Colin Campbell (geologist) : biography
Colin J. Campbell, PhD Oxford (born 1931) is a retired British petroleum geologist who predicted that oil production would peak by 2007. He claims the consequences of this are uncertain but drastic, due to the world's dependency on fossil fuels for the vast majority of its energy. His theories have received wide attention but are disputed and have not significantly changed governmental energy policies at this time. In order to deal with declining global oil production, he has proposed the Rimini protocol.
Influential papers by Campbell include The Coming Oil Crisis, written with Jean Laherrère in 1998 and credited with convincing the International Energy Agency of the coming peak; and The End of Cheap Oil, published the same year in Scientific American. He was referred to as a "doomsayer" in The Wall Street Journal in 2004..
The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, founded by Campbell in 2000, has been gaining recognition in the recent years. The Association has organized yearly international conferences since 2002. The most recent conference of the USA chapter (ASPO-USA) was at the University of Texas in Austin, TX on November 30th and December 1st, 2012.
"But this peak has no real great significance, it is the perception and the vision of the long decline that comes into sight on the other side of the peak. That's really what matters." (speaking on the peak oil phenomenon, from End of Oil (2005))
"It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer drinker understands. The glass starts full and ends empty and the faster you drink it the quicker it's gone." (on peak oil, in 2007)
"Banks had been lending more than they had on deposit assuming that tomorrow's growth was collateral for today's debt but failing to see that growth depends on growing, cheap, oil-based energy...So in short, Peak Oil means that debt goes bad." (speaking on the 2008 crash at the New Energy Era Form, 8 May 2012)
The most famous peak oil petrogeologist is M. King Hubbert, who predicted in 1956 that oil production would peak in the United States between 1965 and 1970. U.S. oil production peaked in 1970. Hubbert's theories became popular during the 1973 energy crisis, and during the 1979 energy crisis when even the United States Secretary of Energy, James Schlesinger announced, as he left his post that year, that 'Mid-East production is unlikely to expand much, if at all, and is unlikely to drop below current levels'. (Wall Street Journal 1979). In December 2000 Colin Campbell warned in a public lecture held at the Clausthal University of Technology that
'There is, I think, a strong danger of some ill-considered military intervention to try to secure oil. A stock market crash seems inevitable, as some investment managers are now telling us. The global market may collapse because of high transport costs and global recession. Self-sufficiency will become a priority.'
Campbell has over 40 years of experience in the oil industry. He was educated at St Paul's School and Wadham College, Oxford (BA Geology 1954, MA and DPhil 1957), and has worked as a petroleum geologist in the field, as a manager, and as a consultant. He has been employed by Oxford University, Texaco, British Petroleum, Amoco, Shenandoah Oil, Norsk Hydro, and Fina, and has worked with the Bulgarian and Swedish governments. His writing includes two books and more than 150 papers.
More recently, he founded the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, is affiliated with Petroconsultants in Geneva, is a trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre in London. He conducts research on the oil peak, and he also tries to build public awareness of the issue, which includes lecturing extensively. He addressed a committee of the British House of Commons, and officials from investment and automotive companies. He has appeared in the documentary films The End of Suburbia, Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, and .
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