Contributors

Bio
Rick Smead Rick Smead is Managing Director, Advisory Services, for RBN Energy LLC. He specializes primarily in the natural gas sector, offering expert policy analysis and advice, litigation support, and strategic advice with respect to gas pipelines, potential supplies, and market initiatives. His background includes over nine years as a Director with Navigant Consulting, Inc., and over three decades in the natural gas industry. That experience included over 20 years as the chief regulatory officer for major interstate pipeline systems, with multiple experiences advising non-U.S. governments in the creation of a regulatory structure. His consulting practice has spanned the LNG industry, both for project developers and for a large national oil company, and the U.S. shale gas boom and its interaction with LNG, the pipeline industry, power generation, and other gas markets. At Navigant, he managed and co-authored the first major quantification of the U.S. shale potential in 2008, the pivotal North American Natural Gas Supply Assessment. Most recently, he has been deeply involved in the opportunities for the use of the nation’s natural gas abundance, including power generation, LNG exports, and gas-to-liquids technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a law degree from George Washington University.
Rob King Rob King is the Senior Energy Products Manager at RBN with over 10 years of experience in the energy industry. Rob was previously the Knowledge Manager at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. and a Senior Accountant with FourPoint Energy and Apache Corp. He started his energy career as an Accountant with Cordillera Energy Partners III. Rob holds a Master of Science in Global Energy Management from The University of Colorado Denver and a BS in Retail Management from Michigan State.
Ron Gist Most recently, Ron was a Director with IHS (formerly Purvin & Gertz) where he served as the Project Manager of the monthly analysis and forecast of market factors that affect supply, demand and pricing of international NGLs for nearly 20 years. He also participated in long-term forecasts of North America and international NGLs, as well as many studies regarding a wide range of issues involving the NGL industry. Additionally, Ron is a well-known speaker at many industry seminars. He is a long-time member of both the national Gas Processors Association (GPA) and the Houston Regional GPA chapter. Ron graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with both Bachelors and Masters degrees in chemical engineering.
Ryan Couture Ryan joined Turner Mason & Company in September 2013 and has since become a contributor to multi-client publications and forecasts, including Outlook and Turning Point publications. Ryan joined the firm after over 5 years of experience with ExxonMobil, where he held a variety of positions in the downstream in Fairfax, VA, Baytown, TX and Billings, MT. He is experienced in process engineering, wastewater treating, catalyst selection and project/turnaround support. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Chemical Engineering (2008).
Sandy Fielden Morningstar Research, RBN Energy Contributor, Energy market pricing and fundamental data, Data Integration with ETRM, writer on Energy Markets, Consultant, Conference Speaker
Sean Trotter Sean Trotter, P.E. serves as the Vice President of EPC – Engineering/Major Projects for Saulsbury. He is responsible for overall project performance and execution, project estimating and proposal development, and budgeting and staffing for the engineering and project management operations for Saulsbury’s EPC projects. Sean joined Saulsbury as a process engineer in 2010 after graduating summa cum laude from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. Sean previously held several roles within the process engineering group including Process Engineering Manager and Director of Process Engineering before assuming his current position in January 2018. Sean has been involved in over 35 of Saulsbury’s major EPC projects in the midstream gas processing, compression, and CO2 industries in varying capacities since joining the company. Sean is a licensed professional engineer in six states and was awarded the Young Engineer of the Year for the Permian Basin Chapter of TSPE in 2017. Outside of the workplace, Sean’s additional leadership roles include serving on the Board of Directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Odessa College Business Leadership Advisory Board, the UTPB Engineering Advisory Board, and an advisory board and founding member of The Bridge Methodist Church in Odessa. Sean is also a member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE).
Sheetal Nasta Sheetal Nasta is a fundamentals analyst, writer and consultant with over 15 years of experience observing and analyzing natural gas markets. As Managing Editor at RBN Energy, she manages the Daily Energy Post blog, in addition to overseeing content for several subscription reports and contributing to the Consulting team. Her previous roles include Manager of Energy Analysis for North American Natural Gas at Bentek Energy, where she developed and shepherded new market analysis and content for more than a half-dozen white papers and market reports, and Senior Editor at Platts Gas Daily, where she produced the daily Platts/ICE Forward Curves and data-driven stories explaining the impacts of infrastructure expansions, supply and demand fundamentals and other factors in the natural gas spot and forward markets.
Simon Hill Simon Hill is Chief Operating Officer of Energy Trading Analytics, Inc. (ETAI) based in London and Houston, and is responsible for the company’s operations outside North America. During his 35-year span in the LPG industry, Simon has held many commercial positions ranging from supply, trading and marketing. Prior to joining ETAI, Simon was COO at Swisschemgas in Athens, Greece, where he was responsible for the company’s rebirth into the international LPG trading arena. During his two years at the helm, the company built back up its strong position in the market, focusing mainly on LPG shipments from the US to Asian markets. Previously Mr. Hill was Group CEO of Petredec based in Singapore, responsible for worldwide trading operations at a time of significant growth for the company in both its LPG trading and shipping activities. Earlier roles included General Manager of International LPG with Texaco (now Chevron) and trading LPG for the UK state oil company BNOC. Simon holds a BA Honours degree in Economics from the University of Leeds. He currently resides in London after 15 years in Singapore.
Spencer Dale Spencer Dale joined BP as group chief economist in October 2014. Prior to that, he was executive director for financial stability at the Bank of England and a member of the Financial Policy Committee. Between 2008 and 2014, Spencer was chief economist of the Bank of England and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee. Spencer joined the Bank of England in 1989 and served in numerous roles, including private secretary to Mervyn King and head of economic forecasting. Spencer served as a senior advisor at the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors between 2006 and 2008.
Susan Brothers Susan Brothers began her career in the energy industry in 1979 in Houston. After positions at several trading companies in the early '80s, she spent five years learning the propane business at Ferrellgas, and in 1990 moved to Phibro Energy. She spent the next 30 years in refinery supply and trading, retiring from Valero in 2020 as Executive Director of NGL and Propylene Trading.
Taylor Robinson Taylor Robinson is the President of PLG Consulting, a team of over 40 industrial logistics and supply chain experts with experts in all modes of transportation, deep energy and chemical market experience, and logistics infrastructure design capabilities. Since 2001 PLG has partnered with clients to design or improve their logistics strategy and operations with significant client engagements in the oil & gas, petrochemical and private equity markets. PLG has advised in numerous areas of the shale energy supply chain with extensive experience in the frac sand industry over the past seven years. Taylor joined PLG in May 2012 after spending over 25 years leading global supply chain organizations in a broad range of industries including automotive, aerospace and food industries. Mr. Robinson served in executive roles at Honda, Honeywell and HJ Heinz. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. trobinson@plgconsulting.com.
Terry Virts Commander Terry Virts is a NASA veteran of two spaceflights – a two-week mission onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2010 and a 200-day flight to the Space Station in 2014-2015. He is a celebrated thought leader, speaker and author who is currently working on multiple projects, including a new book and television series.
Tim Belden Tim was drawn to the energy industry because it presented interesting environmental policy challenges. In the early 1990’s he worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he authored numerous papers analyzing state and federal electricity policies. His energy education continued at UC Berkeley where he earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy while studying Microeconomics, Statistics, Futures and Options Markets, and Analytic Methods for Energy and Resources. An early pioneer in electricity trading, he held positions at The Williams Companies, Portland General Electric, Enron, and UBS. Tim served in several capacities – trading his own profitable book, building and managing successful trading teams, designing and implementing risk management systems, and innovating in renewable and retail electricity markets. Tim also has experience as an energy developer -- as a member of a small, alternative fuels development team he wore many hats. These included transaction structuring, interfacing with private equity and investment banks, negotiating supply and off-take agreements, and other aspects of the development process. Originally from Upstate New York, Tim and his family have enjoyed sunny Portland, Oregon since 1996.
Tim Deutsch Tim Deutsch is a Consultant with Baker & O’Brien, Inc. (www.bakerobrien.com), an oil and gas consultancy specializing in market advisory as well as expert support for complex commercial disputes. Tim is experienced in refinery engineering, operations, economics, and planning with prior positions at Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Andeavor, and Flint Hills Resources. Tim holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He can be reached by email at tim.deutsch@bakerobrien.com.
Tom Biracree Tom Biracree is currently a director at Oil and Gas Financial Analytics, LLC. He was Senior Principle Editor at John S. Herold, Inc., then IHS Inc., for fifteen years. He led the senior editorial team for IHS Energy Insight research and was responsible for structuring and content editing valuation and transaction research. Tom wrote the Herold Oil Headliner, a daily newsletter aimed at senior industry and financial executives. He was co-author of the Global Upstream M&A Review and contributed to the Global Upstream Performance Review. He is also the author of more than 100 published books. He can be reached at tom@oilandgasfinancialanalytics.com.
Troy Vincent Troy is an oil market analyst at ClipperData. He has been in the energy research and consulting industry for 4 years, working as a commodity analyst in oil and natural gas for both Schneider Electric and Ingersoll Rand. In his prior roles he has specialized in crude oil and products, natural gas and LNG, and global carbon markets, serving as executive editor and publisher of research reports. Troy has a unique background in economic policy research, working and studying at both the Charles Koch Institute and Ludwig von Mises Institute, and prides himself on an in depth understanding of economics and monetary policy which helps guide his analysis deeper than basic supply and demand fundamentals. Troy holds a BS from Indiana University in Business, Economics and Public Policy.

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