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Tim Fitzgibbon

Senior ExpertHouston

Serves petroleum clients around the world, drawing on deep specialist expertise on topics related to refining strategy and petroleum market economics; leads research on petroleum market outlooks

With more than 20 years of experience in the energy and oil and gas sectors, Tim advises international and national oil companies on strategy development, asset optimization, and petroleum market assessment. He brings a regional, national, and global perspective, helping energy clients hone in on insights while still taking stock of the bigger macroeconomic picture.

Tim’s leading expertise on downstream strategy topics—M&A, major capital project evaluation, and crude and product market strategies—has helped clients develop the critical approaches, tools, and data sets that drive strategic action in a sector filled with uncertainty. He also has deep experience in the rapidly growing area of unconventional gas and oil, and has helped clients understand the market outlook and strategic implications of tight gas, shale gas, and light tight oil.

Working closely with major players in the industry, Tim helps executives analyze refining trends, design and implement successful strategies in downstream markets, and achieve greater market efficiencies and valuations at the asset level.

Examples of his recent work include:

  • Advising a US refiner on the full-scale redesign of its refinery optimization process, including an evaluation and overhaul of its operating strategy, performance metrics, and optimization tools and models
  • Working with a major national oil company to develop a strategic plan for market-based transfer prices for crude oil and refined petroleum products
  • Helping a US refiner spot refining market discontinuities in the US Gulf Coast region that could be seized as opportunities for establishing competitive advantage
  • Developing a global petroleum market model for a leading oil company, including a strategic assessment of market developments and value implications
  • Conducting a comprehensive market valuation study of refining assets in the Mediterranean, Russia, South America, Caribbean, US East Coast, Canada, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Korea
  • Developing a crude marketing strategy for a Latin American heavy crude producer
  • Developing a product placement strategy for a US Gulf Coast refiner

Before joining McKinsey, Tim worked as an energy consultant in Washington, DC.

Published work

Refinery transactions: A window of opportunity?,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

Converting refineries to renewable fuels: No simple switch,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

The near-term outlook for refining: Where to now?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2023

Could supply-chain issues derail the energy transition?,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

Refining in the energy transition through 2040,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

Converging energy markets in pursuit of a net-zero world,” McKinsey & Company, July 2022

"From crude oil to chemicals: How refineries can adapt to shifting demand" McKinsey & Company, June 2022

Downstream oil and gas amid COVID-19: Succeeding in a changed market,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

Global refining: Profiting in a downstream downturn,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

IMO 2020 and the outlook for marine fuels,” McKinsey & Company, September 2018

Implications of a border adjustment tax,” McKinsey & Company, May 2017

As gasoline demand booms, don’t sleep on diesel,” McKinsey & Company, October 2016

Shifts in resid markets provide potential margin uplift for refiners,” McKinsey & Company, February 2016

US crude exports ban lifted: the implications for crude pricing,” Energy Insights, February 2016

The conundrum of new complex refining investments,” (PDF–421 KB), McKinsey & Company, September 2015

Profitability in a world of overcapacity,” McKinsey & Company, May 2015

Impact of low crude prices on refining,” McKinsey & Company, February 2015

Implications of light tight oil growth for refiners in North America and worldwide,” McKinsey & Company, January 2014

Past experience

ICF Resources


Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
MPP, Public policy

Texas A&M University
BS, Chemical engineering