The Islamist State militant group now running a big chunk of northern Iraq and Syria is churning out more than $US2 million worth of oil every day, or about $US800 million per year, according to an analysis released by IHS.
Scarily, that’s far below the group’s potential output. IHS says Islamic State is probably only producing 50,000 barrels per day, but the territory it occupies is capable of producing 350,000.
It’s also selling the oil for less than $US60 per barrel to smugglers, in comparison to an international price of more like $US85 per barrel. If the group, previously called ISIS or ISIL, was producing at its full capacity and selling at market prices, it could rake in closer to $US30 million every day.
IHS adds that how IS’ oil production is going to progress depends mostly on the military campaign against them:
Future oil revenues growth for ISIL remains to be determined and will be heavily influenced by territories gained/lost in coming months… In light of ongoing US-led airstrikes against ISIL, it is also unclear if the terrorist group has enough refining capacity — which currently consists mostly of simple mobile refineries that can be loaded and transported by truck — to meet its own needs.
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