Baker & O'Brien, Inc.


Industry Details

Industry Details

Transportation and Storage

Baker & O'Brien consultants have considerable experience in the transportation, storage, and distribution of energy raw materials and finished products. We are frequently called upon to analyze the costs associated with truck, rail, pipeline, and/or marine transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and chemical feedstocks. We undertake feasibility studies associated with pipelines and petroleum storage facilities. We investigate the source and implications of leaks, fires, explosions, and other operating incidents that periodically occur during the operation of such facilities. Our consultants have provided evidence and expert testimony regarding proper maintenance and safe operating practices for all types of transportation systems.

Related Case Studies

Related Case Studies
How Much is “Old” Fuel Oil Worth?
When a fuel oil-fired power plant was sold for demolition and site reclamation, the parties could not agree on the value of the residual fuel oil inventory.  Baker & O'Brien determined the “heel” in the residual product, disposition practices and options, and the ultimate product net value.  We analyzed the quality of the product and assessed its value. Read more
Hurricanes Unravel Distribution and Branding Agreements
In a contractual dispute, a hurricane was cited as a cause of unraveling a distribution and branding agreement.  Baker & O'Brien examined whether the shortfalls experienced by the retailer were unavoidable and how they compared to shortfalls experienced by the refiner’s other customers.  Our analysis included regional refinery-runs, hurricane-related shutdown periods, Gulf Coast-to-Midwest pipeline flows, and terminal shortfalls experienced by other customers.  We provided expert deposition prior to the case settling before going to trial. Read more
When Hurricanes Hit, Storage Tanks Can Float—Archimedes’ Principle at Work
Hurricane shutdown plans with respect to storage tank inventories can prevent tanks from floating during a flood surge.  Baker & O’Brien investigated events leading to an oil spill and the adequacy of procedures vis-à-vis the prevailing standard of care.  After submitting our report, the matter was settled.   Read more
Mother Nature Intervenes and Causes a Business Interruption Claim
An accident in a busy ship channel closed shipping traffic for a number of days, resulting in refineries and chemical plants having to adjust process rates to avoid shutdowns. Baker & O'Brien assessed the reasonableness of a refiner’s business interruption claim based on lower crude throughput, lower secondary processing, and ship demurrage charges.  Our independent review of the refiner’s actions and quantum of the losses figured in to negotiating a settlement. Read more
Equipment Failure or Operational Error? – The Answer is in the Details
A tank explosion resulted from an overfill incident at a refined products terminal, which prompted claims by product suppliers for extensive business interruption losses.  At contest was the root cause of the tank overfill—whether equipment failure, operational error, inadequate maintenance, improper construction, or some combination.  Data analysis pertaining to these potential causes, including site visits to the terminal and monitoring system manufacturer, formed the basis of opinion of what happened and why. Read more
Operations and Maintenance Contracts – Not Always What They Seem
A dispute arose over a pipeline operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement about responsibilities for equipment and staffing for the O&M activity.  At issue were the contractual scope of work, industry practices, typical staffing, and usual overhead costs.  Based on site investigation findings and experience with similar facilities around the world, we provided an expert report, a rebuttal report, and testified at the arbitration hearing. Read more
How “Frozen” Assets Created a “Cold Cash” Obligation
A crude oil “quality bank”  is used when crude oils of differing quality are often commingled together in the same pipeline to produce a single “common stream.”  A series of events led to a dispute between a pipeline operator and a shipper.  Baker & O'Brien was engaged as an expert to review the pipeline operator’s quality bank calculations and determine whether they had been performed in accordance with the methodology outlined in the pipeline’s tariff agreement.  We presented our testimony to the arbitration panel. Read more
What is the Present Value of an Idea?
Tangible value is created during the project development cycle through achievement of project milestones.  The estate of a decedent claimed efforts to develop oil and gas storage facilities created significant tangible value.  Key areas of analysis included market demand for the project type, prospects for financing, and the amount of remaining work to establish the enterprise. 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
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
Is Condensate “Highly Marketable”? What are the Limitations?
A marketing dispute came about when a refiner commenced purchasing a special grade of condensate directly from the producer, bypassing the trader.  Baker & O'Brien was engaged to opine on whether the contract was binding, uniqueness of the condensate, other potential comparable and substitutable condensates, and monetary impact to the trader.  Our expert report and subsequent two rebuttals, based on the market for condensate and future price projections, were entered into evidence and arbitration testimony was given. Read more
Warnings Regarding Ethanol-Blended Gasoline – Who’s Responsible?
Mandated production of ethanol 10% (E10) gasoline precipitated a class action lawsuit against suppliers on behalf of watercraft in a certain market region alleging damages to engines and fuel systems.  This article summarizes the development of our opinion based on regulations, detrimental effects of ethanol, E10 formulation, and marketing.  Our expert report provided in-depth analysis of the supply chain. 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
Crude Oil Storage – Sludge Happens
In this article, crude oil sludge formation during storage was at the center of a dispute over lost volumes of oil by a crude terminal operator.  Baker & O’Brien provided expert opinions on industry practices for dealing with and minimizing sludge, reasonable quantities of sludge, and industry accounting for sludge accumulation.  Our written expert report enabled parties to settle early in the process. Read more
Does Splash Blending of Ethanol Comprise a Trademark Infringement?
Legislation requiring refiner-marketers of blended ethanol-gasoline to make available unblended gasoline suitable for splash blending by third parties led to a lawsuit of trademark infringement over lack of product quality control.  This article describes the essence of our work to present a detailed description of the ethanol blending processes and the accuracy of quality control for in-line blending versus splash blending.  The investigation and findings were entered into evidence and a Baker & O'Brien consultant provided testimony in deposition and at trial. Read more
Hooked on a Pipeline
Damages to a subsea gas pipeline resulted in a hurricane-related insurance claim.  Due to the urgency of the need to repair it, several questions arose as to the schedule and costs.  We provided an expert opinion on the reasonableness of repair costs. Read more
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
Under Pressure—Crushed Like an Empty Beer Can
During the cleaning operation of a very large storage tank, the roof suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed; Baker & O’Brien was retained to determine why.  We evaluated the cleaning procedures, relevant valve positions, cleaning fluid temperatures, and then produced a computer simulation with these inputs to predict the forces that resulted in the tank damage.  Baker & O’Brien produced an expert report of the incident cause for the related claims for property damage and business interruption. Read more
Force Majeure ... or Not?
A refiner declared a force majeure that delayed a ship scheduled to dock and load product after the local port authority closed the port during a hurricane.  When the refinery extended the force majeure claim beyond the reopening of the port, the shipper claimed demurrage costs.  Baker & O’Brien assessed the basis for the force majeure extension by performing an analysis of refinery operations, planning, and scheduling. Read more
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Who is Responsible?
Implementation and enforcement of environmental regulations in the U.S. pertaining to the clean-up of leaking underground storage tanks at retail gasoline filling stations had been delegated to the states.  Lawsuits arose between states and major oil companies related to the clean-up cost liability, which pivoted on responsibilities and ownership of the specific facilities.  Baker & O’Brien was retained to produce an expert report and provide expert testimony regarding retail marketing practices and ownership of retail outlets. Read more
When Petrochemicals Go Bad: Who's to Blame for Off-Spec Cargo?
A transoceanic shipment of butadiene arrived off-specification at its destination after a three-week voyage resulting in a claim against the trader, who, in turn, blamed inadequate refrigeration on the vessel.  Baker & O’Brien analyzed the records to evaluate three potential scenarios that could have caused this issue, including:  1) contamination at the production source; 2) contamination of a ship compartment before loading; and 3) refrigeration was not maintained during shipment.  We investigated the possible causes and submitted an expert report and provided deposition testimony. Read more
Business Losses from Termination of Crude Oil Supply Agreement
A refiner’s contractual relationship with its supplier soured when quality issues were observed in two monthly crude oil shipments, resulting in the cancellation of future deliveries.  Baker & O’Brien was retained to evaluate future lost profits, which was performed through a review of the pricing formula for previous contracts of the same crude oil grade, in comparison with alternative customers who had also purchased the same crude oil grade, along with their respective pricing formulas.  We produced expert opinions of the contract value differences that were used in settlement negotiations. Read more


Related Experience

Related Experience
Bankruptcy Reorganization
Developed, in conjunction with senior management, reorganization plans for various operating segments of a major trading and transport company. The resulting business plan formed the foundation of the company's successful reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy.
Operations/Maintenance, Pricing
Bitumen Valuation Study
Developed a methodology using a marker crude oil to value bitumen at the production site.  Methodology addressed differences in qualities (sulfur, acid number) and refining yields.  Transportation costs from the valuation hub to the production site were developed.  Blending methodologies were evaluated to develop bitumen blends for comparison to the marker crude oil.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
Black Oil Storage
Provided an assessment of terminal facilities in the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas. Assessed historical and projected crude oil supply and demand for California.
California Crude Oil Market Study
Developed a detailed California crude oil supply, demand, and transportation balance (by refinery) for a mid-size independent California crude oil producer. Results were used in client's annual report for shareholders and security analysts.
Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
California Crude Oil Market Study
Developed a detailed California crude oil supply, demand, and transportation balance (by refinery) for a mid-size independent California crude oil producer. Results were used in client's annual report for shareholders and security analysts.
Crude Oil Valuation, Product Quality
Chemical Pipeline Market Study
On behalf of an acquisitive client, researched, identified, and characterized chemical pipeline operations in the U.S. to form a database of prospective business opportunities.  The engagement included contacting each prospective target to ascertain an initial level of interest in pursuing commercial arrangements with the client.  The study identified several attractive prospects and provided an overall measure of the market dimensions.
Company Reorganization Study
Following the bankruptcy of a major Singapore-based shipyard, with significant oil interests throughout Southeast Asia, worked with the company's lenders to restructure and reorganize the company's asset base. Made visits to all major company sites and prepared report outlining current status. Recommended the disposition of non-core assets and the reorganization of core assets into a smaller and less highly leveraged entity. Following acceptance of most of recommendations by creditors' committee, company was able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection.
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
Contamination at Bulk Petroleum Storage Facility
Evaluated the potential long-term contamination at a bulk storage facility resulting from the sediment contained in incoming hydrocarbons.
Crude Oil Gathering System Evaluation
On behalf of an independent U.S. refiner, conducted an in-depth study of its crude oil gathering and transportation system.  Our study included  reviews of physical assets and crude oil purchase and transportation agreements, and evaluation of the economics of retention versus disposition.  Our results and conclusions were used by the client in its asset rationalization plans.
Pipeline, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Crude Oil Import Terminal Feasibility
Examined the feasibility of a deep water import terminal to meet the domestic refining industry's needs for imported crude oil as West Coast crude production declines. The analysis included a review of the history of imported crude oil for West Coast refineries, the current outlook for domestic production declines, crude oil import trends, shipping logistics, refinery capabilities, and future opportunities for moving crude oils to refining facilities east of the Rocky Mountains.
Pipeline, Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
Crude Oil Market Studies
Prepared several detailed assessments of West Coast crude oil markets for an independent California producer. Studies included preparation of detailed regional balances, identification of target refineries for client's crude oil, and estimation of its value relative to imported and domestic alternatives. Results were presented to client's executive management and at its banker and security analyst conferences.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
Crude Oil Marketing and Trading Reorganization
Recommended organizational structure and operating practice changes to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and profitability in the European crude oil marketing and trading arm of a major international oil company.
Commercial Terms Review, Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Russian Crude Oil Marketing Strategy
Analyzed potential markets, transportation options and costs, and contracting strategies for new crude oil production in Russia's Sakhalin Island region.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Offshore, Pricing, Product Quality
Crude Oil Marketing Study
Assisted the U.S. General Accounting Office in evaluating the potential for marketing of Naval Reserve crude (Elk Hills) in markets east of the Rockies.  Work included evaluation of breakeven refining values, assessment of yield and contaminant penalties, and analysis of the potential for supplying this crude to the Gulf Coast market.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
Crude Oil Marketing Study
Provided support to a major Canadian crude oil pipeline transporter in the customization of the PRISM model, Baker & O'Brien's proprietary refining industry analysis tool, the company had licensed from Baker & O'Brien. Support included addition of crude oils of specific interest to the client.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline, Product Quality
Crude Oil Custody Transfer Dispute
Investigated alleged crude oil Automatic Custody Transfer volume and quality measuring devices irregularities.  Reviewed common carrier pipeline tariffs, inspected site, and analyzed measurement data.
Crude Oil Valuation, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Product Quality
Crude Oil Pipeline Acquisition
Due diligence for a Canada to U.S. crude oil pipeline acquisition including a crude oil supply/demand balance forecast.
Pipeline, Pricing
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
Crude Oil Sludge Accumulation
Following a claim concerning sludge accumulation in crude oil storage tanks over a twenty-year period, advised as to the creation of sludge in crude oil tanks, its accumulation, the ways to prevent or control it, and the conventional ways of dealing with it.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality
Crude Oil Supply Evaluation
On behalf of a major pipeline and terminal company, prepared a detailed assessment of future crude oil supply and demand balances for the U.S. West Coast, with an emphasis on California. The assessment was used by the client as a key part of its justification for a new crude oil import terminal, capable of handling VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers), to be constructed in the Port of Los Angeles. Results were presented to community and state government groups.
Pipeline, Waterborne/Marine
Crude Oil Terminal and Pipeline Study
Assisted in the site selection study for a new crude oil terminal and a pipeline connecting the terminal to an existing refinery.
Pipeline, Project Feasibility
Ethanol Terminal Blending Facility Evaluation
On behalf of a private equity firm, reviewed a site development plan for a coastal ethanol receiving terminal and associated gasoline blending facility.  Evaluated the market competition for terminalling services within the local area.
Pricing, Product Quality
Fischer Tropsch (FT) Market Study
Conducted a market study for intermediate and finished products resulting from FT synthesis of a gas source in West Africa. The study assessed the best markets and projected netback prices for FT diesel, jet, and naphtha, as well as a review of the marketability of intermediate (unfinished) FT products.
Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
Litigation - Fuels Terminal Operations Assessment
Performed expert advice on fuels terminal operations that focused on the practices and procedures with an emphasis on the filling of product tanks.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Property Damage, Safety
Gas Measurement Dispute
Performed a preliminary audit of natural gas measurement discrepancies between an unregulated gathering system and an interstate pipeline. Identified periods that meters were out of service and utilized system balance to estimate deliveries.
Gas Pipeline Rupture Dispute
Performed an independent assessment of the costs incurred, including the lost natural gas inventory, on a ruptured interstate gas transmission line for which the owner requested a multi-million dollar damage reimbursement.  A report was prepared for mediation which resulted in a negotiated settlement.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Pricing
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 Production Dispute
Reviewed gas well production (meter readings) and pipeline pressure history to determine if gas was delivered into gathering system when the system was not being monitored and the local injection compressor was not operating. 
Gasoline Blending Compliance
Provided analysis for a refiner that does not produce finished gasoline on the prospects for producing gasoline that meets all API and ASTM requirements. Analyzed the options available to the refinery for blending reformate fractions and whether aromatics or benzene would likely be the constraining specification as it relates to the "anti-dumping" rule. Evaluated potential early compliance with the EPA's mobile source air toxics (MSAT2) program.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
Gasoline Spill Litigation
Assisted in a dispute between a retail marketer and contractor concerning allegations that contractor's work contributed to a gasoline spill from a retail gas station that contaminated the well water of 130 homes.  Assisted in discovery, evaluated the mechanical integrity of equipment, examined unique theories of causation, inspected site, and attended destructive testing procedures.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
Grassroots Refinery Feasibility Study
Conducted a feasibility study for a grassroots refinery project that included assessment of potential crude oil supplies, various refinery configurations, and a detailed analysis of target markets and product distribution logistics.  The study also included an integrated coke gasification complex to supply hydrogen, power, and steam to the refinery.  Capital cost estimates were prepared and project economics were developed for a range of scenarios.
Pricing, Project Feasibility
Heliport Pipeline Leak
Prepared expert rejoinder report on leakage from fuel storage, pipeline, and loading system located at a heliport and marine dock.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, OSHA-related
Crude Import Facilities Study
Analyzed the adequacy of southern California port infrastructure to accommodate future crude oil import requirements.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Waterborne/Marine
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
Insurance Arbitration
Investigated the circumstances surrounding an oil spill at a Gulf Coast refinery following a hurricane.  Work focused on whether the refiner acted as a "prudent operator" before and after the hurricane and whether the owner was entitled to a claim for damages based on an insurance policy's pollution exclusion clause.  Prepared a written report for submission into evidence in an international arbitration.
Arbitration, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance
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
Jet Fuel Contamination Dispute
Following product quality issues in major interstate product pipeline movements, reviewed product injection practices and analyses at pipeline injection point. Evaluated analyses at various points along the pipeline to assess possibility of quality degradation.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Product Quality
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
Long-term Outlook - Global Refining and Light/Sweet Crude
Completed a study that examined longer-term developments of the worldwide refining industry and strategies for maximizing the sales value of light, sweet crude grades.  The study identified and evaluated a long-term pricing strategy for light/sweet crude oil as a response to expected changes in crude oil quality, environmental legislation and mandates, and regional growth trends in petroleum demand.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
LPG Pipeline Contamination
Evaluated pipeline contamination and potential sources of contaminants from various sources.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Product Quality
LPG Pipeline Specifications
Evaluated pipeline tariffs, product specifications, connection agreements, and liquefied petroleum gas sales agreements, including the determination of fractionator feedstock and product economics, for the export of liquefied petroleum gas to northern Mexico from fractionation facilities in West Texas.
Commercial Terms Review, Pipeline, Product Quality
Lube Oil Market Study
On behalf of a major oil company, prepared a forecast of the worldwide supply/demand balance for paraffinic lube oil base stocks to support the development of a new high technology manufacturing facility to be located in Saudi Arabia. Project was a joint venture between the company and the Saudi Arabian government. Output from the project was intended to serve the high growth areas of the Middle East and Far East.
Project Feasibility
Manufacturing Facility and Plant Evaluation
Performed an on-site assessment of a pipe manufacturing facility to determine operational viability. Key assessments made on mechanical integrity and reliability of the process equipment, technical understanding and organizational strength of facility personnel, and related operational issues.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
Marine Cargo Contamination
Investigated causes for contamination of a cargo of gasoline delivered by ship to Ecuador. Work included review of contract requirements, gasoline blending practices, surveyor procedures, and issues related to laboratory testing of gasoline.
Product Quality, Waterborne/Marine
Market Analysis and Term Supply Contracting - Synthetic Crude Oil
Assisted a Venezuelan joint venture company in developing a marketing strategy for a new synthetic crude oil. The assignment included an evaluation of the potential market for the new production, modeling of refinery values for the new production, detailed assessments of potential supply agreements, and assistance in term contract negotiations.
Commercial Terms Review, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
Modular Refinery Conceptual Study
Performed a conceptual analysis of a small, skid-mounted refinery operating in the Middle East to serve local markets.  Assessed the likely configuration and capital costs and yields, given an assumed crude slate.
Multi-Refinery Synergies
Analyzed the synergies and economic advantages of companies that operate multiple refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Analysis included advantages in crude acquisition; turnaround and routine maintenance; feedstock and product transportation; efficient processing of intermediate streams; and optimal capital investment.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Natural Gas Pipeline and Processing Plant Due Diligence
Assisted an electric utility in its merger with a gas transmission and distribution company. Inspected pipeline and processing facilities and reviewed natural gas and natural gas liquids supply and marketing issues. Conducted operations review and an analysis of staffing levels.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
Natural Gas Royalty Litigation
Evaluated the design and historical capital costs of a natural gas pipeline system in western Oklahoma. Reviewed system material balances and operator's natural gas measurement practices.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Pricing
New Petroleum Products Terminal
On behalf of a major international construction company, prepared a preliminary feasibility study on a new petroleum products import terminal to serve the local market .  Study included facility layout and size estimates for docks and storage tanks.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
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
Sulfuric Acid Storage Incident
Retained to assist in the investigation of a fatality incident at a sulfuric acid processing and storage facility.  Reviewed equipment design, inspection and repair history, operating procedures, training of personnel, and industry practices.  Assisted legal team with on-site investigation and interaction with local, state, and federal agencies.  Reviewed conclusions by root cause analysis for consistency and factual support.
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
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
Refinery Product Distribution Outlook
On behalf of a large, publicly-traded master limited partnership engaged in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of petroleum, we assessed the five-year outlook for refinery production, liquid storage capacity, and major pipeline flows on the USGC.
Pipeline, Pricing
Supply/Demand Forecast
Constructed PRISM refinery models of all of the Australian refineries for use by a client for its strategic planning efforts.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Supply and Distribution
Assisted in a dispute concerning the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on jet fuel prices for the Gulf Coast market.  The sequence of events and impacts on individual suppliers were developed, as well as an allocation of outages and price differentials attributable to each hurricane.  Our analysis of pricing activity also considered estimates of normalized versus event-based price movements in the overall market.  
Subsea Pipeline Rupture
Assisted attorneys in investigating the circumstances surrounding a rupture of a subsea crude oil pipeline caused by a vessel dragging an anchor. This assignment included a review of the impact on crude oil gathering system and receiving terminal operations, the owner's emergency response, subsea pipeline repair costs, and a determination of the maximum insurable loss.
Business Interruption, Offshore, Pipeline, Property Damage, Safety, Waterborne/Marine
Refinery Business Interruption
Prepared detailed analyses of property damage, business interruption, and demurrage claims resulting from a vessel allision with a refinery dock.  
Business Interruption, Property Damage, Waterborne/Marine
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
Review of Facilities Safety Issues
Assisted in technical review of safety related issues at crude oil production and gathering facilities.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Pipeline, Safety
RFS Infrastructure Study
Prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute (API) that analyzed the potential logistics and infrastructure bottlenecks on a year-by-year basis to 2012 that could result from the industry trying to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
Refinery Competitiveness Study
Analyzed the relative competitiveness of a group of refineries in a specific region.  The study included an analysis of the local supply and demand balance, and a forecast of product movements into and out of the region.  Using our proprietary PRISM system, modeled each refinery in its current configuration and in its expected configurations eight years in the future.  Profit margins were calculated for each refinery under three different product price scenarios.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Refinery Product Delivered Cost Data
Assisted a client with the historical analysis of refined product supply patterns and costs in the U.S., with a particular emphasis on delivered cost of supply for transportation fuels. Provided five years of delivered product volume and cost data (by calendar quarter), for all major gasoline and distillate grades, for 85 U.S. markets, as produced and transported from over 130 fuels refineries.
Transmix and Biodiesel Processor Valuation
Developed a business valuation for an entity engaged in transmix processing, biodiesel production, and ethanol terminaling. The engagement entailed analysis of historical, current, and projected cash flows from operations to generate an income-based value for the enterprise. The work included updates to valuations of operations previously assessed by Baker & O'Brien, as well as analysis of new facilities.
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
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
U.S. Midcontinent Crude Valuation
Evaluated crude oil refining values and logistics for several targeted refineries in the U.S. midcontinent area.  Evaluated expected price parity points for domestic crude oils versus competing grades delivered to the refineries via pipeline.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pipeline, Pricing, Product Quality
Tank Truck Explosion Investigation
Investigated the potential causes and sources of ignition for an explosion that destroyed a road tanker, used to haul raw natural gas liquids from a gas treating plant, that was in a repair shop for the replacement of a pressure relief valve. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
Product Supply Contract Review
Following the notice of cancellation of a product supply agreement based on crude processing, to be replaced with an agreement where refined product prices were to be supplied based on adjustments to posted prices, evaluated the economics of the proposed supply contract compared with the existing crude processing agreement.  Determined the required level of discount to OPIS prices to match product cost under the existing crude processing arrangement.
Commercial Terms Review, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
Pipeline Contractual Dispute
Assisted in a claim between a major U.S. energy provider and project promoters concerning claims that the energy provider defrauded project promoters when it proceeded with the construction of an international natural gas pipeline.  Submitted report outlining the differences between energy provider's project and the promoters' project.
Commercial Terms Review, Pipeline
Products Terminal Feasibility Study
Prepared feasibility study and cost estimate to modernize and increase throughput capacity of a petroleum products terminal on the Black Sea.
Project Feasibility
Petroleum Products Terminal Expansion
On behalf of a worldwide independent storage group, undertook a marketing study to support the expansion of an existing petroleum products and chemical storage terminal. Study addressed the potential growth in Southeast Asian products trade, the demand outlook for independent storage, and likely future terminal rates. Expansion proceeded to successful completion based on study results.
Replacement Cost Determination
Provided a comprehensive estimate of replacement costs for oil and gas producing facilities, offshore production and drilling platforms, gathering systems, storage facilities, and processing plants. These costs were used as a basis for establishing appropriate levels of insurance coverage for a major petroleum corporation.
Offshore, Physical Asset Appraisal
Pipeline Divestiture
Undertook a comprehensive market analysis and competitive assessment of a major refined products pipeline system and formed various strategic options for asset disposition. The conclusions developed from the engagement supported the client's subsequent decision to divest certain asset segments.
Pipeline, Pricing
Refining Market Forecast
Investigated business interruption claims from fuels refineries, lube refineries, cement plants, fuels distributors, and chemicals manufacturers due to the closure of marine access following the release of oil into the waters surrounding the plants.  
Business Interruption
MTBE Litigation
Prepared declaration of gasoline distribution issues in northern California, including rebuttal of other experts' analyses of gasoline distribution.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Propane Storage Assessment
Prepared an analysis of an underground propane storage system to determine causes of leakage and potential corrective actions.
Petrochemical Terminal Fire
Reviewed testimony, expert reports, and forensic evidence and attended depositions to determine cause and origin of terminal fire.  Prepared report addressing electrostatic discharge theory, petrochemical handling procedures, employee training, and management issues. 
Forensic Analysis , Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Safety
Terminal Facility Due Diligence
Conducted financial and operational due diligence on behalf of lenders for a large regional petroleum terminal facility with associated transmix processing and commercial waste treatment operations. Tasks included inspection of facilities, assessment of competitive market position, evaluation of financial performance, and estimation of potential market value for the facilities.
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
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
MTBE Litigation
Provided expert report that evaluated and discussed the issues concerning why MTBE was chosen over ethanol to the federal 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. 
Industry Practice/Standard of Care
Bitumen Diluent Study
Developed a market study regarding diluent to be used by Canadian Oil Sands bitumen producers. This included projected supply and demand balances, logistics requirements, and impact from unconventional natural production.
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
NGL Pipeline Due Diligence
Reviewed data presented by a potential NGL pipeline seller on behalf of a potential buyer. The review focused on mechanical integrity and other safety issues.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
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 Insurance Claim
Reviewed a petroleum refinery business interruption insurance claim resulting from a dock closure because of an oil spill.
Business Interruption, Environmental, Operations/Maintenance, Waterborne/Marine
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
Gasoline and Diesel Terminal Due Diligence
Performed technical due diligence for terminal assets on behalf of financial firm.  Visited the facilities and reviewed relevant documentation to advise the client on issues concerning the operability, safety, and physical conditions of the facilities and potential future maintenance and capital costs.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Waterborne/Marine
Refinery and Pipeline Systems Valuation
Provided values of a refinery, crude oil gathering, and products marketing system to be recorded as fair values for purchase price allocation purposes.
Pipeline, Pricing
Refinery Cash Margin study
Provide a comparison of cash refining margins for PADDs 1 through 4 versus expected cash refining margins when inland crude oil transport bottlenecks to the USGC have been relieved.
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
Horizontal Drilling Property Damage
Reviewed damage to private property (farmland) allegedly caused during the installation of an underground pipeline.  A portion of the pipeline was installed using the technique of horizontal directional drilling (HDD). 
EPC-related, Pipeline, Property Damage
Monterey Shale Oil Study
On behalf of a California refiner, reviewed the potential for production of Monterey shale crude oil in the San Joaquin Valley and the accessibility of this crude to the client's refining system.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
Natural Gas Gathering Fee Dispute
Reviewed natural gas contracts to opine on whether addition of a gas gathering fee was consistent with typical commercial experience on intrastate pipelines.
Commercial Terms Review, Pipeline
Market Study for Crude Oil Rail Unloading Terminal
Provided an update to a previous report on U.S. light crude oil supply/demand and implications for a new crude oil unloading terminal in a large refining center on the USGC. Supplemented the report with an analysis of heavy crude oil rail transport opportunities.
Pricing, Project Feasibility
Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
Supplemented the client's team performing due diligence as part of a potential transaction regarding a crude oil gathering and mainline pipeline system.  Our focus was on the engineering aspects of new facilities and facilities under construction.  We provided an opinion on whether the new facilities, and the facilities under construction, appeared to be designed to applicable industry specifications.
EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
Reorganization of Crude Oil Trading Business
Analyzed crude trading business for potential reorganization.
Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
Shipyard Insurance Claim Analysis
Assessed a business interruption claim filed by a shipyard that resulted from a third-party incident. Based upon our analysis of the claimant's business operations and performance, claim estimates were developed that formed the basis for settlement negotiations.
Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
Terminal Facility Valuation
Reviewed the operating results and management projections for a terminal and transmix processing facility to develop an income-based valuation for the business enterprise. This engagement was one of a series of valuations prepared by Baker & O'Brien to support the financing requirements for this business since its inception.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pricing
Terminal Operations
Provided litigation support assistance and expert opinion for case involving historic Standard of Care issues with petroleum product terminals.
Environmental, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Toxic Tort
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
Wholesale Trade Practices
Assisted a South American national oil company in reviewing trade practices for the wholesale marketing of petroleum products. Advised the client on wholesale price formation and marketing practices in free markets.
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
Independent Planning Consultant
In the early 1990s, a major oil company agreed to purchase a former Soviet block country’s refining and marketing assets. Additionally, there was an agreement to build a state-of-the-art grassroots refinery. Until the streaming of the grassroots refinery later in the decade, the oil company operated the existing refining assets on behalf of the national office of privatization. The role of the independent consultant was to ensure that the operation was not “optimized” at the expense of the country’s taxpayers. Participated in the preparation of monthly operating plans with the operating company and presentations to the national office of privatization over a two-year period.
LP/Planning Practice, Pricing
Performance Improvement Initiatives in Worldwide Refineries
Helped design and direct a consulting project to identify the most successful profit improvement initiatives at top performing worldwide refineries. Audited and examined company culture, energy usage, refinery losses, personnel training, safety practices, environmental controls, process operations, technical services, administration, planning and economics, capital investments, maintenance, and reliability factors. Identified and documented those initiatives, which proved most successful, including their duration, need, and value added. Assignments were in the U.S., U.K., Romania, Korea, and West Africa.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, LP/Planning Practice, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline, Pricing
Terminal and Pipeline Studies
Managed several competitive assessments of major crude oil and refined products logistics systems, including pipeline transportation and inland and coastal storage terminals.
Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
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
Marine Accident Investigation
Investigated causes for contamination of a cargo of residual fuel aboard a barge that exploded and sank.
Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Operations/Maintenance, Product Quality, Property Damage, Safety, Waterborne/Marine
Product Terminal and Transmix Processing Valuation
Physical asset appraisal and business valuation of a refined product terminal and transmix processing facility. Estimated the replacement cost and deferred replacement value of the physical assets to provide a depreciation basis for taxes. Valued the business enterprise using a discounted cash flow approach based on an analysis and projection of transmix processing and product terminal activities.
Physical Asset Appraisal
Wholesale Supply Contract Dispute
Reviewed supply contract dispute and claims that customer was overcharged for product delivered to customer's retail locations. Completed an analysis of refinery gate prices, regional wholesale pricing, and transportation charges for deliveries to each location to determine if overall charges to customer were consistent with transportation logistics and contractual obligations.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Product Pipeline and Terminal Valuation
Prepared a valuation of a pipeline and related terminal associated with client's refinery. The valuation was used by the client for accounting and tax allocation purposes.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
Alberta Bitumen Valuation Study
Evaluated various approaches to valuing Canadian Oil Sands bitumen blends (DilBit). Approaches for valuation at a Hardisty, Alberta basis included: differential to a marker crude oil, refinery return on investment, parity to Mexican Maya and other approaches, including statistical regression. Evaluated approaches and potential marker crude oils and provided recommendations to client.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
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
Isobutanol Value in Gasoline
Prepared initial screening study to assess the potential benefits and issues associated with marketing isobutanol as a gasoline-blend component within the U.S. Provided isobutanol gasoline blend valuations versus ethanol/alkylate for a list of target refineries.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Fuel Contamination Investigation
Investigated an occurrence of contaminated diesel fuel at a mine facility, as well as the claimed property damage and business interruption claims.  Assessed the root cause of the fuel contamination and prepared a presentation of our findings.  
Product Quality
Dock Collision Business Interruption Claim
Assisted in a dispute concerning a refinery business interruption claim and lawsuit after a marine vessel allision with a refinery dock.  Analyzed need for extraordinary refined product marine and pipeline movements, as well as trading activity and demurrage claims.  
Commercial Terms Review, Waterborne/Marine
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
Terminal Hurricane Damage Repair and Claim
Assisted in a dispute concerning a rebuild estimate for a terminal damaged by a hurricane.  
Property Damage
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
Refinery Construction Dispute and Arbitration
Following previous arbitrations regarding liability for change orders and delays associated with a refinery expansion/upgrade, Baker & O'Brien was engaged to estimate the "quantum" amounts associated with over 400 individual claims that had been addressed by the arbitration tribunal and its technical advisor.  We testified regarding our estimates at a final arbitration hearing.   
Ethanol Class Action Litigation
Assisted a major Florida fuel marketer in Florida in defense against class action claims that ethanol-blended fuels had resulted in damaged boat engines, fuel tanks, and other marine/recreational equipment. Reviewed terminal blending and quality control practices, the actual quality and formulation of gasolines delivered to Florida consumers, and state specifications controlling the quality of such gasolines.
Commercial Terms Review, Product Quality
Hydrogen Pipeline Construction Cost Dispute
Assisted client in a dispute concerning settlement costs in regards to a canceled construction contract for a hydrogen pipeline. 
EPC-related, Pipeline
North Carolina Gasoline and Ethanol Blending Analysis
Provided an expert report on the production and distribution of ethanol and gasoline, particularly branded gasoline, in the state of North Carolina. Provided a refiner's perspective of the impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard on gasoline blending, distribution and marketing operations, considering the options, alternatives and risks of selling gasoline without ethanol.
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
Refinery Business Interruption - Marine Spill
Conducted an assessment of business interruption damages stemming from downtime caused by an oil spill which disrupted marine traffic at several adjacent manufacturing facilities.  
OSHA-related, Waterborne/Marine
Crude Oil Terminal Study
Assisted client in identifying new crude oil business opportunities for a large off-shore oil terminal that it had recently acquired. Analyzed regional crude oil supply and demand patterns and expected trends, and considered other opportunities such as crude oil blending.
Shale Oil Market Study
Developed target markets, estimated values for upgraded shale oil in various U.S. refineries, and expected price netbacks to the project site. Developed crude oil supply and demand balances to determine which crude oils would be displaced and the expected pricing impacts.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing
Terminal Acquisition Due Diligence Support
Conducted a review of fuel oil and asphalt terminal assets in support of a potential acquisition. Provided input and recommendations as to the overall quality of the assets, including a review of previous expenditures and maintenance records.
Process Plant Fire Protection Review
Advised client regarding API and NFPA process industry fire protection standards..
Operations/Maintenance, OSHA-related, Safety
Undersea Pipeline Damage Repair Costs
Assisted client by providing opinion on reasonableness of claimed repair costs to an undersea pipeline damaged by a ships's anchor.
EPC-related, Offshore, Pipeline, Property Damage
Product Pipeline Terminal Valuation
Prepared a terminal valuation based on a discounted cash flow analysis of transmix and terminal businesses and an appraisal of the physical assets.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
Crude Oil Rail Transport Study
Provided an assessment of refinery crude oil processing capability and crude oil pipeline receipt options to enable client to assess crude-by-rail options that might be available to U.S. refiners.
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.
Crude Oil Market Study
Provided a forecast of North American crude oil production through 2030 by quality and by major producing region. Evaluated the extent to which the North American refining industry could accommodate a lighter crude oil slate. Identified expected change in crude flow patterns and imports.
PRISM Data or Analysis
Utica Shale Oil Market Analysis
Identified target refineries for a Utica shale oil marketer using the PRISM refinery database.  Provided reports on their current crude slates and profitability.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Crude Oil Valuation
PADD 4 Products Supply/Demand Study
Forecasted PADD 4 refined products supply and demand through 2020 considering potential refinery expansions, refining economics, logistics and product consumption trends. Outlined the potential implications of changing supply/demand patterns on PADD 4 refined product prices.
High TAN Crude Oil Refinery Study
Identified U.S. Gulf Coast refineries processing high TAN crude oil. Estimated capital cost to convert heavy sour crude refineries currently processing low TAN crude oil to high TAN refineries. Considered a Canadian bitumen/diluent blended crude oil as the basis. Calculated the metallurgy and light ends processing costs associated with refinery conversion to high TAN crude oil.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline
Crude Oil Pipeline Due Diligence
Provided technical, commercial, and market due diligence for acquisition of pipeline transportation rights in Latin America. Carried out a technical review of the oil pipeline and pump station facilities. Reviewed the tariff setting mechanism and analyzed key inputs. Developed a tariff model and ran sensitivity scenarios to predict future pipeline tariffs. Carried out regional market study to compare alternate transportation modes (pipeline versus truck) and reviewed forecasts for crude oil production and transportation.
Power Outage Root Cause Analysis
Root cause analysis of a Port of Houston container facility power outage and an assessment of potential exposure to business interruption claims.
Business Interruption, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Property Damage
Crude Oil Pipeline System Due Diligence
On behalf of an investment group, provided technical and operational due diligence of an interstate (FERC regulated) crude oil pipeline system. Our focus included the review of asset integrity, design, system capacity, and operating costs of an existing asset and the design, project execution plan, schedule, cost estimate, and projected operating costs of a proposed pipeline.
Commercial Terms Review, EPC-related, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
Residual Fuel Oil Valuation
Provided an assessment of the quantity, quality, and value of fuel oil recovered during demolition of storage tanks at a power plant.
Commercial Terms Review, Expert Witness/Testimony, Pricing, Product Quality
Black Wax Crude Oil Market Study
Reviewed qualities of Utah Black Wax crude oil versus other sweet crude oils to determine key criteria which would lead a refiner to process to Utah Black Wax crude oil. Used criteria to screen existing U.S. refineries for their ability/incentive to process the Utah Black Wax crude oil.
Fuel Oil Contamination Dispute
Expert witness services regarding a residual fuel oil contamination in a storage facility.
Expert Witness/Testimony, Forensic Analysis , Product Quality
Crude Oil Storage Project Analysis
Evaluated current and future crude oil storage capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and developed a near-term crude oil storage cost forecast as input to client's greenfield crude oil terminal project due-diligence.
Project Feasibility
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
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
Crude Oil Storage Study
Supported various feasibility studies related to development of a crude oil storage project on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Activities included a survey of Houston and Port Arthur-area crude oil storage costs, an assessment of medium term lease rates, and an evaluation of days of crude oil storage, both historically and projected, given the changing crude oil flow dynamics from the Eagle Ford and Permian regions.
Project Feasibility
Logistics services company assessment
Provided an independent financial and commercial assessment of a logistics services company that our client was considering purchasing.
Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
Conducted asset due diligence activities:  inspected facility under construction; provided market incentives, operating costs, risk overview, and staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics. 
Crude Oil Valuation, Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
Asphalt Refinery Due Diligence
Performed due diligence on behalf of a financial institution for funding the startup of an idle asphalt refinery.  Advised client on technical issues related to running black/yellow (Uinta) wax crude in the asphalt refinery.  Work included evaluation of the condition of the process units and infrastructure, assays of feedstocks, analysis of yields, and evaluation of process bottlenecks. 
Operations/Maintenance, Project Feasibility
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
Environmental Impact Support - Rail Terminal and Refinery
Prepared an expert report on behalf of a local government agency, as part of an environmental impact process, to address the key technical changes resulting from a project to construct a crude oil rail terminal and modify an existing refinery to allow it to process increased amounts of light domestic crude oil.   
Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice
Refined Products Terminal Study
To support a client's due diligence efforts for a potential petroleum products terminal acquisition, undertook a market study to evaluate the current refined products supply and demand balance on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Key market drivers were identified which could impact future market growth.
Permian Basin Market Review
Analyzed Permian Basin crude oil production, production forecasts, infrastructure projects, and price differentials for a midstream company.  Provided input for annual investor presentation.
Gasoline Supply Analysis
Prepared several regional maps showing sources of gasoline supply to various states including refineries, pipelines and waterborne routes.
Condensate/Diluent Analysis
Developed a diluent supply and demand balance to determine if U.S. lease condensate is being blended into Canadian bitumen for import into the U.S.  Evaluated multiple approaches to identify any potential U.S. lease condensate being blended into Canadian bitumen.
Asphalt Refinery Dispute
Provided analyses on locating an asphalt refinery on a property and expert witness deposition testimony involving the construction of an asphalt refinery.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
Crude Oil Flow Projections for Pipeline Acquisition
Evaluated the current regional supply and demand balance for crude oil and developed medium-term forecasts, given expectations for area refinery expansions and crude oil production changes.  Developed projections for crude oil transportation volumes in an existing crude oil trunkline that was considered for acquisition.
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
Terminal Due Diligence
Provided technical due diligence support for a large terminal acquisition opportunity involving approximately 50 terminals, 700 tanks, and 30MMbbls of storage.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Waterborne/Marine
Condensate Splitter Due Diligence
Conducted asset due diligence activities:  (1) inspected facility under construction; (2) provided market incentives; (3) operating costs; (4) risk overview; and (5) staffing recommendations for successful acquisition of condensate splitter and associated logistics.
Operations/Maintenance, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Condensate Splitter Market Study
Developed market study and economics for a "grassroots" Eagle Ford condensate splitter located in Corpus Christi.  Evaluated alternate locations and presented to CEO and management.  
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Oil Disposition Study
Developed economics of crude disposition alternatives for producer's growing production of light tight oil.  Alternatives included local and distant refining values with appropriate logistics costs.
Crude Oil Valuation, LP/Planning Practice, Pipeline, Pricing
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
Barge Loading Incident Investigation
Investigated a marine over pressure and rupture incident which occurred while loading a barge with light stabilized hydrocarbons.
Pipeline Contractor Business Interruption Claims
Reviewed business interruption claims made by welding contractors related to a pipeline incident that resulted in damage to the contractors' equipment.  Prepared a report documenting our findings of the business loss claims.
Business Interruption, Operations/Maintenance, Pipeline
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
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
Refinery Business Interruption Claim
On behalf of an insurer, calculated the business interruption expense for a Gulf Coast refinery associated with a delay in receiving crude oil via ship.  Reviewed calculations provided by the refinery and opined on associated business interruption impacts associated with the delay in receiving crude oil shipments.  Provided an expert report, which enabled a settlement in the dispute.
Business Interruption, Waterborne/Marine
Crude Oil Storage Support
Surveyed industry sources to develop an estimate of the current crude oil storage costs in the Texas Gulf Coast area.  Developed an estimate of the current crude oil storage capacity and petroleum refinery capacity in the Houston area.
Project Feasibility
Pacific Northwest Market Study
Prepared a market study of the Pacific Northwest U.S., which included the refined products supply and demand balance and logistics systems.  The emphasis of the study was on current and future jet fuel supply and demand in the region.  Evaluated jet fuel logistic systems for Pacific Northwest.
LPG Terminal
Lenders' Engineer review for development of an LPG terminal consisting of LPG tankage, gasoil tankage, loading facilities, and associated pipelines and equipment.  The facilities were planned to accommodate annual throughput volumes of 1,150,000 tons of LPG and 940,000 tons of gasoil, with minimum guaranteed volumes of 700,000 tons of LPG and 600,000 tons of gasoil with planned future facilities for increased throughput volumes, bunkering operations, and third-party storage.
EPC-related, Project Feasibility, Waterborne/Marine
Refinery Design Review
Grassroots refinery was to be a modular-fabrication with an on-site assembly on a greenfield site in North East Africa.  Due to the characteristics of the crude oil (heavy, waxy and high naphthenic acid content), process design included Visbreaker-type technology.  An evaluation was made of the process design and the project economics. 
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Product Quality, Project Feasibility
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
Refined Products Pipeline Market Study
Developed a supply and demand forecast by market area for a major refined products pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest.  Project involved analyzing historical supply trends and demand by market area and forecasting expected pipeline flows under various refinery utilization scenarios.
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
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
Crude Oil Quality Bank Study
Recommended a crude oil quality bank methodology for the different types of crude oil to be stored in a new USGC crude oil storage facility.  Reviewed other existing quality banks and developed recommendations and methodology for managing a crude oil quality bank.
Product Quality
Transmix Facility Due Diligence
Completed technical, financial, and operational due diligence analysis on behalf of lenders for an existing transmix processing facility and associated terminal.  Tasks included inspection of facilities, assessment of competitive market position, and an evaluation of a new hydrotreater project for ULSD production.
Commercial Terms Review, Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal, Project Feasibility
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
Canadian Refinery Competitiveness Study
Evaluated the competitive position of several Canadian refineries located in Eastern Canada and Ontario.  Evaluated refinery configurations, crude oil slate and product yield, and profitability versus a group of regional competitor refineries.  Presented the crude oil and product logistics systems for each of the Canadian refineries being studied.  
Terminal Due Diligence
Performed a technical due diligence of a Gulf Coast refinery tank farm and associated transfer pipelines for a prospective investor.  Reviewed inspection and maintenance records of the assets during a site visit.  Reviewed numerous operating performance documents from a data room.  Prepared a technical due diligence report outlining our findings.
Operations/Maintenance, Physical Asset Appraisal
St James Louisiana Crude Supply Study
Analyzed crude supply sources and pipeline flows for the Southern Louisiana refining market in conjunction with a potential pipeline acquisition.  Forecasted crude supply availability by grade in the St. James trading hub and analyzed impact of new crude oil pipelines in the market.
PRISM Data or Analysis
California Terminal Due Diligence
Assisted midstream buyer with valuation of a large Northern California petroleum terminal.  Delivered market study presentation to company management to assist in due diligence and valuation using market metrics.
Physical Asset Appraisal
Permian Basin Crude Oil Supply and Logistics
Provided supporting material related to Permian Basin crude oil production growth and logistic infrastructure for a pipeline owner's annual investor presentation.
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
Crude Oil Rail Terminal Study
Provided an overview of the Chicago market in terms of crude oil pipeline logistics, refinery crude oil slates, and refinery profitability.  Provided supporting information for client considering an investment in a crude oil rail terminal.  Supporting information included a Canadian crude oil takeaway outlook and Chicago area refineries crude oil slate outlook.
PRISM Data or Analysis
Petrochemical Cargo Contamination
Evaluated a case where a cargo of butadiene did not meet specification upon delivery due to excessive dimer content.  Reviewed the sources and history of the various lots that comprised the cargo, the timing and temperature of the cargo during its voyage, and the gas carrier's operating records.   
Commercial Terms Review, Product Quality
Appraisal Services
Provided appraisal services for industrial properties.  The three standard methods of valuation used were:  cost, income, and market approaches. 
Shale Crude Processing Evaluation
Provided economics and expected operating costs of a grassroots light crude oil distillation facility.  Facilitated meetings with future customers of intermediate products.  
Pricing, Project Feasibility
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
Marine Dock Damage Insurance Claim
Analyzed the business interruption insurance claim of petroleum product terminal that was impacted by marine dock damage caused by the collision of an arriving ship.  Provided advice regarding potential mitigations concerning the terminal’s product movements.
Business Interruption
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
Petroleum Terminals Contract Valuation
Provide estimated values of existing storage/throughput contracts for petroleum terminals in North America, Europe, Japan, and Hawaii.
Commercial Terms Review, Pricing
Oil Refinery Valuation
Conducted a valuation of an oil refinery and associated pipelines for a commercial bank in support of a significant debt refinance package.  
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline, Pricing
Light Product Supply and Demand Study
For a large metropolitan area, provided incremental cost of supplies from competing refining centers.  Calculated annual demand and seasonal differences.  Provided economics for seasonal gasoline storage.
Natural Gas Distribution System Construction Dispute
Provided expert written reports and arbitration testimony in an EPC construction dispute concerning the construction of a new hydrocracker and associated refinery units.  The dispute involved a range of issues, including engineering defects, construction quality control, and construction schedule delay impacts.  
EPC-related, Pipeline
Condensate Splitter Investment Analysis
Analyzed a proposed condensate splitter investment for a large midstream company.  The study included feed and product supply/demand, economics, staffing, operating costs, and export ban lift scenarios.
Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Project Feasibility
Condensate Splitter Operating Plan
Assisted a large midstream company with preparation of a condensate splitter operating plan, including staffing, maintenance, quality assurance, planning, and related items.
Commercial Terms Review, Crude Oil Valuation, Pricing, Product Quality
Permian Basin Market Study
Analyzed Permian Basin production and disposition of crude oil by county, pipeline, and refinery takeaway capacity, and logistic infrastructure expansions in the area.
Louisiana Crude Oil Supply Study
Analyzed crude oil supply and distribution for a potential pipeline acquisition.  Evaluated refinery crude slate preferences and capabilities, along with access to domestic and foreign crude oils.  Reviewed production trends, crude oil flows, new pipeline construction, and changes of service to estimate future utilization and profitability.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pipeline
Pipeline Due Diligence - Operation and Expansion
Performed a technical due diligence (operations, integrity management and maintenance of pipeline, terminal, and marine loading assets).
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
Crude Oil Pipeline Dispute
Provided expert reports and interrogatory responses regarding the blending of butane into a crude oil stream that fed a commingled pipeline system.  For an extended time period, evaluated the potential refining impacts of the individual crude oil qualities into the commingled crude oil.  
Crude Oil Valuation, Industry Practice/Standard of Care, Pipeline, Product Quality
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
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
Refinery Strategic Review
Provided 10-year market outlook for a U.S. East Coast refinery.  Evaluated scenarios related to regional supply, shifting commodity flows, demand adjustments, and alternative tax regimes to estimate the profitability impact to refinery.  Analysis culminated in evaluation of strategic options for refinery. 
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Refinery Company Acquisition
Developed and presented a multi-refinery acquisition package to the CEO of a large refining company.  Using PRISM models, developed a 10-year cash flow of heavy crude refining economics.  Presented economics of extensive marketing supply chain through numerous company terminals.  Provided economics of company owned pipelines and lubes business.  Discussed organization structure, company culture, and pros/cons of each refinery.
PRISM Data or Analysis, Pricing
Regional Fuel Study
Evaluated the fuel balance for a region, including production and imports.  Analyzed the competitiveness of each of the regional fuel suppliers.
PRISM Data or Analysis
Gas Transmission Company Due Diligence
Performed due diligence for a natural gas transmission company acquisition including physically inspecting the pipeline and compression facilities, reviewing maintenance records, and interviewing company management.  Provided client with written report
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline
Gas Pipeline Due Diligence
Performed due diligence for a natural gas pipeline acquisition including a physical inspection and review of maintenance and corrosion protection records.  A report was delivered to the client.
Physical Asset Appraisal, Pipeline