Project Aim

The Global Financial Integrity, in its latest annual report titled “Transnational Crime and the Developing World”, estimates global daily crude oil theft to be in the range of 271,440 to 623,200 barrels of crude oil per day and the value lost corresponding to these volumes in the range of $14.2 million to $32.6 million per day. These volumes and their corresponding values are likely to have considerable implications for global oil price, inventories, and supply and demand projections.

A gray market for oil flourishes in war-torn regions, in the presence of price differentials, and/or during sanctions where one sanctioned state tries to evade them by moving it out of the legal channels “uncontrolled”. However, to date, the definition of uncontrolled oil trade is not yet systematically documented.

This project will develop a methodology for identifying and analyzing global uncontrolled oil movement with emphasis on providing answers to the following questions:

Key questions

  • How does the definition of uncontrolled oil movement change according to different players involved?
  • Where are the loopholes in the current legal and infrastructure of oil supply chains?
  • What is the magnitude of the black market for oil in terms of crude oil volumes and which trade parties are involved?
  • What measures can be taken by policymakers and other stakeholders to address uncontrolled oil activities and further regulate the industry?


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