Downstream Oil Theft: Global Modalities, Trends, and Remedies

Dr. Ian M. Ralby


We extend a special thanks to SICPA for the generous support for this initiative, without which this report would not have been possible. This report was produced by I.R. Consilium LLC in conjunction with the Atlantic Council.

Dr. Ian M. Ralby was the lead author, with contributing authorship by Rohini Ralby and Dr. David Soud. Dr. Ian Ralby, founder and CEO of I.R. Consilium, is a recognized expert in international law, maritime security, and the interdiction of transnational crime. He is a leading authority on the regulation, governance, and oversight of private security companies, having been involved in national and international efforts to develop accountability and standards for the private security industry. In addition, he is widely regarded as an expert on maritime security, both in developing national maritime strategy and in devising legally-grounded functional responses to emerging maritime threats.

Dr. Ralby’s work frequently involves energy-related matters, both on land and offshore. From protection of oil and gas infrastructure, to human rights concerns regarding the use of private security companies by the extractive industry, to mitigation of theft and other illicit activity, Dr. Ralby has addressed a wide range of energy issues for government and private clients. In addition to being a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Dr. Ralby has served as adjunct professor of Maritime Law and Security at the United States Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and an advisor on security and counter-criminal matters to various international organizations including NATO, the United Nations, and the Indian Ocean Commission. He writes and speaks frequently on matters of international relations, law, and security.

Dr. Ralby holds a JD from the College of William and Mary and a PhD in Politics and International Studies from St. John’s College of the University of Cambridge. Rohini Ralby is Managing Director of I.R. Consilium LLC. She has an extensive background in security and strategy. In recent years, her advisory work has focused on matters relating to the oil and gas industry.

Dr. David Soud is Head of Research and Analysis at I.R. Consilium LLC. He holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford and has researched and published extensively on a wide range of subjects. In addition, I.R. Consilium’s team and global network provided invaluable support and assistance to the research, writing and refining of this report. Special thanks goes to Tammy Merther of I.R. Consilium for extremely long and late hours, and to the experts who provided peer review of the report.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report is the first comprehensive study of the theft of refined oil products around the globe. It provides insight into the modalities and trends in oil theft, the culprits responsible, the stakeholders affected by illicit activities, and recommendations that could change the dynamics. It is divided into three parts.