Turkey biggest beneficiary of Islamic State’s oil smuggling

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By Nidhal al-Laithi

Azzaman, August 28, 2014

The Islamic State (IS) cashes in on the smuggling of Iraqi and Syria oil but Turkey makes the best out of the illegal trade, an international oil consultant said.

Isam al-Jalabi said large quantities of oil were being smuggled and Caliph al-Baghdadi of the Islamic Caliphate known as IS was earning up to $3 million per day.

Jihadists from IS made stunning advances in the past few months, spreading their control over large swathes of territory in both Syrian and Iraq. They currently control an area that is bigger than the U.K.

They are in control of several oil fields and refineries in both countries and Jalabi said and fleets of tanker trucks were ferrying smuggled crude and byproducts as far afield as India and Bangladesh.

The oil fields currently under IS’s control can produce at least 100,000 barrels a day. “Pumping oil from existing fields and loading it into truck tankers does not need a lot of technology,” he said.

Jalabai said IS offers massive discount as it sells its crude for $30 per barrel while the price on international markets was beyond $100.

“The oil the Islamic State smuggles has no route other than Turkey,” he said. “Turkey is the biggest winner from the Islamic State’s oil smuggling trade.”

He said traders as well as oil firms were involved in the contraband trade.

Jalabi said IS produces 50,000 barrels daily from Syrian fields and 70,000 from those it controls in Iraq.

The price IS charges for its oil is much below international rates, but it still earns good royalties, he said.

But he added the profits for the countries and entrepreneurs involved is massive.