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Distinguished Associates


Dr. David Isaak - Asia Pacific Oil/Gas Specialist
Huntington Beach, California


Dr. David Isaak has been one of the core team members in most of FGE’s commercial advisory services on both the oil and LNG front with more than 30 years of experience in the energy sector. He has testified in courts on matters relating to the energy sector and is known for his knowledge spanning both the oil and gas sectors.  In one of the most recent LNG negotiations, he was the advisor to a legal team preparing for arbitration of an LNG dispute between an European and Middle Eastern company.

David is a consultant in the broad techno-economics of the hydrocarbon industry. His undergraduate degree is in physics, with an emphasis in chemical thermodynamics, and he was awarded an undergraduate research fellowship in photo-physical biochemistry at Oak Ridge National Labs. After working in the research division at the Oregon Department of Energy, he was awarded a graduate research scholarship to Honolulu’s East-West Center.  His PhD dissertation was Petrochemical Production in the Persian Gulf: A Study of an Emerging Industry (1983), a study that focused on the feedstock cost advantages of gas-based petrochemicals.

Dr. Isaak is the co-author of several books, including OPEC, the Gulf, and the World Petroleum Market, as well as many papers, monographs, and multi-client studies. For several years, he was the head of the Energy Program at the East-West Center. He has consulted on oil, gas, and petrochemical issues in the Middle East and Asia since the early 1980s. He has worked in almost forty countries around the globe, from countries as distant as Austria and Australia, and from countries as small as the Netherlands Antilles to countries as large as China.

Much of his work relies on computer simulation and modeling of energy systems, and he is fluent in several computer programming languages. He has constructed many optimization models of refineries, natural gas/LNG plants, and petrochemical facilities. In addition to optimization and trade modeling, he has applied these tools to establishing market prices for non-traded resources, such as new crude oil or gas discoveries. 

Dr. Isaak has been featured at many international conferences, and has also trained teams of young professionals from developing countries in hydrocarbon-processing economics, including delegations of students from China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and several other Asia-Pacific countries.

He is noted for his work on the competitiveness of national hydrocarbon companies, especially those of China, the Mideast, and Southeast Asia, and is currently preparing a book on the topic.