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

Operations and Maintenance

Plant Operations and Maintenance Contracting Services

Assisted Caspian based independent oil and gas company in negotiating an operations and maintenance contract with a third-party operator for a newly constructed, company-owned gas processing facility.  Developed plant performance criteria and associated bonus/penalty structure for plant availability and liquids recovery.

Analysis of Refinery Performance and Operating Practices

Participated in projects for both domestic and international clients analyzing refinery performance gaps relative to peer refineries that were similar in size and complexity.  The completed analyses resulted in target setting for multiple maintenance and operating improvement initiatives aimed at achieving cost savings and gross margin increases.  The work involved site visits, employee interviews, final reporting, and presentations to company management.

Operations Review of Cryogenic NGL Plant

On behalf of a gas gathering and processing company, conducted an operations review of an 86,000 Mcf/D cryogenic NGL plant and a separate 100,000 Mcf/D field compression facility, and examined the effect of excessive compressor engine downtime on the operation, maintenance, and profitability of the two facilities.  The review culminated with the delivery of a report which included observations, results of analysis, estimated lost income associated with engine downtime, and the estimated cost of replacing the existing plant compressor engines.

Environmental Contamination From Chemical Plant Site

Evaluated operating and maintenance practices, both current and historical, that led to ground and groundwater contamination at chemical plant site.  Provided expert reports and testimony.

Refinery Environmental Operations Performance Improvements

Led a team that re-engineered the normal operations monitoring practices for a large water treating and environmental operating center.  The multi-phase effort led to improved levels of treatment quality and lower volumes, a capital investment that economically eliminated the production of a large hazardous waste stream and lower operating costs.

Refinery Safety

Regular involvement in safety issues including standards and procedures updates, work permit audits, near miss and accident investigations, safety in design reviews, and HAZOPS.

Gas Plant Start-Up Assistance

Assisted owner with start-up and commissioning of a two train 150 MMscf/d propane refrigeration gas processing plant in western Kazakhstan.  Evaluated various process design and mechanical equipment issues including hydrates, paraffin deposition, oil/water emulsion formation, level control instrumentation problems, and troubleshooting of amine circulation system.  Assisted operators in establishing optimum operating conditions and preparation of start-up and performance test procedures.

Refinery Operations & Maintenance Practice Review

Performed a review of the refinery operations and maintenance practices following a refinery shutdown and declaration of force majeure event.  Reviewed operations, routine maintenance, turnaround maintenance, and inspection records of major refinery units in an effort to determine whether major mechanical work performed was at all related to the triggering event.  Completed an expert report and provided expert testimony in this matter.

Gas Treating Plant Corrosion

Prepared gas plant volume balances to determine lost processing volumes due to plant shutdowns from corrosion related problems in plant’s amine unit.   Prepared report and provided expert testimony in Canadian court to support methodology and results.

Environmental Contamination From Former Refinery Site

Evaluated historical operating and maintenance practices that led to ground and groundwater contamination at refinery site in Illinois with emphasis on developing a range of possible types of wastes and quantities of waste generated during the six decade operating lifetime of the refinery.  Provided expert report and testimony.

Pipeline Easement Dispute

Served as expert witness on pipeline installation, monitoring, testing, and repair in a dispute concerning development of property transected by existing pipelines.

Petroleum Product Pipeline Failures

Reviewed operation, maintenance, and inspection procedures and relevant history for refined products pipeline which suffered failures and subsequent release of their contents and resulted in litigation.

Petroleum Coke Fired Circulating Fluidized Bed Facility

Prepared an operations and maintenance mobilization plan for an existing petroleum coke fired circulating fluidized bed co-generation facility which was previously operated by a third party O & M service provider. This plan included staffing levels, estimates of consumables and a long term prediction of major maintenance costs.

Wind Farm

Lead for the Owner the critical assessment of a ten turbine wind farm, performance and maintenance assessment and implementation of a maintenance recovery plan which included enhanced staff training, critical component inspections, sparing philosophy and re-establishing the technical relationship with the original equipment supplier. This was part of preparing the asset for a systematic sales process which was completed after the maintenance program was implemented.



Our consultants spent many years in the industry before transitioning to consulting. As a result, we have firsthand experience with operating and maintaining plants, pipelines, and other hydrocarbon equipment.

This experience has enabled us to provide operations performance improvement advice, offer routine and turnaround maintenance advice, knowledgably assist or lead accident investigations, and understand environmental and regulatory requirements.

We are also skilled in serving as consulting experts and providing expert testimony on industry practices, standards of care, and regulatory compliance.