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Geoscientist Online

Elements of Petroleum Geology by Richard Selley

sdth Elements of Petroleum Geology is an overview of nearly all aspects of petroleum geology and how they are connected, the last edition (2nd edition) was published back in 1998 and it has been overdue a revision to reflect more recent technology and industry practice. In the latest edition, the style of writing, order in which aspects of petroleum geology are addressed and clear layout of equations have been retained and this makes the book a very good aide memoir for professionals as well as a comprehensive textbook for students. Throughout the book the voice is authoritative and the text concise. Complex concepts are explained in a clear manner, especially those related to sedimentary environments reflecting the author’s areas of expertise.

In the 3rd edition, the chapters and layout have not changed from previous editions, the text appears to remain the same although additional sections have been added, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. I did not find any additional material for carbon storage or enhanced oil recovery, two topics that appear to be falling within the remit of petroleum geologists. There is new material on adsorption and absorption in source rocks that use clear colour diagrams, this highlights the contrast with the majority of illustrations carried over from earlier editions which are predominantly black and white.

The version of the book I received for review was the electronic edition, while not having the familiarity of a print edition for a quick flick through it does have the advantage that the many of references can be accessed via the internet via a quick click on the link. The downside is many of these links are now defunct. Given the references are hyperlinked I expected the index to have the same ability and link to inline text, it does not and I think this is another opportunity missed to show the advantages of eBooks.

Elements of Petroleum Geology has been the book I recommend most often to mudloggers and wellsite geologists who want to fill their knowledge gaps or gain a wider perspective on practical petroleum geology. I will continue to recommend this book to all prospective students who wish to pursue a geoscience or engineering career in the oil industry, especially if they expect to be closer to the rig end of the business. This is an expensive book, especially for students, if one is considering a purchase, think carefully about which format, print or electronic best fits your needs.

John Midgley

Elements of Petroleum Geology, 3rd Ed. by Selley, R.C. and Sonnenberg, S.A., 2015.   Published by Elsevier, 527pp (electronic book version as PDF)  ISBN: 978-0-12-386031-6 (print) / 978-0-12-386032-3 (eBooks) List price: £69.99 @