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Homemade oil refineries (6 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

Abu Zakharia's sons handle dangerous tasks, such as igniting the fire fueled by distillery waste in Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (7 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

Abu Zakharia's sons work with their father as one stands by the oil refinery and the other collects the produced diesel in an oil barrel in Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (5 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

A fire rages under the boiler filled with crude oil. The intense heat vaporizes the oil, after which the vapor can be cooled back down to diesel or petrol.Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013. View the full collection here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1279

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Homemade oil refineries (4 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

A farmhand feeds the fire under the oil boiler with distillery waste, producing oppressive smoke that stings the eyes and mouth. Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (8 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

A farmhand waits as the produced diesel pours into containers in Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (9 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

Once the diesel is made, a farmhand observes it to make sure it's pure. Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (10 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

The freshly distilled diesel is poured into a barrel, after which it can be transported to the city and sold into the streets. Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade Oil Refineries in Ras al-Ain
Ras al Ain, Syria
By U.S. Editor
18 Apr 2013

Photos by Jeffry Ruigendijk
For full text by Annabell Van den Berghe, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20137

Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain that are among the many people throughout Syria who have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money. Trucks come from Ramalan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin the process. Despite the danger of using rudimentary refinery equipment, for them, the pay-off is worth the risk.

Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in the northeast and east of the country. Since the war began, the local demand for oil has increased dramatically because of the disruption in supply to the west, which has led to small, privately-owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining crude oil is unhealthy and highly volatile, with the chance of an explosion anytime during the process.