Mennta Energy Solutions' faculty are preeminent professionals offering extensive experience and remain actively engaged in their respective specialties. They are dedicated to providing world-class energy education and training and are available for in-house/on-site sessions.

Please click on a name below to view their biography.

Carlos Blanco, Ph.D.

DR CARLOS BLANCO is a financial risk management expert with over 20 years of diverse experience in energy markets. He has worked with some of the largest energy and commodity market firms worldwide providing educational, advisory services and software solutions.

He is the co-founder and managing director of a risk management advisory firm. He has advised risk groups and senior management in oil, gas, power, mining and trading firms on various matters related to the risk management process including risk policy, hedging strategy, risk model development and validation, risk appetite and risk metrics.

Dr. Blanco is an active faculty member for Mennta Energy Solutions since 2004, and he has conducted a wide range of energy derivatives hedging, pricing and risk management seminars worldwide. A frequent conference speaker and writer, he has coauthored over 150 articles for Energy Risk Magazine, Commodities Now, Energy Metro Desk, Oil and Gas Journal and others.

He is a former VP Risk Solutions at Financial Engineering Associates, Inc (a MSCI/BARRA Company), where he managed the market risk suite of products as well as the firm’s product support and professional services group. He also taught finance at the University of California, Berkeley, and the ABN AMRO Academy.

Charles Lawrie

Charles Lawrie is a founding partner of Richardson Lawrie Associates, an independent firm of international maritime economists and business consultants established in 1987. He is responsible for the firm's consulting and retainer services in the crude oil, petroleum products and gas transportation sectors. He has spent 30 years in the oil and shipping sectors, more than 20 of which have been as project manager or senior consultant on shipping, economics, investment appraisals, feasibility studies, transportation strategies and business studies within Europe, the Americas and the Far East. He is a specialist in the development of: investment appraisals, business plans, strategy reviews; commercial/contractual advice, project implementation; evaluation of the transportation economics of varying routes, ports and cargo handling techniques; commodity trade flow analyses and forecasts; modelling and forecasts of short, medium and long term shipping traffic, shipping demand and shipping supply; and modelling and forecasts of shipping charter rates and vessel costs.

Chris Kirkland

Chris Kirkland has 25 years of strategic and operational marketing experience. His experience spans a diverse range of markets including 11 years in the lubricants industry. Chris trained as an engineer with a BSc in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Water Resources Technology. He worked for 5 years as an engineering consultant before going to Manchester Business School where he graduated with an MBA. On completing his MBA he joined Burmah Oil’s speciality chemicals division which had operating companies serving a number of industries worldwide. Here his various management roles spanned strategy and business development, acquisitions, international product development, sales and managing marketing at an operating company level. He then moved to BurmahCastrol’s Corporate Development team and undertook a wide variety of strategic projects for Castrol and led Castrol’s global strategy programme. Following the acquisition of Castrol by BP, he was responsible for strategy development for the combined lubricants business. He was then given responsibility for market knowledge, marketing planning and a programme of work to improve the effectiveness of marketing investment for the global lubricants business. Chris now works as an independent consultant..

Christopher Lennon

CHRISTOPHER LENNON is the Director of Stone Falcon Corporate and Legal Consulting Ltd – a company that works internationally based in Scotland, UK. Chris has 27 years’ experience within the oil and gas industry – initially working offshore on rigs in the UK and Norway before becoming involved with projects and supply chain issues. He helped establish an anti-corrosion production facility in Aberdeen for casing tubulars – running the production facility initially before going on to create and manage the supply chain. He has set up distribution networks supporting the North Sea E&P industry within Aberdeen. He has managed (and continues to do so) a variety of ‘special projects’ internationally – normally strategic or change management focussed. He has worked/consulted extensively within the field of supply chain management – is a contracts specialist and an international commercial arbitrator.

He is empanelled as both an Arbitrator and a Mediator at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC); has the Freedom of the City of London; is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators and a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. He holds an MBA and LLB from the University of Aberdeen, as well as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators DipICArb. He has over 17 years international professional teaching experience including a number of universities across a wide range of subjects. He is a specialist in consulting within the domain of creating high performance teams.  Chris works internationally consulting/training. He has delivered training to project managers of PDVSA; SONATRACH; OMV; PVEP; Vietgazprom; the Southern Operating Company (Iraq); the Iraqi Ministry of Energy; Curoil; the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum) and the Ministry of Energy of the Philippines, as well as a variety of North Sea based companies. He has travelled to the Republic of Mynamar – where he delivered a bespoke training package in all areas of project management to the heads of the country’s oil and gas companies. He was personally welcomed by the Minister of Energy. Chris played a central role in helping to develop the architecture for RasGas’ Leadership Development programme. He was the Discipline Manager for Project Management for the PetroSkills Global Alliance for 3 years and also instructed within the areas of project management and supply chain/purchasing/contracts/ procurement/inventory management. He has also travelled to Monaco and spent some time mentoring and training the senior commercial negotiators of a global oil services company. Chris has travelled to Seoul in South Korea to deliver a bespoke programme for Seoul National University in Managing Project Costs and Budgets. In February of 2017, Chris was hired by the United States Energy Agency to create and deliver a bespoke 5 day project management workshop. Participants were all senior project managers. In April of 2017 Chris spent 2 days with the Board of Directors of Vietgazprom (a joint venture between the Vietnamese and Russian governments) engaged within an open consulting session focussing on Supply Chain/commercial contracts. In May 2018 it was agreed that Stone Falcon would deliver an annual ‘Project Management Summer School’ in conjunction with the University of Aberdeen.

Dan Gordon

Dan Gordon is President of Aska Energy which serves the ethanol and refined products industries by providing procurement and distribution services to companies operating in that space. He was most recently Executive Director of Supply and Distribution for RaceTrac Petroleum where he was responsible for the purchase, hedging and distribution of over 2 billion gallons of gasoline, ethanol and diesel each year. He also oversaw a variety of activities including: trading (physical and paper), product scheduling, shipping (using pipelines, rail cars, vessels, barges and trucks), inventory positions and thru puts (in excess of 30) as well as all related vendor management and negotiations. He joined ReceTrac in 1999 as a Special Projects Manager for the finance department and ultimately achieved the position of Assistant Treasurer prior to being promoted. Mr. Gordon earned an MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from Georgia Tech. He is also a graduate of the University of Florida, where he received a bachelor of science with a degree in finance

David Wood

DR DAVID WOOD has some 30 years of international oil and gas experience spanning technical and commercial exploration and production operations, contract evaluation and senior corporate management. Industry experience includes Phillips Petroleum, Amoco (Africa, Europe and UK) and Canadian independents (South America, Africa, Middle & Far East), including 3 years based in Colombia and 4 years based in Dubai. From 1993 to 1998 he was UK Managing Director for Lundin Oil & then Morrison Petroleum responsible for a broad portfolio of assets and a staff of more than 100.

David now works as an independent international consultant and expert witness advising international oil companies and governments.  He has published an extensive body of work on diverse energy related topics including: performance modelling of fiscal terms, economic analysis, enterprise risk management, portfolio simulation and optimisation, LNG, GTL and gas supply, deepwater exploration and production techniques, corporate performance, portfolio and strategy management, mergers & acquisitions, negotiations & project management. He is also actively involved in diverse professional training, research and development programmes and is an associate editor of the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.

Eva T. Thorne

Eva T. Thorne is a founder and principal of Corporate Governance Solutions and is a political risk specialist. She holds an undergraduate degree in history from Harvard University and a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ms. Thorne has expertise in natural resources and emerging markets. Her firm's clients include oil and gas companies, government ministries and mining companies, among others. Eva has designed and carried out workshops for independent, state-owned and international oil companies, done marketing research and analysis on the telecommunications sector of Brazil, and executive coaching at the London Business School. She has lectured widely on issues of political risk, corporate social responsibility and governance in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Ms. Thorne writes and publishes on political risk in oil, gas, and mining for business journals and has lectured on these topics at industry conferences. She is completing a book on the politics of reform at the World Bank and is working on another book project on indigenous communities, land titling and extractive industries. She has lived and worked all over the developing world and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Ms. Thorne resides in Boston, MA.

Ian Holdaway

Dr. Ian Holdaway is a consultant to the downstream oil industry and has provided expert opinion on more than 70 disputes involving the International Trading and Supply of crudes oil and petroleum products and the planning and economics of refinery operations. Dr Holdaway currently acts a consultant to Minton Treharne & Davies Co Ltd. After graduating with a PhD in industrial chemistry, Dr Holdaway joined Esso working in Research, Marketing and Corporate Planning before transferring to Refining, where he was responsible for Refinery Operations Planning and subsequently Supply Logistics After 11 years he joined J Aron, the commodity trading division of Goldman Sachs, where, as Trading Operations Director, he was responsible for all aspects of J Aron's International Trading Operations within the European and Far Eastern Offices markets.

Jeanne Westhoff-Knight

Jeanne Westhoff-Knight, based in Jupiter, FL, is a professional with over twenty years of experience in the energy industry. She has held positions with Mobil Oil Corporation as distillate sales consultant and regional trucking manager. As distillate sales consultant, Jeanne was responsible for promoting risk management programs to distributors in the Northeast. These programs included NYMEX based hedging strategies and counselling on the heating oil market. As regional trucking manager, Jeanne was responsible for developing corporate account lubricant sales (Delvac & Mobil 1) to truck stops and dealerships in New York, New Jersey and the New England states. Prior to her employment with Mobil, Jeanne was sales manager for a distributor in Palm Beach County, Florida. In this position she was responsible for bulk sales and distribution of gasoline, diesel fuels, methanol, lubricants, additives and Sunoco Race Fuels.  Jeanne has been a lecturer and Consultant with Mennta Energy Solutions since 1998.

Jeff Pym

Mr Jeff Pym is currently affiliated to the US consulting firm, LECG. Until 2003 he was Director General of the Institute of Petroleum, a position he held following departure from BP in 1999. Sixteen years of his management experience were spent in BP’s Gas businesses, mostly abroad negotiating contracts as diverse as the Australian North West Shelf LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement and gas sales agreements, corporate mergers and acquisitions. Having successfully negotiated a European downstream gas merger with Mobil, his final BP position was as Managing Director and Associate President for BP Portugal, retaining responsibility for the combined BP/Mobil Iberian gas business. Among other wide-ranging skills and experience during his career he acquired expertise in communications and inter-cultural management.

John Rogerson

Dr John Rogerson CChem, FRSC is an independent consultant specialising in fuels, emissions and the environment.  He received his doctorate in Physical Chemistry at the University of Leeds in 1980.

Working for BP, Dr Rogerson was an internal consultant advising on future fuel and transportation strategies.  Formerly he managed the Product Development Team for Europe and the “Rest of the World”. He was responsible for: the development of all gasoline fuels; diesel fuels; alternative fuels; additives; the impact of these fuels and additives on vehicle performance, exhaust emissions and the environment.  He represented BP at CONCAWE on several groups; the Motor Vehicle Emissions Regulations and Fuel Specification Group; the Fuels Quality and Emissions Management Group; the Diesel Working Group, the CRC EUCAR CONCAWE Biofuels; and the Evaporative Emissions Working Group.  He represented BP at the Energy Technology Institute (ETI) on the Transportation Strategic Advisory Group, advising on biofuels, heavy duty engines, plug-in vehicles and modelling of economic and carbon benefits.

Joseph A Vaszily

JOSEPH A. VASZILY offers over 35 years of professional experience in the natural gas infrastructure and liquefied natural gas (LNG) energy sectors. Mr. Vaszily began his career as a Construction Field Engineer at Distrigas of New York then as a Gas Consultant at Stone & Management Consultants, Inc. before joining Brooklyn Union Gas where he progressed through several positions of increasing responsibility including Vice President, Gas Energy Inc. (unregulated power development affiliate) and Vice President, Methane Development (unregulated renewable energy affiliate). Thereafter, he became Vice President, Gas Infrastructure Development at KeySpan Energy Development Corp. He has also been Director, LNG/natural gas practice at Pace Global. He was Director, Business Development, Northeast Region with Inergy Midstream LLC.Currently he is the President of Gas Asset Solutions an independent energy consulting business.  He was most recently a senior advisor to the CEO at Meridian LNG on all strategic and commercial matters. The purview of this position included participation with internal management and external counterparties related to the FSRU based business model being implemented in the international LNG market. Mr. Vaszily has also served as Executive Director by both the American Gas Association and the Natural Gas Supply Association, a national coalition that pursued domestic environmental growth initiatives through the use of natural gas. Mr. Vaszily holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Larry G. Lawrence

Larry G. Lawrence, President of Enterprise Risk Consulting, LLC, has over 30 years of experience in energy risk management and trading. His experience includes financial trading in energy and equity markets, physical and financial risk management and trading consulting, physical and financial portfolio management, technical and options analysis, corporate education, advisory service publishing, and institutional sales.

Mr. Lawrence has extensive experience in trading and risk management implementation for energy companies. His experience includes hedge strategy development, tactical trading assistance, the development of trading and risk management policies, procedures, and control structures, the review and assessment of risk management programs, risk and performance measurement, risk assessment, trading and risk system selection and implementation, transaction structuring, real option valuation and modeling, market structuring, development of forward price curves and term structures of volatility, credit risk management, and trading and risk management education.

His work includes the evaluation and development of risk system functionality to support internal and external compliance with risk policies. He has developed and delivered educational material covering physical and financial instruments, physical power, natural gas and oil markets, physical and financial trading and hedging, option valuation, hedging with options, the development of a risk management program, trading controls, value at risk, technical analysis, technical trading, and basis trading.

Mr. Lawrence has worked with many public power agencies in the South Central, North Eastern, and Western regions of the U.S., assessing and developing hedging strategies and risk management policies and controls, conducting trader training, and advising on the development of physical supply portfolios, renewable power, congestion risk management, and financial hedging instruments. He has worked with local distribution companies to develop control and reporting processes for physical natural gas trading and hedging, regulatory risk management, transportation asset development, and natural gas marketing strategies.  Mr. Lawrence has assisted industrial energy consumers in assessing their energy-related risks, in developing strategic hedging frameworks, and in implementing supply procurement programs.

Mr. Lawrence worked extensively with investor-owned electric utilities during the late 1990s and early 2000s, implementing hedging programs; developing and implementing hedge optimization models, asset valuation models, risk models, and performance measurement models; developing risk management and business strategies for retail providers; implementing credit risk management programs, and training power and fuel traders. Mr. Lawrence holds the BS in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. He is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) as a
Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA), and with the State of Texas as an Investment Advisor.

Malcolm Johnson

Malcolm Johnson has more than 30 years experience at Shell in the natural gas/LNG sector. He was Strategy and Planning Manager in the United Kingdom and Germany during the period of gas liberalisation in Europe. Malcolm has been involved in the development of a number of LNG projects including over 13 years on the Sakhalin LNG project from its inception to final investment decision involving the full range of commercial activities including governance, marketing, LNG contract negotiations and technical/ commercial interface management. He has also provided commercial advice on the Elba LNG receiving terminal expansion, floating LNG, LNG contracts and project development assurance. He is a recognised subject matter expert on commercial LNG matters. Malcolm is now a Director of eMJay LNG Limited providing expert advice and consulting services to the natural gas/LNG industries.

Read Malcolm Johnson's interview on Energy Asia, by clicking here

Malcolm Johnson contributes to Intelligence Press, click here to read this article.

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson has over 15 years of experience in the energy industry. She began her career at BP working in the information management group, then later rose to a trading analyst in the supply and trading department. She subsequently joined Saladin as an energy consultant to provide consultancy advice and training on energy market analysis, trading and risk management to clients throughout the world. In several senior roles at Saladin, she managed the energy consulting team, ran the energy market information service and directed strategy for new software and information product development, including the development of a new internet based trading system. After leaving Saladin, Mary worked as an independent energy market consultant until she formed Kingston Energy Consulting in 2002. She has lectured regularly for Mennta Energy Solutions on energy markets, trading and risk management and is also a regular speaker and panel member at public conferences. She has written articles for industry publications including Harts Energy Markets, Energy and Power Risk Management, Global Energy Business and Petroleum Review. Mary obtained a bachelor's honours degree from Bristol University and a master's degree from London University.

Michael Green

Michael Green is a Chemical Engineer and Consultant with over 30 years experience in the refining and petrochemical industry including working for BP, Bechtel, AspenTech, KBC Technology and Foster Wheeler. During his career he has managed numerous refinery planning/simulation projects for worldwide locations and worked with LP systems including AspenTech’s PIMS and Haverly GRTMPS and non-linear modelling systems such as Petrofine, PetroSIM and Aspen Plus. His more recent assignments, whilst working with Foster Wheeler, included managing feasibility studies to provide optimised processing schemes including detailed layout and cost estimates, and energy studies to reduce refinery energy demand and improve EII rating through equipment and operational management modifications. Michael has a DPhil from Oxford and a BSc from Imperial College London.

Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris is a director and principal consultant at Kingston Energy Consulting, which he founded with Mary Jackson in 2002. He has been helping energy traders to analyse and understand the markets for over 25 years, initially as a developer of market analysis software systems, and more recently as a consultant.

At Kingston Energy Consulting, his main focus is on providing education and information transfer to participants in the energy trading business, through instructor-led classroom training, web-based training development, research projects, workshops, briefings and research-based report writing.

In his work with Mennta Energy Solutions, he has created a library of new instructor-led and web-based courses on European gas and power markets and trading. In 2005, he worked with Mary Jackson to develop the popular Oil Trading Orientation course, which has since been presented at venues all over the world. He has also extensively revised and updated many existing courses on derivatives, hedging and risk management.  He regularly presents this material both at public venues and as in-house, often customised, courses.

He is co-author of a series of highly regarded reports on European natural gas trading and has also contributed to reports on power markets and oil trading.

In previous roles, he was a key member of the team that initially designed and developed Saladin’s innovative Petroleum Analysis Workstation, a system that became an industry standard for historical price analysis during the 1990s and remained in use in the industry for two decades. During this period, he worked closely and extensively with oil and gas traders around the world to understand their information and analytical requirements. He also spent some years as an independent consultant, working mainly with software and information providers to help them better understand the oil and gas trading sectors.


Peter David

Peter David joined the BP Research Centre, Sunbury-on-Thames in 1977 after graduating from the University College of Swansea with BSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry.  After a short period in the Analytical Laboratory applying infrared spectroscopy to research the structure of crude oils and petroleum products, he joined the BP Global Fuels Technology Team and over a period of 25 years at Sunbury-on-Thames gained experience on all transport and power generation liquid fuels.  From 1995, he was Team Leader of the Product Quality Team, with responsibility for design and implementation of development projects to support BP’s worldwide fuel marketing and manufacturing strategies.  He left BP in 2003 and has worked as a Technical Consultant for BP Marine for the past 11 years.

Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is an independent consultant, providing expertise in all areas of oil supply and trading, in particular in the negotiation and operation of commercial contracts for oil and gas production, processing, transportation and sales. He has had over 30 years' commercial and management experience in major oil industry organisations, where his responsibilities have included sales and marketing, supply and trading, and transportation. Richard is a graduate of Oxford University; before becoming a consultant in 1997, he had worked for BP in London and Milan, the British National Oil Corporation, the Oil and Pipelines Agency (BNOC's successor) and BG Exploration and Production.

Richard Prince

Richard Prince has almost 30 years of experience within the downstream oil industry, covering both marketing and refining businesses. Most recently responsible for marketing planning across the BP group, he has been an independent consultant since 2007. Richard has an MA in chemistry from Oxford University and began his career with BP in refinery process research and development, before gaining plant commissioning & operating experience. He joined Castrol in 1989, then part of Burmah Oil, as a manufacturing and supply chain advisor, before broadening his experience into marketing by managing the central business intelligence team. With subsequent management positions at BurmahCastrol in Strategic Projects and Corporate Development, he was a key contributor to the BurmahCastrol Board's decision to sell the business to BP in 2000. Returning to BP after the sale, Richard was appointed to the integration team set up to plan and manage the merger of the BP and Castrol lubricants businesses. Following a period in the downstream strategy & planning group, he took on a new role with responsibility for all planning activity in the global marketing function and was additionally responsible for developing these capabilities across the BP Group.

Rob Parry

Rob Parry is an Executive Account Manager with BASF Catalysts (formerly Engelhard) with experience in technical and commercial catalyst applications and supply to the Petrochemical and Refining Industries for 20 years. Rob has a BSc joint Hons. in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry from UCW Aberystwyth and is a Chartered Chemist with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Robin A Burley

Robin A Burley is Managing Director of Kennet Oil Logistics (KOL), a company established in 1990 providing expertise in the international supply, trading and transportation sector. KOL has worked with a wide range of clients including oil majors, independents, governments, accountancy, engineering, banking, trading, shipping, storage companies and law firms. Prior to this he worked with BP in Marine and Supply Departments, and Gulf Oil in Trading & Transportation and Refining & Marketing functions. Besides the day-to-day management and negotiation of oil supply, trading and transportation deals, he has been involved in a variety of oil logistics projects throughout the world. He has lived in the USA, Europe and the Middle East, and is a contributing author to the Oil Trading Manual (pub. Woodhead).

Stuart Howell

Stuart Howellis Principal of the Castle Hampton Management Consultancy, former Head of BP's retail business in the UK and the industry's representative on the Government's Deregulation Task Force. The consultancy was established five years ago following 30 years service with BP which included senior posts in policy development, marketing, sales, network property management, investment and engineering. He currently advises oil companies, retail and city institutions.

Zoe Young

Zoe Young has worked in the downstream oil and gas industry for over 20 years, both as an independent adviser and with companies such as ExxonMobil and Gaffney, Cline & Associates.  She has advised private companies, national oil companies and governments regarding the optimal development of natural gas resources and has consulted on projects covering LNG, GTL, methanol, ammonia and power generation.  She has also worked on natural gas importation, the development of gas master plans and the development of gas-based industry in various countries.    Zoe  has lectured, or provided in-house training, on a range of topics, both for private companies, national oil companies (JOGMEC, PetroSA)  training providers (Mennta Energy Solutions, Energy Institute) and academic institutions (Cass Business School).

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Mennta Energy Solutions (formerly The Oxford Princeton Programme, Inc.) is not affiliated with Princeton University, Oxford University, or Oxford University Press.