by C. J. Campbell
Published 2003 ISBN 0 906522 19 6 pp. x + 342 £33.00
Oil and Gas are finite fossil fuels from the geological past that are inevitably subject to depletion. Eventually we must run out, but what matters more is the inevitable peak of production when growth gives way to decline. The wider implications of this historic discontinuity are colossal.
Colin Campbell, author of the highly acclaimed 'The Coming Oil Crisis', is a leading member of the growing number of experts whose models of depletion show that the world will reach peak within about ten years. After peak comes increasing scarcity, as production can no longer meet demand. The implications for Mankind are huge, opening an entirely new world.
Understanding depletion is not difficult, but public data on production and reserves are very unreliable. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book is to present more realistic estimates and definitions than are available elsewhere.
In Campbell's new work, 'The Essence of Oil & Gas Depletion', a state of the art survey is presented. The book provides a summary of the situation; contributions from the experts at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO); the graphs of the renowned oil analyst Jean Laherrère, which strikingly illustrate the position, and ASPO's authoritative statistical review of world oil and gas, which corrects misleading public information. The book concludes with a synthesis and bibliography. While some of the elements in the book have been previously published, bringing them together creates a whole greater than the sum of its parts - an overwhelming argument.
If the argument is accepted, what then? It is to those whose duty it is to answer that question, that this book is primarily directed: government policy-makers, who need to grasp that now is the time to be laying the foundations for a future which will be radically different; leaders of oil and gas companies, who need to see that now is the time to start re-inventing their companies, because the current business model of 'find it and sell it' is not going to be viable for much longer; for the academic community in oil and gas, who need the inputs this book offers for constructing realistic scenarios and analyses; and for the interested layman, who has an eye for the kind of world his children or his grandchildren might be living in: a world fundamentally different to the one known to him, his parents and his grandparents.