On the roads around Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and taken by ISIS in June 2014, it is not uncommon to see roadside oil transactions.
In between ISIS billboards, civilians pull up to oil tankers parked on the side of the road to buy gas, petrol, and diesel to meet their daily needs.
Secret footage filmed in a town south of Mosul city shows a makeshift oil refinery, one of more than 2,000 similar installations, according to local sources. A Transterra Media contributor describes the refining process that takes place at the site, which was vacant at the time of filming.
Crude oil is brought to such refineries from wells in the provinces of Salahuddine and Mosul. Refined oil products are then sold in neighboring villages through distributors licensed by ISIS.
ISIS has divided Mosul province into three administrative districts: Wilayat (or province of) Mosul, which includes Mosul city and the Nineveh plain; Wilayat Dijla, south of Mosul city; and Wilayat al-Jazeera, west of Mosul city. The militant group considers Mosul the capital of its self-proclaimed state.
According to locals, ISIS controls the entire oil trade in the area. No one can sell oil without its permission.
The contributor's identity and the name of the town have been withheld at the contributor's request.
Traveling of road sign that reads: "The Islamic State. Wilayat [province] of Dijla." NOTE: The name of the town was blurred for security reasons.
Traveling of road sign that reads: "The Islamic State. Wilayat Dijla
Traveling of mobile oil tanker parked on roadside selling fuel to passersby
Various of makeshift oil refinery with voice over
Voice Over (Arabic)
00:38 – 02:17
“This is an oil refinery in Mosul. Crude oil is poured into these barrels. The barrels are then emptied into this tank, under which fire is started. When temperature rises, crude oil evaporates.
Steam comes out of these tubes, which pass through water in order for steam to condense and become liquid.
Liquid comes out here. First, gasoline is collected. Afterwards, white oil [kerosene] comes out of the pipes, followed by gas oil [fuel oil].
Lighter substances come out first, followed by denser ones. These substances are then sold on the market.”