OPEN APP
Home >News >World >Strait of Hormuz - the world's most important oil artery
Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz.  (Reuters )
Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz. (Reuters )

Strait of Hormuz - the world's most important oil artery

  • The strait lies between Oman and Iran
  • The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building pipelines

Iran's ambassador to Britain warned against escalating tensions on Sunday, a day ahead of an expected response from the UK which could include fresh sanctions on Tehran or other steps after its seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker.

Britain has called the capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act".

Below are details about the Strait:

WHAT IS THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ?

* The strait lies between Oman and Iran

* It links the Gulf with the Gulf of Oman to the south andthe Arabian Sea beyond * It is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point, withthe shipping lane just two miles (3 km) wide in either direction

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

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

* Almost a fifth of the world's oil passes through theStrait - some 17.4 million barrels per day (bpd) versusconsumption of about 100 million bpd in 2018, data fromanalytics firm Vortexa showed

* OPEC members Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, Kuwait and Iraqexport most of their crude via the Strait

* Qatar, the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG)exporter, sends almost all of its LNG through theStraitPOLITICAL TENSIONS

* The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran aimed athalting its oil exports

* U.S. waivers which had allowed continued sales of Iranianoil to eight countries - China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan,South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey - expired on May 2

* Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through theStrait of Hormuz if the United States tries to strangle itseconomy

* The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, is tasked withprotecting commercial shipping in the regionMAJOR PAST INCIDENTS

* 1980-1988 - During the Iran-Iraq war, the two sides seekto disrupt each other's oil exports in what is known as theTanker War

* July 1988 - U.S. warship Vincennes shoots down an Iranianairliner, killing all 290 aboard, in what Washington says was anaccident and Tehran says is a deliberate attack * Early 2008 - The United States says Iranian vesselsthreaten three U.S. Navy ships in the Strait

* July 2010 - Japanese oil tanker M Star is attacked in theStrait - a group called Abdullah Azzam Brigades linked to alQaeda claims responsibility * January 2012 - Iran threatens to block the Strait inretaliation for U.S. and European sanctions aimed at curbingTehran's nuclear programme

* May 2015 - Iranian ships seize a container ship in theStrait and fire shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker which Iransays damaged an oil platform

* July 2018 - President Hassan Rouhani hints Iran coulddisrupt oil trade through the Strait in response to U.S. callsto reduce Iran's oil exports to zero

* May 2019 - Four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers,are attacked in the Gulf just outside the Strait. U.S. officialsblame Iran, Tehran denies the charges * June 2019 - Two tankers are attacked south of the Straitwhich Washington blames on Iran and Tehran denies

* June 2019 - Iran shoots down a U.S. drone

* July 2019 - The USS Boxer destroys an Iranian drone in theStrait after it threatens the U.S. Navy ship but Iran denies ithas lost a drone

* July 2019 - Iran seizes British-operated oil tanker StenaImpero in the Strait

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.

Close
×
Edit Profile
My Reads Redeem a Gift Card Logout