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Oil


16 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy-reading introduction to the oil and gas industry
The book is clearly labeled "a beginner's guide", and that's what it is --- a fairly quick-reading, high-level overview of an extremely complex subject. I think Smil does a creditable job in clarifying the importance of the oil industry in today's complex global economy. Without the oil and gas industry, there'd be no airlines, automobiles, trucks, buses, plastics...nor...
Published on February 9, 2011 by Rex Racer

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent intro for a non-technical layman
As an apology for giving this book three stars let me first say that I am by all means a layman when it comes to geological and oil terminology. While this book was excellent at describing the areas of sizeable oil deposits, the types of deposit, the types of oil and gas that are extracted from these geographical regions / types of areas, oftentimes I found Smil's...
Published on September 27, 2011 by W. Moncure


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy-reading introduction to the oil and gas industry, February 9, 2011
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The book is clearly labeled "a beginner's guide", and that's what it is --- a fairly quick-reading, high-level overview of an extremely complex subject. I think Smil does a creditable job in clarifying the importance of the oil industry in today's complex global economy. Without the oil and gas industry, there'd be no airlines, automobiles, trucks, buses, plastics...nor would there be much of a chemical industry.

Smil describes the background and processes used in the entire oil industry, from exploration through production, transportation and ultimate delivery to the consumer. He includes background information about how hydrocarbons are created, the geology in which it is found, and its impact on modern society.

The book is generally strong, although some controversial material in the first and last chapter may be subject to alternate interpretation, and given the creativity of the industry to innovate new methods for extracting previously unconsidered reserves, we may well see Smil revising his estimates of "how long will oil last" upwards (as will economists who predict doomsday scenarios for the oil industry).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent intro for a non-technical layman, September 27, 2011
By 
W. Moncure (Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Oil (Kindle Edition)
As an apology for giving this book three stars let me first say that I am by all means a layman when it comes to geological and oil terminology. While this book was excellent at describing the areas of sizeable oil deposits, the types of deposit, the types of oil and gas that are extracted from these geographical regions / types of areas, oftentimes I found Smil's technical argot and other such language a bit of a reach for me. That being said I skimmed through that which was utterly confusing for this non-technically experienced mind, and absorbed a great deal of knowledge surrounding the history of the industry and the methods of extracting, producing, and distributing petroleum based products. I will surely revisit this book after reading some non-technical works (they abound on Amazon), and will likely be able to glean a great deal more information than previously accessible. I would describe this book as "step 2," or "book 2" after visiting a text that would be more oriented to those working in finance or other non-technical fields that need a summary understanding of the industry.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning from Smil, December 28, 2008
By far the best introductory guide to oil&gas I have run into in almost thirty years in the field (not that anything else could be expected by V.Smil). Should be made mandatory for anyone in the media pretending to deal with energy issues
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, August 6, 2013
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This is an excellent primer on oil for people who want to be oil-literate. Here's what the book covers.
- Oil's uses and benefits.
- What oil is, how it's found, and where it's been found.
- How oil is produced, transported and processed.
- Oil economics and politics.
- Oil-related social and environmental issues.
- Oil-related energy security issues.
- How long oil will last.
This 202-page book contains 28 helpful charts and diagrams, plus many excellent sidebar essays. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for an Absolute Novice, October 28, 2013
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This review is from: Oil (Kindle Edition)
Living in Houston, I am familiar with much of the oil and gas vernacular, but this book took much of what I have heard and created a story to encapsulate those phrases into a bigger picture. It didn't quite get into the details I was hoping to learn about the refining process, but the overview of it is fantastic. There is a lot of technical information that is useful to go deeper. I plan to read it a second time to better understand that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for people that don't know much about it, January 18, 2013
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This review is from: Oil (Kindle Edition)
Well written and easy to understand. A good choice for people who are getting into the industry and don't know much about the topic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 9, 2014
What I wanted
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3.0 out of 5 stars No Frackin Way, July 2, 2014
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This review is from: Oil (Kindle Edition)
It is an interesting synopsis of the history, production, and consumption of oil. However, this book is very
outdated at this point in time because it was written before massive fracking became a reality in the U.S.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oil: A Beginners's Guide - Vaclav Smil, December 29, 2013
Great book! I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in everything about crude oils, and industry fundementals. Vaclav Smil brings a lot of research and data to support his interesting theories. Thanks and enjoy..

-Chuck
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, February 27, 2013
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I think that the book did a great job of explaining the oil business for someone who is a novice. It took the time to explain minute details that some books would have taken for granted. I recommend this book not only for the imformation but because it's a easy read and the cost is pretty reasonable.
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Oil
Oil by Vaclav Smil
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