Multiple reports claim that Israel is the top purchaser of smuggled ISIS oil
Citing multiple sources, the Israeli business press are now reporting that Israel is the main recipient of ISIS oil:
Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization.
The oil is extracted from Dir A-Zur in Syria and two fields in Iraq and transported to the Kurdish city of Zakhu in a triangle of land near the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Israeli and Turkish mediators come to the city and when prices are agreed, the oil is smuggled to the Turkish city of Silop marked as originating from Kurdish regions of Iraq and sold for $15-18 per barrel (WTI and Brent Crude currently sell for $41 and $45 per barrel) to the Israeli mediator, a man in his 50s with dual Greek-Israeli citizenship known as Dr. Farid. He transports the oil via several Turkish ports and then onto other ports, with Israel among the main destinations.
In August, the “Financial Times” reported that Israel obtained 75% of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan, which the FT describe as a “potential gateway for ISIS-smuggled crude.”
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It’s been well-established that Turkey is a major transportation hub for ISIS oil smuggling operations. But where is the oil sent? Someone has to buy it. The answer, apparently, is: Israel.
- ISIS and oil revenues dependency
IS is heavily dependent on its oil revenues. Its other income, such as from donations and kidnap ransoms has slowly dwindled. Workers in IS oil fields and their families are well looked after, because they are very important to the group’s financial survival.
IS oil extraction capacity developed further in 2015 when it obtained hydraulic machines and electric pumps after taking control of the Allas and Ajeel oil fields near the Iraqi city of Tikrit.
The group also seized the equipment of a small Asian oil company that was developing an oil field close to the Iraqi city of Mosul before IS overran the area last June.
IS oil production in Syria is focused on the Conoco and al-Taim oil fields, west and northwest of Deir Ezzor, while in Iraq the group uses al-Najma and al-Qayara fields near Mosul. A number of smaller fields in both Iraq and Syria are used by the group for local energy needs.
According to estimates based on the number of oil tankers that leave Iraq, in addition to al-Araby‘s sources in the Turkish town of Sirnak on the border with Iraq, through which smuggled oil transits, IS is producing an average of 30,000 barrels a day from the Iraqi and Syrian oil fields it controls.
Al-Araby published an extensive investigation which lays out in detail how oil is transported from ISIS-controlled wells to Israel via Turkey.
Al-Araby has the names of these companies and details of their illegal trades. One of these companies is also supported by a very high-profile Western official.
The companies compete to buy the smuggled oil and then transfer it to Israel through the Turkish ports of Mersin, Dortyol and Ceyhan, according to Al-Araby. Main Destinations: Turkey, Israel, Italy, France, Cyprus, Spain and Greece.
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