Provides Opinion & Testimony In:
Chemical Engineer Petroleum, Petroleum Engineering, Chemical, Petroleum Refining, Petroleum Refinery Operations, Petroleum Fluid Catalytic Cracking, Petroleum FCC
Expert has over 20 years experience in the energy sector with specialization in Fischer-Tropsch and syngas processes, GTL/CTL/BTL, novel clean fuels technologies, and alternative energy processes as well as refining, gas processing, and petrochemicals industries. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, all in chemical engineering. Expert consults and lectures extensively in North and South America, Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.
Previously employed with Mobil and Coastal Corporations, Expert early career in Mobil involved responsibilities for the development and commercialization of a variety of process technologies related to light gas processing, heavy end upgrading, and clean fuels manufacture. Later with Coastal, a major oil and gas company in North America, he was responsible for identifying, assessing, and championing novel technology opportunities and solutions for integration into the companyâ€™s assets. Currently the president of E-MetaVenture, Inc., a consulting and design firm based in the USA, his recent clients have included major US and international firms such as ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Procter & Gamble, AREVA, Monsanto, Abu Dhabi Gas Company, and El Paso as well as a number firms with technologies and solutions with applications in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.
Expert is a past Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Fuels and Petrochemicals Division, past president of the International Association for Energy Economicsâ€”Houston, and an associate member of the State Bar of Texas (Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Section). Elected Full Member of Sigma Xi in 1987 and a Director of the XTL & DME InstituteSM in 2012, he holds over 20 US and international patents in gas and refining processes, has authored a number papers in a variety of technical areas, and has presented in and chaired sessions at national and international conferences. Consulted by the Fortune magazine, Goldman Sachs and a long list of firms on matters related to syngas processes and XTL, refining, gas processing, and energy technology and economics, and quoted by industry standards such as the Wall Street Journal-Europe, International Energy Agency (IEA), Platts, Reuters, The Oil Daily, Politico, Global Technology Forum, and Chemical Market Reporter, recent invited articles on GTL/CTL/BTL and syngas processing technology, strategy, and economics were published as special cover article reports in the Oil and Gas Journal and featured in the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association and SMi GTL annual conferences. Expert is a referee for The Energy Journal and International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology (IJOGCT) and member of the editorial advisory board for The Open Petroleum Engineering Journal. Most recently, he was invited co-chair of a conference on GTL technology and economics sanctioned by the US DOE for recipients of ARPA-E energy R&D awards.
Private Energy Consulting Practice 1999-Present
- Performed light petrochemicals and feedstocks separation and purification technology study for novel technology for the manufacture of ethylene and propylene. Developed full design and integrated with conversion and utility sections. Developed CAPEX, OPEX, Design Book, and other elements towards Basic Engineering.
- Developed integrated downstream refining and separations process for novel petrochemical feedstock technology. Included technology evaluations, HYSYS process modeling and integration, technology sorting, notional CAPEX, and final process recommendation. Study Report Book used in design of commercial demonstration facility.
- Technical expert in petrochemicals feedstocks/gas processing litigation case. Participated in discovery and reviewed produced documents, prepared expert report, analyzed opposing side expert report and attended/advised on opposing side deposition, testified in deposition.
- Performed full commercial-scale economic and feasibility study for novel syngas processing downstream products including refining and conversion technology evaluation and selection, products specification and market analysis, economic analysis and sensitivities, CAPEX/OPEX, and move-ahead strategy.
- Performed economic and technical feasibility study for 20,000 BPD integrated European process involving the processing of syngas (from coal gasification) to liquid fuels via Fischer-Tropsch technology.
- Developed full Process and Catalyst Design Package (PDP/CDP) for commercial-scale coal gasification syngas to clean fuels plant in East Asia. Participated in Basic Engineering phase.
- Developed pre-feasibility study for US 3,000 BPD biomass/rubber to clean fuels via syngas intermediates and Fischer-Tropsch technology and methanol facility.
- Assisted invention firm in developing novel options and synergies for integration of Fischer-Tropsch/syngas with processes for the manufacture of hydrogen, utilization of carbon dioxide, and production of electricity.
- Assisted Fortune50 firm in evaluation of biorefining options for the production of clean fuels and high-value chemicals from primary agricultural feedstocks.
- Assisted top US energy firm in operational and analytical developments in order to improve refinery operation energy efficiency and carbon emission minimization.
- Evaluated the technical and commercial options for the implementation of low barrels-per-day Fischer-Tropsch technology for the conversion of coal-bed methane.
- Provided consulting with a number of US venture capitalists as well as technology providers on the state of GTL/CTL/BTL syngas conversion technologies. Work included design and economic studies, technology evaluation and valuation, and market analysis (including impact on gasoline, diesel, lubes, and waxes).
- Developed report on global wax market conditions and market entry issues. Valuated start-up client novel technology for the purposes of royalty negotiations with GTL technology company.
- Technical advisor on refining for a western US litigation case. Provided full range of litigation support services related to refinery planning and LPs, operations, maintenance, and product transportation and pricing.
- Technical advisor on gasoline storage stability, additives, and transportation issues to member of State of California Attorney Generalâ€™s Task Force on Gasoline Pricing. Contributed to the AGâ€™s report.
- Developed conceptual design for the cryogenic recovery of propylene and pentenes as alkylation unit feedstocks for a post-capacity-increased 150 MBD refinery in order to meet Tier II product specifications. Included HYSYS process simulation and complete design book.
- Assisted Canadian client in design of upgrader distillation column for heavy oil sands project.
- Assisted client in evaluation of novel hydrocracking and hydrotreating (including diesel desulfurization) technology and developed plans for future actions.
- Organized conference on energy economics and deregulation with international attendance and presentations from US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Brookings Institution, and Council on Foreign Relations.
- Co-chaired US DOE-sanctioned conference on GTL technology and economics for recipients of ARPA-E energy R&D awards.
- Developed and taught workshops in North and South America and the Middle East on Refining Fundamentals, Refining Technology and Operations, Refining Planning and Scheduling, Refining Economics, Clean Fuels Manufacture, Light Gas Upgrading and Petrochemicals Manufacture, Natural Gas Production and Processing, Natural Gas Treating and Sulfur Recovery, Crude Oil Production and Transportation, and Chemical Engineering Fundamentals.
Stone Bond Corporation 1999
- Revamped complex computer model of refinery operations and crude/products economics. Used to advise US and foreign clients on operations, transportation, and trading options.
Coastal Corporation - Technology and Business Development Department 1995-99
- Principal Engineer promoted to Consultant
- Prepared technical proposal and business case for Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) hardware revamp and navigated $4 million project through Board approval. Key liaison during design, execution, and troubleshooting. Implemented successfully with short-time payout.
- Steered refinery committee responsible for analyzing, recommending, and implementing FCC operating and capital options. Realized benefit in excess of $1 million.
- Client representative for conceptual design of $500 million greenfield refinery in Venezuela which included, among others, crude units, delayed coking, gasoline hydrotreating/desulfurization, and sulfur recovery and handling. Developed process, utilities, and offsites designs, schedules, operating and capital economics. Closely integrated with transportation (pipelines, shipping) and upstream.
- Evaluated impact of Venezuelan heavy crude properties on US refinery metallurgy including the interacting effects of crude properties and process conditions (such as flow regimes).
- Performed strategic analysis of refinery light gas upgrading hardware options and presented at highest corporate levels. Team recommendations approved, $20 million construction completed and in operation.
- Performed economic and technical analyses for a variety of refining and petrochemical plants throughout the US and internationally. These include a Russian refinery, a US Gulf Coast ethylene glycol facility, and a western US Asphalt, Lube, Wax plant.
- Evaluated a variety of processes using computer models, small-scale testing, preliminary process design, and economic feasibility analysis. These processes include:
Crude Oil H2S removal
Crude unit (incl. desalter and heat balance)
Biodesulfurization (also de-N/V/Ni/arom)
Solid catalyst alkylation
Free-radical-based alkylation replacement
Lube oil dewaxing
Polymer and refinery grade propane production
Gas recovery train (incl. deC4 and deC3)
Amine recovery unit
Sour water stripping
Sulfur recovery/tail gas unit
Utilities and offsites
Storage and transportation strategy (incl. pipelines, port, shipping)
Centrifugal separation of xylenes
Mobil Corporation - Process R&D Division 1990-95
Senior Staff Engineer promoted to Research Engineer
- Member of team which developed refinery FCC hardware retrofits for improved stripper operations and increased gasoline production. Successfully implemented at five locations (cost < $500K, payout approx. $1.8M/year) and offered for licensing.
- Provided first-line technical support (including on-site testing, computer modeling, vendor coordination) to refinery FCC units in the Middle East, Japan, Europe, Australia, and US resulting in operational improvements and catalyst cost savings.
- Led a number of testruns and studies of operation of FCC regenerators, strippers, reactors, standpipes, and transfer line sections. Included commercial testruns, theoretical analyses, cold flow and radioactive tracer and scanning studies.
- Implemented desktop computer application module at refinery allowing low-risk FCC optimization tests. Trained personnel in use and troubleshooting.
- Developed and spearheaded implementation of first systematic performance metrics at site. Used as model for implementation by other departments.
- Co-invented step-out zeolitic technology for manufacture of isobutylene, a key petrochemical and MTBE feedstock. Studies included detailed experimental and theoretical analysis. Closely worked with catalyst design team to develop materials with improved surface and pore properties. Led R&D project, and participated in commercialization joint venture. Obtained substantial patent coverage, US and worldwide, to ensure licensing dominance.
Ph. D., Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York 1990
M.Phil., Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York 1990
M. S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara 1985
B. S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, San Diego 1983
Fuels and Petrochemicals Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Director 2005-08)
State Bar of Texas - Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section (associate member)
International Association for Energy Economicsâ€”Houston (past-president)
XTL & DME InstituteSM (Director)
Sigma Xi (elected full member 1987)
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS Available Upon Request
SELECTED PATENTS Available Upon Request