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When Oil Peaked

Kenneth S. Deffeyes

Hill and Wang

0809094711

9780809094714

Hardcover

176 Pages

$23.00

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In two earlier books, Hubbert’s Peak (2001) and Beyond Oil (2005), geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes laid out his rationale for concluding that world oil production would continue to follow a bell-shaped curve, with the smoothed-out peak somewhere in the middle of the first decade of this millennium—in keeping with the projections of his former colleague, petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert.
 
Deffeyes sees no reason to deviate from that prediction, despite the ensuing global recession and the extreme volatility in oil prices associated with it. In his view, the continued depletion of existing oil fields, compounded by shortsighted cutbacks in many exploration-and-development projects, virtually assures that the mid-decade peak in global oil production will never be surpassed.
 
In When Oil Peaked, he revisits his original forecasts, examines the arguments that were made both for and against them, adds some new supporting material to his overall case, and applies the same mode of analysis to a number of other finite gifts from the Earth: mineral resources that may be also in shorter supply than “flat-Earth” prognosticators would have us believe.

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Praise for When Oil Peaked

“Strongly expressed and well-argued.”—John R. Coyne, Jr., The Washington Times
 
“For peak oil devotees, When Oil Peaked is a special treat, an eminently welcome update from a heavyweight within the field . . . And for those who insist on the opinion of a bona fide oil expert, it doesn't get more bona fide than Ken Deffeyes.”—Frank Kaminski, Energy Bulletin
 
“Kenneth S. Deffeyes’s book Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage was the first serious analysis that revisited M. King Hubbert’s theory on peak oil. It was a breakthrough piece of research. His new book continues this tradition of staying way ahead of conventional wisdom by using solid scientific facts. It is a must-read!”—Matthew R. Simmons, Chairman, Simmons & Company International, and author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
 
“Kenneth S. Deffeyes got it exactly right in his first pathbreaking books on Peak Oil, educating many thousands of readers about the geological and mathematical basis for forecasts of declining world petroleum production. An avuncular ‘I told you so’ is now in order, and Deffeyes delivers it with his usual wry humor, along with equally prescient and informed analyses of prospects for replacing oil with other energy sources, like uranium and natural gas. Everyone who cares about energy and the future of our economy should read this book.”—Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute
 
“This book addresses the critical issue of Peak Oil, when production begins to decline thanks to natural depletion. Very readable recollections of the early research into the subject and the personalities of those involved are followed by valuable ideas and recommendations for the future. Despite the serious nature of the subject, a delightful sense of humor permeates the pages. It is essential reading given the central role of oil-based energy in the modern world.”—Colin J. Campbell, founder and honorary chairman, Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
 
“In the summer of 1958 my path crossed that of M. King Hubbert and Kenneth S. Deffeyes at the Shell Research Laboratory in Bellaire, Texas. As an undergraduate technician in a chemistry lab, I was invisible to these gentlemen, but the buzz that still filled the building from Hubbert’s 1956 prediction of a 1970s peak in U.S. oil production caused me to notice them. Now, a half century later, there is not only confirmation of Hubbert’s prediction, but also a realization that Deffeyes’s prediction of a 2005 peak in world oil production is likely to be true as well. This marvelous book takes us along on that wild ride.”—Tom Tombrello, Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology, and former director of research, Schlumberger-Doll Research Center
 
“Professor Deffeyes was among the very first on the scene carrying the news of our global oil destiny. He brings a disciplined voice of science to a topic that a superstitious public would prefer to deny and ignore.”—James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency
 
“This is another useful book from Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Some of his claims continue to be controversial, but his basic point is beyond reasonable dispute: Oil and other fossil fuels are finite. Continued use of them requires more and more costly extraction and is not sustainable. Someday, before long, the realization that we are on the downward slope of the supply curve will trigger irresistible economic and psychological forces which will accomplish what wars, environmental disasters, transport expenses, and public health epidemics have failed to do—move us to sustainable methods of energy production and use.”—Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr.

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Kenneth S. Deffeyes, a former researcher for Shell Oil Company, is emeritus professor of geology at Princeton University.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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