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60 Seconds With
Casey Scott (TPR’00) had to place quite an order as head of ship contracts for Conoco Phillips, which is the third-largest integrated energy company in the United States and the fifth-largest refiner in the world. Scott, based in Qatar, led price and contract negotiations for 18 ships that could haul liquefied natural gas (LNG). The 1,000-foot-long vessels are now among a fleet of 50 that Scott manages; the fleet is used in the $60 billion expansion of one of the world’s largest natural gas fields, which is located in the Middle East.
How did you arrive at this job?
It was kind of a natural progression from the United States Merchant Marine Academy to four years at sea, to Tepper, to a land-based job in the shipping industry.
How does navigating a cargo ship compare with what you do today?
At sea, I was on the bridge of a single 650-foot cargo ship. Today, I’m in a 42nd-floor corner office overlooking the Arabian Gulf. I can still see the water, and I’m still in the shipping business, but now I’m working with a fleet of ships, instead of just one.
What do you actually do in your job?
When I first arrived in Qatar in 2005, I led price and contract term negotiations for the final 18 of the 45 new LNG tankers constructed for the expansion. We were moving about 10 million tons of LNG a year with 12 ships and 15 people back then. Today, we ship 42 million tons to ports all over the world with 50 ships and a 60-person team. I am personally responsible for all new and existing contracts, and I personally approve about $2.5 billion in contracted expenditures per year.
How do you ship 42 million tons of gas, and how much energy does it contain?
The only way to ship it is to chill the natural gas to minus 160˚ Celsius [minus 260° Fahrenheit], which gives you a liquid with 600 times less volume than the gas—that’s what LNG is. At the other end of the voyage it’s re-gasified into natural gas. Our annual 42 million tons yield about two trillion cubic feet of natural gas—approximately enough to heat all the homes in the United States for six months.
What impact has Carnegie Mellon had on your career?
The first time I ever touched a spreadsheet was at Tepper. Today my life revolves around spreadsheets [laughs]. Seriously, the school opened doors that would have never been available to me and contributed to my success after I went through those doors.
—as told to Tom Imerito