The hydrocarbon facilities of the Islamic State. Hayk Kocharyan

The aim of the present article is to study the hydrocarbon resources (oil and gas), their infrastructure (main pipelines, refineries and pumping stations) and the created “oil black market” under “Islamic State” (IS) controlled territories in Syria and Iraq.
The research has shown that the main part of Syrian oil fields, including al-Omar and al-Tanak, as well as the north-western Iraq’s oil fields are under IS control; IS has no control over the major oil refinery plant; refineries and pipelines in the struggle zone are destroyed. The only operating station in this area is the Kirkuk refinery, which means we will witness IS military activity towards the Kirkuk and its oil facilities.
Moreover, IS controls gas fields and facilities in the Syrian Deir al-Zour province and continues to extract and supply the gas to al-Asad government. In order to organize the oil black market IS uses makeshift pipes and tank trucks and sells the oil to Al-Asad government, Kurds and Turks, which provide IS with 2-3 million USD daily. The US-led coalition air strikes significantly damage IS oil infrastructure reducing oil production in this area. In comparison, the gas facilities of IS are not a subject of the Coalition strikes. In the future Syrian gas infrastructure can be used in the development of Levant Basin’s hydrocarbon reserves (i.e. gas, which are located mainly in the territory of Israel offshore). This, in turn, could seriously weaken Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, creating an alternative supply routes bypassing Russia.

Full article (in Armenian, PDF)


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