Petroleum Refining

Searching for refinement? We are one of the most experienced energy consulting firms handling the technical and economic issues associated with petroleum refineries. Our work ranges from feasibility studies to litigation support and testimony. We have analyzed and recommended the optimum feedstock slates for individual refineries, compared competing process technologies, made recommendations for improving margins, and undertaken market studies.

We often use our understanding of engineering principles and current economic conditions to assist petroleum refiners in understanding the fair market value of their industrial assets.

We’re also able to leverage our PRISM™ refining industry modeling system, with its refinery simulator and detailed historical data on nearly all major refineries, to provide our clients a competitive edge in their economic analysis.

Case Studies

When "Manifest Error" May Not be "As Plain as the Nose on One's Face"

July 1, 2013

"Manifest error" is often described as an error as plain as the nose on one's face. In this case, the principle of manifest error pertains to disputed technical decisions made by the Independent Engineer (IE) for an oil refinery modernization project. Three arbitral tribunals relied on our expert reports and testimony to decide if the IE had ruled correctly, within limits of its responsibility, and if there was manifest error.

The Importance of Work Scope Definition for Turn-key Construction Contracts

October 1, 2014

The oft-learned lesson of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly applies to planning and executing turnkey construction jobs in the hydrocarbon processing industry. Baker & O'Brien was engaged to review and assess contractual requirements, plans, estimates, schedules, and responsibilities for cost escalation and completion delays. We provided an expert report and testified at the arbitration.

EPC Dispute - Design Development or Change of Scope?

July 1, 2020

Basic front end engineering design (FEED) parameters are typically supplied by an owner to an EPC contractor as requirements to build a process plant. A dispute arose when the contractor claimed the as-built product was not representative of the FEED, and the owner believed the differences were the result of normal design development. Baker & O'Brien submitted testimony to an arbitration tribunal based on an analysis of the completeness of FEED and the pertinence of design/scope differences between the as-built plant and FEED.