A great deal has been written about the Islamic State's (IS) finainces, and how it came to be considered one of the world’s richest terrorist groups.
In an article previously published by Iqtissadi, Syrian researcher and expert Hamza Mustafa tackled the issue of IS’s funding sources, providing details on donations received from sympathisers, particularly in wealthy Gulf States, war spoils seized from military bases of vehicles and weapons from the fleeing Iraqi government forces especially in Mosul, and most importantly, how the Global Jihad Organization is financing Islamic movements.
Yet other important funding sources are yet to be discussed as IS heads further into Syria and the group takes control of most of Syria’s eastern rich oil region, where a significant portion of its financial resources come from the crude oil sales on the black market; accordingly, oil fields have become prime targets in IS battles.
Informed sources in the oil and gas sectors in Syria have revealed to Iqtissadi that IS and the Assad regime have already made detailed agreements for the management and distribution of Syria’s oil and gas wealth, which are mostly controlled by IS as follows:
Oil fields run by IS are operated by workers paid by the regime’s Ministry of Oil. The oil is then exported to regime refineries in Homs and Banias in exchange for specified fees per barrel. Later the oil is sold in regime-controlled areas at cheap prices in order to gain these areas’ loyalty by providing them with the minimal standard of a decent life, according to the source.
According to the source, Syria has many gas fields and more than five of them are working refineries. Most of these fields are liquid, meaning that there is a high production of natural-gas condensate, a high quality product attracting prices on the global market 50% above the oil barrel.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer