There are times in a lecturer’s life when unique opportunities come our way. Working in the School of Oil and Gas presented one such opportunity. When the need arose to re-do this lecture series I put up my hand. Drawing on my love of history, knowledge and study of economics and politics, and of course with a bit of help from the internet, I was able to write this wonderful series of lectures, an introduction to the history, economics and geopolitics of oil and gas. I am glad someone has put the material on the web, maybe I should re-record them with the voice overs, I still have the materials.
The slide below is from one of my favourite lectures in the series, the Innovations of War, as the internal combustion engine would change the character of war forever. Gone were the horse and rifles and long forced marches of infantry columns, replaced by cars and motorbikes that allowed travel for long distances, tanks that could push into enemy territory, trucks for moving troops and supplies and of course the aircraft for advance bombing.
The other lecture was a pictorial timeline of the Oil and Gas industry, from the very first Chinese drill used to mine for oil and gas c. 800 BC, to 2008 (the date of the lectures) with the drilling of the deepest offshore well, in the Gulf of Mexico, at 9,356 feet, or 1.77 miles. This lecture was over 116 slides long and contained over 200 images. What was impressive in the development of the industry that from the time that Drake drilled the first well for producing oil in 1859, the inventions were amazing, with significant leaps in production the result of each new innovation.