The 5 best books about oil trading (by a former commodity trader)

Are you a commodity trader? Or Maybe you’re getting started in the commodity trading sector?

It’s not a secret that to succeed in anything, you need to stay informed and gather necessary knowledge. I’m going to share with you 5 books that are a must-read if you want to trade all products, invest in the oil and gas industry, or if you just want to make money. 

40 Classic Crude Oil Trades – Real-life examples of innovative trading by Owain Johnson

This book has only 11 reviews on Amazon, which makes no sense as this is one of the best ones that I’ve read for a long time.

I love this book because it does something extremely difficult: interviewing commodity traders. In this one you have 40 interviews. A little caveat though… Most of the traders stopped their activities or are at the end of their career. 

Still, it’s not only interesting for crude oil traders, but also for any trader because you can translate most of these trading techniques to other commodities quite easily. Also, I like the variety of trades: it has stories about physical trades, and paper trades all over the world. 

Additionally, about Owain Johnson the author, he is a global head of research of the CME Group. The CME Group is one of the largest exchanges in the world. This also explains how he got into contact with those 40 traders. In short, it’s a must read.

You can buy it HERE.

Oil 101 by Morgan Downey 

This book is the Bible for anyone that wants to do anything in the oil and gas industry. By reading it you will learn about exploration, early production, and all the types of old rigs. It covers a lot of subjects; how pipeline works, how crackers work. Again, it’s a must read even for people that have been in business for years because they learn new stuff too. 

The only downside about the book is that it was published in 2009. Therefore, a lot of the information is outdated. For instance, the cost of production now is completely different because technology has evolved. However, this should be the least of your worries compared to the amount of knowledge that you’re going to get.

You can buy it HERE.

 The Prize -The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

This is a Pulitzer winning book; very well written. It covers the oil and gas business from the mid-19th centuries to the gulf war. It took me half a year to read it, but I’m glad I did it. Now, I’m way more sophisticated when it comes to geopolitics or recent history.

Even though it’s a thick fat book, I really encourage you to read it because you don’t need to be a specialist to understand it. It’s very well-written, all the stories are extremely interesting and you will know more about 99% of the people if you go through it. 

You can buy it HERE.

Depression, Oil Trading & A Mind At War With Itself by Jonathan Ford

This is an autobiography depicting the author battling a lot with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. However, Jonathan was an oil trader in the 90s at Vitol and BP and hee paints a good picture of those wild times; the bribery, the Enron explosion.

Depression, Oil Trading & A Mind At War With Itself

t’s funny because when the book was released, a statement or a press release was issued that says everything in this book was lies, Jonathan is crazy and you should disregard what he says. 

I agree the guy is borderline insane but what he explained in his book and how trading worked by then completely matches what I’ve heard from other people. That part is completely correct. 

You can buy it HERE.

Fossil Future – Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal and Natural Gas, Not Less by Alex Epstein

As you can imagine by the title of this book, Alex Epstein wrote something highly controversial at a moment where fossil fuel is seen as the worst thing that happened to humanity and everyone that worked in the fossil fuel industry might just die.

Five best books about oil trading

This book helped me be more critical about the current climate change issues. What is true, and what is not true? Did you know that more co2 in the atmosphere is better for the planet? 

To be clear, I don’t agree with everything that Alex Epstein wrote in that book but it gives extremely good counter arguments against climate catastrophes. For that reason, everyone should read it to open their minds. 

If you work for any fossil industry, and you’re tired of being bullied when you go to fancy dinners downtown, read the book. It will equip you with a lot of ammunition that you can throw to your detractors. 

You can buy it HERE.

If you want more content about the commodities’ world, take a look at my Youtube channel.

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