Matthew Steckel




Personal Background

Based in Paris and Dubai, Matthew Steckel is an international investor and experienced corporate manager (in upstream and downstream oil and gas, banking and finance, and computerized design engineering for the oil and gas industry) who has had an active business career in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United States since the 1960s.

Mr. Steckel has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of a Swiss Bank operating in Geneva and Lugano.

Mr. Steckel was born and grew up in New York City. He financed his own way through mathematics and engineering universities in the United States before attending the London School of Economics on a scholarship and then attending Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA in 1965.

Harvard Business School, Boston, MA – MBA in International Banking and Finance Drew University, Madison, NJ –BA in Mathematics and Economics

London School of Economics, London, England – Advanced International Economics Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ – Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics

Business History

After Harvard Business School Mr. Steckel embarked on a successful international business career by moving to the Middle East where he worked initially with C. V. Starr and Company, the owners of AIG, before becoming a principal investor in a long series of successful private equity investments.  He was a participating founder of a number of individual companies that are now the Netoil Group.

The Netoil Group is a private investment company that includes individual investors and skilled professionals in the finance, oil and gas industries, principally from the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  It is a private company, not publicly listed.

In 1973, Netoil conceived and financed the Suez-Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline, as an oil bypass to the Suez Canal, which was still closed by wreckage from the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.  The 200-mile pipeline has twin 42-inch lines and pumps 2.5 million barrels of oil per day from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

Shortly thereafter Netoil, in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemical Co., also conceived and developed the largest chemical methanol complex in the world, at Jubail, Saudi Arabia. jhgbvf

Having been active in the trading of crude oil in the 1960s, Netoil negotiated a long-term supply of crude oil to Japan from Saudi Arabia following the 1973 war.  Some years later Netoil became active in the refining and distribution of petroleum products through the creation of the European refiner Tamoil Corporation in 1983. Over the years, the activities of Tamoil have expanded in Europe via its 100% ownership and control of three refineries located respectively in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, with a total refining capacity equivalent to 255,000 barrels per day and a network of more than 3,000 branded service stations.

The Group was also responsible for the construction of the BTC oil pipeline from Baku, Azerbaijan to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.  Completed in 2006 with a length of 1,099 miles and a diameter of 42 inches, the pipeline carries one million barrels per day of Caspian crude oil to world markets.

Netoil is currently working on a large-scale project for liquefying natural gas in Oman, on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. This project will rely on shale gas and other supplies to provide the feedstock to “Floating Natural Gas Liquefaction Barges” or “Barge FLNGs” for export of LNG to Asia and Europe.

In addition to its activities in the oil industry, the company for some years owned three major hotels in Paris, France: the Meurice, Prince de Galles and the Grand Hotel, as well as the Café de la Paix.

In the United States, the Group controlled 77% of a billion-dollar bank, “Bank of the Commonwealth”,  in the state of Michigan.  Following the sale of Commonwealth, Netoil became the largest single shareholder of Comerica Inc., one of the 30 largest banks in the United States with total assets equivalent to $63 billion.



Petrodesigns, an affiliate of Netoil Inc., assumed all of the intellectual and trade properties of prior companies of Mr. Matthew Steckel and Mr. Ralph Hicks (who died in 2017), and is continuing to work worldwide on further development of their integrated oil and gas industry engineering design programs. Ongoing coordination with industry leaders on completion of the automated programs for oil and gas production facilities will ultimately lead to a totally integrated and computerized design and costing method. This in turn will lead to worldwide standardization.

Petrodesigns also supplies consulting and project management services on numerous projects, most involving natural gas dewpoint control for both water and hydrocarbons. Some recent projects are listed below:

·         Bluewater Gas Storage (now part of Plains) – Columbus Plant near Detroit, Michigan – Hydrocarbon dewpoint suppression for 750 MMSCFD, Meet 10°F cricondentherm.

·         DPS–Khurmala Dome Glycol Unit – near Kirkuk, Iraq –100 MMSCFD sour gas at 350 psig and 140°F with a 120°F dewpoint depression.

·         PT Medco E&P Indonesia – Rambutan Gas Station – 75 MMSCFD sour gas at 750 psig and 120°F with a 90°F dewpoint depression. Unit built in Indonesia by “first time” fabricator.

·         Shell–McAllen Gas Plant, South, Texas – 300 MMSCFD at 1000 psig and 120°F with a 100°F dewpoint depression Pressurized reboiler (60 psig operating) to eliminate emissions.

·         Numerous Glycol unit upgrade studies.

Petrographics, Inc., New Orleans, LA and Houston


Petrographics provides fully integrated enterprise software solutions to the oil and gas industry. These programs automate every aspect of design, costing and construction project management for large-scale oil and gas production facilities. The technology is particularly applicable to deepwater offshore operations. The company is currently active as consulting engineers to major oil and gas companies worldwide and at the same time is expanding the functionality of its automated engineering design software programs.

Downstream – Tamoil Corporation and related Affiliates:

Founding Amministratore delegato (Ad) – Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Netoil founded and built Europe’s Tamoil Corporation by purchasing and combining all of the Italian assets of Amoco (Standard Oil Company of Indiana) and of Texaco Corporation (1,000 service stations each), starting in the 1980s. With 100% ownership, Netoil expanded the company to 3,000 service stations, three refineries, an extensive pipeline distribution system and a refining capacity of 255,000 barrels of oil per day. Tamoil today has annual sales of $20 billion and a market capitalization of $6.3 billion. The company operates in Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

Transportation – Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (TBC) Pipeline / Upstream – Turkmenistan Oil and Gas Properties:

Considered as “one of the great engineering endeavours”

In the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union loosened its grip on Central Asia, Netoil – through one of its companies: Oil Capital Ltd. (OCL) Inc. – was the originator of the 1,100-mile Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project, which now moves one million barrels per day of Caspian Sea crude oil to the Mediterranean Sea and thus to world markets. Netoil negotiated and signed the original pipeline right-of-way transit agreement with the Government of Turkey. This agreement was essential to the success of the project, which was eventually completed by BP after its purchase of Amoco, with which Netoil had been cooperating in the Central Asian area. During this period, Netoil also acquired development rights and equity ownership positions in Turkmenistan’s Blocks I (offshore) and III (onshore) two of that country’s major oil and gas producing properties. (Block I was later farmed out to Malaysia’s Petronas.) These fields have reserves of 13 trillion cubic feet of gas and 700 million barrels of oil, with 1,400 working wells, and currently produce two billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

Meurice Hotel Group, Paris, France

In the early 1980s, Netoil became 100% owner of the Meurice Hotel Group in Paris, which owned the Meurice, Prince de Galles and Grand Hotels, as well as the famed Café de la Paix. At the time, the 1,000 rooms of these three hotels comprised 25% of all the luxury hotel rooms in Paris. The properties were sold to Grand Metropolitan Hotel Corporation of London in the mid-1980s.

Bank of the Commonwealth
Chief Executive Officer

In 1976, Netoil moved into United States financial markets with its acquisition of Bank of the Commonwealth, a billion-dollar Michigan-based bank with 50 branches. It strengthened and expanded the bank until 1983, when it was merged into the founding of Comerica, Inc., now one of the largest super-regional U.S. bank holding companies. The merger made Netoil the largest single shareholder in Comerica, which currently has assets of $64 billion and a market capitalization of $5.6 billion.

Transportation – Suez-Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline in Egypt:

Considered as “one of the world’s greatest engineering feats”

In the 1970s, Netoil conceived, financed and built the well-known 200-mile long Suez – Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline in Egypt, a pipeline designed to run parallel to the blocked Suez Canal, which had been closed since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Using Bechtel Corporation as prime contractor, the pipeline, comprised of two parallel 42-inch lines, was opened in 1978 with a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day. Completion of an additional pumping station in 1994 increased capacity to its current 2.5 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabian Methanol Project

Netoil conceived and financed the Itochu-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries chemical methanol plant project, the largest in the world, in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, during the 1973 oil crisis. It continued subsequently for many years as strategic consultants to Itochu senior management, especially on Middle East energy operations. The methanol project included a five-year, 100 million barrel preferential crude oil supply contract for Japan that was signed with the Saudi government during the 1973 oil crisis.

Chantiers Navals de la Ciotat (CNC)

Netoil acquired ownership of CNC, the second-largest shipyard in France, in the early 1970s. This company was one of the early pioneers in the construction of LNG vessels for oceangoing natural gas transport, and also specialized in submarines, patrol boats and other military platforms. In addition, the yard constructed very large crude carriers (VLCC5) and conventional bulk cargo vessels for the civilian maritime industry.

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