Peter Maass is the author, most recently, of Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil. (September 2011)
Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit by Loren C. Steffy
A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher by Joel Achenbach
Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster by John Konrad and Tom Shroder
Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling a report to the President by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
How can you turn $3.2 billion into $500 billion in a day? If you are Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia, and Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon, you announce a deal that allows Exxon to explore for oil in Russia’s Arctic waters. According to Putin, who last week said, “It’s scary to utter such huge figures,” the deal could reach $500 billion. According to Exxon’s news release, all that’s been agreed so far is an investment of $3.2 billion. The only certainty is that the energy industry’s numbers game sometimes resembles the magical calculations the financial industry relied on before the 2008 crash.