A method is disclosed for synthesizing hydrogen gas from hydrocarbon fuel. A first mixture of steam and a first fuel is directed into a first tube 208 to subject the first mixture to a first steam reforming reaction in the presence of a first catalyst 214. A stream of oxygen-containing gas is pre-heated by transferring heat energy from product gases. A second mixture of the pre-heated oxygen-containing gas and a second fuel is directed into a second tube 218 disposed about the first tube 208 to subject the second mixture to a partial oxidation reaction and to provide heat energy for transfer to the first tube 208. A first reaction reformate from the first tube 208 and a second reaction reformate from the second tube 218 are directed into a third tube 224 disposed about the second tube 218 to subject the first and second reaction reformates to a second steam reforming reaction, wherein heat energy is transferred to the third tube 224 from the second tube 218.