Baker & O'Brien, Inc.


Industry Details

Industry Details

Gas Processing

Baker & O'Brien's natural gas consulting practice has grown in concert with the emerging role of natural gas as the world's preferred fuel choice.  As natural gas is processed, impurities and water are removed to meet pipeline gas quality specifications.  Further processing may be performed to recover natural gas liquids, produce liquefied natural gas, or provide compressed natural gas. Baker & O’Brien is one of the leaders in evaluating gas-to-liquids technology and project economics.  Additionally, we provide expert witness testimony and advise clients on the proper interpretation and application of natural gas contract terms. We have evaluated numerous acquisitions and divestitures of natural gas and natural gas liquids gathering, processing, treating, and transportation facilities. In addition, Baker & O’Brien has established appropriate market value of natural gas and condensate, provided expertise in the construction and operation of production and processing facilities, and established the causes of major pipeline and processing incidents.

Related Case Studies

Related Case Studies
High Pipeline Pressure Forces Outage – Who’s to Blame?
A pipeline operator and an NGL producer disputed the alleged cause of pipeline flow limitations, which resulted in a shutdown for cleaning.  At issue was whether contaminants on the filters causing high-pressure drops were attributable to a single producer or even a single contaminant.  After examining relevant documents on pipeline ingress, segment pressure drops, and sample collection, we provided an expert opinion on the probable causes of the flow limitations. Read more
When Good Gas Goes Bad: Gas Field Development Dispute
This dispute relates to a lump-sum engineering, procurement, installation, and construction (EPIC) contract for development of an offshore gas field. The EPIC contractor was instructed to demobilize after analysis of produced gas indicated contaminants outside of the design basis.  The arbitration panel relied on Baker & O’Brien’s expertise to assess the value of construction defects, liquidated damage liability, reconfiguration work, and the effects of contaminants on processing facilities.  Read more
Compressor Station Failure – Flawed Design or Inadequate Operations and Maintenance Practices?
Two years after a new compressor station was placed in service, a compressor experienced a failure that resulted in a fire and damage to it and nearby equipment.   The dispute between the operator and the equipment manufacturer concerned the bolt failure that led to the gas release and fire—flawed design or inadequate operations and maintenance.   We provided an expert opinion based on a design review, operating conditions, maintenance procedures, and attendance at the disassembly of compressors. Read more
Construction Dispute Arises Over Interpretation of “RAGAGEP”
Different interpretations of recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP) led to a dispute during construction of a gas plant.  Baker & O'Brien consultants provided expert opinions on RAGAGEP, including issues of control room siting, safety system design, pressure relief systems, and material selection, among others, required for conformance with codes, standards, regulations, and laws.   Read more
How “Petroleum” is Defined Can Have Important Contractual Implications
The definition of “petroleum” was front and center in a lawsuit about compensation related to an oil and gas partnership agreement.   Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) had been converted to derivative products, sold at world market prices; however, a consultant’s override was based on sales revenues from downstream products.  Expert opinions based on a working knowledge of petroleum production contracts, natural gas processing and LPG production, and other derivative products helped facilitate a settlement. Read more
A Safety Net for Fast-Track Due Diligence Leads to Arbitration
An energy company entered into an agreement to purchase natural gas gathering and processing assets, including an escrow account to correct deficiencies that might be discovered post sale.  This article summarizes Baker & O'Brien's investigation of facility compliance with applicable laws, conformance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice (RAGAGEP), and operability to meet obligations to producers.  After a site visit and analysis, we submitted an expert report and presented oral testimony as evidence to the arbitration panel. Read more
LPG Contamination in a Pipeline – Who’s to Blame?
Identifying the source of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) contamination in a long-distance pipeline with numerous suppliers presents challenges.  A pipeline operator alleged that one supplier contaminated the product with heavy hydrocarbons, resulting in a two-month outage for maintenance and cleaning.  Expert opinion was based on the review of the nature of the contaminants, when they were observed, and concentration levels along the pipeline.  Read more
A Project Gone Wrong – What Happened, and Who was at Fault?
The developer of a natural gas processing facility had a dispute with the owner over the compounding of cost and inordinate delay in mechanical completion.  At issue were project planning and project management pitted against labor disruptions, lack of staff for key positions, industry cost escalation, and weather disruptions.  We submitted our opinion of the effects on project progress and costs in a technical report submitted to the arbitration tribunal, followed by oral testimony at the hearing. Read more
EPC Contract Dispute - Underbid, Overbuilt, or Somewhere In Between?
An owner and an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor had a dispute pertaining to a claim for a significant cost and schedule overrun.  Baker & O’Brien was asked to compare the functional specification in the bid package to the as-built facility to determine if the project was underbid, overbuilt, or somewhere in between.  A key aspect of the assignment was to review the technical merits of the project change orders.   Read more
Gas Processing Plant - Extreme Climate Construction Dispute Leaves One Party in the Cold
As a publicly traded chemical company an Owner was required to report its progress on an expansion project to its stockholders.  When costs and schedule were reported to be significantly overrun and delayed, stockholders filed a securities class action lawsuit alleging that misrepresentation resulted in a decline in market capitalization.  Baker & O’Brien investigated project management and execution, including progress measurement to assess whether the contractors’ progress reporting was reasonably aligned with the Owner’s contemporaneous reports to its stockholders. Read more
Negative Project Outlook Hits Shareholder Value: What was Known and When?
Disputes between owners and EPC contractors, are often about schedule and budget.  Baker & O’Brien was engaged to opine on the impact of the extreme climate location on project execution considering personnel capabilities and the quality of fabrication and construction work.  Our findings pertaining to mitigation plans, field modifications, logistics plans, site living conditions and labor productivity were presented to an arbitral tribunal in report and orally. Read more
Helium Pricing - Understanding Market Structure as U.S. Reserve Privatization Loomed
Global helium resources are concentrated in only a few countries with limited suppliers and market off-take users, which results in an opaque fair market value.  When privatization of a government-owned helium resource was mandated, we were asked to evaluate the market structure and the benchmark pricing basis as a reasonable contracting basis.  This article describes our analysis of the helium market volatility in relation to the theory of using auction results to establish a commercially viable pricing basis.  Read more
Can't Keep a Good (Gas) Man Down - Lost Profits from Late Plant Completion
Delays in the construction of gas gathering and processing (G&P) facilities led to a suit filed against the EPC contractor by a midstream company alleging lost profits. We reviewed G&P contracts, evaluated operating costs, and analyzed the gas quantities processed by competitors due to the late completion to quantify lost profits. The parties relied on Baker & O’Brien’s expert reports and deposition testimony to reach a settlement. Read more


Related Experience

Related Experience
Natural Gas Processor Superfund Tax Dispute
Reviewed the Superfund Tax legislation and its applicability to natural gas processors who produce natural gasoline at their facilities.  Compared natural gas processing with crude oil processing in order to show whether the Superfund Tax was intended to be levied on gas processors.
Audit of Gas Contract
Conducted an audit of the revenue settlement of natural gas liquids and residue gas per the terms of a gas processing agreement. Investigated causes of reduced product yields, and reviewed compressor operation, fuel consumption, and product and fuel allocation procedures.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
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
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
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 Feasibility Study
Prepared a conceptual design for a Fischer-Tropsch based gas-to-liquids unit using low value associated gas to produce LPG, gasoline, and zero sulfur diesel.  Developed estimates of charge and yield, capital and operating costs, and project development and capital spending schedules.
Gas to Liquids, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Gas Well Incident
Prepared expert report on behalf of client versus OSHA.  Matter involved failure of a pipe carrying natural gas that injured one contractor.  OSHA cited client for failure to provided a safe means of pressure relief for vessel (in-line heater) and piping.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
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
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
Independent Engineer
Retained as the Independent Engineer for the "grassroots" Tangguh LNG Liquefaction Project in Indonesia.  Prepared the technical due diligence for the US$3 billion facility on behalf of a financial consortium.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LNG, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Investigation of Gas Processing Plant Incident
Assisted in the investigation of an explosion and fire with resulting failure of natural gas supply from onshore crude oil, condensate, and natural gas processing facilities located offshore. Reviewed facility design, operating, and maintenance standards and prepared expert testimony.
LPG Pipeline Contamination
Evaluated pipeline contamination and potential sources of contaminants from various sources.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Product Quality
Manufactured Gas Plant
Provided technical assistance and review of historical documents in support of litigation regarding the environmental cleanup of a manufactured gas plant site.  The site, which had various gasification units in operation between approximately 1870 to 1950, had been used for a number of other purposes.  Analysis investigated the contamination present at the site to all previous and current gas plant operations.
Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Royalty Dispute
Provided expert testimony regarding the reasonableness of natural gas royalty payments by comparing available arm's-length contracts, pricing, and actual costs of gathering, compressing, and processing the gas.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Midstream Acquisition Due Diligence
Assisted energy distribution company with due diligence for potential transaction involving gas gathering and processing assets located in the Permian Basin.  Assets evaluated included over 4,000 miles of gas and liquid pipelines, four gas processing plants, and multiple gas treating plants.  Participated in data room reviews and management presentations with a focus on commercial, operational, and technical evaluations of midstream systems.  Developed comprehensive economic model of the integrated gathering and processing assets that was used to determine valuations and evaluate key sensitivities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Pricing
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
Offshore Pipeline Project
Served as Independent Engineer on behalf of a major financial institution for a $200 million project to build a deepwater gas and oil-gathering system. Prepared a valuation of offshore pipelines and an onshore gas processing plant for gathering and processing of deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production in support of structured finance. Certified completion of the project for financial purposes.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Offshore, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
Propane Product Quality Dispute
Investigated the design and operation of a natural gas liquid fractionation, storage, and loading facility located on the Red Sea to determine potential causes of alleged hydrogen sulfide contamination of propane cargoes.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
Valuation of Pipelines and Gas Plant
Served as independent engineer on behalf of a major bank to value and certify completion of a project to build offshore pipelines and an onshore gas processing plant for gathering and processing of deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. The valuation was prepared for the lender in support of $200 million of structured finance.
EPC-related, Offshore, Pipeline
Salt Water Disposal Tank Explosion
Investigated the cause and origin of a storage tank explosion at an oil and gas salt water disposal facility in Colorado. Conducted site investigation and facility/equipment inspections, evaluated system design and operation, and conducted witness interviews. Determined cause of explosion and worked with company management to evaluate existing policies and procedures for potential areas of improvement.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Physical Asset Appraisal, Safety
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
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
Pipeline Contamination Dispute
Assisted in a claim involving an alleged y-grade/NGL pipeline contamination from a gas processing facility.  Examined the following key areas to evaluate the claim: pipeline hydraulics, laboratory records, chronology of pipeline sample data, reasonableness of claimed expenses, gas processing facility operation, and records.   
Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
Gas Plant Explosion & Subsequent Insurance Claims
Assisted resolution of claims between insurance company and Owners/Operators related to a gas plant explosion.  Reviewed property damage and business interruption claims for accuracy and veracity.
Business Interruption, Pipeline, Property Damage
Project Cost Overrun Dispute
For a large sour condensate stripper facility, evaluated a significant project cost increase over the original estimate, taking into account work scope changes, market escalation, the accuracy of the original estimate, and the impact of project delays.  An assessment was made of the reasonableness in each category and the likelihood of success with respect to cost recovery via litigation proceedings from a technical standpoint.  The project was designed and constructed during a period of rapidly escalating labor and material costs.
Review Project Development Costs
Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
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
Natural Gas Gathering Disputes
Provided expert report regarding claims involving natural gas measurement, prudent operations, natural gas pricing, surface estate issues, reasonable accommodations, and environmental considerations.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care
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
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
Pipeline Pigging Accident
Reviewed injury accident that occurred while pigging a gathering pipeline to remove formation water produced with natural gas. Provided an expert report regarding applicable industry standards regarding operation of vacuum truck for disposal of formation, as well as observations regarding the contractual responsibilities of the tank truck operator and the production operator.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Safety
Gas Producer Contractual Dispute
Provided expert report and testified in federal bankruptcy court concerning disposal costs of produced salt water, reasonableness of a farm-out joint venture agreement, costs of capital, and salvage value of production equipment.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Gas Gathering and Treating Due Diligence
Performed due diligence of West Texas natural gas gathering and treating system. Reviewed contracts and facilities, assessed competition, developed economic model, and estimated market value of assets.
Review Project Development Costs
Evaluated multi-million dollar cost overruns of yearly operating budgets of a Central Asian consortium involved with the oil and gas development and production. Costs reviewed included Engineering Support, Operating Costs, Drilling Costs, and Capital Expenditures.
EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
Gas Compressor Incident Dispute
Provided expert opinions concerning a gas compressor failure insurance claim related to:  (1) evaluating the gas processing facilities' maintenance and standard of care practices compared to industry standards; and (2) reviewing the operating practices and programs utilized at the facility to determine if these practices caused or contributed to the incident and subsequent damage.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Gas Treating Facility Explosion Investigation
Investigated cause of system overpressure and shutdown of downstream pipelines which led to flange gasket failure and fire.  Reviewed system design, construction, and overpressure protection at wellheads located upstream to determine cause of failure.   
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Safety
Review Infrastructure Assets
Assisted client in evaluating infrastructure spending to support ongoing operations and maintenance activities.  Our review evaluated whether  the infrastructure assets were integral to the overall technological complex.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Condensate Gathering System Due Diligence
Assisted client with engineering due diligence on a Texas condensate gathering system focusing on pipeline mechanical integrity issues.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
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
Supply Contract Dispute
Assisted in breach of contract claims regarding a helium supply agreement from a large natural gas processing/treating complex.  Analyzed historical operation and performance of processing and extraction facilities, including sources and composition of gas supplies, plant shutdowns, and plant turndown capabilities.  Reviewed plant performance, including operating costs, efficiencies, and operating modes to support defendant's plant operations.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
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
Joint-Operating Agreements
Responsible for joint venture management with a mandate to ensure operator compliance within operating agreements (JOAs).  Responsible for overseeing non-operator audits with a goal to bring about greater operator accountability and transparency.  
LNG, Operations/Maintenance
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
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
Gas Plant Fire Damage Repair Costs
Assessed fire-related damages and estimated rebuild cost for a cooling tower at a gas plant.
Property Damage
Gas Plant Construction Dispute
Provided expert advice with respect to standard and customary practices of gas plant design and construction.
Pipeline Pigging Incident Investigation
Following a plant incident caused by the ingress of water, we investigated upstream pipeline activities and operating records to determine the root cause of the incident.  
Pipeline, Safety
Engineering & Construction - Liquidated Damages Dispute
Reviewed claim relating to assessment of liquidated damages and inadequate delivery of Operating Manuals.
Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related
Petroleum Revenue Override Dispute
Reviewed contract, evaluated contract terms and key definitions and analyzed royalties related to a large West African oil, gas, LNG and petrochemical complex.
LNG Liquefaction Capital and Operating Costs
On behalf of a confidential client with a proposed world-scale LNG liquefaction plant, prepared high-level cost estimates for two phases of the project: 1) the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) phase and, 2) the operating phase.  Provided cost data for client’s financial model to help assess the risks and viability of the project.
EPC-related, LNG, Operations/Maintenance
Gas Plant Construction Dispute
Prepared expert report for AAA arbitration regarding alleged deficiencies by the EPC contractor relating to compliance with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice (RAGAGEP) for adherence with OSHA requirements. Multiple issues, including control room safe location, electrical area classification, positive material identification, process hazard analysis, metallurgy selection, and building ventilation design were addressed.
EPC-related, OSHA-related
Flare Tower Design Review
Independently reviewed the design of two flare towers for an LNG onshore facility. Commented on the EPCM contractor's responsibilities to review the work product of subcontractors and vendors.
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LNG
Natural Gas Midstream Due Diligence
Conducted due diligence on gas gathering assets in East Texas for a prospective purchaser. Inspected facilities, reviewed pipeline and facility construction records, confirmed regulatory status, evaluated pipeline integrity management program, and assessed process safety.
GTL Technology and Cost Evaluation
Evaluated the technology, cost estimate and financial model for a small scale GTL project to convert natural gas to liquid specialty products. The project evaluation included a review of the synthesis gas process, Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reactor technology, product recovery and product separation. The project definition and stage of development were evaluated for technology risk, cost estimate range of accuracy and suitability of the financial model assumptions.
Gas to Liquids
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
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.
LNG Due Diligence
On behalf of potential offtakers and equity investors of train one, performed a technical due diligence and risk assessment of a two-train liquefaction project, including common use of certain existing regasification facilities.  Work completed during the development phase of the project involved the evaluation of pre-completion risks and post-completion risks, including a review of planned and existing facilities.  CAPEX, contractor capabilities, construction schedule duration, and OPEX were reviewed for appropriateness and risk of overrun.  Subsequent follow-up work included a review of an Open Book Estimate (OBE), a project risk evaluation (reviewed and quantified pre-FID and post-FID cost and schedule risk), and an assessment of the project’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS).  
Propane Pricing Analysis
Evaluated the historical development of propane prices in a key North American market, and developed a report that assessed propane supply-demand dynamics and price response, given the increasing availability of supply.  Evaluated the evolution of company price postings and compared independently-assessed, third party prices to these postings.  Provided opinions on the best propane price reference points to be used in commercial supply contracts. 
Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Gas Plant Due Diligence
On behalf of a developer's due diligence process, provided an independent review of a gas plant project in the U.S.  Reviewed documents and consulted with the developer regarding the process design, engineering, major systems and equipment, procurement, construction, schedule and CAPEX. 
EPC-related, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
LNG Capital Cost Review
On behalf of potential offtakers and equity investors of one train, Baker & O’Brien performed a follow-up review of the updated Open Book Estimate (OBE) of a two-train liquefaction project, including common use of certain existing regasification facilities. 
EPC-related, LNG
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
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
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
Gas Plant Mediation Support
Provided mediation support in relation to a helium supply agreement dispute between a new natural gas processing plant and a downstream customer.  Reviewed force majeure declaration and prepared mediation presentation summarizing aspects of the dispute.
EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance
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 Technical Advisor
Provided technical support regarding the FERC filing process, reviewed FEED study deliverables from contractors, and advised with regard to other contracts in support of the project, including geotechnical issues, noise survey, vapor dispersion, etc.  Also reviewed progression and risks involved in estimates of project CAPEX and OPEX.  
EPC-related, Project Feasibility
Gas Plant Construction Dispute
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
Gas Pipeline Dispute
As a member of the three person dispute resolution board for a gas pipeline construction project, reviewed, evaluated, and determined liability for project claims brought before the board.  
Commercial Terms Review
Pipeline Pig Station Incident Investigation
Reviewed information concerning a fire associated with the commissioning of a pipeline station and equipment skid. Purpose was to assess cause and origin for the incident and roles and responsibilities of the operating company and equipment supplier associated with the project. 
Property Damage
GTL Technology Assessment
Provided a fatal flaw analysis, evaluated the technology application and integration, reviewed the cost estimate accuracy range, and assessed the financial model for a natural gas to wax proposed project.  Particular emphasis was placed on the ability to scale-up the process, the assumptions for plant capacity and availability, and the project schedule.
EPC-related, Intellectual Property, Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
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
Lender's Engineer - GTL Plant
Served as Independent Engineer on behalf of a major Australian bank for the construction of a GTL plant.  Prepared a technology assessment, analyzed feedstock supply, and reviewed contracts.  Inspected equipment and confirmed permits were in place prior to authorizing draw-down certificates.  Monitored construction progress, confirmed expenditures, and compared these expenditures against budget.
Commercial Terms Review, Environmental, EPC-related, Gas to Liquids, Operations/Maintenance
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; interviewed project representatives regarding mechanical completion and commissioning plans.
Environmental, EPC-related, Gas to Liquids, Operations/Maintenance
Natural Gas Measurement Dispute
Assisted client with a "Discovery Request" regarding measurement of shale-play natural gas from a field meter.   Reviewed accounting records, photos, and meter specifications to determine if consistent with industry standards for measuring natural gas.  
Commercial Terms Review, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Propane Quality Review
Reviewed claims regarding a propane quality dispute between a supplier at a new terminal and a retail distributor.  Reviewed propane quality test results and bills of lading to compare actual versus reported quality.  We provided technical findings to client and assisted in getting the matter settled.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
Construction Dispute - Gas Processing Plant
Dispute involving delay and disruption, welding, and testing during gas plant debottlenecking project.  Contractor claimed that multiple owner changes had resulted in significant additional costs, including delay.  Owner claimed that the costs resulting from the changes were previously paid and that the delay in completion was due to the contractor’s poor management of the project.
Arbitration, EPC-related, Intellectual Property
Project Feasibility - LNG
On behalf of the major oil company project sponsor, prepared a capital cost estimate for a proposed world-scale, “grassroots” liquefaction plant.  The cost estimate was used to evaluate competing Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) technology packages from engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor/licensors.  
LNG, Project Feasibility
LNG Due Diligence
Provided technical support to the sponsor of a multi-train liquefaction project.  The scope of work included:  preparation of a technical due diligence report; in-depth review of the Open Book Estimate (OBE), schedule, and project execution plan; assessment of the EPC contractor’s capabilities and experience; high-level review of geotechnical issues; assistance in the development of an Operating and Maintenance (O&M) plan; input into the formation of sponsor’s project management team; and input into the development of owner’s costs, including appropriate levels of cost and schedule contingency.  Provided support to the sponsor with EPC contract negotiations.  
Environmental, LNG, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Project Feasibility
Explosion Insurance Claim
Provided report presenting a reasonable timeline and duration to source, contract, start, and conduct the demolition of the parts the Gas Plant damaged after the plant experienced a fire and explosion.
Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Property Damage
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
Assessment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material
Followed claims by personnel who claimed to have been damaged by technically enhanced radioactive material (TERM), which occurred due to industrial activity.  Investigated this phenomenon and compared it to normally occurring radioactive material (NORM).
Environmental, Toxic Tort
Fractionator Facility Design Issues
Reviewed contractual and design issues for fractionation facility and reviewed previously issued certificate of merit.  Assisted by evaluating issues of concern involving:  1) auto-refrigeration and brittle fracture of certain vessels; 2) Pressure Safety Valves (PSVs), flare system, and liquid drain facilities; 3) cooling tower pump suction pipe sizing and potable water supply; and 4) the Distributed Control System (DCS).
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
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
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
Natural Gas Due Diligence
Provided a due diligence report regarding the physical condition, purchase and sale contracts and supply/demand outlook for a potential investment in a natural gas gathering, processing, and markeing company.
Commercial Terms Review, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
Gas Processing Contract Dispute
Submitted expert witness testimony in a natural gas processing contract dispute between a gas producer and processor.  Testimony included opinions on application of contract pricing and expense recovery terms.
Arbitration, Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Gas Processing Plant Due Diligence
Prepared a due diligence report describing the physical condition and maintenace practices of the gas processing plant, staffing and organizational issues, and other operational issues.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
Natural Gas Company Valuation
Appraised the fair market value of a company involved in natural gas gathering, processing and marketing.
Physical Asset Appraisal
Gas Gathering System Due Diligence
Performed due diligence for a natural gas gathing system acquisition including physically inspecting the pipeline and compression facilities, reviewing maintenance records, and interviewing company management.  Provided client with written report documenting our findings.
Physical Asset Appraisal
Gas Processing Plant Design
Assisted client with the design and development of a cyrogenic natural gas processing plant.
EPC-related, Project Feasibility
Helium Supply and Price Indexation Assessment
Following the decision of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to exit the helium business, we evaluated how the global price-setting mechanism would be likely to change by examining:  (1) global supply and demand; (2) pricing dynamics; and (3) the various helium price adjustment indices, and provided advice related to long-term supply agreements.
Arbitration, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing
Gas Gathering and Processing Delay and Lost Profits Dispute
A midstream firm built new gas gathering and processing (G&P) facilities for oil and gas producers with firm contracts for its G&P services.  An engineering firm hired to design and construct the facilities completed them late.  Because of the late completion, the firm’s customers used other G&P service providers during the delay period.  Baker & O’Brien produced and expert report calculating the economic damages suffered by the midstream firm, which included lost G&P profits during the delay, lost drip profit, and contractual delay liquidated damage penalties owed to one of its producers. 
Business Interruption, Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony