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4.6 out of 5 stars39
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 October 2009
This is a great book. I don't think a similar book exists which comes close.

I liked Oil 101 so much that I bought a copy for my sister (she is a chemist outside the oil industry) and she tells me that she likes it very much also. So, I heartily recommend the book to those like myself that are in the oil industry as well as anyone outside the industry interested in oil. There are no other books I could make a similar recommendation about.

Oil 101 is a neither a non-technical book nor a technical book. It is a summary of the entire industry with enough meat on each part to keep it engaging and enlightening. It is a book which can be read several ways and this is what it so useful about it: you can read it knowing nothing about the oil industry or use it to fill in the gaps around the area you know particularly well.

Oil 101 describes each part of the oil business at a brisk pace with few wasted words. Every area is covered, from how oil is found, extracted, refined, stored and transported to how it is finally priced at the pump. Even though I am familiar with most of the technical aspects of how oil is found, I still learned a lot of interesting and useful information.

The first chapter is the best brief history of oil I have ever seen. It moves at a rapid pace and every single sentence is jammed with information. I learned more about the oil industry in the first twenty pages than I could ever have imagined. Although the book is dense with information, it is presented clearly and is highly readable.

I read a few chapters in the sequence presented and then jumped to various other chapters such as Exploration and Production, Transporting Oil, and Oil Prices. I have found myself keeping the book on my desk and opening a random page and refreshing my learning about something interesting. The index is excellent also for looking up oil market terms.

The financial markets side of oil was something I was not familiar with and it amazed me how oil prices and oil markets work. This was the piece of the oil puzzle most valuable to me.

In summary, I highly recommend the book Oil 101 as it has conquered the job of simplifying the elaborate puzzle of oil in a most interesting and entertaining way. It is a great read and reference.
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on 31 March 2009
If you are just starting out, this is by far the best starter pack. Easy to read and follow. It covers every facet of the industry and hence, brilliant for those who want to impress. I wish I had this when I started.

If you are like me and I have been in the oil industry for a while, you will find this an invaluable reference guide. Whenever my brain fails me, I'd flip through for answer as it is well laid out and covers nearly everything. Not bogged down by excessive formula and chemistry, but just enough details to jog my brain back into action.
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on 1 February 2009
Oil 101 does an excellent job of explaining the mysterious workings of the oil industry. You must read this book in order to gain a thorough understanding of how our oil is produced. As part of my job I have dealt in the financial side of oil, so I am familiar with many of the concepts. Having had to discover many of the things that are simply laid out and explained in this book on my own through exhaustive research and years of experience really emphasizes the quality of the work. I wish I had something like this when I started out.
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on 23 July 2009
I was very pleased with my purchase of this book. I wanted to learn more about where oil comes from, how it is processed and how a price is achieved. It thoroughly covered these things. I learned many new facts about oil (too numerous to go into). I do have a background in geology and chemistry though have not worked in these areas. This background knowledge was of enormous help in reading the book. However if you have no science background yet are determined to find out more about oil then don't be discouraged. Merely skip to the areas you are most interested in or use the book as an opportunity to learn a little organic chemistry (you won't need much beyond the basics of organic chemistry -easy- to understand what is being said). To finish, if you are interested in how the entire oil industry operates this book will educate you in a no nonsense factual way. Don't continue to make do with the dross written in the press about what is making oil prices move. Stop listening to people go on about the oil industry and prices as if they knew what they were on about. Be an educated voice that calmly and sensibly informs.
Chapters
A brief history of oil, A crude assay, components of oil liquids, chemistry of oil, industry overview, exploration and production, refining, standards, finished products, petrochemicals, transporting oil, storage, seasonality, reserves, environmental regulations, new engine technologies (brief), Oil prices, forward oil markets -futures and swaps, forward oil markets - options, managing oil price risk.
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on 19 February 2011
I recently dived into the world of oil and gas stocks and was looking for some background knowledge and specific details of the complete E&P process.

This book didn't disappoint. Despite being very informative describing very intricate details of the world of oil, I found the book a very interesting read.

Oil 101 was written by an investor, although offers no advise on investing in the business, it gives you the knowledge and tools to aid you in your quest for big profits in the most lucrative business in the world.

So weather you have similar goals to, myself or weather you are simply interested in the world of oil, this book covers the whole process from surveying to selling.

This book is the cheapest I have seen of its kind and from many reviews I have read seems to be the best.

Excellent buy!
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on 16 April 2009
With very limited knowledge of the oil industry, this becomes an encyclopaedia of knowledge. The attention to detail is impeccable whilst still keeping the content easy to understand for starters. I think in particular, there is a really good focus on fundamentals e.g. how oil is produced. It has helped me find all the information in one concise book as opposed to gathering information from several websites.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 March 2010
In basic terms, the life cycle of oil is that you dig a hole, find crude, boil it and get products. This book takes you to the next level and way beyond, starting out with the industry itself and how it developed (as a way of replacing whale oil for lighting), through to exploration and refining and a great, kitchen-sink chapter on product types, which is incredible in its detail. Great use of diagrams and tables add to the narrative, the style is informative. There is a bit of repetition between chapters but this only emphasises the points being made and the information being given.

I've been in an oil company for a number of years and found the book enlightening, interesting and absolutely vital to anyone with even a passing interest in the industry, either Oil or Gas (which is also covered).

The data is bang up to date, encompassing biofuels and the latest developments.

I can't recommend this enough, it is a bargain at the RRP.
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on 7 November 2014
An excellent guide to the oil industry.

I work in the corporate side of the industry and wanted to obtain a better understanding of some of the engineering and chemical elements to it. This book eloquently and succinctly outlines such facets of the industry in a manner that is easy for the relative lay reader to understand.

It also provides a good historical narrative of the industry and gives insight into how the economics and pricing of oil works.

I was also surpised at how reading this book does not feel like a factual chore. It's genuinely interesting and I have been able to apply some of the knowledge that I've obtained from it directly to my work.

Highly recommended to anyone in the industry, studying or just interested in oil.
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on 23 May 2010
This book takes a look at the oil sector, and how its fragments come together. From exploration to production, refining, transportation, storage and end use. Which products are used, how they're produced, and their margins.

It finishes off with a few chapters about the oil markets; how oil ties in with futures, options, and how risk is contained in the inherently volatile commodities markets.

It's a very dry read, and probably mainly to be used as a reference. But if you want to get more detail about the oil sector, during these days of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, this is an excellent place to start.
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on 23 August 2010
This is a very interesting book, with a broad range of subjects covered in great depth. There is a lot of factual information to take in, encompassing pretty much the entire business end-to-end. However, this does mean that it can be quite hard work to read through some sections as certain parts are more like a fact sheet than something one would typically read. However, if you need to be introduced to the oil business in any of its many guises you will find a lot of useful terminology and facts about practical aspects of the business.
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