Oral History of M. King Hubbert

Interviewed by Ronald E. Doel

Bethesda, MD

4 January to 6 February 1989

Links to All Sessions

Session Comments
Session IFamily background, youth
Session II 
Session III 
Session IV 
Session V 
Session VI Begins with discoveries and presentations about Structural Geology

VI-203 begins the subject of Oil and Gas Reserves, often referred to as "Energy" in the interview. Very interesting explanation about how the opportunity to pursue the subject came about at a meeting in 1948 of the AAAS. He was invited to speak at a session with Farrington Daniels (on solar) and Eugene Wigner (on nuclear).

VI-219 Begins the story of the UN meeting in 1949 in Lake Success, New York, where Leverson gives a figure of 500 years of oil, and Hubbert nearly falls out of his seat! ... and then challenges Leverson in front of the whole audience.

Session VII Energy

AIP Meeting in March 1956

President Kennedy's NAS Committee in 1962

Consequent challenges from various parties

Session VIII Mostly about the late 1960's and early 1970's when Hubbert was at the US Geological Survey. He comments about all the efforts made to discredit him or prevent him from presenting his findings. Poetic justice -- by the mid-70's, he was vindicated, and the USGS was in the dog-house -- they lost credibility because in the late '60's they had promoted their own agenda, high reserves, and missed by a mile the obvious fact that US oil was about to peak.

Oil industry people who gave him a bad time in the '60's.

A little about his time at Stanford University.

Senator Jackson's Senate Hearing in 1971.

Meetings with Secretary Udall.

Mentions background of Scientific American article.

Coming next session .... USGS tries to take off the heat by reorganizing in 1975.

Session IX 

General Comments:

Agenda -- Items to take up with AIP, Doel, others