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Homemade Oil Refinery in Qamishli, Syria
By Rozh
26 Feb 2014

Prior to the civil war, Msheirfeh was a small tranquil agricultural village northeast Syria. Now it is trapped in the northeastern front line between Islamic armed forces and secularist Kurdish and Syria Christian forces. Desperation breeds ingenuity, and it has become home for a highly dangerous homemade oil refining business, for which its’ locals often risk it all to make a small income.

The workers of the homemade refineries say that they fall ill and some are killed as a result of their working conditions, since the refining process is unhealthy and explosions are always a risk. Fumes from burning crude oil are perpetually coming out of the makeshift open-air refineries enveloping the once-clean sky above the village. Many of the workers here say they are university graduates, former public servants and schoolteachers. There is little opportunity, and they have no choice but to continue working the job to survive. They buy crude oil from various Islamic armed forces and smugglers of Deir Ezzor province, then refine the crude oil on the road and produce oil, petrol and gas for a population trapped in Syria's civil war.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
17 Sep 2013

Traditional oil miner gathers buckets of crude oil to begin the distillation process of converting it into diesel fuel. Distillation is accomplished by heating the filtered crude oil to between 200 °C (392 °F) and 350 °C (662 °F). Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
17 Sep 2013

Motorcycle is loaded with drums of diesel and transported to nearby villages to be sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Homemade oil refineries (2 of 12)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Apr 2013

A farmhand stands nearby the home-made oil refinery, made of a rusted tank and no
more than some tubes in Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Homemade oil refineries (11 of 12)
Ad darbasiyah, syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
18 Apr 2013

Abu Zecharia sells diesel and petrol per liter, and sometimes per half-liter, in Ras al Ain, Syria, April, 2013.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil wells in Bojonegoro a regency in East Java. Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is now the focus of renewed attention after a new oil field was found in the area. Bojonegoro, Indonesia.

Traditional oil wells in Bojonegoro Indonesia. Bojonegoro is a regency in East Java, Indonesia, about 110 km west of Surabaya. Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is the focus of attention in Indonesia as a new oil field has been found in this area. This oil find is the biggest oil discovery in Indonesia in three decades and one of the biggest reserve in Indonesia.

This part of Java has had a long association with oil, and the Dutch, Indonesia's former colonial rulers, operated oil fields in the area although never realized the potential of Cepu. Freelance oil men use rickety wooden frames with pulleys, a few still operated by hand, to retrieve oil in wells up to 400 meters (1,300ft) deep. They then heat the oil on wood fires to burn off water. Miners said they could earn from 200,000 rupiah ($20) a day shared between a team of at least three.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners prepare the hoisting system for a new oil derrick. As they prepare to drill a new well. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners prepare the hoisting system for a new oil derrick. As they prepare to drill a new well. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners prepare the hoisting system for a new oil derrick. As they prepare to drill a new well. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners prepare the hoisting system for a new oil derrick. As they prepare to drill a new well. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

A motorcycle is loaded with drums of diesel ready to be transported to nearby villages to be sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

A motorcycle is loaded with drums of diesel ready to be transported to nearby villages to be sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

A motorcycle is loaded with drums of diesel ready to be transported to nearby villages to be sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners watch on as distilled diesel fuel is slowly syphoned off into a collection bucket. Then it will be transferred to 20 litre drums ready for collection. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia.
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miner separates water from the crude oil in the collection tank. The oil which has settled on the top of the water will be distilled into diesel when heated in an oil drum and then sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 25/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
25 Jan 2011

Miners watch on from the hill side as a new oil derrick is constructed. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners scoop crude out of a hillside sluice. The oil which has settled on the top of the water will be distilled into diesel when heated in an oil drum and then sold. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miners take a rest from work. Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is the focus of attention in Indonesia as a new oil field has been found in this area. This oil find is the biggest oil discovery in Indonesia in three decades and one of the biggest reserve in Indonesia. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miner watches on as oil is extracted and then sent through a filtration system consisting of small channels dug into the hillside. The crude oil/water emulsion is filtered as it pours into pools and oil drums, and is eventually collected and then heated. The heated crude is distilled into diesel fuel. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil wells in Bojonegoro Indonesia. Bojonegoro is a regency in East Java, Indonesia, about 110 km west of Surabaya. Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is the focus of attention in Indonesia as a new oil field has been found in this area. This oil find is the biggest oil discovery in Indonesia in three decades and one of the biggest reserve in Indonesia. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miner pours some crude oil into a heated drum as part of the distillation process, creating diesel fuel. Oil drums are buried in the ground with a pit dug beneath for the fire, creating a kilning effect. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

The range of hills area, surrounded by hardwood tress in Wonocolo village, in the subdistrict of Kedewan , which is the regency of Bojonegoro, East Java , is known as the field of eternal petroleum. When the Dutch left the area, they also left behind hundreds of oil wells. From those hundreds, about fifty of the Dutch-inherited wells are still active. And this region is known as "Blok Wonocolo". Bojonegoro, Indonesia. 24/01/2011.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil wells in Bojonegoro a regency in East Java. Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is now the focus of renewed attention after a new oil field was found in the area. Bojonegoro, Indonesia. 24/01/2011.

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
24 Jan 2011

Traditional oil miner prepares a fire with which to distil crude oil into diesel. Oil drums are buried in the ground with a pit dug beneath for the fire, creating a kilning effect the refining process can begin, lasting around 6-8 hours. Cepu, Indonesia. 24/01/2011

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Traditional oil wells East Java Indon...
Cepu, Indonesia
By Jeffrey Bright
23 Jan 2011

In Bojonegoro Indonesia, oil is extracted and then sent through a filtration system consisting of small channels dug into the hillside. The crude oil/water emulsion is filtered as it pours into pools and oil drums, and is eventually collected and then heated. The heated crude is distilled into diesel fuel. Cepu, Indonesia. 23/01/2011