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The Coming Oil Crisis Paperback – Sep 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Multi Science Publishing Co Ltd (Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0906522110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0906522110
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21.6 x 30.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,859,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Describes the state of the petroleum industry, how much oil is left to produce, and the future of oil production and depletion.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Very good, timely and appropiate. 18 July 2004
By Valentine - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent work treating the current hydrocarbon depletion issue. Readers will be well rewarded for their money. This book, however, should be read with two more:
"Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage", by Kenneth S. Deffeyes
"The Oil Factor: How Oil Controls the Economy and Your Financial Future" by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb
One thing the author does not treat is the transitional period from hydrocarbon to renewable sources. Since these are hard topics, and the uncertainty is very high, their omission from the work is quite understandable.
As to the comment by the reader from Portland, OR, I have worked on the floors of the largest energy companies in Houston, currently working for the California energy markets, and yes, C. J. Campbell does have a pretty good understanding of how the energy markets work. Although I do not quite share the author's a bit doomsday view of the years to come, we will be up for a significant challenge.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Very comprehensive 22 Feb. 2000
By Alan Mayer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is based on total cumulative oil production of 1800 billion barrels with peak global production at aprox 10,000,000,000 litres per day in 2001 with a plateau until 2008 and declining until aprox 2100.
Large cities and energy intensive industries such as mining, aircraft, shipping and railways will bear the brunt of declining world oil production from present day global usage of 10,000,000,000 litres per day, declining to around 1,000,000 litres /day in 2080.
The book has extensive production profiles for many regions, but not Australia. It illustrates how Germany's oil production has been in decline from 0.058 Gb/a since the mid 1960's and US oil production has been in decline since the early 1970's peaking at around 9500 kb / day.
An extensive web site is discussed regarding renewable energy.
The rise in human population from 1 billion to 6 billion over the last 100 years is also discussed and the author predicts a decline in human population with declining oil production.
There is a brief discussion in regards to how the temperature rises 33 to 36 deg C for every km decrease in depth and how oil is subsequently cracked into gas at high temperatures, however it doesn't mention at what pressures the cracking would take place or if there is any difference in temperature between 4 km below sea level or 4 km below land.
The book rarely discusses synthetic fertilisers, such as sulphate of ammonia, which need oil or gas as a feedstock to fix nitrogen, etc. Brian Fleays book "The decline of the age of oil" discusses this in greater depth.
There is no discussion of the chemicals that are made from oil such as: Acetylene, rubber, explosives, insecticides, soaps, cosmetics, chewing gum wax, carbon brushes, etc which can be found in an encyclopedia.
However, the book is a very comprehensive discussion of the search for oil and the geological constraints of production.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating book 9 Oct. 2003
By Bardi Ugo - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating book, one that dares to go to examine the very core of the mechanisms which make our society function. Our way of life depends on fossil fuels for about 90% of all the energy we produce. Without oil and the other fossils, the planet would never been able to support 6 billion human beings, to say nothing of the extravagant lifestyle of the fraction of them living in "rich" countries.
Campbell's book is an attempt to foresee how long this bonanza can last. The uncertainties in the field are enormous, already the estimates in the amount of "recoverable resources" vary of almost a factor of two depending on who is doing the estimate. Then, there comes the need to estimate the rate of consumption which, in turn depends on complex and economical factors. Nevertheless, reason can guide us to determine that in no case we can expect more than a few decades (at most) of oil abundance. It is time to think seriously of alternatives.
Campbell's book is written by one of the foremost experts in the field, it is well balanced, entertaining, and overall fascinating. Highly recommended!
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
pretty good-but it had some fluff 31 Oct. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has a lot of interesting, hard to find information on oil reserves and petroleum geology. Its a must-read for someone interested in the subject of oil depletion. It has some shortcomings though:
1-It has a lot of superfluous stuff. For example, there is an interview with a medical doctor on topics quite remote from oil depetion. It was annoying to find this material in the book. But it was easily avoided.
2-At times, Campbell didnt stick to the topic. He waders off into simplistic philosphical musings about the meaning of oil depletion. It wasnt helpful.
3-An explanation of why oil is only found in special geological formations was not provided. This is a very important aspect to understanding oil depletion.
But all things considered, this is a good book to read if you want to understand how much oil is left in the ground, and how much has already one up in smoke.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent exposition of the problem of oil depletion 19 July 1998
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
The author has written an excellent exposition on the problem of oil depletion. The author, who has been involved in all phases of oil exploration and management, lays out the facts of oil production. He explains the basic geology of oil and why production is likely to decline. He also explains why the media and governments are unlikely to warn us of the impending crisis, and why government agencies, such as the USGS, are likely to fudge the numbers. The author has the ability to decode the numbers and make them intelligible to laymen.
The best parts of the book are the parts that the author knows best - oil exploration and production. Here the author really knows his stuff. The weakest parts of the book are the author's speculations about the future. The author interviews a professor who believes that the stone ages will return, and another who gives misleading information on renewable energy. There are also a set of drawings on 'hydrocarbon man' that could h! ave been left out.
Overall, this is an important book. The reader should avoid the chaff and stick to the good parts. Anyone who lived through the oil shocks will recognize that the coming oil crisis will be around for years rather than months. The author is not very good at predicting what society will be like after the crisis hits. I would have preferred that there be more anecdotes and references to the earlier oil shocks. This would help younger readers understand the gravity of the situation. This is a quibble; it is enough that the author has detailed the crisis.
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