A study from research institute, Chatham House, has identified maritime “choke points” as a key issue for international policy decisions regarding the energy sector. The choke points are key passages in the global energy transport system such as the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, Bab Al-Mandab, the Suez Canal, the Turkish Straits and the Strait of Hormuz.
The report examines international policy options following recent clashes between Iran and the West. Back in December, the Iranian Vice-President warned that Iran would block the Strait of Hormuz if the EU and the United States imposed economic sanctions.
The Straits of Hormuz account for around a third of international oil transit, so any disruption to passage could have a volatile effect on global prices.
The report suggests exploring alternative transport routes may be beneficial to the supply of the world’s energy, such as a spur line from Abu Dhabi to Oman to avoid the Strait of Hormuz.