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 fuelled 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.


‘To grasp the new world of oil, you must plumb China’s role in Africa. Only, no one has penetrated it — until Luke Patey in his very welcome new book.’
Steve LeVine, author, The Oil and the Glory
‘As Mr Patey writes, despite worsening returns and growing unease, Sudan remains the “largest overseas achievement” of the state-owned oil companies of both China and India. […] Patey’s book has pen-portraits of the individuals who spearheaded and maintained exploration programmes in Sudan, … the “new kings of crude” [who] may yet have a role in trying to quell the violence in the two Sudans.’
The Economist, read full review here
‘The New Kings of Crude is a clear-eyed account of the machinations of the newest players in the global oil business… Patey sketches deft portraits of the principal personalities and institutions that shaped the development of the petroleum sector in Sudan, China and India.’
Business Standard, read full review here
‘Over thirty-five years, Sudan has been a crucible for both American and Asian oil policies: not only have Sudan’s war and government been deeply influenced by the politics and finance of oil, but the battles over Sudan’s oil production have had a remarkable influence on the global petroleum business. Luke Patey’s remarkable book— an indispensable and comprehensive account of the encounter between big oil and Sudan — includes important new material on China’s strategy of internationalizing oil production and India’s seminal but under-recognized entry into the global oil business.’
Alex de Waal, Executive Director, The World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School, Tufts University