Can the oil engineer join the oil tanker navy

The age of industry

Petroleum was already used in prehistory, for example to seal boats. Modern history begins with the use of kerosene as lamp oil and Edwin Drake's discovery of an underground oil well in Titusville. The golden age of crude oil begins as the fuel of industrial society: crude oil decides wars and makes a significant contribution to the material prosperity of industrial societies - but also triggers crises and wars itself.

Standard Oil Refinery No. 1 in Cleveland, Ohio in 1889. Photographer unknown,
Photo from >> wikipedia commons (accessed July 22, 2014), public domain.

How everything began

Crude oil (to its >> origin) was already used by humans in prehistory: when it comes into contact with oxygen, crude oil leaking from the surface turns into bitumen similar to asphalt, which was already used 12,000 years ago to seal boats in Mesopotamia. In Babylonia, petroleum was probably already used for lighting - it said "naptu”, Derived from“ nabatu”= Shine, the word is the origin of the Greek. naphtha for petroleum. Petroleum as a remedy was traded by Islamic rulers in Baku (in today's Azerbaijan) as early as the 9th century; and the North American Indians used it to treat wounds. The modern history of petroleum began when the New York lawyer George Bissell came up with the idea of ​​using petroleum (“stone oil” - to distinguish between vegetable oil and animal fat) as fuel for lamps - whale rat and whale oil were due to the fact that whales were now rare become too expensive (>> A little history of whaling). Bissell believed that there must be larger amounts of this substance underground. The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, which he co-founded, hired retired railroad worker Edwin Drake to drill for oil - in 1859, Drake found an abundant oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Bissell's conjecture was thus proven. Titusville experienced the first oil boom in history, at the end of 1860 there were already 75 oil wells here. Petroleum became a successful lamp oil and Bissell became a wealthy man.

Oil is becoming a global business

Oil had come at the right time: in 1865 the American Civil War was over; the industrialization that was now really gaining momentum, the opening up of the west and the wave of immigration from Europe created a huge market. An enterprising young businessman by the name of John D. Rockefeller recognized its potential early on. He got into the oil trade - and became the richest man in the world. Rockefeller took care of everything related to oil, from growing oaks for oil drums to owning warehouses. In 1870 he founded the Standard Oil Company, which soon controlled most of the American refining capacity and also got into oil production. And the oil exported: Europe also needed good, cheap light and lubricating oil. As in the USA, Rockefeller undercut every competitor in Europe and tried to take over their business; Standard Oil became the first multinational corporation. In 1871 Rockefeller's pursuit of monopoly was endangered: near Baku on the Caspian Sea, oil was discovered; the local oil production and refining was soon dominated by Ludwig and Robert Nobel (brothers of the Nobel Prize donor Albert Nobel). Ludwig Nobel, who was also called the “Russian Rockefeller”, was supposed to invent the tanker. It was used on the Caspian Sea from 1878; In the mid-1880s, it was also found to be suitable for the ocean. Production in Russia was greater than Russian demand, and the Nobels were looking for new markets. They were supported by the Rothschild banking family from Paris, who financed a railway line to the Black Sea that made it easier for Russian oil to access Western European markets. The Rothschilds would soon also buy their own oil wells and refineries in Baku and become competitors for the Nobels - and Rockefellers.

From lamp oil to fuel

With the light bulb improved by Thomas A. Edison (>> here), petroleum grew into serious competition: its greatest advantage was the lower risk of fire. When Edison completed the first power station in New York in 1882, its triumphant advance began and the history of oil seemed to be over again. At the end of the century, Standard Oil therefore brought the first oil stoves and oil burners for factories, trains and ships onto the market; But another invention was to become more important: In 1886, Carl Benz had invented the car with a combustion engine, and this was to become the largest market for petroleum. In 1900 America had only 9,000 registered cars, but in 1912 it was over 900,000. In addition, the huge Spindletop oil field was found near Beaumont in Texas in January 1901 - the first well alone delivered as much oil as all deposits developed up to then combined, and a year later there were 440 wells in this oil field; production rose to 17 in 1902 .5 million barrels. Due to its composition, the spindle top oil was less than a lubricating and lamp oil, but ideally suited as a fuel; from the companies that were founded to build refineries, among others, Gulf Oil and the Texas Fuel Company (today: Texaco) emerged.

Meanwhile, the rustic business practices of Rockefeller's Standard Oil in particular led to public criticism of the overpowering corporations that had emerged in the course of industrialization. This soon occupied the courts and politics - and was successful: Standard Oil was smashed by the US Supreme Court in 1911. For one of the subsidiaries, Standard Oil of Indiana, the chemist William Merriam Burton had found out how to break long carbon chains ("crack") - with this, the yield of gasoline from crude oil could be more than doubled. Just in time: in 1910, sales of gasoline exceeded those of petroleum for the first time.

In the meantime, the Royal Dutch / Shell Group was established in Asia in 1907: Royal Dutch produced oil on Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies; Shell had emerged from a trading company that he had built up dealer Marcus Samuel - Samuel was the man who was supposed to open up Asian markets for the Rothschilds. The oil produced in Asia was particularly suitable for the production of gasoline, and in 1912 the group also became active in America. The struggles for the oil market between Rockefeller, the Nobels, Rothschilds and Samuel went down in oil history as the “oil wars”. In 1908 oil was also found in Persia; and in 1914 the British government secured 51 percent of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (which would later become BP): this was how it wanted to secure access to oil, which was of strategic importance - the British Naval Minister Winston Churchill had made up his mind to power new capital ships with oil. Ships with internal combustion engines were faster: In the race with Germany, which wanted to catch up with the English fleet as part of the “world politics” of Kaiser Wilhelm II, this was a major advantage. Churchill saw how many British people would go to war, and on August 1, 1914, Germany actually declared war on Russia: The First World War had begun (>> more).

The first world war

It turned into a catastrophe: the achievements of the industrial revolution were made usable for warfare - around 10 million dead and many times more wounded and displaced were the price. Oil was to play a crucial role, but less in the fleet (apart from the role played by the German - diesel-powered - submarines) and more on land: the First World War became the first motorized war. Trucks transported troops and supplies, tanks finally ended the trench warfare, and aircraft were first used for reconnaissance and later also for bombing the enemy - warfare took on a whole new dimension. Thus the oil supply actually became decisive for the war, and when Germany resumed the unrestricted submarine war in 1917 and sunk more and more Allied tankers, their supply threatened to stall. Meanwhile Germany tried to secure the Romanian oil wells; shortly before the invasion, however, the British succeeded in destroying the conveyor systems and refineries. In addition, the resumption of submarine warfare had provoked the entry of the United States into the war, and from 1918 the Americans, British, French and Italians organized their oil supplies together. Most of the oil came from the United States, where the government now encouraged the daughters of the once-broken Standard Oil to work together. Meanwhile, Germany also failed in its attempts to get oil from Baku, Russia. When Bulgaria and the Danube Monarchy surrendered or disintegrated, Germany gave up in November 1918 and signed an armistice. It was also a victory for oil (the Allies) over coal and the railroad (the Germans).

New finds

After the experiences of the First World War, oil had acquired strategic importance for entire states; and America's oil consumption skyrocketed - the number of cars had risen to 9.2 million in 1920. So the British and Americans went together to develop additional suspected oil reserves in the Middle East. In 1927 they found a rich oil well near Kirkut in Iraq (which had arisen in 1921 from the Ottoman provinces of Baghdad, Mosul and Basra). Large amounts of oil have also been found in Venezuela and Mexico. In 1930 there were 23.1 million cars in America - more than three-quarters of all cars in the world. The temples of the new age emerged: petrol stations. As recently as 1920, gasoline was mostly sold in stores; in 1929 there were 140,000 gas stations. Consumption rose rapidly, but the discovery of new oil wells went even faster. The aerial reconnaissance developed during the First World War and the seismograph played a major role in this. The seismograph records ground vibrations that have been artificially generated for petroleum geology: geologists can read the subterranean structure - such as possible deposits - from the waves. The oil flood led to a drop in prices: In the USA the price of crude oil fell to 10 cents per barrel in 1930.

In 1932, oil was found on the small island of Bahrain on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf; Thus, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was established in the same year, moved into the focus of the oil companies. The search for the al-Hasa oil field in the east of the Kingdom was awarded to Standard Oil of California - a historic moment that established the influence of the USA in the region. In 1938 the Kuwait Oil Company, founded by the American Gulf Oil and Anglo-Persian, found the Burgan oil field, which is still the second largest oil field in the world today; A few weeks later, Standard found what it was looking for in Saudi Arabia - near what is now the oil city of Dhahran and the Ras Tanura oil port. But the promotion could not begin at first - the Second World War interrupted all plans for the future.

The second World War

During the Second World War, the strategic importance of oil was to become even clearer in the Second World War than in the first: trucks, tanks, warships, airplanes - they all needed oil. Coal-rich Germany tried to produce synthetic fuel from coal even before the First World War. The I.G. Farben had started producing this fuel in Leuna in 1926; but the “Leunabenzin” cost several times that of crude oil. When the Nazis came to power, they supported the Leunabenzin anyway, as it promised independence from oil imports - autarky became official government policy with the four-year plan of 1936. On September 1, 1939 - the day of the German invasion of Poland - there were 14 plants for the production of gasoline from coal, and six more were under construction. In fact, Hitler's blitzkrieg strategy was dependent on sufficient fuel supplies. After the Germans overran Norway, the Netherlands and France, the campaign to Russia began, where, among other things, the oil fields of Baku and the Caucasus were waiting. The campaign that began in June 1941 was not a blitzkrieg - among other things, because the fuel supply did not keep pace with the consumption on the poor Russian roads. Rommel's campaign in North Africa (Rommel dreamed of reaching the Baku oil fields via Palestine, Iraq and Iran) came to a standstill in July 1942 because his fuel supply stalled - “Petrol shortage! It makes you cry, ”he wrote to his wife.

The German dream of oil from Baku was thus over; efforts to produce synthetic fuel were further intensified. After the Allied invasion of Normandy, however, the facilities were systematically destroyed; Hitler's architect Albert Speer, who has also been General Inspector for Energy since 1942, tried to save production by building smaller, well-camouflaged systems - in vain. Germany ran out of fuel. In December 1944, Hitler attempted his last counterattack in the Ardennes, but here too the troops ran out of fuel. The Allied oil supplies had worked better. Even before the outbreak of war, the British had planned how the oil supply could be secured in the event of war: It was practically nationalized, with the oil industry continuing to ensure operational execution. The US under Franklin Roosevelt agreed to provide the necessary oil. The German submarines were an effective weapon against the oil tankers and threatened several times to cut off the British oil supplies; but in March 1943 a series of measures - cracking the German submarine code, better radar, aircraft with greater range - turned the tide in favor of the Allies. Again, oil had helped decide a war.

Who does the oil belong to?

Oil was rationed in America during the final years of the war, but after the war ended, US oil consumption continued to explode; the number of cars rose from 26 million in 1945 to 40 million in 1950. Oil production did not keep pace with consumption - in 1948 the US became a net oil importer. The Marshall Plan to rebuild the West European economy also relied on oil, which was supposed to replace coal in industrial heat generation and in power plants and to power cars, trucks and airplanes. The oil from the Middle East therefore became increasingly important: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran became strategically important.But an old dispute soon gained new meaning: Who does the oil belong to? In the wake of the Mexican Revolution, Mexico had nationalized an oil field as early as 1917, and in 1943 Venezuela wanted more money for its oil. Venezuela achieved a new distribution formula: “fifty-fifty” - the oil states should earn as much from oil through taxes as the oil companies. This solution was also accepted in Saudi Arabia at the end of 1950 and then in Kuwait and Iraq. But not in Iran, where a “National Front” has been the prime minister since 1951, to the creation of which the colonial attitude of the British had contributed in no small way: In 1951 the oil fields and plants were nationalized there. The Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown in 1953 - supported by the American and British secret services - and the Shah, who had fled, returned - but the oil remained in the possession of the new National Oil Company; the former APOC, now renamed Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company, was involved in the production as a service provider as part of a consortium.

In 1956 Egypt's President Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, which connected the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and through which two thirds of Europe's oil was supplied. The British and French used the Israeli attack on Sinai to occupy the canal zone. As a result, Nasser blocked the canal, and the British and French had to withdraw: the former world power Great Britain had lost its importance in the Middle East. One consequence of the Suez crisis was the emergence of the super tankers: the route around the Cape of Good Hope was politically less vulnerable than the Suez Canal, but only economically with much larger tankers.

The golden age of oil

The period from the end of the Suez Crisis to the end of the 1960s was the golden age of oil: consumption grew from 8.7 million barrels a day in 1948 to 42 million barrels in 1972 - and new deposits were discovered even more quickly. The oversupply led to falling prices - compounded by the fact that the Soviet Union exported oil at cheap prices in order to get foreign exchange for machines and food. New oil reserves were discovered in Gabon, Algeria and Libya. Oil became cheaper than coal: industries that did not rely on oil threatened to lose their competitiveness, and households switched to oil heating. The number of cars in the US increased to 119 million by 1972, in 1956 construction of the highway system had begun and the Americans moved to the suburbs. Mass motorization also began outside the United States: the number of cars outside the United States rose from 19 million in 1949 to 161 million in 1972; especially the motorization of Europe contributed to this. The auto industry had become a key element of the industrial boom.

The first oil crisis (1973)

In 1971, at a time of economic problems, the British withdrew their troops from the Persian Gulf; In the same year, oil production in the USA had reached its peak - the production volume at that time was never reached again. The producing countries used their new importance to raise prices: between 1970 and 1973 the price of crude oil doubled. On October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in an attempt to force the country into negotiations. The Israelis were caught by surprise, and to prevent defeat, the US began delivering arms to Israel. Thereupon the Arab oil ministers decided on an embargo against the USA and other supporters of Israel. About 10 percent of the previous oil supply was withdrawn from the market; and some countries were on the verge of panic: even toilet paper was being hoarded in Japan. In Germany there were four car-free Sundays and a (soon to be lifted) speed limit on motorways was introduced. In December the price of oil rose to $ 11.65 a barrel, four times what it was before the oil crisis began. The price led to economic problems in all industrialized countries: the gross domestic product of the USA fell by 6 percent, in Japan it fell for the first time since the Second World War. The response of the industrialized countries was the search for new oil sources (the basis for the later oil production in the North Sea), the use of other energy sources (France has since been relying on atomic energy) and energy savings (Japan was the pioneer). The successes became visible in 1976: Oil prices began to fall slightly, economic growth returned - from 1976 to 1978 the economy and oil consumption in the industrialized countries grew by around four percent.

The second oil crisis (1979/80)

In 1979 the Shah lost power in Iran; the fundamentalist Ayatollah ("leading religious scholar") Chomenei took over the leadership in the country and founded an Islamist state of God. During the coup, oil production came to a standstill and the world's second largest supplier had failed. Panic buying added to the shortage; on the spot market prices rose to double the official prices. Many suppliers therefore preferred to sell on the spot market, which is why OPEC released oil prices in March: As a result, they should rise from 13 to 34 dollars per barrel. When the crisis seemed almost over, Iraq used the loss of reputation that Iran had suffered as a result of the Islamic revolution in the world and with its former protector, the USA, to wage war against its old archenemy: It also targeted the heart of Iranian oil production ; and Iran also targeted Iraqi oil production in its counter-offensives, which almost failed as a result. The price of oil rose to $ 42 a barrel.

The reaction of the consumer countries was an investment boom in oil and a resumption of measures to save oil: Overall, the efficiency of oil use in the industrialized countries increased by 32 percent between 1973 and 1985, and in the pioneer Japan by 51 percent. The demand for OPEC oil fell by 43 percent from 1979 to 1983; OPEC cut production and still had to lower the price (set again since 1981) in 1983: from 34 to 29 dollars per barrel. The drop in prices continued, in the fall of 1985 the price fell below $ 10 a barrel. Not even in the consumer countries was everyone happy about it: the low price would undo efforts to save and bring back dependency. When OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries agreed on joint production quotas, the price rose to 15 to 18 dollars and stayed there in the years that followed. In August 1988 there was a ceasefire in the war between Iran and Iraq, and the oil supply seemed finally to be safe again.

The second Gulf War

In August 1990 Iraq, which was financially bled after the first Gulf War with Iran, invaded Kuwait. With Kuwait, Saddam Hussein would get a further ten percent of the world's oil reserves and get closer to his goal of becoming the leading power in the Arab world. Hussein believed the world would accept the invasion of Kuwait. He was wrong. In January 1991, a US-led anti-Iraq alliance began attacking Iraq - so successfully that oil prices, which had soared on the invasion, fell back to $ 20 a barrel. The Iraqi troops withdrew in February - not without setting fire to over 600 Kuwaiti oil wells. In Iraq there were (brutally suppressed) uprisings by Shiites and Kurds, but not the deposition of Saddam Hussein, which the Alliance had hoped for; the situation in the Middle East remained tense.

However, prices fell again; Stock exchanges and corporate profits reached record highs in the industrialized countries. The 1997/98 Asian crisis led to a slump in oil consumption, and the resulting reduction in oil production caused prices to rise to $ 34 per barrel when the economy started up around the turn of the millennium, but the increase returned after the speculative bubbles burst on the “New Market” around.

The third Gulf War

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the USA, Iraq was again targeted by the USA: It was described as a "safe haven for terrorists" and it was alleged that Saddam Hussein had manufactured weapons of mass destruction. The "evidence" presented by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council later turned out to be falsified, but in March 2003 the US and a “coalition of the willing” (of neither the UN nor NATO partners such as France and Germany) began belonged to) the third Gulf War. After a month Iraq was militarily defeated; The war was not over with the capture of Saddam Hussein in December, but developed into a civil war between parts of the disempowered Sunni population (including some of those who had previously formed the military, secret and security services) and government troops or Shiites Militias.

Rising prices and the fear of "peak oil"

Meanwhile, oil prices had risen again: The $ 50 mark was broken in autumn 2004, the $ 100 mark at the beginning of 2008, and at the end of June 2008 the oil price peaked at over $ 140 per barrel - 50 percent higher in real terms than at its peak The 1979 oil crisis. In contrast to this, there was no clear geopolitical cause: there were a few crises (the still limited production in Iraq, uprisings in Nigeria, political control of oil production in Russia and Venezuela), but the most important cause was that Fears that oil production may not keep pace with demand. Demand rose because, on the one hand, the industrialized countries have partly forgotten the lessons of the oil crises in times of falling prices and, on the other hand, new, populous countries such as China and India have become so rich that owning a car has become an achievable dream there too ( >> more).

Many industry experts feared that the production volume had now also reached geological limits: in the USA, for example, production in 2008 had fallen to below 5 million barrels / day and thus to less than half the amount of 1970 that the country had to use import most of its oil. As early as 1997, the English geologist Colin Campbell had warned in his book "The Coming Oil Crisis" on the basis of theories of the American geologist King Hubberts that conventional oil would reach its peak (see >> The end of cheap oil); In 1998 he and his French colleague Jean Laherrère published an article in the journal "Scientific American" in which they predicted rising oil prices. At that time they were laughed at, but with the rising prices it looked different. In 2005, Matthew Simmons, an American investment banker active in the oil business, warned in a study of the Saudi Arabian oil reserves that Saudi production was also nearing its historic peak.

Fracking: the return of oil and gas

Although the "peak oil", the production peak for conventional oil, actually occurred in 2005, it was able to be offset by "unconventional" oil and gas: it has long been known that the pores of shale rock can also contain oil and gas, but there was no way of promoting it economically. That changed when in 1998 the engineer Nicholas Steinsburger found a way to gas with the help of the "Hydraulic fracturing"(for short: fracking) from shale rock. Here, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pressed into the rock under high pressure, in which hairline cracks are created (which are kept open by the sand in the mixture) through which the In 2004 the oil engineer Harold Hamm successfully used the method for oil production for the first time, especially when oil prices rose again after the financial crisis in 2008 and in the wake of the "Arab Spring" in 2011 (until spring Rose to $ 100 in 2014), fracking began on a massive scale in the Bakken Shale Formations in North Dakota, the Permian Basin in Texas, and the Niobrara Shale Formations of Colorado and Wyoming, putting the United States back on the oil map.

The frackers were competing with the Arab producing countries for market share, and so OPEC decided in autumn 2014 not to reduce its production despite the increasing oil supply - it accepted falling prices in order to drive the frackers, who had higher production costs, into bankruptcy. By spring 2016, the price actually fell below $ 40 at times, and numerous smaller fracking companies actually went bankrupt. But others were able to reduce their costs - also with the help of digitization and automation; And since the OPEC countries also suffered from the low prices, OPEC decided in autumn 2016 to reduce its oil production, whereupon the oil price rose again to around 55 dollars in 2017, which enabled the best fracking companies to make profits again. After Hurricane Harvey destroyed refineries in Texas and Louisiana and the price rose to 65 dollars, fracking also became interesting for the large oil companies ExxonMobile, Chevron, Shell and BP - they also speculated that Saudi Arabia in particular would see an oil price of 80 in the long run Dollars to finance its national budget, and then they too make good profits from fracking. This was made easier when the real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump became US President in January 2017: he reversed the designation of protected areas by his predecessors (which made the exploitation of mineral resources easier) and relaxed the environmental requirements for oil production in the state According to the regulation, the methane gas produced during oil production must be captured and not simply burned off.

The US is not alone in mining "unconventional" oil reserves. The exploitation of the Athabasca oil sands and two smaller oil sands deposits in the Canadian province of Alberta began as early as 1967. The production, which is also expensive here, also picked up speed with the rising prices after 2002, meanwhile not only the Canadian Suncor Energy (a successor to the company that started mining in 1967), but also international oil companies such as ExxonMobile, Shell, ConocoPhillips are producing here , Total and the Norwegian Equinor (the former Statoil). Both production methods - fracking and the mining of oil sands - are significantly more polluting than the production of conventional oil (although there are major differences) and are therefore rejected by environmentalists as irresponsible, protests often ignite at the pipelines in the USA and Canada with which the oil is to be transported from the remote production areas to the refineries and ports.

The future of the Arab world

Even if Donald Trump dreams of a reindustrialization of the USA powered by cheap (fracking) gas and oil: The need for action to limit man-made climate change and the problems of air pollution, which are mainly in China, but also in US states such as California or have led to the promotion of electric mobility in the EU, makes the countries that are particularly dependent on oil think about a future that makes them at least more independent of the fluctuations in the oil price. Oil may not have a future as a fuel, but it is more difficult to replace as a raw material in the petrochemical industry and in the manufacture of plastics. The countries where oil can be developed relatively inexpensively are therefore planning an oil future: especially in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, oil can be developed in new projects for around 30 dollars / barrel (360). The national budget of these countries is also heavily dependent on oil revenues, which has led, among other things, to Iran and Saudi Arabia, who are competing for leadership in the Islamic world and in Syria and Yemen, are waging a proxy war against each other. work together in OPEC. Russia - whose state budget is also dependent on oil revenues - joined the OPEC agreements to reduce production volumes in 2016 and 2018, which at least slows down the loss of importance of OPEC caused by the US frackers.

While Iraq is still only able to act to a limited extent after the civil war - during which the terrorist militia "Islamic State" established itself in the country (and Iran is restricted in its freedom of action by American sanctions, which particularly affect Iranian oil exports) , Saudi Arabia is already preparing for the post-oil era: Parts of the state-owned oil company Saudi ARAMCO are to be listed on the stock exchange, and the money raised will be invested in projects around the world by a sovereign wealth fund. Saudi ARAMCO is also investing in the processing chain: in March 2019 the group acquired a 70 percent stake in the largest Saudi petrochemical company SABIC, and in August a 20 percent stake in India's largest private company, Reliance, which is active in the petrochemical and textile industries Industries. In both cases, the takeovers include long-term supply contracts, so that Saudi Arabia not only participates in the oil processing chain, but also protects it against fluctuations in the oil price.


Heike Buchter: Oil quake. How the USA is endangering our existence (Campus 2019) is primarily (but not only) concerned with the role of fracking in the (renewed) rise of the USA to become an oil superpower.

Colin Campbell: Oil Change! (dtv 2002): Comprehensive presentation of the geological, historical and ecological backgrounds and effects of crude oil.

Richard Heinberg: Oil End (Riemann, updated edition 2008).

Jeremy Leggett: Peak Oil (Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2006).

Amanda D. Little: Power Trip (Harper Press 2009).

Daniel Yergin: The price. The hunt for oil, money and power (S. Fischer 1991), Comprehensive, excitingly written history of petroleum up to the Gulf War.

Daniel Yergin: The Quest. Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World (Penguin Press 2011), a kind of successor to "Der Preis" (not published in German).


on the subject of energy on these pages:
>> Energy and its units
>> A little history of exploring energy
>> A little history of petroleum
>> The end of cheap oil
>> A little history of atomic energy
>> Energy transition

Strategies for the future:
>> Clean energy

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© Jürgen Paeger 2006 - 2019