Alternatives to the Strait of Hormuz, 2013

Alternatives to the Strait of Hormuz 2016

Source: Energy Information Administration, World Oil Transit Chokepoints.

The Strait of Hormuz is of strategic importance to the global oil trade, particularly because there are limited alternatives. Two pipelines running across Saudi Arabia are available, but one is running at capacity, and the other could only accommodate an additional 2 Mbd. In comparison, the Strait of Hormuz transited 18 Mbd of crude oil. Another pipeline across the United Arab Emirates can handle a bit lower than 2 Mbd. The Sumed pipeline, which roughly runs parallel to the Suez Canal, is also indirectly an outlet of the Persian Gulf but would be dependent on the capacity to ship Middle Eastern oil (mainly Saudi) to the Red Sea. There is also the possibility of using trucks to carry oil around the Strait of Hormuz, but such capacity is limited and would make little difference.