Gulf Choke Points Brought Into Focus As Iran, US & Saudi Ramp Up The Rhetoric

As Iran-US rhetoric heats up, the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint is again attracting concern that regional oil exports could be shut off. Saudi Arabia and the UAE both have pipelines bypassing Hormuz with capacity totaling 8.25mn b/d. But useable export capacity on these routes is considerably less. And Riyadh’s ‘Plan B’ relies on the Bab al-Mandeb strait where Yemen’s Houthis this week attacked Aramco tankers.

The latest bout of belligerent US-Iran rhetoric has once again degenerated into Iranian threats to close the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping channel. All so very January 2012 ( MEES, 16 January 2012 ). Iran’s key regional rivals have since been taking steps to reduce the impact of this worst case scenario, and those worse hit would be those with the warmest relationship with Tehran.

Prospects of Iran taking action to close the Strait of Hormuz are minimal as this would undoubtedly bring down the wrath of the US military. It is also unlikely that Iran would be able to do so for any great length of time. Moreover, the act of closing the Strait would close off the bulk of Iran’s ports to both imports and exports. (CONTINUED - 1862 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Crude Exports (Mn B/D) From The Gulf* Edge Back To 18mn B/D In 2018…
chart ...Whilst Record Products Exports Mean Overall Volumes Are At Record High (mn B/D)