Twilight in the Desert is a book describing the history of Saudi Arabia's oil with the underlying thesis that it's epic run of easy light crude production is fact coming to an end despite Saudi Arabia's public claims that they're oil is limitless.
What is so interesting about the book that from the standpoint of a petroleum engineer, the technical aspects of the book are extremely well written and researched. The majority of the technical literature and case studies cited are from Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Papers and Journal which undergo a rigorous peer review process and unlikely to have been misconstrued by anyone with a Bachelors of Arts degree for the purposes of sensationalizing a story.
I've researched several of the case studies mentioned and found data from other credible sources to back up some of the claims made in the book. That is not to say that everything has been substantiated by yours truly but that I believe the data utilized to be accurate and true to fact. A number of books on energy tend to lack technical description .This book will not disappoint in that regard, non-number people will probably find the figures discussed extraneous and boring.
My agreement with the author's departs outside the framework of his rigorous research and excellent explanation of production practices in laymen terms. He sets out a doomsday scenerio in which the world economy grinds to a halt due to a shortage of oil. Matthew Simmons passed away in 2010 and only saw the beginning of the dawn of the fracking boom in the US. Matthew Simmons is no self-certified armchair expert but rather the head of Simmons & Company International which is an financial firm that specializes in oil & gas investment. Mr. Simmons has spent the better of part of his life putting his money where his mouth is.
It is my feeling that indulging doomsday predictions has the power to exacerbate fear which in turn tends to shut out reason and insulate the outcome as being one singular dreadful scenario. Hence skepticism of the “doomsday” portion of the book.
Despite my reservations about the predictions made, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Saudi Arabia’s oil. What I took away from Twilight in the Desert was a deepened understanding of Saudi Arabia’s history and current policies and the delicate position the oil market maintains as the modern Atlas holding up the economic sky.
DISCLOSURE: I have no financial connection to Amazon or the author of this book.