Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oil and Hormuz Strait pt..........II

The importency of Hormuz Strait is understandable in the following statement – practically the entire oil from Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are transported through this. About two fifth of all globally traded oil are transported through it. About 80 per cent of all Japanese oil imports transit through it and the same is applicable for 12 per cent of total American oil imports & 25per cent of total Western European oil imports. A reliable estimate predicts that by 2020 the amount is likely to double than what is transported currently, i.e 35 million barrels per day. That will require about 30 tankers each day. Though the strait is 95 km wide, but only to two 3 km wide channels are available for navigation. Each used exclusively for inbound and outbound traffic. If the prediction comes anywhere near to reality then the traffic will be hazardous and extremely slow. Congestion and prolong delay will be a matter of fact. It may be difficult to handle the volume of traffic by the Hormuz strait.
With environmentalists who are vocal about the future of Gulf area, the Strait of Hormuz is becoming more politically sensitive area day by day. Extremely limited sea channel may be affected by oil spill. It would be a catastrophe to marine life as well as to human life in surrounding countries like Iran, Oman and UAE. None of these countries is self sufficient in food production. The water of this Straight is used after desalination. Contamination of this water would pose a major health hazard to the inhabitants of these countries. Protection of environment in this strait is a matter of prime concern for these countries. On the other hand global oil security is much dependant on the navigability of the Straight of Hormuz. Maintaining the balance is stupendous task, since everybody`s baby is nobody`s baby.

(To be continued................)

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