Friday, September 25, 2009

Fuel Logistics Pain in Iraq

The US military forces in Iraq use considerable amount of fuel. For instance, at Balad Air Base alone fuel usage ranged from 3 to 3.6 million gallons in December 2006 to February 2007.

Fuel is delivered to Iraq via three routes – Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey. Fuel from those countries is trucked, under DESC contract, and delivered to one of three main hubs in Iraq, western, southern and northern hub.

Fuel from Kuwait

Originally, the Kuwait route was the only source of fuel for our forces in Iraq. The Turkey and Jordan routes were opened later to help reduce the number of fuel convoys. In February 2005, the Army asked DESC to take over the mission to distribute within Kuwait and to deliver from Kuwait[[1]] to the southern hub in Iraq. The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation supplies Jet A-1, as well as diesel and gasoline. Each day in that year some 2 000 trucks left Kuwait alone for various locales in Iraq.[[2]]

According to the US Air Force Major M. Davis [[3]] the DESC-Kuwait office provided “about 60% of the fuel supporting coalition forces in Iraq. Additionally, they manage a distribution contractor that is responsible for transporting nearly 1 million gallons of fuel a day, every day.” This is confirmed by an article appeared in Fuel Line (April 2008). In that article Major Timoty Haylett states that in 2007 “majority of the fuel used to support Operation Iraqi Freedom is provided by the Kuwait Petroleum Company. KPC provided more than 359 million gallons of JP8, 52 million gallons of JP5, 95 million gallons of diesel, and 16 million gallons of gasoline.”

With the exception of JP5, all fuel is shipped daily from Kuwait by the Jassim Transport & Stevedoring Company (JTC) and delivered to Cedar II, Iraq. In October 2007, JTC reached a significant milestone - delivering more than 1 billion gallons of fuel. JTC is paid on a per-truck per-day basis. Prices range from $159 - $194 a day, depending on the size of the truck and the type of fuel being transported.[4]

When the operation tempo and fuel requirements increased in Iraq, KPC allowed DESC-ME to amend the current contract of a daily maximum for JP8 of 1 million gallons to 1.3 million gallons. KPC also granted an additional 300,000 gallons of JP8 from the Kuwait Aviation Fueling Company, located at the Kuwait International Airport.

Fuel from Jordan

DESC–Jordan “delivers more than 25% of the overall fuel entering Iraq, which equates to more than 9 million gallons of JP-8 and 50 thousand gallons of Diesel,”[[5]] per month I presume.

The International Oil Trading Company (IOTC, based in the US) provides fuel for Iraq via Jordan. In 2007, IOTC delivered more than 125 million gallons of fuel to Coalition Forces in Western Iraq. This equates to 17,500 truckloads of fuel being moved to TQ, Al Assad, and Korean Village. In order to accomplish this mission, IOTC procured Jet-1, diesel, and Mogas fuels from various refineries around the world and received the tanker vessels (from locations such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and India) at its discharge point in Aqaba, Jordan. Fuel Line April 2008). The cost of fuel charged by IOTC includes shipping into Iraq. The IOTC contract is a Freight on Board contract, thus including all transportation costs. [6]

Fuel from Turkey

In spring 2005 a new fuel supply chain in terms of long-term contracts (for aviation gasoline, diesel and motor gasoline) from Turkey to Iraq was established. This removed the Air Force’s requirement to transport fuel from Al Udeid, Qatar (which was the hub from which all fuel was transported into Iraq). Even though the fuel supply from Turkey was briefly cut in the beginning of 2006 due to unpaid bills, it was resumed later on.

The DESC-Europe, headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, manages the Northern Iraq Ground Line of Communication, or Turkey GLOC. The supply and distribution chain originates in Turkey. Four primary types of bulk fuels are provided to U.S. Army general support and direct support installations in Northern Iraq: JP8, diesel, gasoline and aviation gas. The largest commodity is JP8.

JP8 is transported through the Turkish NATO Pipeline System at Mersin (west of Adana), a facility owned and operated by the Turkish Ministry of Defense. JP8 flows through this pipeline to the Adana loading facility. A transportation tender provider currently held by SHG Kizil Group, carries the fuel from Adana and delivers it to the three general support hubs. The majority of the tender-provider drivers are independent owner/operators who comprise a small, but growing, fleet maintained under the tender. During FY2008 more than 78 million gallons of JP8 delivered through this system.

MOGAS and Diesel are loaded at the Petrol Ofisi terminal in Iskenderun. AVGAS originates from Ankara. DESC-EU’s diesel provider, Golteks Group, loads out of Mersin, Turkey under a Free-on-Board Destination contract. In fiscal year 2008, Golteks shipped 29 million gallons of diesel downrange. Gasoline provider Ram, came under contract with DESC in September 2008. Under an FOB Destination contract, loading at the Kirikkale Depot, east of Ankara, Ram had delivered 521,000 gallons of gasoline by mid-November. Previously, Tefirom (also based in Turkey) was doing the job.

For a long story of how fuel is delivered through Turkey to military installations in Northern Iraq see the article by Clancy Duncan.[7] In short, all trucks from different destinations reach Gaziantep, and then follow the same route to East of Cizre where they wait for numbering. Once trucks clear Turkish and Iraqi customs, they proceed to the U.S. controlled Movement Control Team staging yard at Habur Gate. Minimum time for delivery to the US bases is one week.

The cost of gasoline, diesel, and aviation gasoline originating from Turkey also includes shipping costs. The agreements with fuel suppliers based in Turkey are also FOB destination contracts. JP-8 originating from Turkey is supplied by truck under a separate tender agreement put in place by Intratheater Commercial Transportation Branch, European Command. [8]

Overall, in fiscal 2008, through Turkey some 113 million gallons of fuel valued at more than $360 million dollars were delivered to Northern Iraq.[9]

This task required managing more than 20,000 trucks and their drivers - if these trucks were put end to end, they would stretch from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Germany. If they were stacked vertically, they would be equivalent to 202 Eiffel Towers or 361 Washington Monuments. (source; DESC Factbook 2007).

How much fuel does the US military consumes in Iraq?

According to the DLA facts as of March 2006 (since the US invasion started in 2003) the US military oil consumption in Iraq was more than 2.8 billion gallons, which makes 67 million barrels. (DLA took out the link and this information is not anymore provided)

According to Colonel Rohrer, Director of Bulk Fuels, American forces in Iraq use more than 1.3 million gallons (31 kb/d) of fuel each day.[[10]] According to an Atlantic Monthly article, however, it is 1.7 million gallons of fuel a day (40 kb/d). Some of that fuel goes to naval vessels and aircraft, but “each of the 150,000 soldiers on the ground consumes roughly nine gallons of fuel a day. And that figure has been rising.”[[11]] A DESC presentation makes it clear that 1.3 million gallon figure, in fact, is only for JP-8.[[12]] Therefore 1.7 million gallon figure (even if it is 2005 estimate) seems more appropriate.

According to my conservative calculation in 2006, it would not be wrong to say that in total the US military consumes roughly 40 kb/d of oil in Iraq. Of this amount roughly 7 kb/d comes from Jordan, 9 kb/d from Turkey and 24 kb/d from Kuwait.

Then we have the figures provided in DESC Factbooks. In 2007 (fiscal year ending in September), over 533 million gallons of product (12.7 million barrels a year or 35 kb/d) were provided from Kuwait and Jordan in support of OIF. From Turkey (or from the Northern Ground Line of Communications, if you like DoD jargon) over 112 million gallons of fuel was delivered to US Forces in northern Iraq (2.7 million barrels per year, or 7.3 kbd). The total makes 15.4 million barrels, or 42.3 kb/d. So, from 2006 to 2007 fuel deliveries to Iraq doubled.

During Fiscal Year 2008, DESC Europe shipped over 19,900 tank trucks loads of JP-8, Diesel and MOGAS with a total quantity of 113 million gallons of fuel to locations throughout Northern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This product was instrumental in supporting the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Commander’s “surge” operations. Over 617 million gallons of product were provided from Kuwait and Jordan. (source; DESC Factbook 2008). The total makes 17.4 MB, or 47.6 kb/d. Yes, this is a big amount, twice as much of North Korea’s oil consumption.

Figure : Fuel Supply to the US Military Facilities in Iraq
Source: Sohbet Karbuz, based on a background slide by D. Jennings and N. Dyson at the WWEC 2006, 20 April 2006.

Do you believe that 47,600 barrels per day of oil is all what the US military consumes during Operation Iraqi Freedom? I don’t. And you should Not! I will tell in my next post why….

Note; see also Fuel Logistics Pain in Afghanistan and US Military Fuel Use for Operations in Iraq and Af...


At 11:35 PM, Blogger yasser said...

Thanks Mr. Sohbet for the valuable information, we found the source of the aviation gasoline through your topic so now we know from where we can buy it.


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