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Offshore platforms are used all over the world, but in Angola’s case they have been especially vital. Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa, with the vast majority of that production coming from offshore fields. This is made possible by offshore platforms, which can be a mix of drilling rig, storage facility, operations hub, and — in the case of Angola — construction facility. Not only is most Angolan oil located offshore, but between the decades-long Angolan civil war and the absolute lack of a skilled labor pool or meaningful construction facilities onshore, operators had no choice but to opt for a largely offshore construction effort. So despite genocide, war, civil war and pirates, most of Angola’s oil industry remains intact and fully functional.

For more on Angola and the future of West Africa’s energy industry, see Chapters 10 of The Accidental Superpower and 9 of The Absent Superpower.