Daily oil flow through Strait of Hormuz hits 17 mln bbl/d in 2011

Oil&Gas Materials 5 January 2012 13:11 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 5 /Trend, A.Badalova/

Daily oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz amounted to almost 17 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2011, which is up from 15.5-16.0 mln bbl/d in 2009-2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

According to the EIA estimates, flows through the Strait in 2011 were roughly 35 percent of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20 percent of oil traded worldwide.

The Strait of Hormuz which is located between Oman and Iran, connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait is deep and wide enough to handle the world's largest crude oil tankers, with about two-thirds of oil shipments carried by tankers in excess of 150,000 deadweight tons, EIA reports.

On average, 14 crude oil tankers per day passed through the Strait in 2011, with a corresponding amount of empty tankers entering to pick up new cargos, EIA said in its report. More than 85 percent of these crude oil exports went to Asian markets, with Japan, India, South Korea, and China representing the largest destinations.

Earlier Iran warned that in case Western threats of imposing an oil embargo on the Islamic Republic take effect, it reserves the right to respond by choking the oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz, arguing that the free flow of oil must be for all or for none.

The possible closure of the waterway would have serious consequences for the world economy as it would greatly reduce crude oil, petroleum and liquefied natural gas supplies.

EIA reported that several alternatives are potentially available to move oil from the Persian Gulf region without transiting Hormuz. However it believes that they are limited in capacity, in many cases are not currently operating or operable, and generally engender higher transport costs and logistical challenges.