What is the Present Value of an Idea?

Jury Trial, North America

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.

The estate of a man (who was the unfortunate victim of a traffic accident) brought a lawsuit to recover a large monetary claim related to two projects that the decedent claimed to be pursuing at the time of his death. The plaintiffs claimed that the decedent's efforts to develop a refined products storage terminal and an underground natural gas storage facility had resulted in significant tangible value that should be realized by the estate.

The tasks and milestones that are typical of most energy projects include: land acquisition, permitting, financing, customer commitments, engineering design, construction, and commissioning of the project. The development process often requires re-evaluation of the project at each stage of development. Value is created as a project achieves these milestones.

In the case of the oil and gas storage facilities, Baker & O'Brien consultants established a project evaluation framework and determined whether progress had resulted in tangible value. Key questions included:

  • Was there market demand for these projects?
  • What were the prospects for financing?
  • How much remaining work was required to establish the enterprises?

The jury reviewed the evidence submitted at trial and its verdict reflected a significant consideration of Baker & O'Brien's testimony.

Charles G. Kemp

Vice President

Transportation and Storage
Standard of Care / Asset Valuations / Commercial Contracts / Litigation / Expert Witness Testimony / Quantum/Damages Assessment
North America