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Twilight In the Desert 
The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
By: Matthew R. Simmons

Posted June 5, 2005

Published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. / Purchase
(ISBN 0-471-73876-X) 352 Pages, US $24.95, CAN $31.99, UK £ 15.99

A troubling answer to the most critical question facing today's world energy market - can Saudi Arabia meet the rising world demand for oil in the years ahead?

Twilight In the Desert looks behind the curtain to reveal a Saudi oil production industry that could soon approach a serious, irreversible declined. In this exhaustively researched book, veteran oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons draws on his own three-plus decades of insider experience and more than 200 independently produced reports about Saudi petroleum resources and production operations. What he uncovers is a troubling story about Saudi Arabia's troubled oil industry, which differs sharply from the globally accepted Saudi version. 

  In Twilight In the Desert he examines:

  • The 70 year-history of modern Saudi Arabia, and the truth behind its troubling mix of monarchy, conservative Islam, severe social restrictions, and economic contradictions. 

  • Why the geological phenomena that created Saudi oil invincibility now threaten to bring it to an end, far sooner than the world has been led to believe.

  • A field by field assessment of 12 key Saudi oilfields, and how verified shortfalls in their production and potential stan sharply at odds with unverifiable Saudi rhetoric.

Without question, Saudi Arabian oilfields provide the rest of the world with its most plentiful low-cost oil resource. The question is how long can they continue to keep these critical pipelines open. Twilight In the Desert answers that question with keen examination instead of unsubstantiated posturing, and makes its place as one of the most important books of this still young century. 

Praise for Twilight in the Desert

  • "This book is likely to be the most important ever written about oil. The veil of secrecy that has surrounded the world's oil resources must be lifted so the world can plan its future. This magnificently researched book of Matt Simmons may very well have the power to make that happen."
    —Richard E. Smalley, PhD, Nobel Laureate–Chemistry (1996), University Professor Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry Professor of Physics, Rice University 

  • "Simmons effectively confronts the complacent notion that there are ample oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. Twilight in the Desert should provoke anyone who believes that the recent increase in oil prices reflects either a speculative bubble or short-term supply constraints. It should provoke elected governments that have been complacent about their public's lack of concern about energy policy. And it will inevitably provoke producers like Saudi Arabia who believe they can maintain the veil of secrecy over their resources base that the world so strongly depends on."
    —Edward L. Morse, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Energy Policy

  • "Everyone must understand this thesis, whether you agree or not, since it may change life as we know it."
    —Jim Rogers, author of Hot Commodities and Adventure Capitalist

  • "Matt Simmons has made an important contribution to a better understanding of the complexity of oil field management in Saudi Arabia. His book is a challenge to Middle Eastern oil producers to provide the world with more and better oil field data, which are needed for a better understanding of when existing oil fields may peak. Instead of 'believe me,' he is asking the simple question 'show me' because the timing of oil peaking in the Middle East is essential for energy policy makers around the world. If Simmons proves directionally correct, we are in for a huge and early challenge to find alternative transportation fuels."
    —Dr. Herman Franssen, President, International Energy Associates, Inc.

  • "Twilight in the Desert provides much-needed transparency to a subject long hidden from public view. While all may not agree with its findings, it is the ensuing debate surely to follow that gives value to the author's efforts."
    —Robert E. Ebel, Chairman, Energy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC  

About the Author

Matthew Simmons is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Simmons and Company. International, a Houston-based investment bank that specializes in the energy industry. He currently serves on the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States and Brown Forman Corporation and is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.


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