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

October 31, 2019

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:

Mel Sinquefield:     A Difference of Opinion - Major Offshore Incident

The responsibility for damages pursuant to an offshore oil and gas production platform explosion and fire resulted in a dispute between the insurers regarding cause and origin.  Baker & O’Brien was engaged to test two different expert opinions developed during the incident investigation through a review of cited evidence and extensive operating records.  Following an open pre-mediation expert conference and supplementary written reports, the dispute was quickly resolved in an international mediation.

Don Flessner:     Factors that Contribute to the Value of a Fertilizer Plant

Years after a nitrogen fertilizer complex had been delivered to owners, the majority interest operator and its minority interest partner argued over the value of the facilities.  Baker & O’Brien evaluated the alleged plant deficiencies and assessed the extent of impairment through a review of performance guarantees, historical operations and reliability, as well as external factors impacting performance.  Our consultants’ experience serving as independent engineer on behalf of lenders for large international fertilizer projects resulted in an expeditious review of these issues.

Bill Jackson:     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.

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