How Much Oil is the Islamic State Group Producing? Evidence from Remote Sensing

54 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2017

See all articles by Quy-Toan Do

Quy-Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Christopher D. Elvidge

Government of the United States of America - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Mohamed Abdel Jelil

World Bank

Daniel P. Ahn

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; Government of the United States of America - Department of State

Kimberly Baugh

University of Colorado at Boulder

Jamie Hansen-Lewis

Brown University

Mikhail Zhizhin

Government of the United States of America - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Date Written: October 31, 2017

Abstract

Accurately measuring oil production in low-governance contexts is an important task. Many terrorist organizations and insurgencies -- including the Islamic State group, also known as ISIL/ISIS or Daesh -- tap oil as a revenue source. Understanding spatial and temporal variation in production in their territory can help address such threats by providing near real-time monitoring of their revenue streams, helping to assess long-term economic potential, and informing reconstruction strategies. More broadly, remotely measuring extractive industry activity in conflict-affected areas and other regions without reliable administrative data can support a broad range of public policy decisions and academic research. This paper uses satellite multi-spectral imaging and ground-truth pre-war output data to effectively construct a real-time day-to-day census of oil production in areas controlled by the terrorist group. The estimates of production levels were approximately 56,000 barrels per day (bpd) from July-December 2014, drop to an average of 35,000 bpd throughout 2015, before dropping further to approximately 16,000 bpd in 2016.

Keywords: Conflict and Fragile States

Suggested Citation

Do, Quy Toan and Shapiro, Jacob N. and Elvidge, Christopher D. and Abdel Jelil, Mohamed and Ahn, Daniel P. and Baugh, Kimberly and Hansen-Lewis, Jamie and Zhizhin, Mikhail, How Much Oil is the Islamic State Group Producing? Evidence from Remote Sensing (October 31, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8231. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3064994

Quy Toan Do (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Christopher D. Elvidge

Government of the United States of America - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Mohamed Abdel Jelil

World Bank

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Daniel P. Ahn

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Government of the United States of America - Department of State ( email )

United States

Kimberly Baugh

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Jamie Hansen-Lewis

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Mikhail Zhizhin

Government of the United States of America - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ( email )

Washington, DC
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
24
Abstract Views
217
PlumX Metrics