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Strait of Hormuz Options

Potential alternatives

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway, which links the Persian Gulf with the Sea of Oman, and is a strategic channel for Middle Eastern oil and LNG exports. In 2018, one third of the world’s traded oil and a quarter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) passed through the Strait of Hormuz. And it is in the Straits that oil tankers have been attacked or seized by various groups including al Qaeda, the Houthi and Iranian naval forces. For example in July 2019, the British flagged tanker suezmax sized vessel Stena Impero was captured by Iranian naval forces and not realised until September 2019.[i] In addition, both Iran and Oman have attempted to take full control of the Strait by claiming it as part of territorial waters, which is contrary to United Nations Law of the Sea Conventions.[ii]

How could the straits of hormuz be blocked

In the event of war with the United States, Iran probably could block the narrow Strait of Hormuz that connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. Iran’s mines, rockets, submarines and armed speedboats could make the strait unpassable. Tehran’s arsenal “include the acquisition of thousands of sea mines, wake-homing torpedoes, hundreds of advanced cruise missiles and possibly more than 1,000 small fast-attack craft and fast inshore-attack craft,” U.S. Navy commander Daniel Dolan explained in a 2012 article in Proceedings.[i] In addition its recent efforts in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon have together with improved hardware suggest one unnamed military expert suggest they are battle ready.

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