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Peak Oil Essential Books

Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert’s Peak (Paperback)

By Kenneth S. Deffeyes

A good book by a longtime petroleum engineer that is especially valuable for those who want to understand how oil is formed and the precarious geological coincidences that are required for oil to stick around in underground reservoirs for hundreds of millions of years waiting for a sub-strain of primates to find it. For instance, in this book he asks the question,

Suppose we had an underground oil reservoir containing 1 billion barrels of oil that was escaping at the rate of 1 drop per second; how long would it take before all of that oil is gone? Answer: 100 million years.

…which goes a long way toward explaining the typical age of the typical reservoir and why geologists concentrate on some rock formations and not others. At any rate, this book is essential if you find yourself being swayed by such anti-Peak-Oil arguments as. “We’ve hardly explored huge swaths of the globe and are sure to find more.”

Deffeyes explains that we’ve pretty thoroughly scoured every relevant geological structure on the entire face of the planet twice over, which helps explain why the discovery of oil peaked in the 1960’s, despite all of our modern technological prowess.