We know that the people of Mesopotamia were using crude oil as a tar for building ships and houses as early as 3000 BC, so it is not by any means a new industry-but it is a volatile one. Oil and gas are important to every aspect of our economy yet this industry is distinguished by its combination of increasing demands and decreasing discovery volumes-and it is an industry shrouded in an environment of extremely volatile pricing. This book is a vital introduction to the oil and gas industry that focuses on history, operations, major companies, outside market forces, regulation, and the current challenges the industry faces. Such factors as finite natural resources, the environment, economics, geopolitics, and technology are also analyzed in detail. The focus on oil and gas is likely to continue to grow until efficient, environmentally safe alternate fuels become available. And because it's woven with complex relationships that are ever changing, this book is the best tool to have for a better understanding of this industry.