The Strait of Hormuz, located between Oman and Iran, connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important oil chokepoint because of the large volumes of oil that flow through the strait. In 2018, its daily oil flow averaged 21 million barrels per day (b/d), or the equivalent of about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption.
- Recent tensions with Iran were triggered near the Strait of Hormuz, where two oil tankers exploded and Iran shot down a US drone last month.
- The narrow strait is the most important chokepoint for the world’s oil supply. Some 21 million barrels – or $1.197 billion (R16 billion) worth of oil – pass through the strait every day.
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened last month that he would close the strait amid ongoing tensions.
- Strained relations between Iran and the rest of the world could lead to Tehran closing the strait, which would disrupt global oil supply and send prices shooting up.
For example, during 2018, the United States imported about 1.4 million b/d of crude oil and condensate from Persian Gulf countries through the Strait of Hormuz, accounting for about 18% of total U.S. crude oil and condensate imports and 7% of total U.S. petroleum liquids consumption.
While a large proportion – 76% – of oil flowing through the chokepoint does end up in Asian countries, the US still imports more than 30 million barrels of oil a month from countries in the Middle East, Business Insider’s Alex Lockie reported, citing the EIA. That’s about $1.7 billion (R23 billion) worth of oil, and 10% of the US’s total oil imports per month.
To close down the entire strait, Iran would have to place at least 1,000 mines with submarines and surface craft along the chokepoint, security researcher Caitlin Talmadge posited in a 2009 MIT study. Such an effort could take weeks, the study added.
Chokepoints are narrow channels along widely used global sea routes that are critical to global energy security. The inability of oil to transit a major chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial supply delays and higher shipping costs, resulting in higher world energy prices. Although most chokepoints can be circumvented by using other routes that add significantly to transit time, some chokepoints have no practical alternatives.
Volumes of crude oil, condensate, and petroleum products transiting the Strait of Hormuz have been fairly stable since 2016, when international sanctions on Iran were lifted and Iran’s oil production and exports returned to pre-sanctions levels. Flows through the Strait of Hormuz in 2018 made up about one-third of total global seaborne traded oil. More than one-quarter of global liquefied natural gas trade also transited the Strait of Hormuz in 2018.
There are limited options to bypass the Strait of Hormuz. Only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pipelines that can ship crude oil outside the Persian Gulf and have the additional pipeline capacity to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz. At the end of 2018, the total available crude oil pipeline capacity from the two countries combined was estimated at 6.5 million b/d. In that year, 2.7 million b/d of crude oil moved through the pipelines, leaving about 3.8 million b/d of unused capacity that could have bypassed the strait.
Die Straat van Hormuz, geleë tussen Oman en Iran, verbind die Persiese Golf met die Golf van Oman en die Arabiese See. Die Straat van Hormuz is die wêreld se belangrikste olie-chokepunt vanweë die groot volumes olie wat deur die seestroom vloei. In 2018 was die gemiddelde olie-vloei van 21 miljoen vate per dag (d / d) gemiddeld, oftewel ongeveer 21% van die wêreldwye verbruik van petroleumvloeistowwe. Dis ‘n baie bedrywige Straat wat kosbare inhoud vervoer – naamlik olie. Olie wat alle lande nodig het. Iran het al gedreig om die straat toe te maak.
Gedurende 2018 het die Verenigde State ongeveer 1,4 miljoen BB / d ru-olie en kondensaat vanaf die Persiese Golflande ingevoer deur die Straat van Hormuz, wat verantwoordelik is vir ongeveer 18% van die totale Amerikaanse invoer van ru-olie en kondensaat en 7% van die totale Amerikaanse verbruik van petroleumvloeistowwe .
Alhoewel ‘n groot deel – 76% – van die olie wat deur die chokepunt vloei in Asiatiese lande beland, voer die VSA steeds meer as 30 miljoen vate olie per maand uit lande in die Midde-Ooste, berig Alex Lockie van Business Insider met verwysing na die OIE . Dit is ongeveer $ 1,7 miljard (R23 miljard) olie en 10% van die VSA se totale olie-invoer per maand.
The Strait of Hormuz Explained
August 2019 – PROTECTION
The U.S. is trying to build an international coalition to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East, especially in the Strait of Hormuz. The White House says it wants to protect oil tankers and shipping routes in the region. Imtiaz Tyab is the only U.S. network correspondent to gain access to Iran’s territorial waters since the recent spike in tensions, and he joins CBSN with a closer look.
MIDDLE EAST AND STRAIT OF HORMUZ
The Strait of Hormuz is at the centre of rising tensions between Iran and the West. What is the Strait of Hormuz and why is it so important?
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