Revolving around the ongoing controversy that the era of oil usage is fading away as overly-produced discoveries have led to an oil peak, endangering the world’s stability, Duncan Clarke issued his piece of art “The Battle for Barrels: Peak Oil Myths and World oil Futures” in which he demonstrates that “the doom and gloom of the Peak Oil theory is mistaken.”
Clarke analyzes the model of peak oil to examine the truthfulness and validity of the varying arguments surrounding the controversy. He supports his endeavor by explaining main key factors, such as rising crude oil prices, new or future technologies, potential improved exploration acreage and/or access to restricted world oil zones, changes in government policies, new corporate strategies, development in unconventional oils…etc.
In his analysis, the author refers to the crisis of Peak oil as a “Twilight in the Mind”, clarifying that the difference between the peak oil theory and the real oil word is “stark.”
Clarke has further elaborated on the real circumstances and complexities that shape the present and likely oil future, with new insights on the world oil game. He claims that people’s anxiety concerning the depletion of oil reserves is extreme and “built on shallow foundations”.
The book addresses the question of why the Peak Oil Model’s gloomy outlook on reserves and discovery potential does not reflect a world terrain still much unexplored and under-exploited.
Clarke’s book has been appraised by many fine remarks, which reflect its highly valued content. Among the quotes listed on Amazon.com, we can list Leonardo Maugeri, Senior Vice President, Eni SpA who said, “Duncan Clarke offers a smart and insightful survey of one of the most intriguing issues of our times – Is the world running out of oil? – explaining why doomsayers are wrong. He diagnoses the psychological mindset, the historical mistakes, and the current complexities concerning the evaluation of how much oil lies beneath, and shows a positive view of our energy future.”
“The Battle for Barrels lucidly shows that not all is known on potential oil reserves-in-ground, and Peak Oil is very wrong on its view that such reserves are now fully known and finite. Clarke credibly demonstrates that there is much conventional oil to-be-discovered while economics and above-ground factors such as global access and resource nationalism, plus technologies, will shape real oil world futures in ways unlike Peak Oil theorists presume, especially given the Earth’s vast oil endowment,” commented Fred Dekker, Managing Director, Wessex Exploration, and former Vice President, Asia Pacific New Ventures, Unocal Corporation.
“Peak Oil has caught global attention because the media love catastrophic news. Duncan Clarke, who has had close contact with top oil industry leaders and its best experts over three decades, has demystified this dogma and shown the crude realities,” said André Coajou, Former Senior Executive, Elf Aquitaine.
Dr. Alfred J. Boulos, former Senior Director, International, Conoco Inc., former President, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, and European Petroleum Negotiators Group said that the author “provides a brilliant insight into the world upstream, peak oil, international corporate strategies, geopolitics, business, economics and technology. His unique worldwide experience provides an astute analysis of critical issues that clarify and interpret the historical future of oil and the modern world in the 21st Century.”
Christian Suter, CEO Petroconsultants, 1987-1998, and Member of the Board 1968-1999 expressed his evaluation; “This book portrays an independent mind and Duncan Clarke’s analysis and interesting opinions shed much light. Few things are trickier than reserve estimates. We had the rule: ‘You will never know the reserves of a field, before it is depleted…and even then.’ What about reserves of not yet discovered fields?  Gerry Dixon, former President of Petroconsultants always said: ‘if we badly need it, we will find it’. Clarke’s optimism on the world is justified. One day oil may be depleted, unless humanity does not need it before.”
Clarke is Chairman and CEO of Global Pacific & Partners, a private advisory firm operating from offices in London, The Hague, Johannesburg and Nicosia. He received his PhD in economics in 1975, and was a lecturer, economist and advisor, before establishing GP&P, with a focus on economics and strategy in the worldwide upstream industry.
The Battle for Barrels is published by Profile Books, in a hardback of 244 pages and is sold for $60.

By Yomna Bassiouni

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