Baker & O'Brien, Inc.




Private Investor / Developer

Business Acumen and Technical Know-How

Private investors rely upon Baker & O'Brien's business acumen and technical know-how to evaluate potential business opportunities and to negotiate favorable commercial arrangements. We have advised private investors in all phases of project development, from analysis of technical and economic feasibility through commercial operation.

Related Experience

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 Analysis
    For a prospective investor, provided analysis and commentary on the relative competitiveness of a targeted refinery, explaining the fundamental basis for its competitive position.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Review Refinery Feasibility Study
    Conducted a detailed review of a feasibility study to construct a new refinery (oil sands feedstock) in Canada.  Reviewed capital costs, crude oil and product pricing assumptions, and several other key inputs that were used in an integrated financial model.
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • 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.
  • Ethanol Terminal Blending Facility Evaluation
    On behalf of a private equity firm, reviewed a site development plan for a coastal ethanol receiving terminal and associated gasoline blending facility.  Evaluated the market competition for terminalling services within the local area.
    Pricing, Product Quality
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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. 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 Off-Gas Recovery Project
    Provided independent assessment and  due diligence for a proposed refinery offgas treating facility in the USGC.  Advised the client on requirements related to schedule, documentation, and technology selection for project financing.
    Project Feasibility
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Terminal Acquisition Due Diligence Support
    Conducted a review of fuel oil and asphalt terminal assets in support of a potential acquisition. Provided input and recommendations as to the overall quality of the assets, including a review of previous expenditures and maintenance records.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • GTL Facility Due Diligence
    Performed due diligence for a company evaluating an equity investment in a GTL facility under construction.  Reviewed project budget and schedule for completion. Evaluated the amount of contingency included in the budget, confirmed the status of payments to contractors and other service providers, and interviewed project representatives regarding mechanical completion and commissioning plans.
    Environmental, Expert Witness/Testimony, Operations/Maintenance
  • 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
  • Agrochemicals Manufacturing
    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
  • Refinery Due Diligence
    In support of a potential acquisition and start-up of a topping refinery that had been shut down for an extended period, addressed any "fatal flaws" and provided support for evaluating order-of-magnitude costs required to inspect, repair, staff, and start-up the facility.  
    Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
  • Shale Crude Processing Evaluation
    Provided economics and expected operating costs of a grassroots light crude oil distillation facility.  Facilitated meetings with future customers of intermediate products.  
    Pricing, Project Feasibility
  • Light Product Supply and Demand Study
    For a large metropolitan area, provided incremental cost of supplies from competing refining centers.  Calculated annual demand and seasonal differences.  Provided economics for seasonal gasoline storage.
  • GTL Screening Model
    Developed a gas-to-liquids project screening model for potential North American sites.
    Gas to Liquids, Project Feasibility