The Age of Oil: the mythology, history, and future of the world’s most controversial resource. By Leonardo Maugeri. Book review by Paul Mc Mahon

ageofoil.jpg“The Age of Oil” is a very readable history of oil starting with the Drake oil well in Pennsylvania and continuing to the present. The author points out that every time the world is running out of oil the changing economics cause more oil to be discovered. There is a lot of discussion of the politics for example, Iran with all of its bluster has not mentioned cutting off oil. Why? Because they need the oil money to cover the social welfare programs that keep them in office. I recommend the book as a balanced history and analysis of the impact of oil on the world economy and politics.

There are comments on the abuse of oil fields by a number of countries which have left lots of oil in the ground. There are also comments on how well exploration had been done. For example there are over a million wildcat wells in the US and about 4 thousand in the entire Middle East.

Note there are some useful appendices which describe the different kinds of oil, list production figures and estimated reserves over the years.

Paul Mc Mahon

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