Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Books Worth Reading: EXCEL FORMULAS AND FUNCTIONS FOR DUMMIES by Ken BLUTTMAN

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EXCEL FORMULAS AND FUNCTIONS FOR DUMMIES
From Amazon:

Learn to use Excel for practical, day–to–day calculations

Excel is a powerful program with more than 300 built–in functions that can be used to perform an almost infinite number of calculations. This friendly book shows you how to use the 150 most valuable ones in real–world situations: to compare the cost of buying vs. leasing a car, calculate classroom grades, or evaluate investment performance, for example. Another 85 specialized functions are also described. Detailed, step–by–step instructions help you understand how functions work within formulas and how you can use them to solve everyday problems.
  • Excel is a complex tool, making it a perfect subject for the straightforward, plain–English approach of this book
  • Formulas and functions are explained in classic For Dummies fashion, with examples of how to apply the 150 most commonly used functions in real–world situations
  • Discover how to use Excel to compare the cost of 15 and 30–year mortgages, decide whether to buy or lease a car, calculate the actual cost of credit card purchases, forecast college expenses, design a database for your own use, and much more
  • Serves as an excellent resource for all versions of Excel, including the latest version 2013
Excel Formulas and Functions For Dummies, 3rd Edition helps you put the power of Excel to work in your daily life.




Books Worth Reading: THE NEW KINGS OF CRUDE by Luke PATEY

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THE NEW KINGS OF CRUDE 


From Amazon:

In the past decade, the need for oil in Asia's new industrial powers, China and India, has grown dramatically. The New Kings of Crude takes the reader from the dusty streets of an African capital to Asia's glistening corporate towers to provide a first look at how the world's rising economies established new international oil empires in Sudan, amid one of Africa's longest-running and deadliest civil wars. For over a decade, Sudan fueled the international rise of Chinese and Indian national oil companies. But the political turmoil surrounding the historic division of Africa's largest country, with the birth of South Sudan, challenged Asia's oil giants to chart a new course. Luke Patey weaves together the stories of hardened oilmen, powerful politicians, rebel fighters, and human rights activists to show how the lure of oil brought China and India into Sudan - only later to ensnare both in the messy politics of a divided country. His book also introduces the reader to the Chinese and Indian oilmen and politicians who were willing to become entangled in an African civil war in the pursuit of the world's most coveted resource. It offers a portrait of the challenges China and India are increasingly facing as emerging powers in the world.




Books Worth Reading: PRACTICAL PETROLEUM ECONOMICS AND FISCAL REGIMES by Henry HAWKINS

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PRACTICAL PETROLEUM ECONOMICS AND FISCAL REGIMES

From Palantir Solutions:

‘Practical Petroleum Economics and Fiscal Regimes’ introduces the theory of petroleum economics including discounted cash flow analysis, uncertainty and decision analysis. The book describes global fiscal systems with an in-depth look at concessions and production sharing contracts. In addition to project economics, the book also covers the theory around corporate roll-up, portfolio aggregation and analysis. The emphasis is on practical skills and to this end there is a section on modelling principles and best practice. It is aimed at students along with employees of oil and gas companies as well as National Oil Companies and government agencies.




Books Worth Reading: INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM FISCAL SYSTEMS AND PRODUCTION SHARING CONTRACTS by Daniel JOHNSTON

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INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM FISCAL SYSTEMS AND PRODUCTION SHARING CONTRACTS


From Amazon:

Daniel Johnston covers everything including historical development of contracts, terminology of accounting and negotiations, threshold field size analysis, arithmetic behind contract terms, and more.

Contents

Petroleum fiscal systems

Concessionary systems

Production-sharing contracts

Risk service contracts

Threshold field size analysis

Global market for exploration acreage

Production-sharing contract outline

Accounting principles

Double taxation

Commentary

Appendices

Glossary




Books Worth Reading: GOVERNMENT FISCAL STRATEGIES UNDER LOW OIL PRICES AND CLIMATE CHANGE by Pedro VAN MEURS

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IRAQ GOVERNMENT FISCAL STRATEGIES UNDER LOW OIL PRICES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
From the Introduction:
The climate change debate and in particular the moderately successful 2015 Paris Conference has created a new worldwide framework for resolving climate change issues. In order to make the implementation of COP 21 a success, it is now necessary to transform the goals and lofty ideals into practical and effective upstream petroleum fiscal policies.
At the same time the world is facing a period of extra-ordinary low oil prices. Some of the current fiscal systems are designed to capture windfall profits under high oil prices. However, what is now necessary is to develop broader based strategies whereby fiscal terms are effective under low as well as high oil and gas prices. This document deals with these matters.
First the climate change issues will be reviewed and subsequently the low oil price issues. Thereafter, recommendations will be made with respect to the required changes in existing upstream petroleum policies and fiscal terms. Two examples will be provided of a royalty-based system and a production sharing system based on these recommendations.




Books Worth Reading: IRAQ AND THE POLITICS OF OIL by Gary VOGLER

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IRAQ AND THE POLITICS OF OIL

From University Press of Kansas:

Was the Iraq war really about oil? As a senior oil advisor for the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) and briefly as minister of oil, Gary Vogler thought he knew. But while doing research for a book about his experience in Iraq, Vogler discovered that what he knew was not the whole story—or even the true story. The Iraq war did have an oil agenda underlying it, one that Vogler had previously denied. This book is his attempt to set the record straight.

Iraq and the Politics of Oil is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the role of the US government in the Iraqi oil sector since 2003. Vogler describes the prewar oil planning and the important decisions made during hostilities to get Iraqi oil flowing several months ahead of schedule. He reveals how, amid the instability of 2006 (largely fueled by the arrogance of early US decisions), the fixing of the Bayji Refinery contributed significantly to the success of the oil sector in the Sunni part of northern Iraq during and after the surge. Vogler gives us an expert insider’s view of the largest oilfield auctions in the history of the international oil industry, and his account shows how US Forces’ focus on a single Iraqi point of failure in 2007 was a primary factor in the record productions and exports of 2012 through 2017.

But under the successes so deftly chronicled here, a darker political narrative finally emerges, one that reaches back to the decision to go to war with Iraq. Uncovering it, Vogler revises our understanding of what we were doing in Iraq, even as he gives us a critical, close-up view of that fraught enterprise.



Books Worth Reading: THE RIGHT GAME by Adam BRANDENBURGER and Barry J. NALEBUFF

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THE RIGHT GAME


From Harvard Business Review:

Business is like war: The best combatant wins while the worst loses, right? Not necessarily. Companies can succeed spectacularly without destroying others. And they can lose miserably after competing well. Exceptional businesses win by actively shaping the game they're playing, not playing the game they find. "The Right Game" shows you how to do this-by altering who's competing, what value each player brings to the table, and which rules and tactics players use. Since 1922, "Harvard Business Review" has been a leading source of breakthrough management ideas-many of which still speak to and influence us today. The Harvard Business Review Classics series now offers readers the opportunity to make these seminal pieces a part of your permanent management library. Each highly readable volume contains a groundbreaking idea that continues to shape best practices and inspire countless managers around the world-and will have a direct impact on you today and for years to come.




Book Worth Reading: MAPPING THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: AN ATLAS by I.F.C., IPIECA, and U.N.D.P.

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MAPPING THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: AN ATLAS


The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (Ipieca) has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) and the International Finance Corporation (I.F.C.) to develop a shared understanding of the implications of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s) for the oil and gas industry and how the industry can most effectively contribute. Their joint report, Mapping the oil and gas industry to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas, was launched at the U.N. High-Level Political Forum in New York, U.S.A. in July 2017. This forum is the U.N.’s central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Atlas explores the links between the oil and gas industry and the S.D.G.s and seeks to facilitate a shared understanding of how the industry can most effectively support the achievement of the S.D.G.s. The oil and gas industry is committed to responsible and sustainable business, as well as serving as an essential partner to meet the challenge of achieving the S.D.G.s.

The Atlas outlines the typical roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in enhancing the industry’s contribution to sustainable development. It presents examples of good practice in the industry, alongside existing knowledge and resources on sustainable development that could help the industry make useful contributions to the S.D.G.s. The Atlas presents the S.D.G.s goal by goal, focusing on the contribution the oil and gas industry can make to each goal by integrating it into core business operations and by identifying opportunities for oil and gas companies to collaborate with other stakeholders and leverage experiences and resources in support of the goal. Each chapter also includes case studies of innovative and sustained efforts by companies, often working collaboratively.




Books Worth Reading: MONTHLY OIL MARKET REPORT (MOMR) by OPEC

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MONTHLY OIL MARKET REPORT (MOMR)


The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) covers major issues affecting the world oil market and provides an outlook for crude oil market developments for the coming year. The report provides a detailed analysis of key developments impacting oil market trends in world oil demand, supply as well as the oil market balance.




Books Worth Reading: CORPORATE DIPLOMACY by Witold J. HENISZ

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CORPORATE DIPLOMACY


From Amazon:

Managers of multinational organizations are struggling to win the strategic competition for the hearts and minds of external stakeholders. These stakeholders differ fundamentally in their worldview, their understanding of the market economy and their aspirations and fears for the future. Their collective opinions of managers and corporations will shape the competitive landscape of the global economy and have serious consequences for businesses that fail to meet their expectations.

This important new book argues that the strategic management of relationships with external stakeholders – what the author calls "Corporate Diplomacy" – is not just canny PR, but creates real and lasting business value. Using a mix of colorful examples, practically relevant tools and considered perspectives, the book hones in on a fundamental challenge that managers of multinational corporations face as they strive to compete in the 21st century.

As falling communication costs shrink, the distance between external stakeholders and shareholder value is increasingly created and protected through a strategic integration of the external stakeholder facing functions. These include government affairs, stakeholder relations, sustainability, enterprise risk management, community relations and corporate communications. Through such integration, the place where business, politics and society intersect need not be a source of nasty surprises or unexpected expenses.

Most of the firms profiled in the book are now at the frontier of corporate diplomacy. But they didn’t start there. Many of them were motivated by past failings. They fell into conflicts with critical stakeholders – politicians, communities, NGO staffers, or activists – and they suffered. They experienced delays or disruptions to their operations, higher costs, angry customers, or thwarted attempts at expansion.

Eventually, the managers of these companies developed smarter strategies for stakeholder engagement. They became corporate diplomats. The book draws on their experiences to take the reader to the forefront of stakeholder engagement and to highlight the six elements of corporate diplomacy.





Books Worth Reading: BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS CASE by Raymond SHEEN

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BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS CASE


From Harvard Business Review:

Get your idea off the ground.

You’ve got a great idea that will increase revenue or boost productivity—but how do you get the buy-in you need to make it happen? By building a business case that clearly shows your idea’s value. That’s not always easy: Maybe you’re not sure what kind of data your stakeholders will trust. Or perhaps you’re intimidated by number crunching.

The HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case, written by project management expert Raymond Sheen, gives you the guidance and tools you need to make a strong case. You’ll learn how to:

• Spell out the business need for your idea

• Align your case with strategic goals

• Build the right team to shape and test your idea

• Calculate the return on investment

• Analyze risks and opportunities

• Present your case to stakeholders





Books Worth Reading: NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE by Chris VOSS

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NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE


A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.




Books Worth Reading: INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION by Robert B. CIALDINI

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INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION



Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.




Books Worth Reading: NEGOTIATING THE NONNEGOTIABLE by Daniel SHAPIRO

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NEGOTIATING THE NONEGOTIABLE



From the hardcover edition:

“A masterpiece.”—William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes

In this landmark book, world-renowned Harvard negotiation expert Daniel Shapiro introduces a groundbreaking, step-by-step method to resolve your most difficult conflicts.

Find out how to successfully resolve your most emotionally charged conflicts. This indispensable guide reveals the five hidden emotional forces that strain your relations and block agreement: vertigo, repetition compulsion, taboos, assault on the sacred, and identity politics. The moment you feel attacked, these forces transform your conflict into an adversarial battle, turning even a straightforward disagreement into an emotional uproar.  In Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, you will learn a powerful, proven approach to overcome these forces, reconcile your relations, and reach agreement in even your most challenging personal and professional disputes.




Books Worth Reading: THE QUEST by Daniel YERGIN

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THE QUEST


From Amazon:

In this gripping account of the quest for the energy that our world needs, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Prize.

A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future. The drama of oil - the struggle for access, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it - continues to profoundly affect our world.

Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market and the surge in oil prices, the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive mergers that transformed the landscape of world oil. He tackles the toughest questions: Will we run out of oil? Are China and the United States destined to come into conflict over oil? How will a turbulent Middle East affect the future of oil supply?




Books Worth Reading: BETTER BUSINESS WRITING by Bryan A. GARNER

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BETTER BUSINESS WRITING




From Harvard Business Review:



DON'T LET YOUR WRITING HOLD YOU BACK.


When you're fumbling for words and pressed for time, you might be tempted to dismiss good business writing as a luxury. But it's a skill you must cultivate to succeed: You'll lose time, money, and influence if your e-mails, proposals, and other important documents fail to win people over.


The "HBR Guide to Better Business Writing," by writing expert Bryan A. Garner, gives you the tools you need to express your ideas clearly and persuasively so clients, colleagues, stakeholders, and partners will get behind them.


This book will help you:


(1) push past writer's block;

(2) grab--and keep--readers' attention;

(3) earn credibility with tough audiences;

(4) trim the fat from your writing;

(5) strike the right tone; and

(6) brush up on grammar, punctuation, and usage.




Books Worth Reading: THE OIL KINGS by Andrew S. COOPER

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THE OIL KINGS



From Amazon:


Increasing oil prices . . . America struggling with a recession . . . European nations at risk of defaulting on their loans . . . A possible global financial crisis. It happened before, in the 1970s.

Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. As Richard Nixon fought off Watergate inquiries in 1973, the U.S. economy reacted to an oil shortage initiated by Arab nations in retaliation for American support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli war. The price of oil skyrocketed, causing serious inflation. One man the U.S. could rely on in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally whose grand ambitions had made him a leading customer for American weapons. Iran sold the U.S. oil; the U.S. sold Iran missiles and fighter jets. But the Shah’s economy depended almost entirely on oil, and the U.S. economy could not tolerate annual double-digit increases in the price of this essential commodity. European economies were hit even harder by the soaring oil prices, and several NATO allies were at risk of default on their debt.

In 1976, with the U.S. economy in peril, President Gerald Ford, locked in a tight election race, decided he had to find a country that would sell oil to the U.S. more cheaply and break the OPEC monopoly, which the Shah refused to do. On the advice of Treasury Secretary William Simon and against the advice of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ford made a deal to sell advanced weaponry to the Saudis in exchange for a modest price hike on oil.

Ford lost the election, but the deal had lasting consequences. The Shah’s economy was destabilized, and disaffected elements in Iran mobilized to overthrow him. The U.S. had embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day.

Andrew Scott Cooper draws on newly declassified documents and interviews with some key figures of the time to show how Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, the CIA, and the State and Treasury departments—as well as the Shah and the Saudi royal family— maneuvered to control events in the Middle East. He details the secret U.S.-Saudi plan to circumvent OPEC that destabilized the Shah. He reveals how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo. The Oil Kings provides solid evidence that U.S. officials ignored warning signs of a potential hostage crisis in Iran. It discloses that U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah. And it shows how the Ford Administration barely averted a European debt crisis that could have triggered a financial catastrophe in the U.S. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.






Books Worth Reading: PERSUASIVE PRESENTATIONS by Nancy DUARTE

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PERSUASIVE PRESENTATIONS

From Harvard Business Review website:

TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF PRESENTATIONS.

Terrified of speaking in front of a group? Or simply looking to polish your skills? No matter where you are on the spectrum, this guide will give you the confidence and the tools you need to get results. Written by presentation expert Nancy Duarte, the "HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations" will help you:

(1) Win over tough crowds,
(2) Organize a coherent narrative,
(3) Create powerful messages and visuals,
(4) Connect with and engage your audience,
(5) Show people why your ideas matter to them,
(6) Strike the right tone, in any situation.




Books Worth Reading: A CONCISE GUIDE TO MACROECONOMICS by David A. MOSS

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A CONCISE GUIDE TO MACROECONOMICS

From Amazon:

Understanding the Ground Rules for the Global Economy

In this revised and updated edition of A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics, David A. Moss draws on his years of teaching at Harvard Business School to explain important macro concepts using clear and engaging language.

This guidebook covers the essentials of macroeconomics and examines, in a simple and intuitive way, the core ideas of output, money, and expectations. Early chapters leave you with an understanding of everything from fiscal policy and central banking to business cycles and international trade. Later chapters provide a brief monetary history of the United States as well as the basics of macroeconomic accounting. You’ll learn why countries trade, why exchange rates move, and what makes an economy grow.

Moss's detailed examples will arm you with a clear picture of how the economy works and how key variables impact business and will equip you to anticipate and respond to major macroeconomic events, such as a sudden depreciation of the real exchange rate or a steep hike in the federal funds rate.   




Books Worth Reading: ADMINISTERING FISCAL REGIMES FOR EXTRACTING INDUSTRIES by Jack CALDER

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ADMINISTERING FISCAL REGIMES FOR EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES
JACK CALDER

From the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) Website:

Summary: Revenues from natural resources often pose unique challenges for tax administration. This Handbook is one of the first of its kind to focus attention on effectively administering revenues from extractive industries. It provides policymakers and officials in developing and emerging market economies with practical guidelines to establish a robust legal framework, organization, and procedures for administering revenue from these industries. It discusses transparency and how to promote it in the face of increasing demands for clarity and accountability in the administration of public revenues from extractive industries, and discusses how developing countries can strengthen their managerial and technical capacity to administer these revenues.




Books Worth Reading: THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES SECTOR by Håvard HALLAND, Martin LOKANC, and Arvind NAIR, with Sridar Padmanabhan KANNAN

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THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES SECTOR 

HÅVARD HALLAND, MARTIN LOKANC, and ARVIND NAIR, with SRIDAR PADMANABHAN KANNAN

The extractive industries (EI) sector occupies an outsize space in the economies of many developing countries.

Economists, public finance professionals, and policy makers working in such countries are frequently confronted with issues that require an in-depth understanding of the sector.

The objective of this volume is to provide a concise overview of EI-related topics these professionals are likely to encounter.

The volume provides an overview of issues central to EI economics; discusses key components of the sector’s governance, policy, and institutional frameworks; and identifies the public sector’s EI-related financing obligations.

Its discussion of EI economics covers the valuation of subsoil assets, the economic interpretation of ore, and the structure of energy and mineral markets.

The volume maps the responsibilities of relevant government entities and outlines the characteristics of the EI sector’s legal and regulatory frameworks.

Specific key functions of the sector are briefly discussed, as are the financial structures that underpin environmental and social safeguards; investment of public revenues generated from oil, gas, or minerals; as well as extractive-based economic diversification.

The authors hope that decision makers in ministries of finance, international organizations, and other relevant entities will find the study useful to their understanding and analysis of the EI sector.