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Research Report

DOWNSTREAM OIL THEFT: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies

Ian M. Ralby
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2017
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 117
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-78)

    This is the most extensive and in-depth study ever conducted concerning the global theft of refined oil products. It is also one of the first. While crude oil theft has been the subject of countless articles, reports, seminars, and speeches, the matter of refined oil theft and other downstream illicit hydrocarbons activity has largely been ignored. It is far more difficult to collect reliable information on downstream illicit activities, and the perception remains that it is not a significant issue. That perception, however, is wrong.

    Since 2014, the global context has changed. The precipitous decline in the price of crude...

  2. (pp. 79-92)

    Refined oil theft is a problem in virtually every country on earth. The modalities and magnitudes differ considerably, but the underlying attempt to subvert the legitimate hydrocarbons market is seemingly universal. Despite the prevalence of the problem, however, little has been written on the subject and, to the extent anything has been published, it usually focuses on how the issue features within one national context. Ten case studies were explored in Part I of this report; this second part now seeks to analyze the myriad methods of stealing refined oil products and develop a taxonomy for grouping them by trends....

  3. (pp. 93-108)

    While Parts I and II of this report have focused on the problems associated with the illicit hydrocarbons trade, this section concentrates on who has the power to change the status quo and how they might go about doing so. By identifying the stakeholders who have an interest, whether they recognize it or not, in mitigating downstream hydrocarbons crime, it becomes possible to discern the range of realistic steps that can be taken—both individually and in concert with other stakeholders—to intervene in, reduce the effects of, or seek to eradicate such criminal behavior. This part explores the range...