Author: Meghan L. O’Sullivan (2017)
Review by: Kayode Laro, Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta
As a Nigerian, developments in international oil markets are of great interest to me. This is because of the importance of oil, particularly the international price of crude oil, to the Nigerian economy.
The crash of oil prices from 2014-16 had a profoundly negative impact on the Nigerian economy and ultimately led to a recession which the country is gradually coming out of.
My research into the crash was what led me to read Windfall by Meghan L. O’Sullivan.
The book’s core argument is that, contrary to the expectation in some quarters that there would be global energy scarcity due to the demand for oil outpacing its supply, there has actually emerged an energy abundance.
The author attributes this to a combination of factors, including notably improved drilling technology that has brought online vast amounts of oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.
Windfall highlights the leading role of the United States in fracking and how it has led to an increased production of oil and natural gas in the country. The book shows how this has altered the global energy equation in favor of the U.S. and enhanced U.S. “energy independence” — a key strategic goal of American Presidents going back several decades.
All through the book O’Sullivan explores the geopolitical dimensions of the new global energy realities and connects the dots with impressive clarity and sure-footedness.
Windfall is a very well-researched book presented in an almost conversational manner by an author with a deep understanding of the global energy terrain.
The book is, in my view, required reading for anyone with an interest in the interplay between energy, technology, foreign policy and geopolitics.
Read last year’s review from Mr. Laro:
Editor’s note: This review is part of Global Atlanta’s annual project asking influential readers and community leaders to review the most impactful book they read during the course of the year. This endeavor has continued each year since 2011. Purchases through the Amazon affiliate links at top will provide a commission to Global Atlanta. All reviews were written independently with only mild editing from our staff.