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Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage - Revised and Updated Edition

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Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970. In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970. In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world oil production will peak in this decade--and there isn't anything we can do to stop it. While long-term solutions exist in the form of conservation and alternative energy sources, they probably cannot--and almost certainly will not--be enacted in time to evade a short-term catastrophe.


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Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970. In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970. In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world oil production will peak in this decade--and there isn't anything we can do to stop it. While long-term solutions exist in the form of conservation and alternative energy sources, they probably cannot--and almost certainly will not--be enacted in time to evade a short-term catastrophe.

30 review for Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage - Revised and Updated Edition

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I was hoping for more of a discussion of the strong points and short-comings of Hubbert’s predictions, but that isn’t what is contained here. Oh well, there was still a lot of interesting information: nearly all oil fields lie between 7,500 and 15,000 feet in depth; tar sands are basically oil fields that have been exposed via erosion; there is really only one spot left on earth – the South China Sea – that may hold significant undiscovered oil deposits; whatever measures we institute now won’t I was hoping for more of a discussion of the strong points and short-comings of Hubbert’s predictions, but that isn’t what is contained here. Oh well, there was still a lot of interesting information: nearly all oil fields lie between 7,500 and 15,000 feet in depth; tar sands are basically oil fields that have been exposed via erosion; there is really only one spot left on earth – the South China Sea – that may hold significant undiscovered oil deposits; whatever measures we institute now won’t be in time to get us through the peak period adjustment; oil bearing rock needs to have both porosity (ability to contain) and permeability (ability to deliver) – if you have one without the other, no dice; exploring for oil at sea is far easier than it is on land, just drag the seismic sonars behind a boat over broad sections of ocean rather than bounce along in a truck, stop, listen, pick up the equipment, move to a new location, and so on; all of the “new” drilling methods that are supposed to increase the viability of old fields have been around for the past 20 years so don’t expect miracles; beware the argument that rising prices will spur additional development – the years of highest U.S. discovery/production were during the Great Depression; oil companies have little reason to develop alternative energy as nothing produces financial returns like oil, the company’s fiduciary duty kicks in once again and this trend will only intensify once peak production is hit.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    This is a very important book for everyone to read,although it can be a bit difficult for those without a Geology background. This book was written by a Geologist and it explains how our fossil fuel resources were created over millions of years and why they will run out in the not too distant future. He also makes a start at discussing some of the alternative fuel options we need to focus on today before we hit the "cliff". Interestingly enough, he used to work for an oil/gas company which makes This is a very important book for everyone to read,although it can be a bit difficult for those without a Geology background. This book was written by a Geologist and it explains how our fossil fuel resources were created over millions of years and why they will run out in the not too distant future. He also makes a start at discussing some of the alternative fuel options we need to focus on today before we hit the "cliff". Interestingly enough, he used to work for an oil/gas company which makes his message even more compelling.

  3. 5 out of 5

    A.

    Comprehensive and detailed, sometimes even down to industry anecdotes, it reviews oil and adjacent fossil fuel areas in historical and industry segment perspectives. With numerous illustrations, schemes and facts enlisted, author gives no single gap on one single message - peak oil has started and now we are on the way down. And then suddenly he pushes reader into hands of nuclear energy lobby like if nuclear *fuel* rods are not excavated from ground only once and arguments both laughable and sk Comprehensive and detailed, sometimes even down to industry anecdotes, it reviews oil and adjacent fossil fuel areas in historical and industry segment perspectives. With numerous illustrations, schemes and facts enlisted, author gives no single gap on one single message - peak oil has started and now we are on the way down. And then suddenly he pushes reader into hands of nuclear energy lobby like if nuclear *fuel* rods are not excavated from ground only once and arguments both laughable and sketchy - you can't teach old geologist for new tricks. Book leaves mixed feeling of love and hate: probably the best explanation of why peak oil has started and where we are going with it, and then all of sudden stripping off all future and tossing back to square one. Yet marked good as this probably the only 100% honest petroleum engineer/geologist/economist/scientist book on peak oil, just skip ending about kiss-your-nuclear-energy.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Fairly light read that makes a lot of concrete predictions. Drawing on ideas from 1970's and 1980's this book was published in 2001. Turns out they pinned down the point of global peak oil pretty precisely. (Spoiler alert) it happened in 2005. The world will never produce as much oil as it did 6 years ago. OPEC is at maximum production and will remain so forever. It took the Earth and Sun over one hundred million years to produce 2 trillion barrels of oil. We burned half of it in 150 years. Ther Fairly light read that makes a lot of concrete predictions. Drawing on ideas from 1970's and 1980's this book was published in 2001. Turns out they pinned down the point of global peak oil pretty precisely. (Spoiler alert) it happened in 2005. The world will never produce as much oil as it did 6 years ago. OPEC is at maximum production and will remain so forever. It took the Earth and Sun over one hundred million years to produce 2 trillion barrels of oil. We burned half of it in 150 years. There will never again be as much available in the rest of our lives as there has been available to the past two generations. On the bright side, that probably means the end of mechanized warfare before the century is out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tommy

    This book is a must for a basic understanding of what Hubbert predicted long ago - that global oil production would peak around the turn of the 21st century, with dramatic results. Written off as an eccentric, his predictions of the US oil peak came true during his lifetime. Deffeyes does a good job of tying in the giant issue of peak oil to the predictions of Hubbert without ranting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    The content of this book was very interesting. I gave it 3 stars because most of the book was not about peak oil, but rather about how oil was created, where it is found and how it is extracted. This is all valuable information, but titling alone knocked it down a star from what this book should have received.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Richard Hill

    A decent piece of work from a real life oil company geologist about the concept of Peak Oil and how it might affect us in the years to come. A lot of personal anecdotes and a lot of real geology made it a decent read. A little bit too much of the "look at the great things I have done in my great life" angles to give it a 5 star rating. A decent piece of work from a real life oil company geologist about the concept of Peak Oil and how it might affect us in the years to come. A lot of personal anecdotes and a lot of real geology made it a decent read. A little bit too much of the "look at the great things I have done in my great life" angles to give it a 5 star rating.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    An interesting book and great that it is written by a geologist, but I found his writing style to be overly colloquial in a very forced way. Also, in light of recent developments some of his conclusions don't hold as much weight as they probably did when this was written 10 years ago. An interesting book and great that it is written by a geologist, but I found his writing style to be overly colloquial in a very forced way. Also, in light of recent developments some of his conclusions don't hold as much weight as they probably did when this was written 10 years ago.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael R Dechant

    Very good. Must read for energy future. Very gold info and technology info. Very good. Must read for energy future. Very gold info and technology info for insight into modern energy policy and politics.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marc Brackett

    The math behind Hubberts model is simple and this book explains the situation well. Was hard to find a shortcoming or flaw in the entire line of reasoning.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Good intro to petroleum geology for those of us who have no desire to be a petroleum geologist.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Kaufmann

    Get's into some of the technical evidence for peak oil. A good intro to the subject - I believe it's still valid, though fracking has temporarily put it on hold. Get's into some of the technical evidence for peak oil. A good intro to the subject - I believe it's still valid, though fracking has temporarily put it on hold.

  13. 4 out of 5

    May Ling

    A must read for those that seek to understand the current crisis in energy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    the first book to really make peak oil explicit.

  15. 5 out of 5

    George

  16. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  19. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie Azatyan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Powell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristian

  23. 4 out of 5

    Srinivas

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luis Andres

  25. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terry Fife

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richa Sharma

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gerard Fryer

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  30. 4 out of 5

    Onno

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