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Tom Kirkman

ISIS Oil & Gas, Turkey, and Israel

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2 parts to this story.  Part 1:  old article from 2015, for some context.  Long, detailed article.  Excerpt below, full article in the link:

How ISIS Oil Flows Through Turkey And Israel On Its Way To Europe

December 09th, 2015

It’s widely recognized that Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group often called IS, ISIS or ISIL in the West) depends on oil sales to fuel its armies. Until recently, it’s been less clear who is buying Daesh’s oil, and how it ends up in their hands.


However, recent reports suggest that the oil flows to Europe and Asia through a complex process that implicates allies of the United States like Turkey and Israel. The U.S. is also facing increasing criticism for its failure to target the terrorist group’s oil infrastructure in a serious way until recently.

Cam Simpson and Matthew Philips, writing in November for Bloomberg Businessweek, called recent U.S. attacks on oil trucks an attempt by the Obama administration to “quietly” fix a “colossal miscalculation.” Government experts now argue that the U.S. dramatically underestimated Daesh’s oil profits ...


...  How ISIS Oil Reaches Israel

On Nov. 26, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a London-based media outlet focusing on the Arabic world, published a detailed investigation tracing Daesh’s oil from the massive oilfields in Iraq and Syria to refineries in Israel, where it’s ultimately exported to Europe.

The enormous scale of Daesh’s oil production infrastructure in the Middle East is further evidence of the importance of energy exports to the group. The oil is first extracted from captured oil fields:

“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.”  ...


...  Kurdish Smugglers and Turkish elite transport Daesh’s oil


Kurdish fuel trucks are seen in northern Iraq. (photo by REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

Al-Araby’s sources reported that from Turkey the oil flows through three ports — Mersin, Dortyol and Ceyhan — into Israel. And from Israel, the oil seeps into Europe:

“According to a European official at an international oil company who met with al-Araby in a Gulf capital, Israel refines the oil only ‘once or twice’ because it does not have advanced refineries. It exports the oil to Mediterranean countries – where the oil “gains a semi-legitimate status” – for $30 to $35 a barrel.”

Reports also suggests that Daesh’s oil is not just passing through Turkish soil on its way to Israel, but also being aided in its journey by the country’s elite. A July investigation by AWD News accused Bilal Erdoğan, son of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of owning one of the maritime companies responsible for shipping this contraband oil ...


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Part 2, this week:

Turkey and Israel Consider Offshore Gas Pipeline Through East Mediterranean


On December 15th, Israel’s official radio station reported that Turkey was prepared to negotiate with Tel Aviv a potential gas pipeline to Europe.

“Ankara has expressed its willingness to enter into negotiations with Jerusalem on transferring Israeli gas supplies to the European continent through Turkish territory,” reported state-run Kan radio.

“A high-ranking Turkish energy source has conveyed a message in this regard to Israel, explaining that his country is waiting for the formation of a stable government in Israel and the appointment of a new energy minister to discuss this issue,” the statement said.

Kan radio’s diplomatic correspondent Amichai Stein said that Israeli officials were also ready to discuss the building of a gas pipeline with Turkey.


Reportedly, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli chargé d’affaires Roey Gilad to warn him that Israeli plans to build a gas pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean jointly with Greece, Italy and the Greek Cypriot administration would require Turkey’s approval.

On December 15th, in a televised interview Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a map in which he showed where the Israeli gas pipeline would go through, and that it would need Turkish approval to happen at all.

Earlier, on December 14th, Kan radio reported that Turkey’s deal on territorial waters was specifically aimed at stopping Israel’s potential gas pipeline.

According to the report, Turkey claims that the planned Israeli pipeline infringes on Turkey’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as redefined by the Libya accord.

Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Italy had signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the pipeline, it added. The situation is quite unclear, with most of it being fueled by Israeli media, and there been no conclusive official statements on the matter.


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