If the end of cold war is the biggest news of the century in terms of world politics, the unleashing of the wealth in terms of untapped oil and gas reservoirs in the Caspian Sea region is probably the biggest economic news of the same century. Addressing the petroleum geology of South Caspian Basin at this crucial time of energy awareness shows unparalleled wisdom, experience, and maturity of the authors. The timing for such a useful book on a region that is considered to be the next Persian Gulf could not be more appropriate.

The news of petroleum discoveries in the Caspian Sea region continue to pour in. Only a few months ago, the news broke about the possibility of discovering 50 billion barrel in the Kashagan offshore structure. If this is true, as all indications are, this latest discovery will put Kashagan structure second to only Saudi Arabia's onshore Ghawar field, with remaining reserve of 70 billion barrels. Incidentally, Saudi offshore, Safaniya, the world's currently known largest offshore deposit contains 19 billion barrels. The book provides one with a treasure of information on the most studied section of the Caspian Sea region. The book is written with a comprehensive approach that includes the development of scientific bases, simulation techniques, and mathematical models of both static and dynamic geological systems. This approach is necessary if one is interested in exploration, development, and production of a petroleum reservoir. The combination of science and engineering has been sought for a long time, and the book provides one with a fine example of how one should approach in developing oil and gas fields in the 21st century.

As the world order is moving from the Modern to the Knowledge Era, the petroleum industry is creating a culture that requires combining cutting edge science with engineering into the core of decision making structure. This, in petroleum vocabulary, means that the petroleum industry must combine geological and geophysical skills with petroleum production engineering. This book collects this information from the anal of 150 years of exploration and production history of the Caspian Sea region and presents them in a format that is useful for both scientists and engineers. The book is helpful for determining oil and gas potential as well as optimum production strategies in the region.

The book takes the reader through some of the most fundamental description of geological history in the region, and embarks into the application of advanced mathematical models and engineering techniques. The authors do this with impeccable dexterity and provides the reader with a powerful interdisciplinary tool for exploration, reserve evaluation, and production optimization. The authors take a bold approach to educating engineers on some of the essential aspects of geology and geophysics. I am not aware of another book that amalgamates geology, geophysics, and petroleum engineering with such a seamless approach. I recommend this book to every geologist, geophysicists, practicing engineer, graduate student, and academic who is engaged in petroleum studies.

Rafiq Islam

Killam Chair in Oil and Gas Dalhousie University Canada

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