Book Review: The New Kings of Crude By Luke Patey

New-Kings-of-Crude-—-CoverThe New Kings of Crude is based on the corporate battle of Chinese and Indian oil majors in making the most from the natural energy resources of South Sudan. It started in 1980 when three crews of geophysicist landed in Sudan for exploring the oil in 500000 square kilometer concession area of South Sudan. It was the most difficult task for Chevron Oil to discover the oil in the Sudd of south Sudan, where all mechanism of real world fails to exist. It just made the western oil major to invest more and more to kick start their first discovery. In the midst of all this, the civil war was engulfing southern part of Sudan. The oil majors were trying hard to look as a neutral party as they can. But, they failed in coping with the ever worsening conditions of South Sudan, which made way for their eventual exit from the region.

After the exit of Chevron Oil, some other western oil majors came in the region to capitalize on the efforts of Chevron Oil. However, they did stay in the region till the arrival of CNPC – Chinese National Petroleum Company and OVL – ONGC Videsh Limited.

The book New Kings of Crude provides clear perspective of corporate battle in CNPC and OVL in making the most from the politically unstable regions of Africa. It includes Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan. While providing all the important details and their resources, the author Luke Patey has successfully painted the portrait of concurrent challenges, which are being faced by Indian and Chinese oil majors.

The first few page talks about the intricacies of politically unstable situation of Sudan. This section comprises all the details that made the western oil majors to stay away from this most coveted resource of natural gas. The second section makes the reader familiar with the nature of CNPC and organization’s proximity with Politburo. In the third section, India comes with its pressing needs of oil and compulsions of finding it abroad despite working with Chinese oil major. Interestingly, CNPC and OVL did the opposite of Chevron Oil. The Chevron wanted to drill the oil and trying to establish pipeline to siphoning off the oil to its own refineries. It somewhere created problems in the first place.

Experience as an Avid Reader: Though, I claim to read non-fiction book in a speedy manner. But, this book took me a month to complete. The reasons were simple: the book carries an ocean of information regarding the oil war between India and China. Hence, it is difficult to go on reading without registering the facts and correlating them with the existing knowledge on this subject.

50 Words Verdict: It’s a good book to understand the ever complex relations of India and China. Interestingly, Oil is the most demanding commodity for these two nations. So this way, one can plumb China’s role in Sudanese oil industry and know about Atul Chandra – OVL efforts in sufficing Indian quest of Oil.


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