Peak Oil



Peak Oil Books

Educating yourself on the oil issue is really the only way you can form an accurate opinion. Peak oil books are one way to really dig into the issue.

As mentioned throughout the site, we are peak oil believers. When exactly it will happen is something that is up for debate, but it seems to us that there is little doubt that sooner or later we will start seeing problems. Personally, we think sooner and here are some of the books that helped us reach this point.

Twighlight was written by the late Matthew Simmons and published in 2006. If there was any book that turned the screws for us, it was this one. Simmons was a veteran of the oil industry, often dealing in venture capital investment and ran his own firm. He was also a consultant to the George Bush/Dick Cheney energy team and a member of the infamous “oil meetings” held by Cheney. In short, Simmons was a credible insider, not someone on the outside doing a bit of guesswork.

In Twilight, Simmons sought to report on his concerns regarding Saudi Arabia. We will not ruin the book for you, but he essentially explains why the country is so important, what its reporting on reserves is questionable, the potentially devastating news on the state of the countries elephant oil fields and what the near future may hold. It can be a bit technical, but the book cuts to the heart of the matter given the fact Saudi Arabia is the biggest oil producer in the world and may be having production issues. A highly recommended read.

If you are looking for something a bit less technical and a bit more introductory, this is the book for you. It comes in at 90 pages and presents a very concise view of the issue. We aren't particularly interested in listening to investment advice from others, so you might skip that section of the book. Still, this is a good way to get up and running on the subject with a minimum of time committment.

A solid book getting into the nuts and bolts of the peak oil argument. The author, Ken Deffeyes, is an old oil man and Princeton professor. He makes most of the peak oil arguments in a well researched manner, one that ends up being a bit frightening.

The Other View

Unfortunately, there aren't many quality books refuting the peak oil arguement. The ones that exist are pretty poor. I don't mean so much in the argument they are marking, but the editing and writing is abysmal in most cases. This does not mean there are not compelling arguements out there against peak oil. It simply means that none of the quality critics have taken the time to really write on the subject.

 An interesting book that summarizes most of the arguments against peak oil. It also highlights the very classic arguement that happens with the subjects. Proponents argue that peak oil means only we are producing the most oil per day we ever will and that this figure will start to decline. Opponents, as with this author, argue that peak oil means we are running out of it completely. It is like two ships passing in the proverbial night and very, very frustrating! Still, you should get both sides of the picture and this is perhaps the best critical analysis in publication we've read.

In this book, the author takes on the peak oil argument from a different tact. He asserts that oil is NOT a finite resource. Instead, there is a biosphere far below the surface of the planet that is constantly producing it and natural gas. An excellent read, but we don't find it particularly pursuasive. You should not really give a hoot about our thoughts. Give it a read and see what YOU think.

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