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Everyone's Guide to the Oilpatch

by David Finch
foreword by Andrew Nikiforuk

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list price: $22.95
published: 2007
publisher: Fifth House Books

With a well-paced, easy-to-read style,Pumped is a much-needed primer to the Byzantine world of Canada's oil patch. From the fascinating history and politics (seven national energy programs, yikes!) to the booms and busts, mistakes and lessons, it's all here."

— Alister Thomas, managing editor of The Roughneck, Energy Processing Canada and Propane Canada magazines

Seasoned petroleum historian David Finch engages and entertains as he acquaints us with the basic vocabulary and mechanics of Canada's oil industry right through its most complex issues.

Perhaps you know the answers to some of the basics:

  • What is a barrel of oil?
  • Where does it come from?
  • How does it get into the gas tank?
  • Why is oil so political?

Do you recall the details of some of the programs?

  • What was the National Energy Program,
  • The National Oil Program,
  • The Western Accord,
  • and why did they matter?

Are you well-versed enough in the politics to know the answers to these questions?

  • Are we really running out of oil?
  • What is the current state of the tar sands?
  • What do "upstream," "midstream," and "downstream" mean?
  • Who controls oil and gas in Canada and why does it cost so much if it belongs to us, the people of Canada?
  • And finally, Why does this industry dominate the world's economic and political arenas.

With short chapters, illustrations, maps, photographs, and a user friendly index-glossary, Pumped makes the complicated, jargon rich, high-stakes world of petroleum exploration, excavation, and consumption easy to understand.

Finch provides a balanced, knowledgeable, and often humorous primer on the mechanics, history, and politics of Canada's oil industry.

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Contributor notes

David Finch
Born in Cuba, David Finch is a historical consultant living in Calgary. With more than twenty years of consulting experience, he is the author of several books on the oil industry, including Hell's Half Acre, and is a regular contributor to The Calgary Herald, Alberta Oil: The Magazine, and Alberta Views. David received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedicated Investigation and Professional Scholarship in the Study of Canadian Petroleum History from the Petroleum History Society of Calgary.

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About the Authors

David Finch

Born in pre-revolutionary Cuba, David Finch is the only son of Canadian missionaries. After completing a portion of his education in Canada and Venezuela, Finch came to Canada for good and earned a master’s degree in post-confederation Canadian history at the University of Calgary. He presently lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter. In his spare time David likes to canoe, cross-country ski and hike in the Canadian Rockies. He builds and restores canoes and has a fine collection of watercraft.

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Andrew Nikiforuk

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