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Utilis Advisory Group

Energy Consultant a Conversation

Areas of Expertise

  • New York, United States
  • English


Entrepreneurial Energy Professional with Upstream Production and Downstream Market Experience


Alan Herbst is a Principal with Utilis Advisory Group, a firm providing strategic advisory and consulting services to the energy sector. Mr. Herbst has over 25 years of energy experience. His specializations include analysis of market fundamentals, related energy infrastructure buildout, pricing mechanisms, commercial trading and risk management opportunities.

Mr. Herbst expertise covers oil, natural gas and power markets. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on unconventional upstream development (shale gas and tight oil), LNG, oil sands, nuclear power, distributed generation and related environmental and regulatory issues.

Shale Gas/Tight Oil

Alan has considerable shale expertise. He can discuss the geology of the various North American shale fields (Haynesville, Marcellus, Utica, Bakken, Barnett, Horn River, Fayetteville, Woodford, Eagle Ford, Permian), well costs, production rates, hydraulic fracturing techniques, environmental regulation, estimated ultimate recovery rates (EUR), natural gas break even costs, royalty trends, foreign investment and how companies are modifying their production strategies and future development plans in a low cost gas environment. In the recent past, he was retained to act as a shale Expert Witness in NY State Bankruptcy Court in a matters dealing with gas production and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).


Alan has advised international utilities, trading and private equity firms on global LNG markets and related infrastructure issues. Part of this work focused on LNG liquefaction and regasification assets and the costs associated with these technologies. He has also advised clients on LNG export terminal development economics, the pricing of LNG export cargoes, how they compete against oil-based LNG sales and related regulatory issues. In addition, he has been both an instructor and the developer of a leading global energy industry training firm's LNG courses and can speak about all aspects of the LNG value chain. Recently, Alan traveled to the Far East to advise a national oil company and LNG exporter on market risk issues relating to the growth of the US shale gas industry and the start of US LNG exports.

Transportation Logistics

Alan has considerable experience advising clients on the logistics and economics involved with transporting oil, natural gas and NGLs. This work includes:

a) Crude-by-Rail – Analyzing freight rates, tank car availability, crude oil spreads and the changing regulatory environment for refiners looking to acquire cost-advantaged crude from the Bakken and Western Canada.

b) Pipelines – Evaluating natural gas and oil pipeline expansion projects and capacity utilization of operating pipelines. Examining the shipper re-contracting risk faced by natural gas pipelines and the potential impact of this risk, and potential shipper bankruptcies, on MLP earnings and distributions.

c) Bunkering Operations – Providing insight into the competitive bunker supply market, pricing trends, alternative fuels and how supply operations are evolving due to the implementation of more stringent sulfur emission regulations.

Energy Pricing Indices and Data Providers

Alan began his career working at Platts and eventually became its New York Bureau Chief responsible for spot price assessments. He is extremely knowledgeable on the strengths, weaknesses and differing methodologies used by Platts and competing energy price reporting firms, such as Argus and OPIS. He also can provide insight into the data and forecasting services offered by firms such as IHS CERA, WoodMac and PIRA. He was retained by a leading OPEC member and an integrated energy firm to provide insight on price reporting agencies. He has also advised private equity firms on energy price reporting and data provider investments/acquisitions.

Oil Sands

Alan has advised clients on project development in the three major regions in the Alberta Oil Sands (Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River) for over 10 years. From this project work he is knowledgeable on the economics involved with oil sands production including changing royalties, operating, capital, upgrading costs and the impact of falling crude oil prices on project development. He can discuss SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage), CSS (Huff and Puff), THAI (Toe to Heal Air Injection) and VAPEX (Vapor Extraction Process) in-situ technologies and steam-to-oil ratios (SOR) in SAGD and CSS operations.

Prior Experience

Alan previously held the position of a US Energy Practice Area Manager for Datamonitor, where he led strategic planning and the group's research, analysis and marketing. Mr. Herbst has also held business development, energy analysis and consulting positions with the PIRA Energy Group and Standard & Poor's. He has authored over 25 energy studies and articles and is the co-author of "Nuclear Energy Now," a critically acclaimed book on nuclear power development published by Wiley & Son’s. Alan appears frequently as an on-air energy expert for US and international media outlets


Series 3 (Futures and Commodities) Certification, National Futures Association / National Association of Security Dealers

Certificate in the Quantity and Quality Analysis of Petroleum Products, Saybolt In-house Training Program


M.B.A. Finance/International Business, Stern School of Business

A.B. History and Biology, Washington University, St. Louis


Utilis Advisory Group, LLC, Principal, 11 years, Energy Advisory Firm


M.B.A. Finance/International Business, Stern School of Business / NYU 1995

A.B History and Biology, Washington University, St. Louis 1986

Past Conversations

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I am looking to connect with one or more Shale Gas Experts for formulation of environmental best practise guidelines, pricing stra...