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This is an interesting fringe theory. It doesn't even rise to a conspiracy. For a conspiracy people and entities have to work in unison to achieve a goal. Corsi makes no such argument, convincing or not. Further he sites random research without a coherent attack on the current theory. I have not idea whether his supposition is true, could be, but he isn't the one who is going to convince me.
He has written other 'conspiracy theory' books. This seems to be how he makes his living. Before you read this book, I would check him out on Wikipedia -- I wish I had. I give this book a pass -- don't bother.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about The Great Oil Conspiracy?
First off I am a petroleum geologist; regardless of what I have been trained to believe (Academia and Industry) I was intrigued by the title of this book and the concept of abiotic oil. In short this book is simply incoherent ramblings that fail to present little evidence regarding origin of abiotic oil. Corsi continually talks about drilling deeper into the earth and at greater water depths, which he correlates to abiotic. Corsi clearly is not a scientist and doesn't have a grasp of geology or a petroleum system in general. He kept painting the picture that hydrocarbon (fossil fuels) are from dinosaurs or something of sorts. He is correct in stating that these fossils are rare and could not produce the amount of hydrocarbon that humans have consumed. There is a major gap Corsi fails to mention, single cell organisms; which has been very abundant through MUCH of earth’s time. It is convenient that Corsi does not mention many of the tight oil/shale gas/ oil shale plays that have boosted US production in the last decade are actual source rocks. There are a few different types of source rocks, but the major source rocks where hydrocarbons are formed from a mixture of lithics (clay + quartz + carbonate) and algal remains deposited under anoxic conditions fresh water environment or formed from marine planktonic and bacterial remains preserved under anoxic conditions in marine environments. The industry has long known that these source rocks do in fact contain hydrocarbon, however the permeability of these rocks are extremely low, resulting in uneconomic production rates. Thus there is a lot of oil in these formations, but it’s simply uneconomic. That is until the industry advanced its methods in hydraulically fracturing a formation to increase it’s permeability.
The argument that Hubbert's peak oil curve is certainly does have some downfalls, at least in regards to timing of peak oil. Hubbert's peak oil is outdated, BUT is a function of improved technology (e.g. hydraulic fracturing or horizontal drilling) over the years rather than an "unlimited source" of oil from the mantle. In my view it is likely that the recent oil boom in the unconventional reservoirs (oil and gas shale) in the US has simply delayed peak oil. Peak oil is real and we will eventually have to come to grips with it.
Overall, an interesting book in regards to hearing what the theory of abiotic oil, but this book was a waste of time. The only reason I finished it, is because of the book’s short length. Corsi does not present a convincing argument of abiotic oil, but illustrates the standpoint of person who doesn’t grasp petroleum system.
I don’t doubt that many people will discredit my review, because I am an industry stooge, which I am okay with. For the people who have a scientific or engineering background that are interested in entertaining the idea of abiotic oil, if only to learn about a conspiracy theory; don't waste your time.
Has The Great Oil Conspiracy turned you off from other books in this genre?
No, since I work in the petroleum industry I have a vested interest in learning about all of the theories people have about peak oil and its potential results. However after this book, I will unquestionably pay closer attention to previous reviews.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Fleet Cooper?
The narrator wasn’t the problem with the book; the problem was the actual content of the book.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Great Oil Conspiracy?
The author simply preached about a conspiracy theory, with little knowledge of where most people understand hydrocarbon to come from. Corsi needs to understand the general knowledge before preaching conspiracy theories.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful