Senior Associate

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James Ahrens is an economics and planning professional with over 36 years of experience in optimizing petroleum refinery operations and the associated supply/distribution logistics. Since 2002, he has been engaged as a consultant to develop refinery economic models and studies for various clients. He is highly skilled in the use of linear programs (AspenTech PIMS and Chevron’s PETRO). James’ unique blend of refinery technical and economics expertise, along with a practical knowledge of refinery operations, brings a detailed and sophisticated understanding to refinery analysis.

As a consultant, James has participated in the development, validation, and maintenance of numerous refinery operating models. These models, both linear programs and spreadsheet estimation models, have been instrumental in performing project evaluations, capital budget planning, cash flow analyses, due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, and litigation support for insurance and ad valorem tax cases with considerable benefits for clients. He also participated in the development of regional refining models that were used in numerous multi-client studies to assess the state of future refining capacity, product supply/demand balances, and impact of fuel specification and renewable fuel trends.

James’ 22-year industrial career began at Mobil Oil where he had numerous assignments in refinery economics, planning, and engineering activities for two U.S. Gulf Coast refineries (Beaumont and Chalmette) and the West Coast Torrance refinery. At Torrance, he was the primary resource for coordinating all aspects of refinery economics, inventory management, product blending, and rail/truck traffic. He also acted as the liaison between refinery operations and West Coast Supply departments. After his tenure at Torrance, James joined the Crude Supply, Trading, and Transportation department at Mobil corporate headquarters where he optimized the selection purchase, and transportation of 120 million barrels of crude oil annually for the two Gulf Coast refineries. He managed three million barrels of in-tank physical inventory and the associated financial exposure.

James earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 1977.