Isis uses activity revenue to their advantage

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
Isis popped on the global radar in June with its attack on Mosul, and in the span of just two months has created its own black market for Iraqi crude.

What Isis lacks is refining capacity - unable to wrestle control of the strategic Baiji refinery south of Mosul.

WASHINGTON, DC (NBC) - Isis may not be quite as well-organized as some extremist groups like al Qaeda.

But it does have one crucial advantage - a steady stream of revenue for its terror activities.

Most of that funding currently comes from oil sales on the black market.

Isis popped on the global radar in June with its attack on Mosul, and in the span of just two months has created its own black market for Iraqi crude.

Now this may be a small sum by global standards, but if left unchecked, Isis could earn more than $1 billion a year from its oil operations in Iraq.

It made that charge June 10 into Mosul, and now has four oil facilities. If you go down into Kirkuk, which has big oil deposits but smaller operations, it has a total of 80-thousand barrels of capacity per day.

What Isis lacks is refining capacity - unable to wrestle control of the strategic Baiji refinery south of Mosul.

Energy strategists says Isis is selling Iraqi oil at $25-$60 dollars a barrel - a deep discount on the global benchmark of about $100 a barrel.

But black market distribution - even for basic crude - in this part of the world is well-established.

Islamic militants plied their energy trade in eastern Syria - seizing oil and gas assets for the past few years. In early June, under the banner of Isis, they took control of Syria's biggest field in Deir Ezzour province.

Opposition Turkish parliamentarian Ali Ediboglu, based in the country's south bordering Syria, claims "$800 million worth of oil that Isis obtained is being sold in Turkey.

With US military intervention, strategists say the Kurds have kept Isis out of Kirkuk's super oil field, capping for now the group's new found wealth.


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