The first time I got to interview Tom O’Malley, he had just been appointed head of Phibro, which at that time traded everything and never fired anybody. It was 1983, the most recent commodity super cycle had come to a screeching halt, and he had to make changes; the idea that all you needed to do was go long and cash in the profits a few months later was now a sure-fire loser.
So the company that traded everything stopped doing so, and the company that never fired anybody shocked the world by doing a lot of that. As a reporter at American Metal Market, I got one of the first interviews with O’Malley, one hot summer morning.
Unfortunately, the subway I was riding on to the interview got stuck and sat…and sat…and sat. By the time I emerged on to the street, I was still going to be able to get there on time, having giving myself a significant buffer, but only if I ran. (Grand Central to 48th and 6th, for those of you who know New York). Which I did, on a day that was about 93 degrees with humidity to match. O’Malley was tied up longer than he expected, and I mercifully got to cool down. I was tempted to ask the secretary if she had a washing machine and shower I could utilize.
We at Platts expect our interview with Mr. O’Malley, the global refining legend who now heads PBF Energy, to take place under slightly less frenetic conditions on May 13, the first day of this year’s Global Crude Oil Summit in London. I will be interviewing Mr. O’Malley on that first day, and that afternoon will hold a sit-down with another legend, this time from the “sell” side of the producer-refiner relationship: Harold Hamm, the CEO of Bakken kingpin Continental Resources.
The chance to interview both men one-on-one is why I declared at the top of this post: I’m excited.
Over the course of the Global Crude Oil Summit, you’re also going to hear from a tremendous lineup of speakers. Bill Colton is the vice president of global strategic planning at ExxonMobil, and is known within that company to have a strong influence on many of the decisions XOM makes as it maps out its future. Jeffrey Currie is the global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, a company whose pronouncements on the direction of oil prices have enormous impacts on market swings. Dr. Victor Adeniran is the general manager– Crude Oil Commercial for Total’s upstream operations in Africa, a continent that is among the most significant for growth in demand and for supply.
A full agenda for the conference can be found here, and we hope to see you on May 13.
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