Colin Campbell (geologist)

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Doctor Colin J. Campbell (born 1931) is a retired petroleum geologist who co-wrote The Coming Oil Crisis with Jean H. Laherrère in 1998, which predicted that oil production would peak by 2010. The consequences of this are uncertain but drastic, due to the world's dependence on fossil fuel for the vast majority of its energy. He and Laherrère were credited with convincing the International Energy Agency of this. As a result of this, and the paper The End of Cheap Oil which was published in Scientific American in 1998, he was dubbed a "doomsayer" on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Oil discovery peaked in the 1960s, and the oil crisis in the 1970s was alleviated because there were additional, untapped resources available for exploration. According to Campbell, there are no new potential oil fields sufficiently large to reduce this future energy crisis. He also criticizes the reported oil reserves of many OPEC countries, claiming that they are inflated either to increase their quotas, or improve their chance of getting a loan from the World Bank.

He has over 40 years of experience in the oil industry. He earned a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Oxford in 1957, and has worked as a petroleum geologist in the field, as a manager, and as a consultant. He has been employeed by Oxford University, Texaco, British Petroleum, Amoco, Shenandoah Oil, Norsk Hydro, and Fina among others, and has worked with the Bulgarian and Swedish governments. His writing credits include two books and more than 150 papers.

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 Center 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 resides in Ballydehob, in Cork County, Ireland.


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