Confronting downstream oil theft

  • January 13, 2017
Confronting downstream oil theft

First major study of downstream oil theft is released by company set up by Dr Ian Ralby.

A company set up by a Gates Cambridge Scholar and specialising in advising on strategic defence and security matters has released the first-ever major study on global downstream oil theft – a form of criminal enterprise that threatens to destabilise states and regions around the world.

I.R. Consilium, LLC released the report Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends and Remedies which was formally launched today at the Atlantic Council’s inaugural Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

The report, co-authored by Dr Ian Ralby, CEO of I.R. Consilium and a former Gates Cambridge Scholar, says that downstream oil theft – criminal misdirection of oil and oil products at any point after transfer to refineries – is a burgeoning global issue. Citing “theft, fraud, smuggling, laundering, [and] corruption”, the report details how such criminal activity “has become a significant threat not only to local and regional prosperity but also to global security and stability”. The document’s three parts present 10 case studies examining downstream oil theft in a range of geographic settings, analyse trends in downstream hydrocarbons crime, identify key stakeholders and recommend approaches to confronting this growing challenge.

The study, conducted in cooperation with the Atlantic Council and with support from SICPA, shows that downstream oil theft is not merely an isolated criminal activity; it also serves to finance terrorist groups, violent insurgents and organised crime syndicates. 

It says downstream hydrocarbons crime is a complex and sometimes ambiguous problem; its perpetrators “range from sophisticated and sinister international networks to well-meaning humanitarian service providers on limited budgets in poor and desperate communities”. It adds that addressing the challenge in all its facets will require international cooperation, reform, regulations and standards, direct intervention and concreate countermeasures, all of which it discusses.

The formal presentation of Downstream Oil Theft featured an expert panel including Dr Ralby as well as Éric Besson, former Minister of Industry, Energy, and Digital Economy for France; Dr. John C. Gannon, former Chair of the US National Intelligence Council; and Kola Karim, Group CEO at Shoreline Energy International. 

Dr Ralby [2007], who was external officer on the Gates Scholars Council during his time at Cambridge, did an MPhil which critiqued the jurisprudence of the Iraqi High Tribunal, arguing that, regardless of actual guilt or innocence, the court had misapplied the law in the Hussein trial. This segued into his PhD, titled “Private Military and Security Companies in the Uncharted Spaces of the Law”, examining the gaps in the accountability of private security companies and the relative merits of the ongoing efforts to close those gaps. That work fed directly into his active role in the international processes and led to him establishing I.R. Consilium.

Picture credit: Wikipedia.

 

Latest News

Rare genetic disease may protect Ashkenazi Jews against TB

Scientists may have solved the question of why Ashkenazi Jews are significantly more susceptible to a rare genetic disorder known as Gaucher disease – and the answer may help settle the debate about whether they are less susceptible to tuberculosis (TB). In research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Cambridge […]

Lifetime honour for former Provost

Professor Barry Everitt, former Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, has been elected a lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. AAAS has elected more than 500 scientists, engineers and innovators from around the world and […]

‘Tackle climate change misinformation through computational social science’

Future leaders and researchers need to be urgently trained to tackle climate change misinformation through an interdisciplinary approach that foregrounds computational social science and extends beyond laboratories and university campuses to shape the science-policy interface and rebuild public trust in climate research, according to leading academics. Writing in Nature Human Behaviour, the academics, including Dr Ramit […]

An existential psychological thriller for aesthetes

Christy Edwall’s first novel, History Keeps Me Awake at Night, out in early February, has been described as “an existential psychological thriller for aesthetes and lovers of cultural London and the world… A story cleverly told of a young woman involved in contemporary forms of global voyeurism”. It tells the story of Margit, a London […]