ISIL digging hundreds of small pits to store oil in lieu of destroyed refineries

9 Jul 2016   Syria

Satellite images provided to the Washington Post by Stratfor, a U.S. geospatial research firm, show tiny, makeshift refineries popping up in Mosul oil fields controlled by ISIL. With its refineries mostly destroyed and its tanker fleet under constant attack, ISIL is increasingly turning to low-tech alternatives for processing oil, a vital source of revenue for the terrorist group, new satellite images reveal. Aerial photos taken near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul show scores of tiny, makeshift refineries popping up in oil fields controlled by the Islamic State, evidence the jihadists are finding workarounds after losing much of their oil infrastructure to airstrikes. The micro-refineries — sometimes called “teapots” — consist of little more than a ditch or pit for storing crude and a portable metal furnace used to distill raw petroleum into fuel. Thousands of such systems have long been in operation in ISIL’s Syrian strongholds, but now […]

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