Jack Kerfoot takes us on a fascinating ride through the world of oil exploration, from the gritty business of acquiring seismic data in Appalachia and Texas to the boardrooms where deals were cut.

Covering the years rapidly he globe-trots from one amazing locality to another giving an insight into the world of an expat as well as an insider’s view of the world of oil exploration.

Jack has a gifted way of lightening what can be a complex subject with anecdotes, one minute we are fascinated by the intrigues of oil politics, the next we are lost in the jungles of Borneo with the hash house harriers, trying to talk a shotgun toting Oklahoma sheriff out of giving him a speeding ticket or negotiating the excise duty on the family cat with an Indonesian customs official at Jakarta’s old Halim airport.

The book also gives a valuable insight into why the USA has been so successful, if one man can cram so much into his life, it’s not surprising they reached the moon before anyone else! However, having said that, this is a book that should be of interest to people wherever they are from, a recurring lesson from the book is that hydrocarbons are a finite resource. Even if you are skeptical on man’s impact on climate change there will come a day when oil is too expensive, due to scarcity, to be frittered away on driving to the supermarket, with the falling costs of renewables the way forward is clear.

I noticed that he limits his description of his involvement in the Vietnam war to just one sentence, I imagine his views on that would be worth hearing. Perhaps this will be the subject of his second book which I look forward to.

I thoroughly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in the oil

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