Day 1 | Thursday, October 24, 2019


7:30-8:00 a.m.

The Agenda of Fuel Change

Tom Kloza, Global Head of Energy Analysis, OPIS
Terry Higgins, Principal, THigginsEnergy

Tom and Terry will set the stage for what should be a lively day and a half exchange of ideas on everything from consumption trends, regulatory tweaks, the challenges of managing and lowering sulfur content and the inroads that ethanol and biofuels may make at the expense of hydrocarbons.

8:00-8:45 a.m.

2020 Foresight: What the Circus Means to Energy Markets

Kevin Book, Managing Director, Clearview Energy Partners 

No one navigates the turbulent energy currents of the capitol like top Washington insider and energy analyst Kevin Book. He’ll look at some possible pivot points for energy policy in 2020 and beyond, and give an inside view of how a Trump victory or defeat may reshape efforts to rein in fossil fuels in the coming years. How might the Trump Administration react to a price shock, whether it be a spike or a plunge?

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.

Tier 3: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

George Hoekstra, Hoekstra Trading
Terry Higgins, THiggins Energy
Blake Eskew, VP Oil Markets, Midstream, Downstream and Chemicals, IHS Markit

Many refiners and marketers dismissed Tier 3 sulfur reductions in recent years, sensing that processors would be up to the challenge of meeting the January 1, 2020 10 ppm sulfur standard. But ex-BP engineer George Hoekstra predicted refiners on the road to compliance stalled, and recent EPA data backed up that conclusion. Early 2020 might now present an environment where octane is sacrificed in the refining process, or where prices for sulfur credits might soar to unheard-of valuations. Losing hydrotreating capability could have drastic impacts on refinery economics and yields. Gain insight into this environment and how it might impact your company in 2020 and beyond.

9:45-10:15 a.m.

Refreshment Break

Sponsorships available

10:15-11:30 a.m.

The View from the OEMs: Expectations and Potential Detours

Robert Wimmer, Toyota North America
Coleman Jones, General Motors

By popular demand, OPIS is bringing back a panel that was widely praised as the best portion of our first octane conference in 2017. You’ll hear from the planners who must make decisions about powertrains, fuel injection systems, and mileage standards some five to ten years before they come off the assembly line. In a free-wheeling session, our panel will review the EV versus ICE choices, CAFÉ versus SAFE; the changing demographics of sales in the developed and undeveloped world, legacy issues for diesel, and the difference between perception and reality in sovereign bans on ICE vehicles. Attendees will get special insight into how the fleet may progress through the first and tenth years of the next decade and how the ascent of cleaner fuels may impact the mix.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Networking Lunch

12:45-1:45 p.m.

Eleventh Hour for IMO 2020: Consequences across the Barrel

Kurt Barrow, VP Oil Markets, Midstream and Downstream IHS Markit
Tom Kloza, Global Director of Energy Analysis, OPIS

It’s nearly here after about two years of predictive analysis. “It” is the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 rules on marine sector emissions of sulfur, sometimes described as the largest structural change for oil since lead was taken out of gasoline. In this vital session, IHS Markit Downstream expert Kurt Barrow will give the global view from 35,000 feet and examine the global preparation for the rules, and what changes in crude oil slates, yields, and appetite will mean for international oil markets. OPIS co-founder and veteran analyst Tom Kloza will focus entirely on the North American markets and run through some scenarios as to what this could mean for pricing and supply relationships on that continent. Attendees will learn why the story of IMO 2020 could properly be called “To Have, and Have Not” and why there will be a roster of winners and losers.

1:45-2:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Understanding the Regulatory Challenges

Paul Machiele, Fuel Programs Center Director, US EPA

Veteran EPA executive Paul Machiele has dealt with controversial fuel proposals for 33 years, including everything from RINs and RVO’s across the gasoline and diesel landscape. New challenges are coming as producers deal with changing pathways and a new generation of feedstocks that may garner approval for production into transportation fuels. Paul is a frequent presenter at OPIS conferences and returns to take questions on all of the new iterations of fuel, some old and some new.

3:15-4:00 p.m.

The Renewable Diesel Boom

Jon Scharingson, Executive Director Sales & Marketing, Renewable Energy Group

REG has long been the continent’s largest producer of biodiesel, but the company is now putting plenty of emphasis on renewable diesel, which can replace conventional diesel as a drop-in fuel. The company is somewhat unique in that it has plans to build a large-scale renewable diesel plant adjacent to the Phillips 66 refinery in Washington, with production starting as early as 2021. In this wide ranging talk, Jon will look at the growth prospects for renewable diesel and the wide range of feedstocks that will power production.

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Day 2 | Friday, October 25, 2019


8:45 – 9:30 a.m.

Deciphering the E15 Riddle

Terry Higgins, Chris Bliley, Growth Energy, TBD (Mike Lorenz, Sheetz)

What will ethanol’s role in the U.S. be as lawyers for the agricultural and refining industry battle for market share in U.S. transportation fuels? Is ethanol still the silver bullet in reaching tougher octane standards that will enable automakers to use more fuel-efficient engines, or has that ship sailed with less tough CAFÉ standards?  What are the success stories that some mid-level blend operators can share? Will U.S. refiners have to change supply contracts in order to sell E15 along with “main event” fuels.  The 2020 year is perhaps the most critical period ever for the future of ag-based fuels.

9:30-10:15 a.m.

Opportunity Knocks Overseas

Kevin Lindemer, Consulting Executive Director, PFC Energy Downstream, IHS Markit

Thanks to its octane and other attributes, an international effort is afoot to find new markets for ethanol across the globe. Studies by IHS Markit have determined plenty of growth prospects in Mexico, Canada, and even China and other Asian countries. Veteran agricultural and petroleum expert Kevin Lindemer looks at what this means for North American supply/demand balances and even delves into what a full-blown truce or trade war might mean for ethanol inside and outside U.S. borders.

10:15-10:45 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:45-11:30 a.m.

Panel Roundtable

Top speakers will reconvene with Tom Kloza, Denton Cinquegrana, and Terry Higgins and cover the highlights of this critical meeting. All will be asked to make predictions on what surprises loom in 2020 and what policy or pricing developments may have the most impact across the fuel spectrum.


Conference Ends

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Agenda subject to change without notice.