Petroleum Analysis Centre

Dr. Colin Campbell

Dr. Colin Campbell was born in 1931 and took a degree in geology at Oxford University and then a D.Phil., based on mapping areas in Ireland and Borneo.

In 1957 he joined the oil industry as a field geologist in Trinidad, being later transferred to Colombia. While there he wrote a report on the country’s diverse oil provinces recognising some as prospective, especially the remote Llanos Basin, whereas others lacked the necessary geological conditions to deliver. It gave him the first insight into the finite nature of the resource.

Following work in Australia and Papua, he took a job in New York, in 1967, as Regional Geologist for Latin America. Studying the region revealed that the pattern seen in Colombia was reflected in varying degrees in all countries. The issue of depletion became a special personal and professional interest as the colossal impact it was likely to have on the world economy, began to reveal itself.

His career unfolded over the ensuing years. On return to Europe, he organised several exploration ventures in the UK, Ireland, Turkey and elsewhere. His last assignment was in Norway where he became an Executive Vice-President; involved with many ventures in that country.

He was involved in a major study of world oil and gas resources and depletion by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, which led to his first book on the subject The Golden Century of Oil 1950-2050, published in 1991.

In ‘retirement’ Colin pursued the subject, taking on several consultancies, including one from Petroconsultants, which maintained the industry database. He helped form the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (“ASPO”) and gave talks at many conferences, wrote papers and several more books. His latest book, Campbell’s Atlas of Oil and Gas Depletion was published in 2013.

Dr. Colin Campbell