Baker & O'Brien, Inc.

Experience

Experience

Experience

 

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Ammonia Plant Business Interruption Dispute
Provided expert witness testimony in a multi-million dollar business interruption claim.  Evaluated operating records, estimated business interruption losses due to a power outage. 
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Benzene Exposure
Reviewed plant operating history and emissions records and provided expert opinions regarding potential benzene exposure to refinery employees.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related
Business Interruption Claim and Root Cause Analysis
Monitored rebuild engineering and construction of facilities damaged by fire and offered expert opinion on the appropriate construction period for the business interruption claim. Participated in the incident root cause analysis.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Commercial Contract Litigation
Assisted in a force majeure claim related to the recommissioning of a facility after a hurricane.  Examined conformance with standard industry protocols and applicable laws, standards, and regulations.  Assessed whether the facility operator acted in a reasonably prudent manner with respect to the commercial and technical issues necessary to safely restart the facility as soon as possible.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Condensate Feedstock Contract Dispute
Assisted in a claim between: (1) a European refiner and ultimate condensate supplier, and (2) an intermediary company, concerning allegations that the intermediary company was prevented from obtaining condensate supplies for sale to the refiner.  Studied the potential availability and quality of condensates in the producing region and elsewhere.  Identified potentially suitable condensates for the refinery.  Based on forecasts of oil and petroleum product prices, prepared an estimate of potential economic damages.  Described how term feedstock contracts for condensate are typically concluded.  Testified at an arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pricing
Construction Dispute - Gas Plant
Provided expert reports and testimony regarding project management issues, alleged defects, and liquidated damages for international arbitration between owner and contractor.  The project involved an offshore platform, an undersea pipeline, an onshore pipeline, an onshore cryogenic gas processing plant, and a sales gas pipeline.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Gasification , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Offshore , Pipeline
Construction Dispute Litigation - Gas Plant
Assisted in a litigated dispute between Owner-Operator and Engineering & Construction Contractor over whether a cryogenic gas plant, as engineered, procured, and constructed, met the stipulated contractual performance guarantees; prepared expert witness rebuttal report with respect to relevant issues.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Gasification , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Contractual Dispute
Performed a due diligence of owner allegations and contractor claims pertaining to a Lump Sum-Turn Key contract termination.  Reviewed documents, schedules, witness statements, and expert reports to advise counsel on implications of contracting strategy and contract management following award.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Crude Oil Processing Contract Dispute
Served as expert witness concerning a dispute between an international oil trading company (Trader) and an independent refining company (Refiner), between whom there was a crude oil processing contract.  The Trader alleged that the Refiner misappropriated products to its own account.  Analyzed the refinery production and product disposition under each processing deal over a period of three years and calculated the damages under the alleged misappropriation.  Prepared an independent detailed damages claim for insurance purposes and defended the claim at trial.  
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing , Product Quality
Crude Oil Quality Dispute
Acted as expert witness in a dispute between a major oil company and a small crude oil supplier that allegedly delivered "dumbbell" crude into the oil company's common carrier pipeline system.  Prepared a report covering standard industry pipeline practices, crude oil quality acceptance, crude oil trading, and refining values of various crude oils.  Calculated damages incurred as a result of the poor quality crude oil delivered and the impact on refiners receiving crude from the pipeline.
Crude Oil Valuation , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , Pricing , Product Quality
FCC Construction Litigation
Provided expert testimony regarding allegations that construction errors in the installation of an FCC catalyst cooler resulted in a significant business interruption claim.  Assisted in discovery, analyzed operating data, evaluated design issues, calculated property damages and business interruption losses.
Business Interruption , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
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
Refinery Environmental Contamination Insurance Litigation
Provided expert witness testimony and analysis regarding liability and damages for petroleum refinery environmental contamination insurance claims across the U.S. based on the multiple insurance contracts for each site.  
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Toxic Tort
Interstate Pipeline Inspection Practices
Provided expert testimony on inspection and maintenance practices for interstate petroleum products pipelines. Issues included reasonable depth of additional overfill and width of maintenance right-of-way.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Investigate Refinery Heater Explosion
Performed root cause analysis of an explosion at a refinery heater and identified contributing factors. Performed a review of safe operating procedures, including shutdown and start-up of heaters. Provided expert testimony.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage , Safety
MTBE Litigation
Provided expert witness testimony regarding MTBE use in gasoline refinery supply, pipeline distribution, and retail marketing in groundwater contamination litigation in multiple jurisdictions.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Product Quality , Toxic Tort
Litigation - Wastewater Treating
Provided expert consulting support for a refinery wastewater treating environmental criminal matter. The work required previous experience with and a solid understanding of the plant processes and equipment which are used in treating industrial wastewater.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Tax Dispute
Following the imposition of a new oil and gas taxation regime, a dispute arose regarding the contractual right of local natural gas producers to "pass through" incremental taxes to their customers.  Served as expert witness.  Key work involved the development of a fair mechanism to allocate recovery and distribution costs between "jointly" produced hydrocarbons, including oil, condensate, natural gas, and natural gas liquids.  Prepared and defended specific proposal in the arbitration proceedings.
Arbitration , Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Nitroparaffins Litigation
Assisted in a dispute between an operator and and EPC firm concerning allegations that the process design contributed to an explosion at a nitroparaffins manufacturing plant.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated design issues, and provided expert testimony.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery and Chemical Plant Feedstock Valuations
Provided expert witness evidence the financial damages of interplant feedstock and product transfer agreement non-compliance between a refinery and an adjacent chemical plant. 
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance , Pricing
Thermal Radiation Exposure
Investigated an incident involving a claim of thermal radiation exposure during a refining unit fire.  Engineering reports, videos, weather conditions, unit design drawings, and published literature on levels of heat exposure from large hydrocarbon fires were evaluated.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Power Plant Construction Dispute
Provided expert report and oral testimony on roles and responsibilities of: (1)  an EPC contractor under a Lump Sum-Turn Key contract; (2) owners in awarding and managing such projects; and (3) the capabilities of owner's and contractor's project management teams.  The project involved provision of EPC services to retrofit selective catalytic reduction equipment to existing power generation units, as mandated by the regulatory authorities.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Underground Storage Tanks Claim
Assisted in a dispute concerning an allegation that Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) at a retail outlet had released gasoline vapors, resulting in contamination of groundwater with MTBE. Assignment included review of procedures for delivery of gasoline from tankers to UST, review of equipment and fittings used in UST, review of hydrogeological data regarding groundwater and contamination plumes, review of the design of vapor recovery systems, and calculations of vapor composition and amounts released. Prepared report to document findings and testified in deposition.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , OSHA-related , Toxic Tort
Pipeline Quality Bank Dispute
Assisted in a dispute involving crude oil quality bank payments demanded by a pipeline consortium transporting a company's oil through Central Asia.  Studied the quality bank calculation procedure in order to demonstrate if the methodology described in the tariff had been properly applied.  Provided examples of methodologies used in other quality banks.  Prepared quality bank calculations based on application of the methodology.  Testified at an arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Crude Oil Valuation , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , Pricing , Product Quality
Petroleum Refinery Dispute
Provided overview of turnaround practices and industry standards utilized in the United States and Europe.  Evaluated decisions and practices utilized at the subject refinery to determine if those decisions were in compliance with standard practices and whether a decision to optimize the turnaround execution date was a factor in a plant incident.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Valuation Dispute
Assisted in a dispute between minority shareholders and company management concerning claims that certain refinery assets were improperly valued when the group's ownership interests were purchased by the company's management.  Prepared a detailed valuation of the refinery assets in question and showed how their location, processing capability, and access to feedstocks contributed to their value relative to the competition.  Prepared an expert report and testified in Federal Court.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Pressure Vessel Failure
Investigated the cause of a hydrocarbon release resulting from the brittle fracture of a pressure vessel during start-up at a petrochemical plant. Incident involved multiple injuries and deaths and extensive property damage. Issues studied include ethylene plant design, operating practices and procedures, start-up operations, instrumentation, and safety training.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Polyolefins Plant Explosion
Assisted attorneys and company in preparation for litigation and negotiation with government agencies while investigating the cause of an explosion which caused the death of over 20 people. Assisted risk management in preparing and negotiating property damage and business interruption claims in excess of $1.3 billion.
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Property Damage , Safety
Refinery Fair Market Value Dispute
On behalf of one of the interested parties in a bankrupt oil refinery, conducted a technical and economic evaluation of the facility to determine if the plant was economically viable and had value as a "going concern."  Study was submitted into evidence before an international arbitration tribunal established to determine the ultimate disposition of the facility.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Refinery Construction Dispute
Engaged to assess claims that poor EPC performance resulted in significant cost increases and schedule delays in the construction of a residue catalytic cracking unit.  Case centered around whether the prime contractor had fulfilled all of its obligations under the sub-contract and had taken all agreed steps to contain identified potential cost overruns and other factors impacting the schedule.  Prepared an expert report on the project and provided evidence at the hearing.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Polybutylene Pipe Litigation
Assisted municipal water districts in asserting claims for tens of millions of dollars in damages resulting from defective polybutylene pipe.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated research and development records, reviewed state-of-the-art issues, and provided expert testimony.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pipeline , Product Quality
Arbitration - Refinery Valuation
In support of a valuation dispute, developed an economic model to assess the value of a fuels refinery.  Submitted an expert report and provided testimony.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Refinery Force Majeure Claims
Prepared expert reports and testified in an international arbitration involving multiple product supply disputes between a refinery and an adjacent chemical plant. Reviewed force majeure claims related to catalytic cracking technology, product supply contracts, and utility supply interruptions.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Asphalt Refinery Valuation
Concerning an owner's capability and obligation to pay a prior arbitration award, determined a retrospective fair market value of an asphalt refinery and provided testimony regarding the estimated value of the refinery assets.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Physical Asset Appraisal , Pricing
Gas Plant Emergency Shutdown Design Analysis
To determine whether a system complied with key requirements, reviewed design of cryogenic gas plant emergency shutdown system in connection with a fire event to assess conformance with API RP 521 (Guide for Pressure Relieving and Depressuring Systems).  Provided affidavit of merit pursuant to Texas Civil Practice Section 150.002.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Tennessee Gasoline and Ethanol Blending
Provided an expert report and expert testimony on the production and distribution of ethanol and gasoline, particularly branded gasoline, in the state of Tennessee.  Provided a refiner perspective of the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on gasoline blending, distribution, and marketing operations.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Project Development Dispute
Prepared an expert report and delivered a deposition and testimony at jury trial in a dispute involving a project development claim. The dispute focused on the value and likelihood of successful completion for two projects in the early stages of development: a natural gas salt dome storage facility and a petroleum products terminal.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Production Sharing Dispute
Reviewed amended field development plan with respect to a PSA dispute between government and operator consortium over a proposed multi-billion dollar increase in projected final costs. Prepared expert report, reply report, and provided oral testimony.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Refinery Valuations
Prepared annual property values for several major refineries amounting to several billion dollars.  Assisted with discovery, inspected each of the plants, and analyzed refinery operations and profitability.  Assisted in negotiating settlements.  Testified in public hearings before appeals boards.
Ad Valorem Taxes , Expert Witness/Testimony
Natural Gas Processing Contract Dispute
Provided expert testimony in a dispute between an independent gas producer and a gas processor regarding a proposed natural gas processing agreement.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony
Trans-Alaskan Pipeline (TAPS) Quality Bank
Provided expert testimony before extended hearings of both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (2004) and the Alaskan Public Utilities Commission (2007) with respect to the methodology used to value various Alaskan crude oil streams entering TAPS.  Issues included how to calculate the refining values of such crude oils in U.S. West Coast refineries and how changes in the indicated market values of crude oils should be handled from a retrospective basis.  
Crude Oil Valuation , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , Pricing , Product Quality
Pipeline Operating Dispute
Assisted in a dispute between an owner and an operator of a recently-constructed crude oil pipeline.  Prepared an expert report concerning:  (1) the facilities that should have been provided as part of the capital project to construct the pipeline; (2) the equipment necessary to operate and maintain the pipeline; and (3) whether defects found during the early operating period were the result of improper equipment design specifications and construction, or improper operation and maintenance.  Testified at arbitration in London.
Arbitration , Commercial Terms Review , Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
MTBE Contamination Litigation
Supported several oil company clients in defense of claims that the inclusion of MTBE in gasolines supplied to the State of New Hampshire caused contamination of water wells in the state. Provided information on the supply of MTBE-blended gasolines to the State and assessed availability of other oxygenates (primarily ethanol) to meet EPA requirements for oxygenated fuels. Testified at trial.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Product Quality
Gasoline Supply Contract Dispute
Represented a major refiner in a dispute related to lack of performance alleged by a large local service station chain. Reviewed the contract terms and provided testimony via deposition.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony
Hot Fuel Class Action Claim
Provided expert witness testimony and litigation support in a class action lawsuit claiming that sales of retail gasoline should be temperature corrected at the pump. Evaluated seasonal gasoline property variability, among other key factors.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Product Quality
MTBE Litigation - East Coast
Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the New York Long Island area over the period 1980 to 2006 and submitted expert report.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony
RFCC Arbitration Expert Report
Arbitration expert witness opinion on residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) operations, prudent operating procedures, and force majeure claims related to an RFCC incident.
Arbitration , Commercial Terms Review , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , Waterborne/Marine
MTBE Litigation - West Coast
Supported joint defendants in litigation involving alleged MTBE contamination in groundwater. Analyzed gasoline supply issues to the Los Angeles basin over the period 1980 to 2006. Expert report submitted and deposition taken, however case settled prior to trial.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony
MTBE Litigation and Expert Report
Provided expert report on behalf of a joint defense group of gasoline marketing companies that discussed the many issues concerning why MTBE was chosen over ethanol to meet the federal gasoline oxygenate requirements in the early 1990s. Also included was a discussion of how gasoline was supplied to the local region in California over the 1990s and early 2000s.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Product Quality
Refinery Valuation Dispute and Arbitration
Developed an opinion of the value of a joint venture company that owned and operated a large petroleum refinery in Eastern Europe. Evaluated the refinery's financial performance, capabilities and competitive position, as well as other valuation metrics, such as replacement cost and comparable refinery transactions. Provided testimony at international arbitration.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony
Methanol Contract Dispute
Provided an expert opinion on several aspects related to a methanol supply contract dispute.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing
Equipment Demolition / Fire Investigation
Investigated circumstances of a large refinery fire related to a hydrocarbon release from a partially demolitioned open-ended pipe. Developed expert report of findings and provided opinions concerning industry practices and standards of care for the demolition of decommissioned facilities. Provided deposition and arbitration testimony.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Safety
Hot Tap Incident
Evaluated and incident involving a "hot tap" on processing pipeline and resultant leak. Assisted refinery owner and outside counsel in action brought against maintenance contractor.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
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
Fuel Oil Contamination Dispute
Expert witness services regarding a residual fuel oil contamination in a storage facility.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Product Quality
Ethanol Blending Lawsuit
Working on behalf of a petroleum industry trade organization, in defense of major gasoline branded companies, provided analysis and opinions related to the potential impact on brand quality from allowing ethanol splash-blending by third parties. Provided expert testimony at trial.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Product Quality
Drilling Incident Investigation
Following an incident on an oil drilling platform, assisted with the investigation to discern whether relevant practices, e.g., API and others, were followed.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Contract Company, Bankruptcy Dispute
Supported client in a contractor bankruptcy case by providing  opinions concerning (1)  industry practices plant operators (owners) take to vet industrial contractors for consideration to perform work at their site; (2)  impact to operations following the suspension of work by a contractor during turnaround without prior notice; and (3) efforts owners may take to mitigate the impact of work suspension.  Developed expert report and provided deposition testimony. 
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Business Interruption Assessment
Assisted in a dispute concerning factors which may have contributed to an explosion and prepared an estimate of lost profits stemming from the resultant loss incident.  
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Property Damage
Refinery Fire Claim
Provided litigation support for a valve supplier with regards to an insurance subrogation claim associated with a refinery fire.  Determined extent of damage, cost and time to repair, and estimated business interruption if refinery facility had been designed per normal industry standard.
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Property Damage
Pipeline Quality Bank Dispute
Reviewed claims by a crude oil refiner to adjust the valuation of the residuum cut in the TAPS Quality Bank.  Reviewed the residual fuel markets and the delayed coking capacities and operations for several West Coast refiners.  Provided written and oral testimony before a FERC Administrative Law Judge.
Crude Oil Valuation , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , Pricing
Tank Collapse Assessment
Assessed contractor work practices associated with the collapse of  a storage tank that occurred during cleaning operations.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage , Safety
Faulty Equipment Claim
Assisted refinery operator with an insurance claim concerning the delivery and operations of a faulty air cooler.  Reviewed documentation and supported client to determine roles and responsibilities of the equipment supplier to design, fabricate and deliver equipment free from manufacturing defects.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Refinery Turnaround Dispute Arbitration
Investigated the cause/origin of a leak that developed on a process unit after a turnaround, leading to an extended shutdown.  Evaluated various damage models used to estimate the value of loss of use of the process unit and the reduced operation of the refinery.  Submitted an expert report on the leak liability issues and the estimated value of loss of use of the process unit and its effects on refinery operations.  
Arbitration , Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Economic Losses Due to Fire
Prepared an assessment to quantify the economic damages resulting from a refinery fire that caused damage to equipment and a lengthy shutdown of a refinery distillation and conversion train.  Prepared a detailed report that documented both business interruption losses and repair costs for damaged equipment.  Provided testimony in deposition and district bench trial.
Business Interruption , Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pricing , Property Damage
Gas Plant Acquisition Dispute
After concluding a transaction, the acquiring party claimed that the facilities were not sufficient to conduct business due to deficiencies related to design, construction, safety, and failure to meet environmental regulations.  Visited the plant to interview key personnel, viewed the physical facilities, and reviewed relevant operational, safety, and engineering design information.  Our findings and opinions were presented in an expert report which was submitted into evidence.
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , OSHA-related
Production Facility EPC Dispute
Reviewed and opined on different aspects of a dispute between the developer of an oil production facilities project and the EPC contractor.  Assessed variation/change orders for entitlement and reviewed claims of preferential engineering (versus functional design).   
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Power Outage Cause and Origin
A refinery suffered an unplanned shutdown due to a power outage.  At the time of the incident, the power source was from the grid via a third-party cogeneration station.  Analyzed facilities and procedures to determine which parties: the grid, the cogeneration station, and/or the refinery, contributed to the outage.
Expert Witness/Testimony
Gasoline Supply Analysis
Analyzed gasoline supply logistics to a specific state, including refineries, pipelines, and waterborne routes and prepared demonstratives.
PRISM Data or Analysis , Expert Witness/Testimony , Pipeline , 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
Gas Plant Construction Dispute
Prepared expert report and testified regarding alleged performance deficiencies of a general mechanical contractor performing a reimbursable construction project.  The project allegedly experienced poor productivity, resulting in cost overruns and schedule delays.  Assessed the different potential causes of alleged poor productivity, including project management, scope changes and weather impacts.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
EPC Construction Dispute
Provided expert support in a construction dispute relating to a natural gas processing plant in North America.  The dispute primarily concerned engineering design issues and whether the installed facilities met contract, specification, and industrial standard requirements.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Fracking Equipment Fire
Assisted with the Cause and Origin investigation of a fire on a blender used in a fracking operation.   
Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Crude Oil Supply Contract Dispute
Provided an expert report for a crude oil supplier who lost its contract to a refiner.  Provided a valuation versus alternative crude oils as to the value of the cancelled crude oil supply contract.  Dispute settled prior to trial.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Physical Asset Appraisal , Waterborne/Marine
IPP/Refinery Power Generation Outage Dispute
Assessed the cause(s) of supplier's steam and electricity generation failure and mitigating actions by the refinery/petrochemical customer. Preliminary findings and a document request were provided to the client.
Arbitration , Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Insulation Works Dispute
Provided expert witness assistance with technical issues regarding the installation of insulation on an LNG facility.  Baker & O'Brien reviewed the technical issues, prepared an expert report, and testified regarding our opinions in an ICC Arbitration hearing.
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , LNG
Pulp and Paper Mill Construction Dispute
Opined on engineering standard of care issues and issued an expert report for use in a dispute between the owner of a pulp and paper mill and an engineering firm as it related to a major turnaround project.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Pipeline Specifications Dispute
A new pipeline owner was seeking to impose tighter diesel specifications on a pipeline. Provided an expert report and testimony regarding common carrier pipeline diesel product specifications in a regulatory hearing.  The dispute was ultimately settled prior to the hearing.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , Product Quality
Floating Production Platform Dispute
Reviewed, opined, and prepared expert report regarding the project cost differences experienced during construction of the hull and integration of topsides for a semi-submersible platform, which was placed into service offshore of Brazil.  Our review included a change in the construction site, changes in construction strategy, and changes in the sequence of construction. 
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Offshore
Pipeline Operating Practices
A lawsuit was filed against a major U.S. pipeline company stating that its operating practices during maintenance at a gas gathering line resulted in a fire and the injury of two contract workers who were the plaintiffs. We were asked to opine on the cause of the fire. The matter was settled out of court prior to reports being issued or testimony being presented.          
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Retail Marketing Contamination Dispute
A gasoline marketer that had withdrawn from a particular region was being sued for alleged contamination from leaking underground storage tanks at retail marketing locations in that region. We were retained to provide an overview of the gasoline supply chain with an emphasis on the various types of retail operations and to review the plaintiffs’ claims regarding the number of retail outlets that were owned and controlled by that company in the relevant time period.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance
Refinery Fair Market Value
Provided expert witness testimony and assisted client during negotiations regarding the fair market value of a shutdown refinery in bankruptcy.  
Expert Witness/Testimony , Physical Asset Appraisal
Petroleum Products Terminal and Pipeline Environmental Matter
Provided expert witness testimony in a groundwater contamination dispute regarding a petroleum products terminal..
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Toxic Tort
Refinery Valuation
Provided expert witness testimony regarding the fair market value of a shutdown refinery in bankruptcy and assisted during negotiations.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Physical Asset Appraisal
Petrochemical Plant Explosion
Provided expert witness testimony and a expert report regarding a petrochemical plant reactor explosion, the design and sizing of the pressure relief valve (PRV), and standard operating procedures.  
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Mexican Refinery Construction Dispute
Served as consulting and testifying experts in an ICC arbitration involving an upgrade and expansion of a large refinery complex in Mexico.  Evaluated over 400 separate claims by the owner for alleged improper design and invalid extra work orders for refinery and pipeline projects.  Assignment included preparation of an expert report and testimony before the International Court of Arbitration in Mexico City.  
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Acrylonitrile Plant Construction Dispute
Assisted in a dispute  between a major EPC firm and an owner concerning claims that the owner's interference with a lump-sum EPC contract resulted in a large cost overrun.  Assisted with discovery, evaluated construction documents, analyzed project disruption, evaluated change orders, and prepared trial exhibits. 
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Refinery Flare Incident
Following a fire during a scheduled flare system maintenance turnaround, retained to assess the feasibility of safely hot tapping the flare header to install a stopple and allow removal of a large gate valve upstream of a flare knock-out drum.  In consultation with other parties, assessed: (1) the flare system equipment, (2) the refinery hot tap procedures, and (3) evaluated if the activities could be performed safely.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Industrial Accident Investigation
Investigated circumstances concerning personal injury of a contract employee who fell off a process vessel during a turnaround.  Investigation included evaluating:  (1) the operating company's and contractor's safe work practices; (2) relevant OSHA regulations; (3) appropriate fall protection requirements to mitigate risk associated with work activities; (4) responsibilities of affected parties and employees to utilize appropriate fall protection; and (5) identifying contributing factors to the incident. 
Expert Witness/Testimony , Forensic Analysis , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related
Amortization Study
Prepared amortization studies for an oil and gas production facility in a non-conforming land use.  Inspected onshore processing facilities and an offshore production platform to evaluate condition and determine facilities in use.   Studied historical and projected cash flows using estimated production declines.   Considered capital and operating expenses, as well as future development and abandonment plans.   Provided economic scenarios in reports, presented findings in a public hearing, and assisted in settlement negotiations.
Commercial Terms Review , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Offshore , Operations/Maintenance , Physical Asset Appraisal , Project Feasibility
Nitrogen Fertilizers Arbitration
Assisted an investor in asserting claims that the owner’s poor performance in completing an EPC contract and its subsequent operation of a world-scale nitrogen fertilizers project resulted in economic losses.  Work included evaluation of the EPC contracting strategy, evaluation of project controls, analysis of the operating performance of the project, review of whether natural gas supplies were adequate, evaluation of electrical power supply and grid reliability, and analysis of capital investment required to improve operations to industry standards.  Provided an expert report that was accepted into evidence in an international arbitration proceeding.  
Arbitration , Expert Witness/Testimony , Fertilizers
Tank Incident Report
Assisted during an incident investigation related to construction of a storage tank. Interfaced with OSHA personnel during the identification and removal of tank components. Worked with attorneys and other experts to develop protocols for the identification and storage of retained materials. 
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , OSHA-related
Nitrogen Related Incident
Investigated events surrounding the rupture of a nitrogen vessel utilized to purge process equipment during a planned TA.  The rupture led to several employee injuries and a fatality.  Assisted counsel by evaluating existing plant safe work practices, procedures utilized by different parties associated with the event, and OSHA/PSM requirements relative to the job that was being performed.  Efforts included reviewing employee depositions, employee and contractor safe work practices, documentation related to the planned TA and incident, and OSHA regulations.  Developed expert report and provided deposition testimony. 
Expert Witness/Testimony , Fertilizers , Operations/Maintenance
Pipeline Operation Dispute
Following an unreported incident during right-of-way mowing, in which the machine downed a high voltage power line, the pipeline ruptured causing crude to seep into wetlands for several hours.  We were asked to opine on the following pipeline operational parameters: supervision of mowing crews, whether mowing is - or should be - a 'covered task,' actions/inactions of control room operators when starting and monitoring pumping operations and leak detection software.  
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , Pipeline
Chemical Plant Construction Dispute
Provided expert report on alleged engineering design and failed mechanical completion issues for a chemical plant in a lump sum and guaranteed completion date EPC contract.  Prepared expert report and provided testimony detailing the basis of findings and opinions.  
Arbitration , EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Dispute Support - Groundwater Contamination
Provided expert report related to the standards of care for U.S. refineries operating prior to 1960, including typical maintenance practices employed at the time. Reviewed very limited historical records of the refinery and depositions taken of the workers at the refinery during its time of operation.  Reviewed the hydrocarbon leak detection technology that existed during the operating life of the refinery and compared it to present technology available today.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Tank Collapse Dispute
Investigated the cause of a tank collapse that occurred during cleaning activities in preparation for a planned internal inspection.  Assessment included evaluating:  (1) condition of the tank prior to the incident; (2) work processes utilized by contractor performing tank cleaning; (3) maintenance and inspection practices of tank operator; (4) industry accepted practices for tank inspection; and (5) contributing causes that led to the incident.  Baker & O'Brien also assessed the cost to clean the tank and perform repairs following the incident.  Developed expert report and provided support through mediation and settlement efforts.   
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Hurricane Product Shortage Claim Assessment
Assessed a product shortfall by a chemical producer following Hurricane Harvey.  Provided volume and revenue estimates, taking into consideration port closures and the timing of force majeure declarations.
Arbitration , Business Interruption , Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , LP/Planning Practice
Plant Reliability Dispute
Assessed plant operating shutdowns and production losses related to force majeure claims.  Evaluated if these outages were reasonably the result of a force majeure event, or were related to poor maintenance practices and/or reductions in cost associated with process reliability programs.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Gas Plant Supply Contract Dispute
Provided expert services for dispute involving a supply agreement between a new natural gas processing plant and a downstream customer.  Assessed delays in the construction of the gas plant which affected its ability to supply its downstream customer with product.  Provided expertise on industry practice to assist in the interpretation of the contract's force majeure language and due diligence responsibilities. 
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony
Gas Pipeline - Alleged Valve Defects
Addressed the alleged failure of valves to meet specification and the appropriateness of a party’s action to remove the valves from service.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pipeline
Hazardous Remediation Costs Allocations
Assisted client with a claim related to remediation of property associated with a pipeline corridor and the surrounding petrochemical and terminal industrial complex.  Assignment included evaluating pipeline and tank fabrication requirements, inspection, and maintenance practices during the history of the pipeline and surrounding industrial complex; and, specifically, the practices of the client during its ownership of pipelines and facilities involved in the dispute.  This information was used to assess the client's responsibilities and the cost allocations between all parties during the history of this industrial site.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Ammonia Plant Relocation
Evaluated technical issues related to project management in the relocation of an ammonia plant.  Reviewed records related to schedule, progress measurement, and construction budgets throughout the relocation project.  Reviewed project execution plan and compared actual execution to plan.  Also advised on responsibilities of the owner, contractor, and subcontractors on the project.
EPC-related , Expert Witness/Testimony , Fertilizers , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Project Feasibility
Refinery Power Failure
A power supply failure at a refinery resulted in a complete and extended outage of the refinery, as well as long-term impacts to refinery operation.  Opined on the duration of the outage, the refiner’s actions, and refinery procedures during the restart effort with respect to typical refinery restart efforts.  Also calculated the economic damages suffered by the refinery as a result of the power outage.
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Power Market Analysis
Provided advice and expert opinion on the commercial and technical assumptions used in the calculation of steam and power rates that an oil and gas producer charged its clients.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Pricing
Natural Gas Pipeline Strike
Reviewed applicable regulations and responsibilities for identification of buried pipelines, following an incident involving a construction contractor striking a third party's natural gas pipeline and causing a sudden release of gas that resulted in a fire.  Provided an expert opinion on the incident.
Expert Witness/Testimony , OSHA-related , Safety
Refinery Flaring Dispute
Reviewed several flaring incidents associated with litigation at a refinery.  Opined on refinery actions taken, maintenance practices, and operating procedures in place related to refinery flaring.  Developed an expert report and provided deposition testimony.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Contractor Injury
Following a contractor injury during a plant turnaround, engaged to: (1) assess activities of contractors associated with the turnaround; (2) determine if activities were associated with the vessel where the contractor was reportedly injured; and (3) evaluate if these activities affected the incident.  Developed an expert report.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Insurance Support: Liability and Business Interruption
Assessed the merits of a liability claim and business interruption claim associated with an equipment failure in a sulfuric acid regeneration facility.  Advised on the value and key determinants of a business interruption claim.
Business Interruption , Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , Property Damage
Well Services Contractor Injury
Assessed witness reports, investigation reports, depositions and other documents pertaining to the circumstances of a workplace injury during a well service activity.  Provided opinions on responsibilities for the incident and submitted an expert report.
Expert Witness/Testimony , Industry Practice/Standard of Care , Operations/Maintenance , OSHA-related , Safety
Gas Processing Plant Dispute
Provided an expert witness report on natural gas processing operatings, emissions, and economics in a dispute regarding the acquisition of a gas processing plant.
Environmental , Expert Witness/Testimony , Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Contract Dispute
Provided an expert report and expert witness testimony regarding measurement and pricing provisions of natural gas purchase/sale contract.
Commercial Terms Review , Expert Witness/Testimony
Chemical Plant Fire Investigation
Provided expert witness services regarding a chemical plant fire involving sodium chlorate.
Expert Witness/Testimony , OSHA-related , Safety