Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy Paperback – May 16, 2006
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Investment banker Simmons offers a detailed description of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S and our long-standing dependence upon Saudi oil. With a field-by-field assessment of its key oilfields, he highlights many discrepancies between Saudi Arabia's actual production potential and its seemingly extravagant resource claims. Parts 1 and 2 of the book offer background and context for understanding the technical discussion of Saudi oil fields and the world's energy supplies. Parts 3 and 4 contain analysis of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas industry based on the technical papers published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Simmons suggests that when Saudi Arabia and other Middle East producers can no longer meet the world's enormous demand, world leaders and energy specialists must be prepared for the consequences of increased scarcity and higher costs of oil that support our modern society. Without authentication of the Saudi's production sustainability claims, the author recommends review of this critical situation by an international forum. A thought-provoking book. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...this is an important book and worth reading" (The Royal Society for Asian Affairs, April 2006)
"The author...is clearly an expert in his field…I recommend anybody in the financial markets read this book." (Financial Engineering News, October 2006)
"Those who follow with their own tales of imminent economic collapse struggle to emerge from [Simmons'] shadow." (Spectator Business, October, 2008)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Mr Simmons book was predominantly researched in 2004, however his findings are more relevant today than 7 years ago. This book predominantly takes a look at Saudi Arabia's oil exploration & production history & the likelihood of increased/plateaued oil production in the future. Mr Simmons takes a deep look into the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) technical reports on Saudi Arabia. Putting it simply, Saudi Arabia has a handful of super giants & giants, namely: Ghawar, Abqaiq, Safaniya, Berri, Marjan, Zuluf & Shaybah. All of these fields started producing in the 40s, 50s & 60s except for Shaybah whose oil production started in 1998. These are old, tired & ever maturing fields. All of these oil fields were discovered a long time ago & the last major oil discovery was Shaybah in 1967. Saudi Arabia has already reached peak oil in 1981, however this was an artificial peak as Saudi Arabia was acting "responsibly" during the Iranian revolution & the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war by increasing production to make up for the shortages from these nations. Iran peaked in oil production in 1978 at 6 million barrels a day & is now only producing 3-3.5 million barrels a day.
Mr Simmons goes deeply into the process of oil production & how important it is to retain pressure in the fields to keep from the fields peaking prematurely. The author also goes into detail about the decision to either maximise the ultimate recovery of the reserves versus maximising return on investment from the field, which is usually not aligned together. Mr Simmons also explains why the artificial increase in production during 1979-1981, may have caused irreversible damage to the oil fields that will never be known. Mr Simmons also discusses Saudi Aramco's ambitious & over optimistic claims that they can in the near future produce 15 million barrels a day & maintain this output for 50 years. Mr Simmons also goes into other super giant & giant oil fields around the world & how they declined.
The University of Kuwait came up with an analysis of global oil production in 2010 projecting that OPEC production will not peak until 2026. I believe this to be unrealistic. Venezuela peaked in 1998, Indonesia 1977, Iran 1978, Algeria & Kuwait are now in decline & there is political turmoil in Libya & Iraq.
It seems to me after reading this book that Saudi Arabia may get to 12 million barrels a day of production, if it is lucky, however maintaining today's high level of around 8.4 million barrels a day, let alone reaching 12 million barrels a day, for years or decades to come will be a tall order.
Mr Simmons ends the book with possible solutions that are all logical including conservation, local food production & consumption, liberating the workforce & curtailing globalisation. Some people have labeled Mr Simmons as a doomsayer, however he is making a completely logical argument & offering solutions, so I find this label ridiculous. I, however believe that it is too late. We should of been making these decisions & transitioning to other sources of energy with a lead time of at least 20 years. History has shown that it takes more or less 40 years to completely transition from one energy source to another, a gradual process that requires a lead time. The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones, the bronze age did not end because we ran out of bronze, however the oil age will end & it is most likely it will bring our industrial civilisation down with it. We are hopelessly unprepared.
I highly recommend this book if this topic interests you & in particular if you would like to learn what is involved in exploring for & producing oil. Mr Simmons has done an incredible job of explaining these concepts to the layman. If Mr Simmons was still alive today, I would thank him for his contribution in this field.
The book offers the requisite background for the layman to understand the history, context and structure of the Saudi oil industry (his technical notes on oil production are welcoming too). Mr. Simmons weaves together a case from the mystery that surrounds oil in Saudi Arabia-mystery about the quantity of reserves, about production levels, about the true geological condition of the wells. Mr. Simmons scanned over 200 papers published under the Society of Petroleum Engineers that chronicle the problems engineers have faced in Saudi wells-problems that are due to the fields' old age and which prelude a future decline in productivity.
There is little chance that any reader will walk away from this book with more answers than questions. But Mr. Simmons deserves credit for shedding light into a mystery-and the debate that has followed the publication bears testament both to the quality of the work as well as to its necessity. Whether there will come an oil shock made in Saudi Arabia is impossible to forecast; but if it does, the reason will have been well explained in "Twilight in the desert."
1. Rarely does one see a topic so thoroughly researched by someone who is already an expert in the field. Simmons had already spent the bulk of his career in the energy business. He decided to conduct extensive, quality research to shape his hypotheses and conclusions. Any student of research methods would benefit from understanding how this book was crafted.
2. Having such a data-driven body of knowledge means that the discussions surrounding peak oil, environmentalism, conservation, and geopolitics (perhaps the term should be geopetroleopolitics?) can be based on some semblance of fact, not rhetoric. Saudi oil fields are declining. This is a fact. We don not have good data to project when these declines will become irreversible. This is also a fact. How we react to these facts as individuals, as a nation, and as a planet, is vitally important. Simmons has crafted the foundations upon which these discussions can be conducted.
I do have some minor quibbles about the book. The index could be a bit better. Some of the technical terminology could have been defined in the text a bit better with footnotes. Some terms are used early, but not defined until much later. Again, I think these are minor points.
I highly recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews