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Baker & O'Brien Releases Second Quarter 2020 Edition of Energy Expert: Issues in Focus

August 20, 2020

This quarter’s Energy Expert newsletter profiles three recent Baker & O’Brien engagements, including an EPC dispute, a gas pipeline incident, and a refinery safety matter.  We hope you find the articles interesting and insightful.

Peter Halliday:  EPC Dispute – Design Development or Change of Scope?                                                                                                                                                                

Basic front end engineering design (FEED) parameters are typically supplied by an owner to an EPC contractor as requirements to build a process plant.  A dispute arose when the contractor claimed the as-built product was not representative of the FEED, and the owner believed the differences were the result of normal design development.  Baker & O’Brien submitted testimony to an arbitration tribunal based on an analysis of the completeness of FEED and the pertinence of design/scope differences between the as-built plant and FEED.

Mel Sinquefield:  Know What’s Below – Hidden Underground Hazards Can Strike Back

Ground disturbance and excavation are sure ways to uncover hidden underground hazards; however, it is far safer to establish the location of buried installations prior to opening an excavation.  After an excavation trencher struck an underground natural gas pipeline, the injured heavy equipment operator claimed the buried pipeline had not been properly identified and marked.  Baker & O’Brien reported on responsibilities for marking the pipeline, and which party had the regulatory compliance responsibility for safe execution of the work.

Dave Morgan:  Flare Systems and Hot Tapping – Understanding Risk is Essential

After an incident in which pyrophoric material was ignited in a flare header during a maintenance activity, a recommendation was to remove a suspected leaking valve to evaluate its integrity.  The flare system was still in live service; therefore, a hot-tap and stopple procedure would be required to isolate the pressure and hydrocarbon energy.  Baker & O’Brien was retained to inspect the site and submit an affidavit of opinion on the safety risk of performing the non-routine energy isolation procedure.

The complete newsletter can be found at the following location: Energy Expert - July 2020.