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Oil: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides) Paperback – 8 Feb 2008

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (8 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851685715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851685714
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.6 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"In a fluent, easy style [Smil] delves into the world of oil from its discovery on the ground through to its effect on prices at the petrol pumps, and to its impact on future generations." (The Good Book Guide)

"Everything most people — including most economists and investment advisors — should know about the physics and economics of oil." (National Post)

"a well-balanced, concise, and readable synthesis of oil-related facts and history." (Technology and Culture)

Review

"Terrific. Smil has done it again, producing a book from which we can all create new insights, this time explaining oil production, consumption and the broader impacts it has upon society." (Chris Mottershead - Distinguished Advisor, Energy and the Environment, BP plc, and Director of the C)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Blackman on 28 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very factual, succinct, and a great introduction to the industry. Recommended for those coming from outside the industry, or for those who are already there but need a broader outlook. If I was a manager I would make my staff read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By martin B. on 21 Feb. 2013
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Short and good guide to oil (hydrocarbons). Answers the questions; where it is found, how it's extracted, where and how much it's used, some history of oil and lots of nummbers about it(statistics). Book doesn't say lots about politics behind the oil decisions, so i will be loking for aditional book on this subject. All in all good, fact packed beginners guide.
m.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Manx_Giraffe on 12 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
While this book is a decent enough introduction and blaggers guide to the oil industry, its biggest problem by far is the way it is structured: It seems to be suffering from a plague of text boxes throughout the book that are placed every few pages and are filled with smaller writing explaining some concept (like the history of tankers or types of rotary drills) vaguely relating to the sentence its placement has just interrupted.

The sentence will then be picked up again afterwards, sometimes pages later, and it makes for a really disjointed read, as if the author suffered from attention-deficit disorder. Other than that the facts are all solid, and if re-structured could be a good introduction to the industry.
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By PantaZeus on 27 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
Packed with numbers and statistics, the biggest disappointment about the book turned out to be precisely the fact that it is packed with numbers and statistics. The author is just too fascinated with the details, I can imagine he had collected all these "facts" and therefore decided to sacrifice readability and keep explanations to a minimum rather than leave out some decimal digits. The problem with the structure highlighted in another review is true, too many and too extensive infoboxes that interrupt the flow of the text, most of them not containing deeper insight on a specific issue but packing technical information or mini-lectures on the correct use of physical units of measurement. Even so, this book is just too short to serve as any sort of technical reference; that would also be very inappropriate for a book titled "beginner's guide". In terms of content, there is sufficient coverage of several aspects of the oil industry. In contrast to other introductory books, there is more extensive information on the technology of locating oil, drilling, etc. The technological aspects are treated confidently and the authors feels at home when discussing them. For trickier aspects like economics, politics, and history, well, they range from the superficial to the "why did I have to read this?". For example, he makes no effort to hide his political views when sacrificing precious pages of this short book to discuss and condemn as naive those who believe that the Iraq-Kuwait war had anything to do with oil, "in view of Saddam's massive WMD program". Similarly in the very sharp condemnation of the "peak oil" hypothesis, in view of this greatest of technological advancements that will guarantee oil for many decades to come, i.e. fracking...Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. E. Morris on 24 Jan. 2013
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Very compact and supplies all the basic information I needed to understand better the risks and rewards of possible oil inudstry investments. As others have commented, text style is sometimes cumbersome, but the subject matter is well put together and also entertains the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dan on 9 Nov. 2013
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Please read this book if you interested in oil business.Highly recommended...good book . One of the best book to read when going into oil business or studies to improve
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By emil gigov on 7 Oct. 2013
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I enjoyed reading this on my holiday. It is a "beginners guide" but pitched at the right level for someone with little prior knowledge of the industry.
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