Watson Millican and Company - Consultants • Engineers • Experts
Pearson Watson Millican and Company - Consultants • Engineers • Experts

Construction Disputes

Gas Plant Construction

Provided expert opinions on behalf of mechanical subcontractor as to claims and counterclaims against main contractor related to construction of a new gas processing plant in South Texas.  Claims involved a contractual not-to-exceed provision as well as cost overruns and delays associated with late engineering, unexpected site conditions, late delivery of materials, scope changes, quantity growth, and rework.  Prepared expert report with case settling before proceeding to trial.

Gas Pipeline and Compressor Station

On behalf of owner consortium, provided consulting and expert analysis of deficiency claims made by owner against Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor on natural gas pipeline and compressor station construction project in West Africa.  Claims included engineering drawing deficiencies, station piping interferences, equipment procured and installed incorrectly, inadequate equipment preservation, and an inadequate control system.

Pipeline Design Engineering

Assisted pipeline engineering company against professional negligence claims made by owner related to field bending of large diameter pipeline during construction.  Issues included applicable pipeline design codes, proper specification of pipe, and inspection acceptance criteria for cold field bends.  Issued expert report in response to negligence claims made by owner.

Crude Oil Pipeline Construction

Provided expert reports and deposition testimony on behalf of crude oil pipeline construction contractor in support of breach of contract claims made by owner.  Conducted evaluation of contractor performance under a reimbursable target price contract including impact of right-of-way delays, work scope changes, and weather delays.

Refinery and Pipeline Construction Arbitration

Analyzed numerous construction and design defect issues, on behalf of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor involved, in a lump sum $1.6 billion refinery and pipeline project in Mexico.  Assessed additional work order claims and defect claims for new crude oil, product pipeline, and pump station construction in reference to contractual requirements and normal industry practice.  Prepared expert reports, including quantum analysis, detailing the basis of opinions and findings and testified in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration hearings.

Gas Processing Plant Dispute

Prepared expert reports and testified in Australian arbitration on behalf of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor involved in engineering and construction of offshore platform, sub-sea pipelines, and onshore natural gas processing plant.  Issues involved impact of change to feedstock design basis as well as numerous engineering and construction related defect claims made by owner.

Utility Plant Dispute

Acted as technical expert in EPC contract dispute in ICC Arbitration over claims made by owner against contractor related to the design and construction of power and steam utility plant facilities supporting large refinery complex.  Claims involved the design of asphalt fired steam boilers, a seawater desalination unit, seawater piping, corrosion, and other plant design issues.  Conducted several site investigations, prepared expert reports, and testified before ICC Arbitration panel.

Natural Gas Processing Plant Construction Delay

On behalf of a state-owned oil company, reviewed Engineering and Construction contractor’s claims of delay and disruption associated with a major debottlenecking project for a 2.4 billion standard cubic feet per day natural gas treating facility located in the Middle East.  Claims were associated with the design and construction of a high-pressure DGA unit, a 535,000 ton per day sulfur recovery unit, and new high-pressure flare systems.

Gas Plant Cost Estimate

Provided engineering and cost estimating assistance on behalf of Caspian based oil & gas producer engaged in construction of gas-condensate processing facilities.  Prepared independent process design and cost estimate for a gas-condensate inlet separation and condensate stabilization system that was used by client to verify change order claims being made by EPC Contractor.  Conducted a process design review of the proposed gas plant design to ensure optimum process performance and ability to meet contractual guarantees.

Combined Cycle Power Plant Equipment Failures

Reviewed and advised on the suitability of a contractor’s engineering design for an operating 500 Megawatt (MW) Caribbean power plant.  Systems reviewed included the failed seawater cooling steel piping, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) fuel handling and compression, and compliance with design and environmental standards and practices.

Maintenance Turnaround Contract Dispute

Assisted maintenance contractor in dispute over maintenance turnaround performed at a large gas processing plant in Wyoming.  Dispute involved costs for change orders and extra work performed by contractor compared to turnkey contract scope of work.  Evaluated maintenance contract and related documents, reviewed over 100 change orders, analyzed actual costs and schedule versus contract budget and schedule, and investigated contractor and owner pre-contract planning and development work.



Watson Millican & Company consultants have represented both owners and construction companies in contractual disputes over the design and construction of pipelines, offshore platforms, natural gas processing plants, refineries, petrochemical plants, and power generation facilities.

Ranging from full service engineering-procurement-construction (EPC) contracts for grass roots projects to services agreements for plant maintenance, our industry and project experience allows us to provide comprehensive and objective analyses of the issues.

We have provided advice and expert testimony in all areas of design and construction including industry standards, project management practices, scheduling, codes and specifications, feed and product quality, change orders, performance guarantees and testing.