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Baker & O'Brien Releases Fourth Quarter 2019 Edition of Energy Expert: Issues in Focus

February 12, 2020

This quarter’s Energy Expert newsletter profiles several of Baker & O’Brien’s recent engagements that we hope you will find interesting and thought-provoking:

Gary Devenish:     Refinery Power Outage—What Were the Damages?

Uninterrupted electrical power is essential for the safe and continuous operation of petroleum refineries; power interruptions can result in equipment damage, loss of operating income, and commercial losses.  Baker & O’Brien was retained to evaluate the impact on a refinery after a series of power disruptions from the local utility.  We prepared an expert report and presented evidence to the court based on an evaluation of the operational response and associated costs vis-à-vis refinery-specific and market-related data.

Kevin Milburn:     Preserving the Past—Pay Now or Pay Later

Several years after a portion of a large midstream facility had been shut down, the non-operating partner learned from the operating partner the desired reactivation would take more than a year and incur significant costs.  The partners filed for arbitration.  Baker & O’Brien investigated whether standard industry practices had been followed for preservation and maintenance, including review of plans, surveys, design, and associated costs.  Our conclusions were summarized in a formal report and defended in arbitration.

Dan Finelt:     Refinery Flaring—More Than Just About Safety

Refinery and chemical plant flares are essential process safety system components to combust excess hydrocarbons and other waste gases in an environmentally-sound manner.  Residents living in close proximity to a refinery filed a lawsuit complaining about exposure to excessive and unreasonable flaring events.  Baker & O’Brien evaluated the refinery operating and maintenance practices associated with specified flaring events - as compared to industry practices and government regulations – and provided written and oral testimony.

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