Strait of Homruz: The Artery of Oil

Published: June 14, 2019

Recently two tankers were targeted in suspected attacks near the strategic Strait of Hormuz which is a vital waterway for global oil shipments.

Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It provides for the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.

The Strait of Hormuz which lies between Oman and Iran links the Gulf north of it with the Gulf of Oman to the south and the Arabian Sea beyond. The strait is 33 km wide at its narrowest point with the shipping lane just three km wide in either direction.

Artery of Oil

OPEC members such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraq trade most of their crude through the Strait. Almost a fifth of the world’s oil passes through the Strait. Qatar which is the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter trades almost all of its LNG through the Strait.

The strait has been at the centre of the political turmoil large number of times. To bypass the influence of Iran over the strait due to the geographical proximity, UAE and Saudi Arabia are exploring the ways and means to find other avenues to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines.

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