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Commercial Contracts

Commercial contracts, and their key terms such as price, volume, quality and performance obligations, are a common source of disagreement between parties. When interpretations of the contract between parties differ, let us help you evaluate the fine print.

Let’s fill the gaps in that dotted line

Here are some of the technical details we can help you iron out:

  • Quality variations in crude oil supply and pipeline contracts
  • Product measurement discrepancies
  • Asset valuations
  • Supply or offtake commitments
  • Specifications and codes
  • Pricing
  • Force majeure
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Performance guarantees
  • Production sharing
  • Royalties

Case Studies

Should You Purchase Your Gasoline on Cooler Days?

April 1, 2017

A multi-district class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of motor gasoline consumers against retailers over temperature-induced variations in product quality that resulted in alleged overcharges. Baker & O'Brien described the fuel manufacturing process and opined on temperature as a factor. We provided an expert report and testified at the trial.

Force Majeure: Were Supplier Actions "Foreseeable" and "Controllable"?

April 1, 2014

When a petrochemical plant turnaround took three months longer than the originally planned two months, a downstream customer filed arbitration seeking damages for sourcing an alternative feedstock. The dispute centered on whether or not the extended delay was the subject of unforeseeable circumstances, i.e., force majeure. We presented an expert report that examined whether compressor delivery and installation delays were foreseeable and controllable.

How "Frozen" Assets Created a "Cold Cash" Obligation

October 1, 2013

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.