"Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad"

"KIRKUK, Iraq — Roughly two dozen huge oil tankers are idly turning figure eights around the Mediterranean or on the high seas, loaded with oil pumped from wells in Iraqi Kurdistan but with nowhere to legally offload it.

The oil fleet is a costly gamble, to the tune of millions in fees each month, by Kurdish officials who are desperately trying to sell the oil abroad, even as the Iraqi government and the United States are blocking their attempts.

To Iraqi officials, the tankers are carrying contraband — oil that by law should be marketed only by the Iraqi Oil Ministry, with the profits split: 83 percent for the Baghdad government, 17 percent for the Kurdish autonomous government in the north."

Azam Ahmed and Clifford Krauss report for the New York Times October 25, 2014.


"ISIS Rakes In Millions Through Slick Black Market For Oil" (NPR)

"U.S. Strikes Cut Into ISIS Oil Revenues, Treasury Official Says" (New York Times)

"U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions" (International Business Times)

Source: NY Times, 10/27/2014