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The Argus Methanol Forum is returning September 11-13, 2017! 

Register now

US methanol expansion tough as low prices weigh

Methanol producers in the US have maintained plans to expand capacity but weak energy and methanol prices are challenging. Methanol demand is growing, and MTO is expected to underpin industry growth. But excess olefins from the US and Middle East are expected to cap prices and negatively impact MTO economics and operating rates.

It is more important than ever to understand the economic and market activity driving this market. Join more than 250 market participants from around the globe to hear views and forecasts in methanol, MTO and olefins, gain insights and network with other industry leaders at this must attend event!

Topics to be addressed:

  • Economic outlook for crude oil, natural gas and the global methanol industry
  • China's MTO sector as the likely market price setting mechanism
  • Regional analysis of the Americas, Asia and Europe
  • Updates on methanol's derivative markets and expansion plans
  • Less traditional plus hopeful new applications for methanol
  • ...and much more!

Ted Fishman
Ted Fishman
Global Economic Expert, Author
China, Inc. and Shock of Gray

Other speakers include:
  • Brad Gunn, CEO, US Methanol
  • Charlie Yao, President & CEO, Yuhuang Chemical Company
  • Gene Gebolys, Founder, President & CEO, World Energy 
  • Vitalii Protasov, Business Development Director, Baltic Gas Chemical Company
  • Greg Dolan, CEO, Methanol Institute
  • Dr. Thomas Kevin Swift, CBE, Director and Chief Economist, American Chemistry Council
  • Rebecca Boudreaux, President, Oberon Fuels, Chair, International DME Association 
  • Mark Gyetvay, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Novatek
  • Brian Pieri, Marketing - NG, NGL, and Crude, LINN Energy, LLC
  • Jim Loney, PE, Director - Process Engineering, Fluor
  • Mark Fields, President, Energy & Chemicals Americas, Fluor
  • Tim Cesarek, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Enerkem 
  • Jesse Hensley, Ph.D., PE, Supervisor – Catalysis Research & Engineering, NREL 
  • Bernadette Johnson, VP - Market Intelligence, Drilling Info, Inc.
  • Brendan Collins, Environment & Natural Resources Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Dave McCaskill, Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service, Argus 
  • Jimmy Levine, VP, Olefins – Ethylene, Argus
  • Becky Zhang, Petrochemical Analyst, Argus
Attendee Responses

Who attends the Methanol Forum

Attendee breakdown by geography:

 Pie Graph Demographics

Attendee breakdown by job title:

Pie Graph Job Title    

Companies that attend include:
Air Liquide · Akzo Nobel Industrial Chemicals B.V. · American Chemistry Council · Arclin · Atlantic Methanol · BASF · BP · Capital Resin Corporation · Celanese · Copenor Companhia Petroquimica Do Nordeste · DuPont · Eastman · Ecofuel S.p.A.· Enterprise Products · ExxonMobil · G2X Energy · Georgia-Pacific Chemicals · Haldor Topsoe · Huntsman International · IHI - E&C International Corporation · Johnson Matthey · Kiewit · Koch Methanol · Lake Charles Methanol · Lukoil · LyondellBasell · Marathon Oil Corporation · Metanol De Oriente, Metor S.A. · Methanex · Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited · Methanol Institute · Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America · Mitsui & Co. · Murex Methanol · OCI · Petrobras · Praxair · Primus Green Energy · Proman · Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC HQ) · Sojitz · Solvadis Methanol GmbH · Sonagas G.E. · South Louisiana Methanol · Southern Chemical Corporation · Tauber Petrochemical Co.· The Chemical Company · Valero Energy Corporation · Vitol · Yuhuang Chemical

...and more!  

Methanol Conference Photos


Register now

Registration Pricing
Pre-registration (until June 23, 2017) $1095
Early registration (June 24,2017  - August 4, 2017)
Standard registration (August 5, 2017 - September 10, 2017) $1595
Onsite registration (September 11, 2017 - September 13, 2017) $1795 

Conference Add-Ons
Argus North America Sulphuric Acid Seminar
*upgrade your Argus Methanol Forum registration to include the seminar

For group rates please contact us at:
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*Fees include participation in all sessions, conference luncheon/reception, coffee breaks, continental breakfast and one set of conference documentation per person. Travel and accommodation costs are not included.

Terms and Conditions

View the conference booking terms and conditions here.

Antitrust Compliance Reminder

Argus takes compliance with antitrust laws seriously. The purpose of the Argus Methanol Forum is to provide a high-level update on changes taking place in the methanol market including supply/demand fundamentals, transportation costs, regulations as well as understanding the complexities of global trade flows. The conference sessions will follow the agenda as circulated.

Argus reminds all participants of the need to be mindful of the requirement to comply with antitrust and competition laws. There should be no discussion of any matters relating to competition among participants, including discussion of individual prices, rates or market strategies and no exchange of information concerning any other competitive aspect of an individual company’s operation. Should any participant to this conference attempt to initiate a discussion with other participants on any of these matters, we recommend that other participants end the conversation immediately, and at all times act in accordance with their own antitrust compliance policies and all applicable laws.

Hotel Accommodation and Visa Application

Delegates are responsible for their hotel, travel and visa arrangements. Event room rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


The organizers will not accept liability for non-approval of visas, individual transport delays and transport disruption. In such circumstances, our normal cancellation rules and penalties apply. Where matters beyond the reasonable control of the organizers impair or prevent the organizers from being able to perform any activities relating to this event, each delegate releases the organizers from any liability, relating to such events.

Related Insights

*Topics, speakers and session timing are subject to change

Monday, September 11, Workshops and Opening Cocktail Reception
 15:30- 17:30 Preconference Workshops
Included in conference registration
15:30 - 16:00
Workshop A: Converting biomass to liquid fuels and methanol: Almost any kind of carbon, from fossil resources to biomass to CO2, can be unlocked for fuel and chemical use through C1 chemistry. What are the new research technologies for convert biomass to liquid fuels and methanol? The markets are watching yield as well as evaluating a “methanol to gasoline” type process that accesses a high octane alkylate-like blendstock, with yields that beat traditional MTG technologies. What are the new routes to accessing synthetic jet fuel, starting with methanol to supplement liquid transportation fuels? How are North American producers capitalizing on the renewable fuels incentives and conversion technologies?
  • Research technologies to convert domestic biomass to liquid fuels and methanol
  • Evaluate a “methanol to gasoline” type process that accesses a high octane alkylate-like blendstock, with yields that beat traditional MTG technologies.
  • Explore a new route to accessing synthetic jet fuel, starting with methanol to supplement liquid transportation fuels with methanol-derived premium analogues
Jesse Hensley, Ph.D., PE
Supervisor – Catalysis Research & Engineering
16:00 - 16:30
Workshop B: Methanol technologies- Waste to methanol: With urban landfill space being harder to come by and a spotlight shining on waste diversion, the benefits of utilizing waste to produce methanol are clear. How does this low cost feedstock allow you to produce methanol while reducing your carbon footprint?
  • Assess this low cost feedstock
  • Understand how this will impact your renewable fuels mandates around the world 
  • Discuss how this method will decrease the carbon footprint and GHG emissions 
Tim Cesarek
Senior Vice President, Business Development
16:30 - 17:00  Workshop C: Use CO2 recovery to increase methanol plant capacity: The Ecnamine FG PlusSM process recovers carbon dioxide from the SMR stack, and the recovered CO2 is added to the methanol process as feedstock – resulting in big performance gains. Adding CO2 to the SMR feed or synthesis loop feed increases the methanol production by about 22% compared to using only natural gas as feed stock; this can be applied to a retrofit or a new design. CO2 recovery can also be applied to retrofits of SMR-based plants by adding CO2 to the purge gas and sending the combined stream to a new purge converter; this can increase plant capacity by about 35%.
  • Understand how to recover carbon dioxide from the SMR stack and options for adding it to the process 
  • Evaluate the optimum location to add the recovered CO2 to the process and increase methanol production by about 22% 
  • Consider the use of CO2 recovery combined with the addition of a purge converter to increase plant capacity by about 35% for existing SMR-based plants 
Jim Loney, PE
Director - Process Engineering
17:00 - 17:30  Workshop joint interactive Q&A segment
17:30 - 19:30 Opening Networking Reception and Registration
Open to all event attendees
Tuesday, September 12 Main Conference, Day 1;
07:30 – 08:30  Registration and breakfast
08:30 - 08:35 Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
08:35 - 9:30

Morning Keynote Presentation: The effects of China’s growth in the global market: This opening keynote presentation will provide details to the biggest trends for business and politics today in China; a key region for the methanol industry. There will be specific interest around the world-changing effects of China’s rapid growth and the all-pervasive changes for individuals, businesses and governments.
  • Understand recent developments for business and politics in China
  • Explore how these trends are impacting the global marketplace 
  • Assess how China’s rapid growth is continuing to influence business and government 
Ted Fishman
Global Economic Expert and Author
China, Inc. and Shock of Gray
09:30 - 10:30 Session 1: Global Market Trends

Crude market overview:
How are geopolitical considerations affecting crude production, how will global supply impact pricing and what might we expect for the light/heavy spreads?
  • Hear an overview of the global E&P market for crude 
  • Assess anticipated production for 2017 and beyond
  • Explore geopolitical considerations and trends in OPEC
Bernadette Johnson
VP - Market Intelligence
Drilling Info, Inc.

Natural gas market synopsis: Widespread hydraulic fracturing continues to create large surpluses of reasonably priced natural gas in the United States, providing widespread benefits to many; including the methanol industry.
  • Understand how the current natural gas prices are impacting the methanol markets
  • Review current and future supply and demand
  • Review transportation shifts that impact the Gulf Coast methanol markets
  • Assess expected production and pricing trends for natural gas
Brian Pieri
Marketing/Midstream - NG, NGL, and Crude
LINN Energy, LLC
10:30 - 11:00  Morning Networking Break
11:00 - 12:30 Session 2: Economics, Global Outlook and Derivatives

Economics and the US petrochemical industry
: Over the past decade there has been a variety of changes that are having significant impacts on the petrochemical industry. 
  • Explore how increased exports are impacting the supply and demand balance
  • Assess how shifts in end user consumption is effecting the overall methanol industry 
Dr. Thomas Kevin Swift, CBE
Director and Chief Economist
American Chemistry Council

Project spotlight and global methanol outlook: With the continued low oil price environment we are faced with, we will assess the potential outlook for methanol projects in the next five years.
  • Assess the potential outlook for methanol projects in the next five years
  • Understand how delayed methanol plant startups will impact pricing down the road. 
  • Discover the potential demand from the MTO sector and discuss expectations to become more competitive than traditional outlets
Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service

Natural gas capacity, metrics and markets: This presentation will discuss details on production metrics, reserve base and fields. Additionally we will assess the current monetization channels and provide an overview of LNG projects.
  • Discuss details on production metrics, reserve base and fields. 
  • Assess the current monetization channels 
  • Hear an overview of LNG projects
Mark Gyetvay
Deputy Chairman of the Management Board
12:30 – 14:00 Networking Luncheon
14:00 - 15:30  Session 3: Regional Methanol Market Dynamics

Latin America and methyl tertiary-butyl ether
: MTBE has been used for over twenty-five years in Latin America and around the world to provide octane for gasoline blending and to improve air quality during engine combustion, but changing market conditions could leave some countries in short supply. Understand the changes impacting this market, including:
  • Growing demand from Latin America
  • Changes to Mexican gasoline specifications and their impact on MTBE demand
  • Opportunities for MTBE in US Tier 3 gasoline exports
  • MTBE’s role in improving air quality during combustion
Western European effect on global methanol supply and demand balances: The UK, France, Germany, Spain among numerous others which has strong ties to construction, automotive, and transportation fuel sectors continue to heavily depend on the petrochemical and methanol markets to operate.
  • Explore how Western Europe is having a huge impact on global methanol supply and demand balances
  • Analyze which methanol derivatives have the most potential for growth
  • Assess how this region is continuing to influence pricing through massive consumption 
Russian methanol demand and need for increased capacity: This presentation will take a deep dive into the Russian methanol and petrochemical markets assessing current demand and expectations for trends going forward.
  • Analyze trends in the Russian methanol and petrochemical markets
  • Hear details on planned projects, timelines for completion and how this is expected to affect overall capacity in Russia and the surrounding region
Vitalii Protasov
Business Development Director
Baltic Gas Chemical Company
 15:30 - 16:00 Afternoon Networking Break
16:00 - 17:30 Session 4: Methanol Derivatives and Traditional Demand Sectors

Assessing the future of the biodiesel markets
: EPA has proposed renewable fuel volumes for biodiesel in 2017 and 2018. We can now take a closer look at the recent history and expectations for the biodiesel industry.
  • Analyze specifics of the EPA renewable fuel volumes for biodiesel and expectations for the industry moving forward. 
  • Hear expectations for the global industry and details to meet various environmental and regulatory requirements 
  • Understand the corresponding impact on greenhouse gas reductions
Gene Gebolys
Founder, President & CEO
World Energy

Dimethyl ether (DME) as a diesel alternative: As diesel demand grows, it creates new opportunities for cleaner burning fuels derived from abundant US natural gas as a cheaper alternative.
  • Evaluate diesel demand and explore how dimethyl ether can impact the market
  • Understand how abundant US natural gas makes this a cheaper alternative
  • Assess engine conversion costs and current infrastructure vs current demand 
Rebecca Boudreaux
Oberon Fuels

Global MTO
: Methanol is now an increasingly relevant component of the olefin supply chain, and has become yet another contributor to the instability in the market.
  • Understand how methanol has is impacting the olefin supply chain. 
  • Assess regional shifts in cracker feed slates and on-purpose production technologies
  • Explore surprising trends for ethylene and propylene globally as well if global supply is expected to match demand 
Jimmy Levine
VP, Olefins - Ethylene
17:30 - 17:35 Chairpersons closing comments and conclusion of day 1 conference sessions

Dave McCaskill

Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
17:35 - 19:35 Evening Cocktail Reception
Open to all event attendees
Wednesday, September 13 Main Conference, Day 2
07:30 – 08:30  Registration and breakfast
08:30 - 08:45 Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Dave McCaskill
Vice President, Methanol and Derivatives Service
08:45 - 09:30

Morning Keynote Presentation: Geopolitical and economic considerations involving Russia: 
How the Trump Administration, new regulations and the potential to utilize methanol as a shipping fuel will affect domestic producers: Explore how low sulphur regulations implemented almost one year ago will affect the demand for fuel oil.
  • Understand how he Trump administration might impact the regulatory landscape
  • Assess how these changes will influence production and demand 
  • Understand the benefits of using methanol vs fuel oil or LNG for waterborne vessels 
  • Explore the impact these shifts will have directly on domestic methanol producers 
Greg Dolan
Methanol Institute
09:30 – 10:00 IMO and the new MARPOL regulations: Most methanol companies have their own fleets but sulfur regulations will impact the methanol markets dramatically.
  • Analyze the MARPOL regulations from a legal and environmental perspective
  • Understand details on enforcement and exemptions
  • Evaluate the landscape for exemptions and compliance standpoint 
Brendan Collins
Environment & Natural Resources Partner
Ballard Spahr LLP
10:00 - 10:30 Morning Networking Break
10:30 - 11:00  China's Dominance in the Global Methanol Market: As China’s demand for methanol remains the main driver for pricing, we will assess expected shifts in the market and provide additional insight to China’s dominance in the market. 
  • Explore key factors in China’s methanol market dominance
  • Evaluate China’s ongoing fuel substitution
  • Hear an outlook for production and project updates
Becky Zhang
Petrochemical Analyst
11:00 - 12:00 Interactive Panel Discussion: What’s next for the methanol industry?
  • How are senior executives viewing the next 3-5 years?
  • What are the challenges for North American units coming online?
  • New commercial models for methanol production and distribution in North America
  • Opportunities for boutique methanol processing units near large onshore gas fields
  • Simplication of the methanol supply chain for smaller end-users 
  • And other key considerations! 
Brad Gunn
US Methanol

Tim Cesarek

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Mark Fields

President, Energy & Chemicals Americas

Charlie Yao

President & CEO
Yuhuang Chemical Company

12:00 - 14:00 Networking Luncheon

Confirmed Speakers 
Ted Fishman
Ted Fishman
, Global Economic Expert and Author China, Inc. and Shock of Gray

Ted C. Fishman's best-selling book China, Inc., How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World, has helped describe for the world the effects of China's momentous change on the lives and businesses of people everywhere. In addition to its success in America, the book, translated and published in 24 languages, is an international best seller. CNN International called China, Inc. “the bible on the changes in modern China.” There are Chinese editions in both The People's Republic and Taiwan, where the book has gained an enthusiastic following.

Fishman is also the author of Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World's Population and How it Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation (October 2010), an influential, provocative look at how the world is changing as a result of population aging. The National Chamber Foundation (the think tank of the US Chamber of Commerce) placed the book at the top of its 2011 list of books every government and business leader ought to read. Reviewing Shock of Gray in The Los Angeles Times, Claire Panosian Dunavan, professor of medicine, infectious diseases and global health at UCLA, wrote: “[If ] I could choose one book this year as required reading for medical students and colleagues, this would be it. No, I take that back. Add undergrads to the list. They might as well get ready too. Fasten your seatbelts, kids. It's going to be a bumpy ride.”

Fishman's writing is noted for taking seemingly vastly complex topics and making them understandable and meaningful for a general audience. Fishman is particularly interested in how big global economic trends bear on people's everyday experience. His essays and reports appear in many of the world's most prominent journals, including The New York Times Magazine, USA Today, National Geographic, Harper's, INC and The Times of London, among many others. (Fishman’s humorous writing has appeared in Esquire and The National Lampoon.) His commentaries have been featured on Public Radio International's This American Life and American Public Media's Marketplace. He has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, TODAY, PBS NewHour, CNN, Fox, NPR and the BBC. Fishman has testified before Senate and Congressional committees and commissions and consults on both China and global demographic change with a wide range of government officials, including some of America's and the world’s most influential office holders.

As a public speaker, Fishman is lively, stimulating and entertaining. He addresses a wide range of audiences around the world, including corporate and trade gatherings, top tier financial firms, philanthropies, economic development agencies, large civic gatherings and universities. His presentations combine engaging story telling with a wide ranging knowledge about the world economy, putting into context his audiences' top concerns and exploring how they relate to big, global economic trends. Audiences praise him for his knowledge, wit and down to earth style. Clients laud Fishman for the enthusiasm he has for learning about their organization’s and incorporating their concerns into his talks. Question and answer periods are inevitably engaging.

A former floor trader and member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he ran his own futures and options trading firm. Fishman is a graduate of Princeton and has been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Fishman also served a faculty director at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, for which he has helped run immersive programs on China for global executives. He has lived and worked in Japan and Indonesia. Fishman lives in his hometown, Chicago.
Rebecca Boudreaux, President, Oberon Fuels
Rebecca Boudreaux, PhD,
President, Oberon Fuels

Trained as a chemist, Rebecca Boudreaux, Ph.D. is an entrepreneurial, technology executive with a unique blend of technical skills and business development expertise. She has served on the management team or Board of Directors of various startup companies in the clean tech, life sciences, high tech, and non-profit sectors. Presently, she is President and Director of Oberon Fuels, a California-based company making DME (dimethyl ether) as a cleaner, alternative to diesel. In her role at Oberon, Dr. Boudreaux leads the customer development and strategic partnering efforts with OEMs, feedstock suppliers, and trucking companies. Additionally, she oversees the regulatory processes for the use of DME as a fuel including EPA Renewable Fuel Standard compliance and ASTM specification development.

In 2004, Dr. Boudreaux co-founded Intezyne Technologies, which developed polymer-based drug delivery systems to make existing cancer drugs work better. She served as CFO for four years and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Boudreaux has a broad range of academic and industrial experience, having performed research at MIT, Princeton University, University of Southern Mississippi, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and National Starch and Chemical. She earned a B.S. in Polymer Science (magna cum laude) from the University of Southern Mississippi and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Boudreaux is an invited lecturer around the world, exploring the interface of science, business, and entrepreneurship in the energy and non-profit sectors. She has co-authored six peer-reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on 12 patents and applications. Dr. Boudreaux is the Chair of the International DME Association, Chair of the ASTM International DME Taskforce, and Executive Committee member for the Advanced Biofuels Association. She presently serves as a Board Director for UrbanPromise International, an organization working in Malawi, Honduras, Canada, and the US to develop emerging leaders who will break the poverty cycle for children in under-resourced, urban communities.
Greg Dolan, CEO, Methanol Institute
Greg Dolan, CEO, Methanol Institute 

Greg Dolan has held a variety of senior management positions with the Methanol Institute over the past 18 years. In June 2014, he was appointed as permanent CEO of the global methanol industry trade association, after serving as Acting CEO for four years. Mr. Dolan manages MI’s offices in Washington, Singapore and Brussels, while directing international governmental relations, media relations, public education and outreach efforts. He has presented papers on methanol-related topics at over 50 international conferences, authored magazine articles, and written book chapters on the methanol industry. Mr. Dolan came to MI after spending a decade in a variety of public information positions in New York State, including the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Transportation, and the Energy Research and Development Authority. Mr. Dolan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston University, and did extensive post graduate work in Political Communication at the State University of New York-Albany.
 Mark Gyetvay, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Novatek

Bio and head shot coming soon.
Brendan K Collins
Brendan Collins
, Environment & Natural Resources Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP

Brendan Collins is an environmental lawyer who devotes his practice primarily to clients in the electric power sector and oil and gas industry. He advises clients on permitting issues, regulatory matters, as well as government affairs, and has litigated civil, criminal and administrative matters in state and federal courts.
Jesse Hensley
Jesse E. Hensley, Ph.D., PE, NREL

Jesse Hensley manages the Catalysis Research & Engineering group within the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. His group works extensively with catalysts that convert biomass to fuels and chemicals via thermal (non-biological) pathways; from fundamentals at the atomic scale to demonstration at the pilot scale. His research focuses on catalytic syngas to gasoline and distillate technologies. He concurrently develops customized equipment for catalyst evaluation. Jesse received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 2007.
Tim Cesarek
Tim Cesarek
, Senior Vice President, Enerkem

 As Senior Vice President, Business Development, Tim Cesarek leads the development and implementation of Enerkem’s global business and partner strategy.

Mr. Cesarek has over 25 years of experience in business development, private equity and corporate venture capital. Before joining Enerkem in 2012, he was Managing Director of the Organic Growth Group at Waste Management, responsible for the Organics Recycling business and investment in growth opportunities to optimize the value from waste material, particularly through its conversion into biofuels, renewable chemicals, fertilizer and energy. Prior to joining Waste Management, Mr. Cesarek was President of the corporate venture group of Koch Industries, one of the largest private companies in North America with businesses across chemicals, fuels, polymers, wood resin products and consumer products. He has also served on a number of boards of directors.

Mr. Cesarek obtained a Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a Masters in Business from Pepperdine University.
Jim Loney
Jim Loney
, PE, Director, Process Engineering, Fluor

Jim focuses on the development and execution of methanol projects as well as other types of syngas processing projects including fertilizers and power. He has executed projects which capture carbon dioxide from reformer flue gas and projects which include 90% carbon dioxide capture from gasifier generated syngas streams. Jim has executed project phases ranging from conceptual studies and detailed engineering all the way through commissioning and operations. Jim has contributed to the success of a number of lump-sum projects and he loves to go to the field to support projects during the critical early of stages operation. Jim graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.
Bernadette Johnson Managing Partner Ponderosa Advisors
Bernadette Johnson
, VP - Market Intelligence, Drilling Info, Inc.

Bernadette Johnson joined Drilling Info through the acquisition of products and services from Ponderosa Energy. She serves as Vice President, Market Intelligence for Drilling Info and is responsible for helping to grow and expand DI’s analytics offerings, building on the work she did at Ponderosa Energy leading consulting engagements and research efforts. With over 10 years’ experience in the energy industry, Bernadette has earned the reputation of industry expert with extensive experience providing crude, natural gas, and NGL fundamentals analysis and advisory services to various players in the North American and Global energy markets. A regular commentator for and speaker to the energy industry, her specific market expertise spans: financial trading, production forecasts, demand forecasts by sector, infrastructure analysis, midstream analysis, storage value analysis, and price forecasts. Prior to joining Ponderosa, and now DI, Bernadette was Senior Research Analyst for Sasco Energy Partners in Westport, CT where she provided analytics and research support for a team of financial traders active in natural gas, power and oil futures markets. Bernadette began her career with BENTEK Energy, LLC as a Senior Energy Analyst, Natural Gas Market Fundamentals and consulting project team lead. Bernadette holds a MS Degree in International Political Economy of Resources and a BS Degree in Economics, from the Colorado School of Mines.
Brian Pieri
Brian Pieri
, Marketing - NG, NGL and Crude, LINN Energy, LLC

With over 20 years energy industry experience, Brian has bought, transported, stored, and sold natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in each region of the United States. With an extensive background in physical commodities, he also incorporates complex financial products to hedge risk, optimize upside, and capture value. Beyond commercial commodity activities, he has provided vision and development for midstream projects ranging from small projects to large scale infrastructures. Holding positions with upstream, midstream, downstream, and trading companies allowed Brian the unique perspective of varying roles in the value chain from production to consumption of Natural Gas, Crude, and NGLs.

Becky Zhang
Becky Zhang
, Asia Petrochemical Analyst, Argus

Becky joined Argus in April 2014, and is covering Asia’s methanol, ethylene and propylene markets. She has brought on with eight years of price reporting and market researching experience in petrochemical industry, and is specialised in in-depth analysis of market fundamentals as well as on time market intelligence. Becky has actively built on contact base in Asia, and is a regular presenter in various methanol and olefins conferences. Prior to Argus, Becky worked for ICIS during 2005-2013, covering Asia’s MEG/PTA/polyester markets.

Becky is a chemical engineering graduate from East China University of Science and Technology, and holds two masters’ degrees in Environmental and Energy Engineering from the University of Sheffield (2001-2002) and Entrepreneurship from the University of Nottingham (2002-2003).
Brad Gunn
Brad Gunn
, CEO, US Methanol

Mr. Gunn has over 21 years of senior management experience in the energy and finance industries. Since 2013, Mr. Gunn was Managing Director of Zenrg Fuels, a privately held company active in shale gas production in East Texas. Prior to joining Zenrg, in 2008 Mr. Gunn co-founded, served as CFO and a Director with Iona Energy Inc., a publicly traded oil production company operating in the UK North Sea. While at Iona, Brad was instrumental in all aspects of startup strategy, acquisitions, raised over USD$241MM in equity capital and $250MM in senior debt, and took the company public in 2011.

Prior to co-founding Iona, Mr. Gunn co-founded Ithaca Energy Inc., also a UK North Sea energy company. From 2004 to 2008, Brad lead the formation of the company, raised over $475MM in equity capital, $50 million in senior debt, and took the company public simultaneously in London and Toronto. Before co-founding Ithaca, Mr. Gunn founded and ran, an Internet company delivering real-time market data to other websites and banks from 1995 to 2002. While at, Brad grew the company to over $15MM in revenue with 145 employees and took it public on NASDAQ in 1998 at a $170MM valuation.

Mr. Gunn has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Calgary in 1992.
Mark Fields
Mark Fields
, President - Energy and Chemicals - Americas, Fluor

Mark Fields is the president of Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals business in the Americas region. He is responsible for business development and operations in the upstream and downstream oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical industries in North, South and Latin America. Since joining Fluor in 1981, Mr. Fields has held a variety of roles globally in project and construction management, project controls, estimating, materials management and commissioning/start-up management. Prior to assuming his current position, he was senior vice president and project director for the Tengizchevroil megaproject in Kazakhstan.

With more than 20 years on international projects, Mr. Fields has served as program manager for a new refinery development, project general manager for the Saudi Kayan petrochemicals complex and project manager and general construction manager for the Jubail United Petrochemical Company petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Fields has led upstream, refining, mining, chemical and petrochemical projects, with a number of projects executed on a lump-sum basis.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Purdue University and has attended executive management programs at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Wharton School of Business and INSEAD.
charlie Yao
Dr. Charlie Yao
, President & CEO, Yuhuang Chemical Company

Dr. Charlie Yao is currently President and CEO of Yuhuang Chemical Inc., the US subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Ltd. Co. Dr. Charlie Yao has over 10 years of industrial technical and manufacturing experiences in chemical and petrochemical industry and more than 15 years of business management experiences ranging from sales, marketing, commercial management, capital investment management and supply chain management.

Charlie Yao received his BS Chemistry degree from Wuhan University in China, his Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Houston, and MBA from University of Texas-Austin. Dr. Yao has served as the president of Chinese Association of Professionals in Science and Technology (CAPST). He is a recipient of the Distinguished International Alumni Award from the University of Houston. He currently is a board member of the College of Technology at University of Houston.
Vitalii Protasov
 Vitalii Protasov, Business Development Director, Baltic Gas Chemical Company

In his current role, Vitalii is responsible for commercial and investment issues of BGCC methanol project in Ust-Luga as well as strategy and new projects development. He has worked in BGCC since 2015. Prior to this role, Vitalii served as a Head of Strategic Marketing in SIBUR. His main area of responsibility was long-term analysis of hydrocarbon and petrochemical markets, company’s future risks and perspectives.

Before joining SIBUR in 2011, he worked in Department of Energy at the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation in Moscow, and his last position was Head of Energy Markets Division. Vitalii was a member of the Thematic Group on Strategies, Forecasts and Scenarios of the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue. He has received master degree in economics in National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Vitalii is the author of nearly 30 publications on energy economics.
Gene Gebolys 100
Gene Gebolys
, Founder, President, CEO, World Energy

Mr. Gebolys has championed biodiesel’s development in the U.S. and throughout the world for over twenty years. In 1998, he founded World Energy. A widely recognized industry leader, World Energy has been named Platt’s Global Downstream Energy Company of the Year and The US Department of Energy’s National Stakeholder of the Year.

Mr. Gebolys was the founding Chairman of the National Biodiesel Political Action Committee and was a founding Commissioner of the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (BQ-9000). He was Chair of the National Biodiesel Board’s Regulatory Committee for five years during the establishment of the industry’s most critical public policy supports including the establishment of the Blenders Tax Credit and the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard. Mr. Gebolys has Chaired the industry’s RFS Task Force since its inception in 2009 overseeing the US biodiesel industry’s efforts on all issues relating to the industry’s most important public policy issue. He remains active in in the most critical matters impacting biofuel industry growth domestically and around the world.

Prior to founding World Energy, Mr. Gebolys was Vice President for Alternative Fuels for Twin Rivers Technologies Inc., the country’s first stand-alone biodiesel business. He holds degrees from Harvard University and The Ohio State University in Public Administration, Economics, and Business Management.

Thomas Kevin Swift, American Chemistry Council
Dr. Thomas Kevin Swift,
Chief Economist and Managing Director, American Chemistry Council

Dr. Kevin Swift is the chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) where he is responsible for economic and other analyses dealing with markets, raw materials, trade, tax, energy, and competition and innovation, as well as monitoring business conditions and identifying emerging trends for the domestic and global chemical sector. Dr. Swift disseminates economic and societal contributions of the business of chemistry and general information about the industry to ACC member companies, the media, Wall Street analysts, the academic community and the public in general. Prior to joining the ACC, Dr. Swift held executive and senior level positions at several business research companies. He started his career at Dow Chemical USA.

Dr. Swift is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and is a member of NABE's panel of 40 professional forecasters and served on the NABE board of directors. He is also a member of the Harvard Discussion Group of Industrial Economists and is a participant in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's forecasters' survey. Dr. Swift is also a member of the Association of Christian Economists, National Economists Club, Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, and the United States Association for Energy Economics.

Dr. Swift has authored articles in such diverse journals as: Business Economics, Chemistry Business, Chemical Engineering Progress, Chimica Oggi, Cost Engineering, and Hydrocarbon Processing and has appeared on Bloomberg TV and Nightly Business Report.

Dr. Swift is a graduate of Ashland University with a BA degree and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with an MA degree in Economics. He is also a graduate of Anglia Polytechnic University with a doctorate in business administration (DBA) degree and has completed the Tax Analysis and Revenue Forecasting Program and other studies at Harvard University as well as studies at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Swift is an adjunct professor of business economics for the MBA program at the University of Mary Washington. He is also a member of the Heritage Council of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Jimmy Levine, Vice President, Olefins - Ethylene
Jimmy Levine,
Vice President, Ethylene and Derivatives, Argus

Jimmy has worked for some of the largest petrochemical companies in the US, and is an expert in all aspects of light olefins, from supply and demand to risk management.

Dave McCaskill, VP Methanol & Derivatives, Argus DeWitt
Dave McCaskill, Vice President - Methanol & Derivatives Service, Argus

Dave McCaskill has been invested in the petrochemical industry for over 35 years. Beginning his long career with Celanese Chemical in 1975, Dave started as a chemical engineer at their Pampa, Texas plant, and steadily progressed through a series of positions ranging from planning, supply chain, field sales and marketing within the organization. Noted positions included Business Manager Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol and the last several years with the company as Business Manager Methanol & Derivatives. In 2000, Dave moved into the consulting sector and worked with another leading industry consulting organization, heading their Global Methanol service for 10 years. Joining DeWitt & Company in 2010, as Vice President Methanol & Derivatives, Dave continues to be focused on all commercial aspects of the methanol industry—supply, demand, capacity, pricing, cost structure, etc. Dave graduated from the University of Kansas, with a degree in chemical engineering, in 1975.
Roel Salazar, Methanol & Derivatives Consultant, Argus DeWitt
Roel Salazar, Methanol & Derivatives Consultant, Argus  

Roel Salazar, is the Methanol and Derivative Consultant for Argus. Roel is responsible for assessing US Methanol spot prices and monthly indexes. Roel is also instrumental in preparing the Annual Global MTBE Report and MTBE Monthly Outlook. Roel joined DeWitt & Company Inc. in 2005 as an Olefins Analyst supporting the Ethylene, Propylene, and Butadiene services. Mr. Salazar joined the Fuels and Octane team in 2011 and has steadily built key client relationships with US MTBE consumers, producers and traders while helping them analyze the global MTBE and Octane markets. Roel’s previous experience includes managing system development projects in several industries. His petrochemical experience includes working at one of Mobil’s ethylene cracker in Houston between 1996 -1997. Mr. Salazar holds an undergraduate degree in Information Systems from the University of Houston.


Argus North America Sulphuric Acid Seminar

Group Shot

Only $395! Upgrade to include the seminar during the registration process.

Register now

For questions, contact
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Wednesday, September 13
13:30 - 14:00 North American sulphuric acid - Supply/demand outlook this bid season
  • Changes in supply and distribution
  • Import volumes
  • Fertilizer and industrial demand
Speaker: David Tonyan, Editor, Argus North American Sulphur and Sulphuric Acid
14:00 - 14:30 Buyer's perspective
  • Major challenges as a North American sulphuric acid consumer
  • Outlook for sulphuric acid market participation 
  • Regions with the most competitive supply
  • Projects impacting supply/demand balance
14:30 - 15:00
Logistics challenges for imports
  • Changing freights impact on the supply chain
  • New demand centers
  • Infrastructure and transportation challenges
15:00 - 15:30 Break
15:30 - 16:00 Base metals update
  • Outlook for copper consumption and sulphuric acid supply
16:00 - 16:30 Technology developments 
  • Environmental controls
  • Cost containment
16:30 - 19:00 Networking Reception. Co-located with Argus Americas Petroleum Coke Summit

Sponsored by: Impala Terminals

*Program subject to change

Sulphur forming, transportation, logistics and melting 

  • A look at Mosaic's sulphur melter, the reasons behind it and the benefits it will provide including enhanced EH&S characterisitcs of the melter’s performance

Mark Gilbreath, Director of Business Development, Devco
Hermann H. Wittje, Director – Raw Materials Procurement, Mosaic

Reserve a Private Meeting Room

Get ahead of your competition. Book meeting space and negotiate your contracts

Private meeting room

View the meeting space

Contact Hunter Jones to learn more
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phone icon +1 713 429 6302

2017 Sponsors

Sabic 170

SABIC is a global leader in chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From making cars and planes more fuel-efficient, to helping conserve the world’s water supply and enabling colorful smartphone cases, we find solutions to the challenges of today to help our customers achieve their ambitions and build a better tomorrow.

We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as electrical and electronics, transportation, medical devices, construction, packaging, agri-nutrients and clean energy.

SABIC has more than 40,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have about 11,000 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia.

At SABIC, we combine a rich track record of doing what others said couldn’t be done, with a deep understanding of our customers. But our true impact is as a partner who can help our customers achieve their ambitions by finding solutions to their challenges. We call this ‘Chemistry that Matters™’.

For more information, visit

SCC logo 165

Southern Chemical has grown to become one of the Western Hemisphere’s market leaders in methanol sales and distribution in just over a decade of operations. Managing a fleet of nine dedicated methanol tankers and long-term agreements for storage, Southern Chemical is able to move more than three million tons of methanol annually throughout strategic markets. The company has built a strong reputation for high-quality logistics management and customer service, which results in the consistent availability of methanol, at economic prices, for its customers. Southern Chemical’s expertise, market access and distribution capabilities provide a ready outlet for G2X Energy products.

For more information, visit

Atlantic Methanol

Atlantic Methanol (AMPCO) operates one of the largest and lowest cost methanol plants in the world. Located on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa, AMPCO has been producing IMPCA-spec methanol since 2001.

Owned by Marathon Oil Corporation, Noble Energy, Inc. and SONAGAS, the National Gas Company of Equatorial Guinea, AMPCO produces approximately one million metric tons per year, about 1% of the global market. AMPCO proudly participates in the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project and a Malaria Vaccine Project to help prevent and treat a deadly threat that kills hundreds of thousands of Africans every year, especially children.

The entire AMPCO organization is also engaged in empowering our Equatoguinean staff via long-term and continuous Learning and Development efforts. AMPCO is committed to safety, reliability and good corporate citizenship to become the most successful methanol company in the industry.

For more information, visit

Johnson Matthey-170
Johnson Matthey has a history of delivering innovative, economic, value adding and sustainable solutions for the syngas, petrochemical, oil refining and gas processing industries.

Johnson Matthey’s methanol business is unique. With our background in methanol plant development and operation, our market leadership is built on customer focus and a combination of core technology strengths, strong engineering know-how and high performance catalysts. Since the introduction of the Low Pressure Methanol (LPM) process in the 1960s, Johnson Matthey has led the way in catalyst and technology development with producers around the globe recognising the benefits we can bring to their business.

For more information, visit

Haldor Topsoe Haldor Topsoe is a world leader in catalysis and surface science. We are committed to helping our customers achieve optimal performance. We enable our customers to get the most out of their processes and products, using the least possible energy and resources, in the most responsible way. This focus on our customers’ performance, backed by our solid reliability, makes sure we add the most value to our customers and the world.

For more information, visit

OCI NVOCI N.V. (Euronext: OCI) is a global producer and distributor of natural gas-based fertilizers & industrial chemicals based in the Netherlands. OCI produces nitrogen fertilizers, methanol and other natural gas based products, serving agricultural and industrial customers from the Americas to Asia. OCI’s methanol and biomethanol production capacity comprises OCI Partners LP in Texas, USA, BioMCN in the Netherlands, and Natgasoline LLC, a greenfield methanol complex under construction in Texas, USA. OCI is on track to become one of the world’s largest methanol producers with total production capacity of 3.1 mtpa once Natgasoline begins production. OCI is also a leading global nitrogen fertilizer producer with more than 8.9 mtpa of capacity produced in the Netherlands, the United States, Egypt and Algeria. OCI is listed on Euronext in Amsterdam.

For more information, visit

New Stone is a commodity brokerage firm engaged in the brokerage of petrochemicals, gasoline components, naphtha, and NGL’s. New Stone’s team of experienced brokers provide market coverage for the U.S. and European markets based out of their offices in Houston, Texas and Zug, Switzerland.

 For more information, visit

Enerkem produces biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste. Its disruptive proprietary technology converts non-recyclable municipal solid waste into methanol, ethanol and other widely used chemical intermediates. Headquartered in Montreal (QC), Canada, Enerkem operates a full-scale commercial facility in Alberta as well as an innovation centre in Quebec. Enerkem's facilities are built as prefabricated systems based on the company's modular manufacturing infrastructure that can be deployed globally. Enerkem's technology helps diversify the energy mix and make everyday products greener while offering a smart, sustainable alternative to landfilling and incineration.

For more information, visit

Metor 170
Metor is a joint venture of PEQUIVEN incorporated under Venezuelan law on March 19, 1992. Its headquarters is located in the Petrochemical and Industrial Complex "General José Antonio Anzoategui", Jose Complex in Anzoategui State, Venezuela. Our main objective is the production of high purity methanol, as fundamental to the development of additives for gasoline and a wide variety of petrochemicals, such as formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl methacrylate, and polyacetates Various Solvents, raw materials and other products. 

Our mission: Producing Methanol Federal Grade "AA", maintaining a competitive position in the global market through reliable supply of the product quality, quantity and timeliness, creating value for our customers. Product Marketing is responsible for Pequiven, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.

Venue pic Petcoke

Marriott Woodlands Waterway Resort

1601 Lake Robbins Dr,
The Woodlands, TX 77380
phone icon +1 281 367 9797

Make your reservation by asking for the Argus discounted rate of $189, available until August 21, 2017. 

Don't delay - Hotel availability is limited!  

You must be a conference delegate to book at the group rate
After you register for the event, you will receive a link to book your room.  

***This hotel does not provide shuttle service.

Directions from Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

When exiting from the airport, head West on N Terminal Rd. Make a slight right onto John F Kennedy Blvd follow for 2.3 miles and make a right onto Hardy Toll Rd (toll road), follow for 2.9 miles. Keep right at the fork and follow signs for Woodlands/I-45 and merge onto TX-548 Spur N (toll road) follow for 11.9 miles and merge onto I-45 N follow for 3 miles and take exit 76B to merge onto Woodlands Pkwy. Turn right onto Water Way Ave and the hotel will be on the left.

  • Alternate transportation: SuperShuttle. Fee: 40 USD (one way), reservation required
  • Estimated taxi fare: 75 USD (one way)

Directions from William P Hobby Airport (HOU)

When exiting airport, head southeast toward Hobby Airport Loop. Continue straight onto Hobby Airport loop. Keep right and continue onto Broadway St, follow for 1.1 miles and turn left onto Bellfort St. Turn right onto Telephone Rd. Continue onto Reveille St for 1.8 miles and merge onto I-45 N, follow that for 34.7 miles and take exit 76B to merge onto Woodlands Pkwy. Turn right onto Water Way Ave and the hotel will be on the left.

  • Alternate transportation: SuperShuttle; fee: 60 USD (one way); reservation required
  • Estimated taxi fare: 120 USD (one way)

For speaking opportunities, please contact:
email icon
phone icon +1 713 360 7563

For more information on sponsorship of the Argus Americas Methanol Forum:
email icon
phone icon +1 713 429 6302

For group rates and general inquiries:
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+1 713 429 6310

Sabic 170

SCC logo 165

Atlantic Methanol

Johnson Matthey-170

Haldor Topsoe  



Metor 170

Find out more about the venue!

  • Directions from both Houston airports
  • Discounted room rates
  • Nearby attractions

Marriott Waterway 
The Woodlands, Texas

Marriott Woodlands

Raise your profile, showcase your solutions and meet industry decision makers.

Sponsorship opportunities

For more information:
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