The World’s Most Dangerous Black Markets

Hot commodity: High energy prices encourage black markets, and oil from a makeshift refinery in Idlib, Syria, can eventually make its way to tankers destined for Europe or the Asia Pacific (Reuters)

Prices are climbing for oil, the most traded commodity on global markets and the world’s leading energy source. Much production is in volatile regions, and it comes as little surprise that production and trade in crude oil and refined petroleum products have produced a flourishing illicit market that presents socioeconomic, geopolitical, and environmental challenges, including deterioration of the rule of law. Illegal trade in hydrocarbons also presents a global security concern, funding dangerous non-state actors, ranging from the Islamic State terrorists to Mexican drug cartels, explain Peri-Khan Aqrawi-Whitcomb, Morgan D. Bazilian and Cyril Widdershoven, all associated with the Payne Institute of the Colorado School of Mines. Illicit oil trade harms producers and non-producers, wealthy and poor nations alike. Despite grave implications worldwide for such illegal trade, governmental and industry efforts to halt the practice have so far been ineffective or even non-existent. – YaleGlobal