ISIS-linked militants are threatening huge natural gas reserves the world needs badly right now, a report says.
The International Energy Agency said the terror network – which includes the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliates – was using a group of al-Qaida-linked militants to steal vast amounts of natural gas from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Russia.
The findings come as a Russian energy company is prepared to sign an agreement with the U.S. to buy 40 percent of US natural gas from a Siberian field in a deal worth $400 million.
The report by the IEA said the militants were working with two other groups that specialize in sabotage, oil theft, and counterfeiting. It added that the group is currently targeting the Trans-Aryan gas pipeline that stretches from Russia to Turkey.
It added that the gas reserves and infrastructure to bring them to market would all be at risk if they were not protected.
The report, published on Monday, said a joint Russian-American operation would be launched to defend the pipelines from potential attacks.
The project would start small and scale up as it proves successful, the report said. Under the deal, the U.S. will start pumping gas from the shale field in July, according to Bloomberg News.
The project is expected to create around 250 jobs in the U. S. If it works in full, the project could create more than 3,500 jobs.
Experts have warned the US natural gas industry faces a huge supply crunch if supply from the offshore fields is interrupted.
The U.S. is a net importer of natural gas, which could hit a historic record high in 2018 if gas supplies remain at or below levels predicted for next year.
The U.S. government projects that U.S. natural gas production will grow by about 1.2 million barrels-a or gas, a record amount.
The U.S. has the world’s largest shale gas reserves, but that still accounts for only about 15 percent of the nation’s total gas production.
The other 80 percent is from conventional wells. The new project aims to tap a gas well that has not been previously drilled, according to Bloomberg News.
The Russian field is located off the coast of the