Tech Specialist – Prod Optimization (E&S)


The Refinery Economist is part of the Business team. The team has the primary responsibility of providing the right economic steers for the Optimization of the hydrocarbon production of the site, based on accurate, fit-for-purpose planning and scheduling models. Our goal is to deliver the right product to the right place on time and maximize the integrated margin for the site and across the different lines of businesses. The Economist is responsible for understanding and providing economic direction to the refinery with focus on the current month optimization and serves as the products optimization focal point for the Trading and Supply (T&S) organization working closely with the crude economist and schedulers on site. This role also supports growing the margin capability of the site, through economic and yield studies as well as site wide economic communication. The position works closely with the wider process engineering, process control and production teams on site to help push constraints and identify opportunities to improve site economics.

Purpose & Accountabilities

The Refinery Economist scope will be multi-faceted, but first priority task will focus on Margin Variance Analysis (MVA) activities. 

Margin Variance Analysis

  • Analyzing by comparing business /operating plans to actual performance
  • Communicating insights and supporting the refinery in understanding lost business opportunities each month via the MVA process.
  • Summarizing work done on MVA/gap appraisals for management review
  • Identifying and supporting the implementation of improvement opportunities, including specific incident tracking
  • Accumulating the information and production of the Margin Variance Analysis Power point presentation (monthly) for both the Chemicals business and Refinery business

Other activities for the Refinery Economist

  • Supports delivery of the optimal monthly operating plans and implements the day-to-day optimization of the site in close operation with the scheduling team.
  • Provide weekly margin steers to the refinery including values of key constraints and cut points. This will ideally be done by taking the Monthly Operating Plan (MOP) and using latest pricing and inventories creating a new Weekly Operating Plan (WOP) for the refinery
  • Support analysis (as directed by site E&S) on product economics including cargo economics, marginal product make economics, octane and RVP value.
  • Provide input to the site process control group for on-line Optimizer economics as needed w/changes in market pricing
  • Monitor market product pricing, key market indicators (such as inventories), and regional competitor operating constraints. Communicate these to the site E&S team for decision making purposes
  • Calculate and communicate refinery latest estimate for margin generation
  • Performs economic evaluations for hydrocarbons margin improvement proposals, project evaluation and CAPEX proposals. Also provides economic steer for major unit outages
  • Input utilization data for both refinery and chemicals for government reporting purposes
  • Manages inventory price risk management activities
  • Could also be tasked with scheduling activities to offload site E&S teams

Skills & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or equivalent.
  • More than 8 years’ experience in Oil and Gas industry is desirable with considerable experience as a Process Engineer and Economist.
  • Minimum 6 years in the Oil and Gas industry with at least two years of experience in production planning (operating refinery or petrochemicals plants preferred).
  • Solid knowledge of supply chain economics and refining processes.
  • Well versed with ASPEN TECH Planning Tools (PIMS).
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills combined with analytical ability and attention to details are essential to manage multiple working interfaces at various levels.
  • Ability to provide clear communication on economic direction whilst considering the feasibility aspects too.
  • The individual should be able to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team in an ever-changing and fast paced environment. In order to drive optimization across organizational boundaries this role requires effective engagement with a wide range of refinery and Trading & Supply stakeholders
  • Advanced skill level in MS Excel
  • A high level of comfort in using computer based tools as well as unit simulators. Advanced spreadsheet skill required.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, analytical skills and attention to details are essential to build a strong team and working spirit within the team.
  • Strong aptitude for Learner Mindset
  • Flexibility to move quickly across changing priorities and manage multiple Projects/Programmes
  • Ability to independently, resourcefully, and creatively research and implement new solutions
  • A good understanding of the Upstream/DS/IG business and how it works.
  • Ability to engage and effectively communicate at all levels inside and outside Shell and within different cultural settings.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to challenge and ability to build internal and external relationships based on trust and to integrate across multiple functions.
  • Continuous Improvement

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