CIPE Partner Report Shows Isis Control of Oil Fields Funds Terrorism

Statement/News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) has released a study of Syrian oil production and trade which shows that 80 percent of Syria’s oil fields are controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), providing around $3 million a day in funding for the terrorist organization.

“This seminal study provides an on-the-ground look at the lucrative Syrian oil industry and its role in financing terrorism,” John D. Sullivan, Executive Director of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), said today. “The report is part of a Syrian Economic Forum project to prepare economic analysis for use by opposition officials and civil society to support decision-making in the best interests of the Syrian people.”

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of Syrian oil production, management, and sales. It looks at the current state of the industry, with control divided between ISIS, Bashar Al Assad’s regime, and Kurdish forces. It also details how ISIS uses oil as a weapon by preventing supply to the liberated areas of Syria, resulting in increased prices of basic materials and disruption of water pumps and electricity generation for hospitals and other crucial services.
Oil is a key pillar of the Syrian economy; Syria ranks 27th in oil production worldwide. ISIS controls 80 percent of production at 90,000 barrels a day, the Assad regime controls 8 percent, and Kurdish forces control 12 percent.

SEF’s report provides recommendations for Syrian opposition authorities, the international community, and other stakeholders to help ensure that Syria’s oil wealth be used to meet the needs of the Syrian people.

The report is available on the Syrian Economic Forum website at:

CIPE has supported SEF since 2011 as an independent think tank that provides accurate information, economic analysis, and evidence-based policy solutions needed for immediate relief in Syria and longer-term reconstruction and recovery.

CIPE is a core Institute of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.


Published Date: July 15, 2015