ISIS' struggle to control its oil riches By John Defterios, CNNUpdated 1654 GMT (2354 HKT) September 4, 2014Just WatchedISIS profiting from seized oilreplayMore Videos ...ISIS profiting from seized oil 02:21Story highlightsISIS controls several oil fields in Iraq and Syria, which it is using to finance its terror operations However running refineries is difficult and ISIS has suffered setbacks in areas such as BaijiIt is estimated to be earning more than $3 million a day in black market oil sales It may be struggling to increase that -- but the funds are plenty to finance its terror operationISIS videos are part of today's new reality. One of the many to hit social media has the viewer hearing a recitation of Quranic verses describing a jihad in the battle for Syria's Al Omar energy facility. Syria's largest oil field is one of a handful now under the firm grip of the terrorist organization. ISIS may not be operating the type of polished pipeline infrastructure one would find in southern Iraq around Basra, but Iraqi oil ministry officials say an old fashioned truck network for this crude is active and serving distribution needs.And now, after nearly three months of heated battle in Iraq, one can see a clearer picture of where ISIS stands as an energy player. It popped up on the global radar in June by seizing assets in Iraq, but building on those early gains, according to a number of energy sources, is proving difficult. August was not a good month for ISIS. John DefteriosIt lost its battle for one of Kirkuk's big fields, with potential production of 600,000 barrels a day, and could not keep control of Iraq's largest refinery at Baiji, on the main road to Mosul.The ISIS terror threat 45 photosThe ISIS terror threat 45 photosRelatives of Moaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian pilot who was captured in December by ISIS militants, protest in front of the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday, January 28. ISIS has threatened to kill al-Kassasbeh and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto if Jordan does not release Sajida al-Rishawi, a convicted would-be suicide bomber.Hide Caption 1 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish people celebrate in Suruc, Turkey, near the Turkish-Syrian border, after ISIS militants were expelled from Kobani, Syria, on Tuesday, January 27. Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, had been under assault by ISIS since mid-September.Hide Caption 2 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCollapsed buildings are seen in Kobani on January 27 after Kurdish forces took control of the town from ISIS. ISIS has been making advances in Iraq and Syria as it seeks to create an Islamic caliphate in the region.Hide Caption 3 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosJunko Ishido, mother of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, reacts during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday, January 23. ISIS has already claimed to kill another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.Hide Caption 4 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosISIS militants are seen through a rifle's scope during clashes with Peshmerga fighters in Mosul, Iraq, on Wednesday, January 21.Hide Caption 5 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAn elderly Yazidi arrives in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Saturday, January 17, after being released by ISIS. The militant group released about 200 Yazidis who were held captive for five months in Iraq. Almost all of the freed prisoners were in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect, Kurdish officials said.Hide Caption 6 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAn identification card lies in the dirt in the Hardan village in northern Iraq on Monday, December 22. A handful of Yazidis who fled when ISIS overran the town in August returned after Kurdish fighters drove the extremists out.Hide Caption 7 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSmoke billows behind an ISIS sign during an Iraqi military operation to regain control of the town of Sadiyah, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, on Tuesday, November 25.Hide Caption 8 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosFighters from the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish People's Protection Units join forces to fight ISIS in Kobani on Wednesday, November 19.Hide Caption 9 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA picture taken from Turkey shows smoke rising after ISIS militants fired mortar shells toward an area controlled by Syrian Kurdish fighters near Kobani on Monday, November 3.Hide Caption 10 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIraqi special forces search a house in Jurf al-Sakhar, Iraq, on Thursday, October 30, after retaking the area from ISIS.Hide Caption 11 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosISIS militants stand near the site of an airstrike near the Turkey-Syria border on Thursday, October 23. The United States and several Arab nations have been bombing ISIS targets in Syria to take out the militant group's ability to command, train and resupply its fighters.Hide Caption 12 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish fighters walk to positions as they combat ISIS forces in Kobani on Sunday, October 19.Hide Caption 13 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA U.S. Air Force plane flies above Kobani on Saturday, October 18. Hide Caption 14 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosHeavy smoke rises in Kobani following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition on October 18.Hide Caption 15 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCundi Minaz, a female Kurdish fighter, is buried in a cemetery in the southeastern Turkish town of Suruc on Tuesday, October 14. Minaz was reportedly killed during clashes with ISIS militants in nearby Kobani.Hide Caption 16 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTurkish police officers secure a basketball stadium in Suruc on October 14. Some Syrian Kurds were held there after crossing from Syria into Turkey. Tens of thousands of people fled Kobani to escape ISIS.Hide Caption 17 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKiymet Ergun, a Syrian Kurd, celebrates in Mursitpinar, Turkey, after an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Kobani on Monday, October 13.Hide Caption 18 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAlleged ISIS militants stand next to an ISIS flag atop a hill in Kobani on Monday, October 6. Hide Caption 19 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIn this photo released by the U.S. Air Force on Saturday, October 4, a U.S. Navy jet is refueled in Iraqi airspace after conducting an airstrike against ISIS militants.Hide Caption 20 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Kurdish Peshmerga soldier who was wounded in a battle with ISIS is wheeled to the Zakho Emergency Hospital in Duhuk, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 30.Hide Caption 21 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSyrian Kurds wait near a border crossing in Suruc as they wait to return to their homes in Kobani on Sunday, September 28.Hide Caption 22 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTomahawk missiles, intended for ISIS targets in Syria, fly above the Persian Gulf after being fired by the USS Philippine Sea in this image released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, September 23.Hide Caption 23 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosTurkish Kurds clash with Turkish security forces during a protest near Suruc on Monday, September 22. According to Time magazine, the protests were over Turkey's temporary decision to close the border with Syria.Hide Caption 24 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosSyrian Kurds fleeing ISIS militants wait behind a fence in Suruc on Sunday, September 21.Hide Caption 25 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA elderly man is carried after crossing the Syria-Turkey border near Suruc on Saturday, September 20.Hide Caption 26 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS militants in Zumar, Iraq, on Monday, September 15.Hide Caption 27 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS militant positions from their position on the top of Mount Zardak, east of Mosul, Iraq, on Tuesday, September 9. Hide Caption 28 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosIraqi volunteer fighters celebrate breaking the Amerli siege on Monday, September 1. ISIS militants had surrounded Amerli, 70 miles north of Baquba, Iraq, since mid-June.Hide Caption 29 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard at their position in the Omar Khaled village west of Mosul on Sunday, August 24. Hide Caption 30 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmergas fight to regain control of the town of Celavle, in Iraq's Diyala province, on August 24.Hide Caption 31 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters stand guard at Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Thursday, August 21. With the help of U.S. military airstrikes, Kurdish and Iraqi forces retook the dam from ISIS militants on August 18. A breach of the dam would have been catastrophic for millions of Iraqis who live downstream from it.Hide Caption 32 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosDisplaced Iraqis receive clothes from a charity at a refugee camp near Feeshkhabour, Iraq, on Tuesday, August 19.Hide Caption 33 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car that reportedly belonged to ISIS militants and was targeted by a U.S. airstrike in the village of Baqufa, north of Mosul, on August 18.Hide Caption 34 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga fighters fire at ISIS in Khazair, Iraq, on Thursday, August 14. Hide Caption 35 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosAziza Hamid, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, cries for her father while she and some other Yazidi people are flown to safety Monday, August 11, after a dramatic rescue operation at Iraq's Mount Sinjar. A CNN crew was on the flight, which took diapers, milk, water and food to the site where as many as 70,000 people were trapped by ISIS. But only a few of them were able to fly back on the helicopter with the Iraqi Air Force and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.Hide Caption 36 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosThousands of Yazidis are escorted to safety by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and a People's Protection Unit in Mosul on Saturday, August 9.Hide Caption 37 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosThousands of Yazidi and Christian people flee Mosul on Wednesday, August 6, after the latest wave of ISIS advances.Hide Caption 38 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Baiji oil refinery burns after an alleged ISIS attack in northern Selahaddin, Iraq, on Thursday, July 31.Hide Caption 39 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosA Syrian rebel fighter lies on a stretcher at a makeshift hospital in Douma, Syria, on Wednesday, July 9. He was reportedly injured while fighting ISIS militants.Hide Caption 40 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosPeshmerga fighters clean their weapons at a base in Tuz Khormato on June 25.Hide Caption 41 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosNew army recruits gather in Najaf, Iraq, on Wednesday, June 18, following a call for Iraqis to take up arms against Islamic militant fighters. Hide Caption 42 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosKurdish Peshmerga forces, along with Iraqi special forces, deploy their troops and armored vehicles outside of Kirkuk, Iraq, on June 12.Hide Caption 43 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosChildren stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIS militants in Mosul on Tuesday, June 10.Hide Caption 44 of 45The ISIS terror threat 45 photosCivilians from Mosul escape to a refugee camp near Irbil, Iraq, on June 10. Hide Caption 45 of 45EXPAND GALLERYWhat they do hold, Iraqi officials suggest, will need maintenance. So far, it is getting that work done only through intimidation of on-site engineers who are not loyal to the ISIS cause. ISIS' income from oil is falling as they struggle to control the personnel within refineries, according to Assim Jihad, a spokesman at Iraq's Oil Ministry."At first they got a large sum of money by seizing inventories, but this cannot last," he added.The Iraq Energy Institute estimates ISIS is producing about 30,000 barrels a day in Iraq and 50,000 daily in Syria. On a black market price of $40 a barrel, it is earning $1.2 million a day in Iraq and $2 million in Syria. Just WatchedIraq's black market in oil funds ISISreplayMore Videos ...Iraq's black market in oil funds ISIS 03:30PLAY VIDEOEnergy traders and regional security specialists tell me supplies are being funneled into regional oil importing countries of Jordan, Turkey, and Syria.Just WatchedISIS sells $3M of black-market oil dailyreplayMore Videos ...ISIS sells $3M of black-market oil daily 02:40PLAY VIDEO"They use oil tank trucks instead of oil pipes. There are about 210 oil tank trucks smuggling oil to Turkey and other places every day," Hussein Allawi, Baghdad manager of the Iraq Energy Institute told me.The transport may be rudimentary, but this network of black market traders stretches back to the days of Saddam Hussein, when Iraq was under UN sanctions in the 1990s."We are not talking about people who own a couple of trucks and tanker trucks," said Kate Dourian, senior editor at the Middle East Economic Survey. "We are talking about certain market-oriented people who have organizations that trade in illegal oil." ISIS has taken a page from Hussein's war playbook, when he left Kuwait. Still pictures of fields torched have emerged this week of fields outside of Mosul when it was pushed out by Iraqi forces.Oil strategists say Iraq's national military and the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdish region are trying to strike a fine balance. They want to keep ISIS out of their prized fields and refineries, but they don't want to destroy infrastructure which would take years and millions of dollars to rebuild.While ISIS has clearly suffered setbacks, there is also a stark reality. 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