategy
    Advised a client on developing strategic options as it relates to future participation in the U.S. refining and marketing sector. Developed scenarios and assessed the medium term outlook for refining and marketing in the U.S. to support client objectives. Prepared short list of potential candidates for acquisition, and developed case studies and recommendations related to post merger integration activities. Advised client on appropriate timing for executing strategic objectives.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Refinery Oil Sands Processing Capability
    Conducted refinery modeling and developed a preliminary assessment of the current and future capabilities of several U.S. refineries for processing diluted bitumen. Prepared initial screening estimates of likely "Phase 1" capital projects for significantly increasing the capability to process blended bitumen. Conducted analysis of likely future competitiveness of same refineries in the regions of operation.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Product Delivered Cost Data
    Assisted a client with the historical analysis of refined product supply patterns and costs in the U.S., with a particular emphasis on delivered cost of supply for transportation fuels. Provided five years of delivered product volume and cost data (by calendar quarter), for all major gasoline and distillate grades, for 85 U.S. markets, as produced and transported from over 130 fuels refineries.
  • Refining Strategic Analysis
    Using PRISM, performed a competitor analysis of over 20 refineries that potentially competed with client refinery. Developed refinery cost curves under multiple crude oil and product price scenarios and identified key characteristics of those refineries which operated at the low end of the cost curve.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Refinery Operations Snapshot
    Provided client with an estimate of actual crude runs by grade, product yields, and operating costs for a European refinery in 2007 based on our proprietary PRISM refinery database and simulator.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • U.S. Midcontinent Crude Valuation
    Evaluated crude oil refining values and logistics for several targeted refineries in the U.S. midcontinent area.  Evaluated expected price parity points for domestic crude oils versus competing grades delivered to the refineries via pipeline.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pipeline, Pricing, Product Quality
  • TEL vs. MMT Blending Study
    On behalf of a chemical supplier, reviewed the use of tetraethyl lead (TEL) as an octane enhancing gasoline additive in a Middle Eastern country from 2000 to 2006 compared to using methyl cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT).
  • 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
  • TEL Usage in Southeast Asia
    On behalf of a chemical supplier, reviewed the use of tetraethyl lead (TEL) as a gasoline additive in a Southeast Asian country from 1999 to 2005 compared to the technical requirement based on the quality of the country's base gasoline and the required octane target.
  • Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Prepared a competitive positioning analysis for a Midwest Refinery that incorporates the impacts of the proposed Cap and Trade legislation in Congress. Addressed the potential financial impacts of Cap and Trade on the refining industry in PADDs 2 and 3.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Environmental, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • U.S. Refinery Competitiveness Assessment
    Assessed the expected future competitiveness of U.S. refineries in PADDs 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Developed a base scenario and price outlook to evaluate future relative cash margin performance for over 90 refineries considering large expansion projects.  Examined effects of key sensitivities, such as light/heavy crude oil price spreads, effects of carbon regulation, and the price differential between gasoline and diesel.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Environmental, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Integration Analysis
    Using PRISM, investigated and analyzed the potential value that two refiners might capture through the consolidation of operations of two neighboring refineries.  The analysis was performed under multiple price scenarios.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • West Coast Refining Strategy
    On behalf of a West Coast refining company, we estimated the cash margin of all PADD 5 refineries under four different price scenarios.  These competitive margin assessments were presented for 2015, 2020, and 2025 and accounted for the cost of compliance with CO2 regulations and other environmental regulations that were applicable to each scenario.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refining Industry Overview
    Provided guidance as to opportunities within the U.S. petroleum fuels market for blending isobutanol. Developed a list of target refineries for blending of isobutanol into gasoline. Provided isobutanol gasoline blend valuations versus ethanol for several Midwest refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • U.S. Gasoline Study
    Performed an independent analysis to determine the potential supply and cost impacts of a new National Clean Gasoline Standard that would significantly lower the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) and sulfur allowed in gasoline. A refinery-by-refinery analysis was performed that considered each refinery's compliance options accounting for technical, strategic, market, and economic factors, and then estimated a likely response based on this information.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Ultrafines Study
    Provided an analysis of the economic impact of the presence of ultrafines in a Canadian mined bitumen upgrader operation.  Quantified the capital and operating cost mitigation steps required by a mined bitumen upgrader operation to address the impacts associated with ultrafine solids present in the mined bitumen.  Prepared a written report and presented results.
    Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • U.S. Gulf Coast Isobutanol Study
    Evaluated the gasoline blending economics for isobutanol versus ethanol for a U.S. Gulf Coast refinery. Calculated the value difference between isobutanol and ethanol in a low vapor pressure conventional gasoline.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Integration Study
    Undertook a comprehensive study of the local Venezuelan refining industry to identify potential areas of synergy between individual refineries and the possibility of closer cooperation to maximize overall industry profitability.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Feasibility
    On behalf of a major Indian industrial organization, prepared a feasibility assessment for a world-scale "grassroots" refinery on the western coast of India.  The refinery started up in 1999.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Propylene Production
    Studied the feasibility of reconstruction and expansion of a catalytic dehydrogenation plant at a large Gulf Coast refinery for the production of propylene from propane. The study included evaluation of the current technology, development of costs for reconstruction and expansion, estimation of operating costs, and assessments of regional markets for propylene.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Crude Oil Supply
    Identified and evaluated feedstocks for a proposed new refinery in eastern Russia. Assessment included contacting potential suppliers and shippers.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Utility Feedstock Contract Evaluation
    On behalf of a regional utility in central Alaska, evaluated newly proposed long-term feedstock contracts linked to prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   The proposed price adjustments were based on quality variations from the fuel specifications.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Petroleum Products Terminal Expansion
    On behalf of a worldwide independent storage group, undertook a marketing study to support the expansion of an existing petroleum products and chemical storage terminal. Study addressed the potential growth in Southeast Asian products trade, the demand outlook for independent storage, and likely future terminal rates. Expansion proceeded to successful completion based on study results.
  • Petroleum Products Market Study
    Based on visits to major markets in the Southwest Pacific area, estimated the future market demand for petroleum products, including residual fuel and asphalt. Also estimated the potential margins that could be obtained through supplying these small market areas versus larger volume customers. Study was used by a major international oil trading company to establish a long-term strategy for greater market penetration in this fast-growing, high-margin area.
  • Refinery Feasibility Study
    Directed a feasibility study into a joint venture "grassroots" export refinery in the People's Republic of China. Advised the Western partner during several "rounds" of negotiation with the Chinese partner over a period of two years. Prepared estimates of anticipated rates-of-return for both parties under different economic and cost-sharing scenarios. Assisted in negotiations with local tax and regulatory authorities. Project was shelved following Gulf War.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Feasibility Study
    On behalf of a crude oil transportation company in Western Australia, investigated the feasibility of establishing a small refinery to process local crude production. Evaluated the technical and economic considerations involved in a range of alternative projects to refine crude oil and market products to local industries and other consumers throughout the region. Conducted negotiations with crude oil suppliers and commercial customers. Project was eventually terminated due to inability to obtain satisfactory financing.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Pipeline Divestiture
    Undertook a comprehensive market analysis and competitive assessment of a major refined products pipeline system and formed various strategic options for asset disposition. The conclusions developed from the engagement supported the client's subsequent decision to divest certain asset segments.
    Pipeline, Pricing
  • Retail Marketing Business Development
    Assessed Mid-Continent petroleum retail markets and competitive environment on behalf of a prospective retail market entrant. Pro forma economics were prepared for various retail business configurations to determine entry strategy options and assess the client's development objectives.
  • Refining and Supply Strategy
    Assisted the European division of a major integrated oil company in the development of a refining and supply strategy for its refining and marketing business in Western Europe.  The assignment included the benchmarking of the client's current performance versus competitors, development of future market scenarios, and projections of financial performance for various strategic initiatives that could be implemented by the refining business unit.
  • Petroleum Supply Planning
    Assisted a major Canadian oil company in identifying improvements to its supply-chain planning process. The assignment focused on improvements that could be realized by an integrated oil company that produces, markets, and refines synthetic crude produced from oil-sands.
  • Refining and Marketing Performance Benchmarking
    Developed and maintained a quarterly benchmarking service for a consortium of refiners and marketers with operations in the U.S.  The publication reported key financial and productivity benchmarks on a quarterly basis to subscribers for use in competitive analysis and strategy formulation.
  • Refinery Feasibility Studies
    Assisted an engineering and construction firm in preparing feasibility studies for two projects in Russia.  One of the projects was a new "grassroots" refinery project, and the other project was to build a new FCC gasoline complex in an existing refinery.  Work included modeling of refinery operations and yields, analysis of feedstock and products markets, and evaluation of project economics.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Valuation and Marketing Plan
    Identified target markets, coordinated the assay evaluation, assessed market values, and developed a marketing plan and marketing brochure for a new crude oil to be produced in offshore West Africa.  The initial crude oil sales price was estimated, based on quality and location, and was presented in terms of global crude price benchmark grades.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Feasibility Assessment
    Developed a feasibility study for a large, potentially stranded, natural gas discovery. Constructed an economic model to evaluate potential options for gas monetization, including pipeline natural gas sales, gas-to-liquids (GTL), and liquefaction (LNG). Performed market assessments for the LNG and GTL products.
    Gas to Liquids, LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Quality Analysis
    Assisted with crude oil quality analysis from new production field in order to establish initial valuation estimates.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • U.S. Gasoline Study
    Performed an independent analysis to determine the potential supply and cost impacts of a new National Clean Gasoline Standard that would significantly lower the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) and sulfur allowed in gasoline. A refinery-by-refinery analysis was performed that considered each refinery’s compliance options and likely response considering technical, strategic, market, and economic factors.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Bitumen Diluent Study
    Developed a market study regarding diluent to be used by Canadian Oil Sands bitumen producers. This included projected supply and demand balances, logistics requirements, and impact from unconventional natural production.
  • Refinery Marketing Study
    Surveyed existing and potential customers regarding proprietary slurry oil separation.  Evaluated responses to determine the industry's perception of the technology and quantified the potential value for refinery customers. 
  • Refinery Strategy Meeting
    Conducted a kick-off session for a day-long senior level strategy meeting. Discussed the client's competitive position and the attributes of top performers.
  • HF Alky Study Sensitivity Case
    Investigated and analyzed the impact of various potential restrictions on the use of HF alkylation technology in U.S. Refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Refinery Economics Update
    Utilized Baker & O'Brien long-term price forecast to update the project’s economics. Our analysis considered various options for refinery size and petcoke gasification.
  • Isobutanol White Paper
    Evaluated the economic impact of blending isobutanol in place of ethanol for finished gasoline in various U.S. markets. Also evaluated isobutanol as a substitute for purchased alkylate in gasoline blending. Determined the highest value options for blending isobutanol into gasoline. Summarized the results in a White Paper style report.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Shale Oil Market Study
    Prepared market study for upgraded shale oil in several refining centers over extended project life. Estimated refining value and ocean freight in selected refineries to yield netback value at upgrader dock. Compared estimated refining value for upgraded shale oil to estimated refining value of typical swing crudes for each region.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Refinery Valuation
    Provided an assessment and valuation for potential U.S. refinery candidates for a client considering a refinery acquisition. Analysis included price scenario development and financial modeling to determine indicative offer price.
  • Refining Margin Forecast
    Prepared a ten-year price forecast for a petroleum refiner for use in its long-range plan development.  Reviewed current downstream refining industry trends, including supply and demand balances, environmental regulations, and shifts in regional crude oil pricing to develop a future downstream industry outlook.
  • Refinery Acquisition Study
    Provided client with five years of operating and financial data from the PRISM refinery database for use in evaluating a potential acquisition.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Refinery Technical Review
    Provided a technical review and forecast of cash flows for a refinery acquisition candidate.
  • Refinery Cash Margin study
    Provide a comparison of cash refining margins for PADDs 1 through 4 versus expected cash refining margins when inland crude oil transport bottlenecks to the USGC have been relieved.
  • Monterey Shale Oil Study
    On behalf of a California refiner, reviewed the potential for production of Monterey shale crude oil in the San Joaquin Valley and the accessibility of this crude to the client's refining system.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
  • Price Forecast - Northwest Europe
    Prepared a five-year price forecast for Northwest Europe, considering global and regional supply/demand fundamentals and the relationship between oil and gas pricing, among other factors.
  • Market Study for Crude Oil Rail Unloading Terminal
    Provided an update to a previous report on U.S. light crude oil supply/demand and implications for a new crude oil unloading terminal in a large refining center on the USGC. Supplemented the report with an analysis of heavy crude oil rail transport opportunities.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • PADD 1 Refining Study
    Provided a competitiveness analysis of refineries located in U.S. PADD 1, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Eastern Canada. Developed a price forecast and historical supply and demand balance. Provided a competitive ranking of a prospective acquisition of a refinery in the region being considered by the client.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Canadian Downstream Petroleum Outlook
    Evaluated the cumulative effect that regulations and policies may have on the Canadian downstream petroleum sector over the next 20 years.
  • Crude oil and Product Price Forecast
    Developed a crude oil and product price forecast for a client's use in evaluating an investment in a new refinery.
  • Refining Market Forecast
    Prepared a ten-year price forecast for a petroleum refiner for use in its long-range plan development.  Reviewed current downstream refining industry trends, including supply and demand balances, environmental regulations, and regional crude oil  pricing to develop the outlook.
  • 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
  • Refinery Yield and Hydrogen Balances
    Provided client with yield and hydrogen balance estimate for a group of Canadian refineries using our proprietary PRISM modeling system.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Refining and Marketing Privatization
    Assisted a state-owned integrated oil company in Central Europe in completing a strategic planning study for its downstream refining and marketing business. The study considered potential markets and pricing for crude oil and refined products. Opportunities to optimize the operation and logistics of the company's refining and marketing system were evaluated in view of maximizing the value of the assets prior to privatization.
    LP/Planning Practice, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Refining Assessment
    Analyzed the profit improvement potential for an asphalt and naphthenic lube specialty refiner, which focused on the existing operating and planning practices of several refineries in the network. Recommended several zero capital cost improvements to be implemented.
    LP/Planning Practice, Pricing
  • Reformulated Gasoline Study
    Provided a large independent Southern California refiner an assessment of their existing processing equipment, outside feedstocks to be purchased, and new capital investment necessary to produce reformulated gasoline for consumption in the most regulated gasoline market in the world.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Product Quality, 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
  • Strategic Sourcing: Refining Materials and Services
    Assisted a major, integrated oil and gas company in implementing a strategic sourcing initiative for its refining and petrochemical businesses. The initiative focused on developing a strategic and low cost supply of sulfuric acid, process chemicals, and maintenance services to the client's various refining and petrochemical facilities, which achieved cost savings of up to 25%.
    Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • Supply/Demand Forecast
    Prepared a forecast of U.S. refined product consumption and production using our proprietary PRISM refinery modeling system for the year 2012.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Wholesale Trade Practices
    Assisted a South American national oil company in reviewing trade practices for the wholesale marketing of petroleum products. Advised the client on wholesale price formation and marketing practices in free markets.
  • LNG Project Development
    Commercial responsibility for the upstream development of a number of non-operated gas fields associated with a world-scale LNG project.  Involved in numerous gas purchase and sale agreements associated with managing the project’s upstream gas portfolio ahead of first LNG in 2015.
    LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Commercial Contract Negotiations
    Assisted with supply contract disputes relating to “take-or-pay” type obligations and “price adjustment” provisions.
    Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
  • M&A in the Cement Industry
    Performed acquisitions (share and asset) with hands on accountability for economic valuations, financial and market analysis, development of strategic rationale, approval documentation / presentations, deal negotiation, due diligence, legal agreements, and management and integration planning.
  • Project Management
    Executed several mid-to-large pipeline and facility projects in multiple international locations, overcoming challenging cultural and language differences.  Performed feasibility studies, detailed design, procurement, construction, inspection, hydrotesting, risk assessments, and pipeline integrity.
    EPC-related, LNG, Offshore, Pipeline, Project Feasibility
  • Plastics Recycling Feasibility Study
    Evaluated a small German refinery for potential conversion to a plastics recycling plant. Assessed technology, retrofit requirements, operating costs, and logistics. Presented economics, capital investment plan, and likely subsidy requirements to the board of directors.
    Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
  • Independent Planning Consultant
    In the early 1990s, a major oil company agreed to purchase a former Soviet block country’s refining and marketing assets. Additionally, there was an agreement to build a state-of-the-art grassroots refinery. Until the streaming of the grassroots refinery later in the decade, the oil company operated the existing refining assets on behalf of the national office of privatization. The role of the independent consultant was to ensure that the operation was not “optimized” at the expense of the country’s taxpayers. Participated in the preparation of monthly operating plans with the operating company and presentations to the national office of privatization over a two-year period.
    LP/Planning Practice, Pricing
  • CTL/GTL Question-Answer Session
    Presented background information to groups of stock research analysts in New York and Boston on the technologies utilized in gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids processes.  In addition, the economics of gasification projects in the U.S. and the role of publicly traded companies in GTL and CTL was discussed.
    Gas to Liquids, Gasification
  • 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
  • Alberta Bitumen Valuation Study
    Evaluated various approaches to valuing Canadian Oil Sands bitumen blends (DilBit). Approaches for valuation at a Hardisty, Alberta basis included: differential to a marker crude oil, refinery return on investment, parity to Mexican Maya and other approaches, including statistical regression. Evaluated approaches and potential marker crude oils and provided recommendations to client.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • Isobutanol Value in Gasoline
    Prepared initial screening study to assess the potential benefits and issues associated with marketing isobutanol as a gasoline-blend component within the U.S. Provided isobutanol gasoline blend valuations versus ethanol/alkylate for a list of target refineries.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • 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
  • 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
  • MidWest U.S. Crude Oil Study
    Identified the factors that likely contributed to a significant widening of the price differential between Light Louisiana Sweet Crude oil (LLS) at St. James, LA and WTI crude oil in Cushing, OK. Developed a three-year outlook for U.S. PADD 2 crude oil supply and disposition, and the expected price differential between LLS and WTI crude oil.
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • Isobutanol Valuation Versus Ethanol
    Prepared isobutanol vs. ethanol valuations for gasoline blending at several U.S. refineries. Assessed blend values for refineries producing reformulated gasoline, low vapor pressure gasoline, and California Air Resources Board (CARB) gasoline.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Terminal Study
    Assisted client in identifying new crude oil business opportunities for a large off-shore oil terminal that it had recently acquired. Analyzed regional crude oil supply and demand patterns and expected trends, and considered other opportunities such as crude oil blending.
  • Shale Oil Market Study
    Developed target markets, estimated values for upgraded shale oil in various U.S. refineries, and expected price netbacks to the project site. Developed crude oil supply and demand balances to determine which crude oils would be displaced and the expected pricing impacts.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
  • Refinery Risk Assessment
    Assessed the technical and commercial risks inherent in each of several refineries owned by a U.S. refining company.
  • Shale Oil Prefeasibility Study
    Assisted client with determining the economic optimum product quality for Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO) to be produced from retorted shale oil. Determined the potential impact of various SCO qualities on refining customer process units and estimated the potential revenue changes that would result from adjustment of these qualities.
    Product Quality
  • Refinery Feasibility and Economics Study
    Conducted an economic feasibility study for a proposed refinery in Central America. The study evaluated indigenous crude oil supply and imported crude oil, as well as expected product netback prices compared to the status quo of imports.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Competitive Assessment
    Conducted a refinery assessment for a natural gas supplier that was considering investing in infrastructure to enable one of their refining clients to increase capacity. The assessment included a refinery competitive analysis and cash flow forecasts under multiple scenarios.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Strategic Review of Ethanol Plants
    Provided a strategic review of an ethanol production business, including the analysis of ethanol plant operating costs compared to regional and ethanol industry competitors. Provided ethanol production margin forecast and made recommendations on whether to continue operations, invest in plant improvements, or exit the business.
  • Prepare Northwest Europe Price Forecast
    Prepared a five year price forecast for crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals in Northwest Europe.
  • Crude Oil Rail Transport Study
    Provided an assessment of refinery crude oil processing capability and crude oil pipeline receipt options to enable client to assess crude-by-rail options that might be available to U.S. refiners.
  • Refinery Due Diligence
    Evaluated the condition of refining assets for a potential acquisition. Addressed potential "fatal flaws" regarding the acquisition of a topping refinery. Provided support in evaluating the potential cash flow for the refinery.
  • Refinery Olefins Production Model
    Developed a refinery olefins model that has the capability to predict propylene and butylene production and consumption for the U.S., at the individual refinery level. The model provides the user with an ability to toggle between different FCC conversion levels and to adjust several other key parameters.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Refinery Screening and Evaluation
    Provided cash flow forecasts and indicative transaction values for select target refineries using PRISM charges and yields and client price forecasts.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • 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
  • Strategic Review of Refining Portfolio
    For a large integrated refiner and marketer, assessed the historical performance of each refinery in the company's system, and evaluated key benchmark metrics against various selected peer groups. Reviewed each refinery's competitive position and highlighted the key factors that differentiated its performance. Quantified the performance gaps on a dollar-per-barrel basis, attributed the gaps to controllable or structural factors, and made recommendations for improving the controllable gaps.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • 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.
  • Ethanol Plant Operating Cost Study
    Compared the estimated cash operating costs for approximately 50 U.S. ethanol plants to the costs for a client's potential ethanol plant acquisition target. Ranked the acquisition target on six separate cash cost metrics and presented the results.
  • Used Refinery Relocation
    Conducted an initial review to identify the status of a proposed refinery project (North Africa) and comment on the potential to utilize the surplus process equipment from a U.S. refinery that had been shut down.
    Project Feasibility
  • U.S. Crude Oil Study
    In response to increasing production of U.S. light crude oil, estimated a range of light crude oil prices that would be required in order for moderately complex refiners to break-even versus processing medium crude oil. Developed a forecast for North American crude oil production by major producing basin in order to understand the point in time at which essentially all light crude oil imports would be displaced from the North America market.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • GTL Jet Fuel Scoping Study
    On behalf of a major airline, assessed the risks and benefits involved in entering into either a jet fuel off-take agreement, or participating in project ownership. The assessment, for a number of small-scale GTL technology providers, covered the following topics: state of technology development; technical risks for project completion; likely capital costs, yields, and operating costs; market price analysis for crude oil and natural gas; and economic sensitivity analyses.
    Project Feasibility
  • Refinery Strategic Review
    Provided a strategic review of a client's refinery with a focus on the potential opportunities and threats related to evolving crude oil supply dynamics and competitor expansions.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Midstream Infrastructure Review
    Completed a high-level review of natural gas and natural gas liquid (NGL) infrastructure in Western Oklahoma for a project developer to present to a potential investor.
  • Crude Oil Market Study
    Provided a forecast of North American crude oil production through 2030 by quality and by major producing region. Evaluated the extent to which the North American refining industry could accommodate a lighter crude oil slate. Identified expected change in crude flow patterns and imports.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • 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.
  • Hydrotreater Balance
    Developed a charge and yield material and volumetric balance for a simple refinery containing a naphtha hydrotreater/catalytic reformer and diesel hydrotreater. Summarized feedstock and product properties.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Refining Margin Forecast
    Prepared a ten-year price forecast for a petroleum refiner for use in their long range plan development. Reviewed current downstream refining industry trends including supply and demand balances, environmental regulations, and WTI/LLS pricing to develop a future downstream industry outlook.
  • Thermal Cracker/Lube Unit Yields
    Prepared yields for a thermal cracker unit and lube oil extraction unit. Used PRISM unit models to assist in developing the yields and stream properties.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Refinery Scenario Development Workshop
    Facilitated a workshop with the senior management of a refining company to develop scenarios which would be used in deciding whether to install a hydrocracker or retrofit an existing FCC. Developed crude oil and refined product price sets corresponding with each of the scenarios.
  • Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Conducted a study of the competitiveness of a refining company's three refineries for a client contemplating the establishment of a partnership with the refining company.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • PADD 4 Products Supply/Demand Study
    Forecasted PADD 4 refined products supply and demand through 2020 considering potential refinery expansions, refining economics, logistics and product consumption trends. Outlined the potential implications of changing supply/demand patterns on PADD 4 refined product prices.
  • High TAN Crude Oil Refinery Study
    Identified U.S. Gulf Coast refineries processing high TAN crude oil. Estimated capital cost to convert heavy sour crude refineries currently processing low TAN crude oil to high TAN refineries. Considered a Canadian bitumen/diluent blended crude oil as the basis. Calculated the metallurgy and light ends processing costs associated with refinery conversion to high TAN crude oil.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline
  • Isobutanol Blending Study
    Evaluated the gasoline blend value of isobutanol versus ethanol for a Midwest refinery. Calculated isobutanol blend values for summer and winter and for constrained and unconstrained gasoline production.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
  • Crude Oil Valuation Study
    Estimated the value of various crude oil grades in a number of refineries that compete for the acquisition of local crude oil production in the U.S. mid-continent.
    Crude Oil Valuation
  • Northwest Europe Price Forecast
    Developed a five year outlook for crude oil, refined products and petrochemical prices for a European refining company.
  • Leadership Development Program
    Provided a leadership development program for an international refining and marketing company executive. Areas of focus included U.S. refining, marketing, crude oil and transportation practices and trends.
  • Refinery Hydrogen Demand Study
    Quantified the hydrogen demand impact due to Gasoline Tier 3 regulations, the changing crude supply, and product demand in the USGC over a ten-year horizon.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Environmental
  • Refinery Sulfur Study
    Quantified the cost impact for Canadian refiners to comply with a 10 ppm average gasoline sulfur specification to comply with the U.S. Tier 3 gasoline regulation.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Environmental
  • Residual Fuel Oil Valuation
    Provided an assessment of the quantity, quality, and value of fuel oil recovered during demolition of storage tanks at a power plant.
    Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Black Wax Crude Oil Market Study
    Reviewed qualities of Utah Black Wax crude oil versus other sweet crude oils to determine key criteria which would lead a refiner to process to Utah Black Wax crude oil. Used criteria to screen existing U.S. refineries for their ability/incentive to process the Utah Black Wax crude oil.
  • 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
  • US Crude Oil Market Analysis
    Conducted an analysis of U.S. crude oil production growth and imports, and the impact on U.S. crude oil and refined products markets.
  • European Refinery Competitiveness
    On behalf of a large industry participant, evaluated the relative competitiveness of refineries operating in Western Europe.  Utilized our proprietary PRISM modeling and database system to extract individual refinery margin and cost metrics and projected the likely future positions of the client's refineries on the cost and margin curves.
  • Refining Company Financial Analysis
    Prepared a financial analysis of an independent U.S. Refiner and Marketer in support of a valuation for a prospective buyer.
  • Crude Oil Storage Study
    Supported various feasibility studies related to development of a crude oil storage project on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Activities included a survey of Houston and Port Arthur-area crude oil storage costs, an assessment of medium term lease rates, and an evaluation of days of crude oil storage, both historically and projected, given the changing crude oil flow dynamics from the Eagle Ford and Permian regions.
    Project Feasibility
  • Needle Coke Price Dispute
    Provided an opinion on the market price of needle coke in connection with a dispute submitted to the International Centre for Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce.
    Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Pricing, Product Quality
  • Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
    Conducted asset due diligence activities:  inspected facility under construction; provided market incentives, operating costs, risk overview, and staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics. 
    Crude Oil Valuation, Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
  • GTL Screening Model
    Developed a gas-to-liquids project screening model for potential North American sites.
    Gas to Liquids, Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Marketing Study
    Evaluated options for marketing light tight crude oil (LTO) including calculating the breakeven refining value in specific refineries and its value as diluent in a diluent-bitumen blend.
    Crude Oil Valuation
  • Refining Margin Forecast
    Provided a 10-year refining margin and price forecast for use by client in developing their long-range plan.  Provided historical trends and identified drivers which could impact future refining margins.
  • Environmental Impact Support - Rail Terminal and Refinery
    Prepared an expert report on behalf of a local government agency, as part of an environmental impact process, to address the key technical changes resulting from a project to construct a crude oil rail terminal and modify an existing refinery to allow it to process increased amounts of light domestic crude oil.   
    Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice
  • Refined Products Terminal Study
    To support a client's due diligence efforts for a potential petroleum products terminal acquisition, undertook a market study to evaluate the current refined products supply and demand balance on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Key market drivers were identified which could impact future market growth.
  • Permian Basin Market Review
    Analyzed Permian Basin crude oil production, production forecasts, infrastructure projects, and price differentials for a midstream company.  Provided input for annual investor presentation.
  • Condensate/Diluent Analysis
    Developed a diluent supply and demand balance to determine if U.S. lease condensate is being blended into Canadian bitumen for import into the U.S.  Evaluated multiple approaches to identify any potential U.S. lease condensate being blended into Canadian bitumen.
  • New Refinery Fatal Flaw Analysis
    Provided an initial assessment to a local government body regarding the development of a 20,000 B/D refinery in North America.  Interviewed the project team and reviewed project documents and identified potential concerns for the project progressing as envisioned.  Prepared a written report of the key findings and concerns.
    Project Feasibility
  • Crude Oil Flow Projections for Pipeline Acquisition
    Evaluated the current regional supply and demand balance for crude oil and developed medium-term forecasts, given expectations for area refinery expansions and crude oil production changes.  Developed projections for crude oil transportation volumes in an existing crude oil trunkline that was considered for acquisition.
  • Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
    Conducted asset due diligence activities:  (1) inspected facility under construction; (2) provided market incentives; (3) operating costs; (4) risk overview; and (5) staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics.
    Operations/Maintenance, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Condensate Splitter Market Study
    Developed market study and economics for a "grassroots" Eagle Ford condensate splitter located in Corpus Christi.  Evaluated alternate locations and presented to CEO and management.  
    Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Oil Disposition Study
    Developed economics of crude disposition alternatives for producer's growing production of light tight oil.  Alternatives included local and distant refining values with appropriate logistics costs.
    Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice, Pipeline, Pricing
  • Nitroparaffin Manufacturing Evaluation
    Evaluated technology and patents related to the production of nitroparaffins.
    Project Feasibility
  • GTL Technology Assessment
    Assisted company in evaluating a larger equity investment in a GTL technology company by visiting the prototype unit, reviewing process data, and assessing the potential market.
    Project Feasibility
  • GTL Commercialization Study
    Performed due diligence on a new GTL process to evaluate possible routes to commercialization.  The work program included the following steps:  (1) verification of mass balance; (2) comparison of laboratory and pilot plant yields; (3) evaluation of alternative technologies; (4) assessment of scale-up issues; (5) review of preliminary commercial design; (6) estimate of capital costs; and (7) the development of an economic model that included sensitivity analyses for capital costs, yields and prices.
    Project Feasibility
  • Refining Alternative Crude Study
    Prepared an evaluation of the economics of processing alternative crude oils in a Midwest refinery. 
    Crude Oil Valuation
  • Light Tight Oil (LTO) Refining Capacity
    Conducted a study to assess the ability of the United States (U.S.) to absorb incremental light tight oil (LTO) production.  Evaluated potential for crude oil import substitution, refinery expansions, heavy oil blending and other means for increasing U.S. absorption of LTO.  Results were compared to various forecasts of domestic oil production growth.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • Jet Fuel Market Study
    Analyzed historical jet fuel prices in PADD 1 to show how interruptions in supply impact the market price.  Prepared a supply and demand balance for jet fuel in PADD 1.  Developed a jet fuel supply curve for Gulf Coast and PADD 3 refiners into PADD 1.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, LP/Planning Practice, Pricing
  • PRISM Refinery Data
    Provided historical refinery cash flow estimates for use by the client's credit department in assessing counterparty risk.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • 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
  • Crude Marketing Study
    Prepared a crude marketing study for a Utah black wax crude oil producer.  Evaluated refineries outside of Utah which could receive crude oil via railcars and the expected netback price to the crude oil producer.  Identified and ranked the refineries which would yield the highest netback value to the producer.  Provided contact information and initiated meetings with the crude oil producer and potential refinery candidates for processing the Utah black wax crude oil.
    Crude Oil Valuation
  • Crude Oil Storage Support
    Surveyed industry sources to develop an estimate of the current crude oil storage costs in the Texas Gulf Coast area.  Developed an estimate of the current crude oil storage capacity and petroleum refinery capacity in the Houston area.
    Project Feasibility
  • Pacific Northwest Market Study
    Prepared a market study of the Pacific Northwest U.S., which included the refined products supply and demand balance and logistics systems.  The emphasis of the study was on current and future jet fuel supply and demand in the region.  Evaluated jet fuel logistic systems for Pacific Northwest.
  • Refining Margin Forecast
    Provided a ten year refining margin and price forecast for use by client in developing their long-range plan.  Provided historical trends and identified drivers that could impact future refining margins.
  • Refinery Economic Study
    Evaluated various strategic options for a small Rockies area refinery, including an evaluation of a new diesel hydrotreater, refinery crude and product slate optimization, operating cost evaluation, and exit strategy and shutdown costs.  Refinery was shut down due to the small refinery ULSD exemption that was expiring.  Client wanted to evaluate the impact on the competitiveness of the refinery of adding a new diesel hydrotreating unit.
    Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
  • Refined Products Pipeline Market Study
    Developed a supply and demand forecast by market area for a major refined products pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest.  Project involved analyzing historical supply trends and demand by market area and forecasting expected pipeline flows under various refinery utilization scenarios.
  • Crude Oil Quality Bank Study
    Recommended a crude oil quality bank methodology for the different types of crude oil to be stored in a new USGC crude oil storage facility.  Reviewed other existing quality banks and developed recommendations and methodology for managing a crude oil quality bank.
    Product Quality
  • Canadian Refinery Competitiveness Study
    Evaluated the competitive position of several Canadian refineries located in Eastern Canada and Ontario.  Evaluated refinery configurations, crude oil slate and product yield, and profitability versus a group of regional competitor refineries.  Presented the crude oil and product logistics systems for each of the Canadian refineries being studied.  
  • St James Louisiana Crude Supply Study
    Analyzed crude supply sources and pipeline flows for the Southern Louisiana refining market in conjunction with a potential pipeline acquisition.  Forecasted crude supply availability by grade in the St. James trading hub and analyzed impact of new crude oil pipelines in the market.
    PRISM Data or Analysis
  • California Terminal Due Diligence
    Assisted midstream buyer with valuation of a large Northern California petroleum terminal.  Delivered market study presentation to company management to assist in due diligence and valuation using market metrics.
    Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Permian Basin Crude Oil Supply and Logistics
    Provided supporting material related to Permian Basin crude oil production growth and logistic infrastructure for a pipeline owner's annual investor presentation.
  • Refinery Acquisition Screening Study
    Developed a refinery acquisition matrix comparing quantitative and qualitative aspects of various refineries.  Utilized PRISM data to compare relative profitability and charge and yield results for various refineries under consideration.
    PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline
  • RIN Balance Study
    Utilized publicly available data and PRISM to estimate the RIN balance for 20 U.S. refiners.  Calculated RIN cost impact to a merchant refiner versus an integrated refiner with marketing and product blending.  Prepared a report summarizing results.  Report used by client for a public website.