This is a very well-written and neutral history of the oil and gas industry worldwide, from its beginnings in the U.S. in the 1850s up through the end of the Gulf War in 1991. I read this over perhaps eight months a couple years ago, having had been in the industry for about 18 years. I wish I'd read it when I first started working; I think my appreciation of my particular engineering field and its place in the context of the industry would've been greatly enhanced.
The Prize doubles as both an extremely interesting story and a superb reference thanks to a comprehensive index. My only complaint is that the regional maps are generally sub-par and often don't indicate half the points of interest mentioned in the text. This is merely an annoyance though and doesn't detract much from the experience.
I don't have much else to add. The Prize is written for the layman, so anyone with even a passing interest in the industry ought to check it out. I'm most of the way through the sequel The Quest, which covers the next twenty years or so of history though in quite a different manner and with generally poorer writing in my opinion. The Prize is a must buy!