Archive for the ‘Baiji’ Category

Iraq Insurgency Runs on Stolen Oil Profits

March 16, 2008

By Richard A. Oppel
The New York Times
March 16, 2008

 BAIJI, Iraq — The Baiji refinery, with its distillation towers rising against the Hamrin Mountains, may be the most important industrial site in the Sunni Arab-dominated regions of Iraq. On a good day, 500 tanker trucks will leave the refinery filled with fuel with a street value of $10 million.

Employees work at Najaf's new oil refinery plant, 160 km ...
Employees work at Najaf’s new oil refinery plant, 160 km (100 miles) south of Baghdad, March 15, 2008. The new plant produces 10,000 barrels of oil per day.
REUTERS/Ali Abu Shish (IRAQ)
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The sea of oil under Iraq is supposed to rebuild the nation, then make it prosper. But at least one-third, and possibly much more, of the fuel from Iraq’s largest refinery here is diverted to the black market, according to American military officials. Tankers are hijacked, drivers are bribed, papers are forged and meters are manipulated — and some of the earnings go to insurgents who are still killing more than 100 Iraqis a week.

“It’s the money pit of the insurgency,” said Capt. Joe Da Silva, who commands several platoons stationed at the refinery.

Five years after the war in Iraq began….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/world/middleeast/16insurgent.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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