Selling oil on the black market is good business. At least for terrorist group Islamic State, which earns roughly €625 million on oil on an annual basis, concludes a study by research firm IHS.
Every time a European gets in his car, he/she indirectly funds Islamic State (IS). The terrorist group, which by now has taken over a big part of Syria and Northern Iraq, earns millions on oil that is found in the soil of the conquered territory. Earlier this year, IS captured four small oil fields in Iraq, of which two in the northern city Mosul, and two near Tikrit.
IS sells the illegally acquired oil on the black market that, via detours, ends up in Europe. Even though IS does not receive the full price of oil, the revenues which flow from the oil trade are lucrative. With a daily average volume of 50,000 to 60,000 oil barrels sold for €29 to €47 a piece, the terrorist organisation makes big money with this business. The oil from Syria and Iraq is distributed with trucks via Turkey onto the European market.
The illegal oil trade generates around €2 million of daily revenues for the terrorist organisation, yet IHS doubts whether that will last for long. According to the researchers, it will to a large par depend on the territories IS may conquer or lose in the coming period. Whether the revenues of the oil sale will be on-going for IS, also depends on its capacity to refine the oil. The American government regularly carries out air strikes on the terrorist group, which could damage the improvised oil refineries – even though these are easily transported and thus moved. In any case, the oil trade will, in the short term, remain to fund IS's terrorist activities.
Research firm IHS
IHS is a worldwide research and consulting firm, located in Douglas County, Colorado, the US, with expertise in energy, economy, sustainability and supply chain management. The firm has a headcount of more than 8,000 people working from 31 countries worldwide. HIS’ customers come from a wide variety of sectors, including Aviation, Aerospace & Defence, Automotive, Chemical, Energy, Finance, Maritime and Technology.