2020 Wood Mackenzie Oil & Oil Products Forum

  • London, United Kingdom

Oil & Oil Products Forum: 2020 – the story so far and what’s next for crude and product markets

Oil demand growth has been weak in 2019, with the OPEC+ group surprisingly extending their cuts by a further 500 kbd through to end of Q1 in 2020. In spite of that, fears of sustained weak demand growth have restricted Brent to mid US$60/bbl. The degree to which the growth trajectory of US tight oil slows will be a critical factor in crude oil pricing in 2020. The refining industry suffered record low margins in the latter few weeks of 2019, as IMO preparations crashed the value of high sulphur fuel oil, with no corresponding uplift in distillate cracks as compliant low sulphur fuel oil stocks have been depleted. Crude oil differentials responded, but with a lag, so hitting refining margins hard, with the gift of Christmas being run cuts.

The implications of the IMO regulation on the refining sector will become clearer as time passes, particularly over the pricing relationships of compliant low sulphur fuels and the associated change in trade flows for high sulphur residues. At the Forum, we will discuss our view of the current market fundamentals and the outlook for the coming weeks/months of 2020 and 2021, putting Europe within a global context.

Our speakers will be Wood Mackenzie sector experts on crude oil markets and refining, joined by our colleagues from Genscape, along with Trafigura’s Chief Economist as a guest speaker.


Event Timings

08:00AM: Registration, refreshments and networking

09:00AM: Forum begins

11:45AM: Event close



  • 26 February 2020

    • Registration & refreshments

      Start the day by networking with industry colleagues over a cup of coffee.

    • Welcome & introduction


      • Alan is Global Practice Lead for our refining and marketing research and team leader for the EMEARC Refining and Chemicals Team, responsible for our outlooks and perspectives on this global sector. Alan joined the business as part of our Downstream Consulting Team in 2005 and later went on to lead the division. He has managed consulting assignments all over the world, focusing on major transactions (projects and M&A) and their alignment with key success factors for industry players and third parties. He then transitioned into research upon his return to London from Houston in 2011. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Alan spent 10 years as an industry consultant after working for ExxonMobil in a variety of project planning and technical process design roles. Education MSc, Chemical Engineering, Imperial College, London MBA, Henley Management College

    • Oil: Texas teeing up for global trade

      The US spent the better part of 2019 replumbing the midstream to connect growing production with US and global refining markets. Genscape fundamental data shows exactly how each turn of the wrench impacted regional balances for better or for worse. Real-time data sets the table for where, when, and how much Texas tea will be served.


    • Oil: US hosts the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

      We start 2020 with a picture of ample supply but the US is a disruptive force in the market. Not just its tight oil boom, but also US foreign policy, especially against Iran. What happens in the next few years depends on a recovery or slowdown in US production; the outcome of US presidential elections; policy toward Iran and Venezuela and the outcome of the US-led trade war. Beware surprises that could disrupt the market.


      • Ann-Louise Hittle brings to Wood Mackenzie over 25 years of experience in analysing global oil markets. Her career began with Gulf Oil, where she focused on OPEC and markets in Asia. She then worked as a Middle East/Oil Markets research associate with Kissinger Associates and a Senior Oil and Gas Futures Analyst with Shearson Lehman Brothers. During her decades in the industry, Ann-Louise established an international reputation for her analyses of short-to long-term oil markets. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Ann-Louise worked at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, where she was Research Head of the Upstream Oil Service with responsibility for world oil market analysis and writing long-term scenarios. After joining Wood Mackenzie in 2003, she directed the development of the Macro Oils Service, launched in April 2005, and led it until her promotion to Vice President. In addition to overseeing the oils research team, Ann-Louise is a frequent contributor to numerous industry publications and conferences, where she shares her trusted insights on the futures of oil markets. Ann-Louise's extensive experience and deep understanding of Middle East markets make her an invaluable member of the Wood Mackenzie team. With oil markets becoming more complex due to production cuts and the growth of renewables, her guidance helps our research team provide clients with timely, accurate market outlooks. Education Master's Middle East Studies, Harvard University BA History, St. Lawrence University

    • Coffee & networking

    • Go with the flow - key signposts to watch for in 2020


      • Saad Rahim is the Chief Economist for Trafigura, one of the world’s largest traders of oil, metals and other commodities. He is responsible for the company’s views on markets and macroeconomics, including the outlook for Crude Oil, Oil Products and Metals markets, commodity prices, equity and credit markets, and political risk. Prior to joining Trafigura, he was the Chief Economist at BG Group (now Shell), a major integrated oil & gas company, and prior to that Deputy Chief Economist at Chevron Corporation. Before joining Chevron, Mr. Rahim was an international energy advisor with PFC Energy (now IHSMarkit). Mr. Rahim received BA degrees in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University, and attended the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) for advanced degree work in Economics and Global Energy.

    • Who’s out to tea? Refinery maintenance monitoring and impact on Atlantic Basin inventories and flows

      IMO 2020 is here, now what? A look at trans-Atlantic distillate rebalancing amid the Northern Hemisphere winter season and the impacts of seasonal refinery maintenance.


    • Oil Products: IMO – are we there yet?

      IMO has yet to deliver the bullish support forecast to margins as the focus remains firmly on demand growth through 2020. Tough decisions lie ahead; refiners will ultimately need to cut runs or reduce capacity unless oil demand picks up. Will IMO driven distillate demand come to the rescue of margins through 2020? Or will crude differentials reflect their refining value? One thing is certain; volatility will continue through this prolonged transition period.


    • Q&A session and closing remarks

Attendance Fees

If you are a Wood Mackenzie or Genscape customer

This event is included in any current Wood Mackenzie or Genscape (a Wood Mackenzie Business) subscription; customers have complimentary attendance limited to two attendees per company.


If you are not a current customer

Non-customers who aren't currently subscribed to services are very welcome to attend, however please note that registration attracts the below fees:

Early bird registration: £290+VAT per person (Available until 31 January 2020.)

Regular registration: £390+VAT per person.