IHS: Oil sales 43% of Islamic State revenue

Islamic State, the jihadist occupier of parts of Syria and Iraq, makes 43% of its $80 million/month revenue from illicit sales of oil, estimates the monthly Conflict Monitor at IHS Aerospace, Defense, and Security.

The firm based its estimate for late 2015 on open-source intelligence, including social media.

“Unlike Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State has not been dependent on money from foreign donors to avoid leaving it vulnerable to their influence,” said Columb Strack, senior IHS analyst and lead analyst for IHS Conflict Monitor.

The group has at least six main sources of revenue: production and smuggling of oil and gas; taxation of the profits of all commercial activities in areas under its control; confiscation of land and properties; trafficking of drugs and antiquities; criminal activities such as bank robbery and kidnap for ransom; and state-run businesses, such as running small enterprises that include transport companies and real estate agencies.

“According to information gathered from Arabic-language social media and our in-country source network, efforts to target the Islamic States sources of revenue are paying off,” Strack said.

Airstrikes by US-led coalition forces have focused on disrupting the Islamic state’s oil income. IHS said the attacks have “significantly degraded” the group’s refining capacity and oil transport capability.

“Although the Islamic State retains its capacity to produce oil, its loss of easy access to Turkey after its defeat at Tal Abyad and the efforts by Turkish authorities to stop smuggling activities along its border with Syria have gradually forced the group to rely increasingly on the internal markets in Syria and Iraq to smuggle and sell its oil,” it said.

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...