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Page added on January 9, 2021

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Strait of Hormuz: the world’s most important oil artery

Strait of Hormuz: the world’s most important oil artery thumbnail

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew, Iranian media said on Monday, amid tensions between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.

A South Korean-flagged tanker vessel which was seized by Iran. is seen in Gulf, Iran January 4, 2021. IRGC / WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Below are details about the Strait:

WHAT IS THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ?

– The strait lies between Oman and Iran

– It links the Gulf north of it with the Gulf of Oman to the south and the Arabian Sea beyond

– It is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point, with the shipping lane just two miles (three km) wide in either direction

– The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

– Almost a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Strait – some 17.4 million barrels per day (bpd) versus consumption of about 100 million bpd in 2018, data from analytics firm Vortexa showed

– OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq export most of their crude via the Strait

– Qatar, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, sends almost all of its LNG through the Strait

POLITICAL TENSIONS

– The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports

– Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if the United States tries to strangle its economy

– The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, is tasked with protecting commercial shipping in the area

MAJOR PAST INCIDENTS

– During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, the two sides sought to disrupt each other’s oil exports in what was known as the Tanker War

– In July 1988, the U.S. warship Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner, killing all 290 aboard, in what Washington said was an accident and Tehran said was a deliberate attack

– In early 2008, the United States said Iranian vessels threatened three U.S. Navy ships in the Strait

– In July 2010, Japanese oil tanker M Star was attacked in the Strait by a militant group called Abdullah Azzam Brigades linked to al Qaeda claiming responsibility

– In January 2012, Iran threatened to block the Strait in retaliation for U.S. and European sanctions that targeted its oil revenue in an attempt to stop Tehran’s nuclear programme

– In May 2015, Iranian ships seized a container ship in the Strait and fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker which it said damaged an Iranian oil platform

– In July 2018, President Hassan Rouhani hinted Iran could disrupt oil trade through the Strait in response to U.S. calls to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero

– In May 2019, four vessels – including two Saudi oil tankers – were attacked off the UAE coast near Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs, just outside the Strait of Hormuz

– In January 2021, Iran seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew

reuters



4 Comments on "Strait of Hormuz: the world’s most important oil artery"

  1. makati1 on Sat, 9th Jan 2021 3:59 pm 

    The Strait is Iran’s strongest weapon and both Iran and Amerika know it. Sink a few tankers in the channel and they sink Amerika’s economy. Will Amerika start another war they cannot win. Stay tuned…

  2. Duncan Idaho on Sun, 10th Jan 2021 12:20 pm 

    Iran can take out most of SA oil in 15 minutes.
    It is just across the Strait–
    Even the Fat Boy had this explained to him, and Iran has not been touched.

  3. Theedrich on Mon, 11th Jan 2021 1:42 am 

    We will shortly have a senile Mafioso as Prez. As opposed to Trump, the Democrats love war, and fancy that under their tyranny the U.S. is invincible because they are Rulers of Rectitude.  The geezer understands nothing, so we might have just the war that good ol’ Yankeeland needs.

  4. Cloggie on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 12:36 pm 

    Saudi-Arabia wants to move away from oil and presents a spectacular plan called Neom:

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2021/01/13/neom-the-line-a-city-170-km-long/

    “Saudi-Arabia is drawing a Line in the sand and plans a new car-free Metropolis called Neom, in the shape of a 170 km long line. The Line. Population 1 million. A 500 billion, zero-emission city. There will be no streets. Everything is walkable within 20 minutes, for longer distances there is the metro and underground traffic. Above the ground, cyclists and pedestrians only. Construction will start 2021-Q1.”

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