The Strait of Hormuz, located in the area where Iran shot down a US military drone, is a strategically important waterway for the world’s oil transits, which lies at the heart of regional tensions. Iran warned on Friday it would “decisively defend its territory” against eventual US retaliation, while the airlines KLM, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines said they were suspending flights over the strait. Some background: – Gateway to the Gulf – The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and is situated between Iran and Oman. It is vulnerable due to its narrowness — some 50 kilometres (30 miles) — and its depth of no more than 60 metres (200 feet). The corridor is dotted with sparsely inhabited or desert islands, which are strategically important, notably the Iranian islands of Hormuz, Qeshm and Larak. – Oil transit hotspot – The strait is a vital corridor connecting the petroleum-rich states of the Middle East with markets in Asia, Europe, North America and elsewhere. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2018 nearly 21 million barrels of crude a day transited the strait. That represents around 21 percent of world oil consumption… Read full this story
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