As a devil's advocate position, adaptive thermogenesis has been shown to account for as much as 800kcal/day reduction in resting metabolic rate. 'Metabolic damage', as such, does in fact exist, and is HIGHLY dependent on individual environment, medical history, and genetics. And yes, this can occur in individuals who are still obese.
I've read from several sources that for those who could be classified as obese according to bodyfat (>25% in men, >31% in women) a good starting point would be ~13kcal/lb of LBM. For your buddy, this could be anywhere from 2,200-2,800kcal. Your friend is also likely not tracking accurately, as others have suggested - liquid calories (eg. sugar in tea/coffee, milk, pop, etc) are especially easy to forget about. And a surplus 200-300kcal/day would be enough to completely stall/prevent fat loss; a lb/week of fat loss with his current activity should only need to be 300-500kcal/day below maintenance (which could very well be that wiggle room between 2,700-3,000kcal/day).
But, there is also a chance that he really only does burn that much in a day. Other factors could include a reduction in NEPA and/or NEAT, which would negate the 4hrs of lifting he's doing (a few hours of working out doesn't offset being sedentary the rest of the week), not working out as hard as he should during lifting sessions, lack of sleep & recovery, choosing poor quality foods, etc. Frankly, he's best off focusing on protein intake (1g of protein/lb of bodyweight; improves fat loss and conserves muscle), sticking with his lifting, and maybe adding 30-60min of walking everyday. Beyond that, he'll need to figure out what works for him. Experimentation is king.