How can refiners remain sustainable and competitive in a strong European downstream industry?

Interview with Alan Gelder, VP Refining, Chemicals & Oil Markets at Wood Mackenzie.


Wood Mackenzie, global leader in commercial intelligence for the energy, metals and mining industries, will be attending ERTC 2017. Alan Gelder, VP Refining, Chemicals & Oil Markets at Wood Mackenzie, will provide an overview on how refiners should approach the challenging new market environment and improve their long-term viability.

The downstream and chemical industries are continuously evolving and as we move towards a more sustainable market environment over the next few years, refiners face a number of challenges. One of them being new bunker fuel regulations, put in place by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The new rules require a reduction in the sulphur content of shipping fuels. Specifically, sulphur needs to be significantly reduced from 3.5% to 0.5% by 2020. Although shippers have various options, there will, no doubt, be implications for the refining sector.

At the moment, a key challenge facing refiners is the uncertainty of how these regulations will evolve and the impact they will have on the sector.  Moderating the Keynote Leaders Panel at ERTC, Alan Gelder discuss how refiners are addressing these issues.

Refiners must work within the tight timeframe the IMO has set for the implementation of the new fuel standards, Mr Gelder said.  He will also highlight way the market could evolve and how it could affect the refining sector.

Mr Gelder is also moderating a panel assessing how European refiners – and Greek refiners in particular – can continue to be sustainable and competitive. The downstream sector has undergone significant changes in recent years. And, as European demand for refined products is expected to fall, refiners in the region need to ensure they can access profitable export markets.

Changes in the USA and Middle East add to the pressure on European businesses to revise and strengthen their strategies in order to remain competitive. Refiners do have options to explore: adjusting production to meet demand from other fuel oil consumers, such as power generators; produce high-sulphur product for lower returns; or to turn away from gasoline to other growth areas, such as petrochemicals.

ERTC attendees will benefit from this discussion of the new IMO regulations and what the sector needs to do as they come into force. This discussion aims to help refiners look at their options as they determine the next steps they need to take.

Wood Mackenzie prides itself in offering objective, independent, commercial analysis and advice on assets, companies and markets.   Alan Gelder’s talk at ERTC is scheduled for 14th November 2017.

Alan Gelder

(Caption: Alan Gelder discusses the new IMO sulphur bunker fuel legislation and refiners’ position)


Alan Gelder will be at ERTC 2017 on Day 1

Book your space before we sell out!



Alan Gelder

VP Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets, Wood Mackenzie.

Alan Gelder is VP Refining, Chemicals and Oil Markets. He is responsible for formulating Wood Mackenzie’s research outlook and integrated cross-sector perspectives on the sector.

Mr Gelder joined Wood Mackenzie’s Downstream Consulting team in 2005 and became global head in 2009.  In 2011, he was named Global Head of Refining and Chemicals research.

Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Mr Gelder had 10 years of industry consulting after working for ExxonMobil in a variety of project planning and technical process design roles.

He holds a first-class Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London, and an MBA from Henley Management College.


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