This essay explores the politics of oil in Africa. Section one provides the historical background of the oil industry and surveys the momentous transformation since the discovery in West-Central Africa of major ultra-deepwater oil reserves in the mid-1990s. This resulted in a continent-wide race for African oil acreage, including onshore and in frontier countries not previously thought of as oil-rich. These changes are discussed in the context of the oil price boom of the current decade as well as growth prospects for oil across Africa.