Yemen war risk could strangle strategic sea trade routes

With Middle East giants Saudi Arabia and Iran squaring up on opposing sides in the Yemen war, the dangers to vital oil tanker and goods voyages are growing daily.

Millions of barrels of oil pass through the Bab el-Mandeb and Strait of Hormuz everyday to Europe, the United States and Asia – waterways which pass along the coasts of Yemen and Iran respectively. Insurance costs for shippers are likely to jump.

Last week Iran released Marshall-Islands container ship Maersk Tigris and its crew which were seized in the Strait of

Hormuz. This prompted the United States to send vessels to temporarily accompany U.S. flagged ships through the strait. Iranian patrol boats had shadowed a separate container ship earlier last month.

“The whole area is a tinder box now,” said John Dalby of Marine Risk Management Ltd, which provides private armed security teams for ships in the area.

h/t Waffle

  • Rosenmops

    Meanwhile the new NDP government in Alberta apparently wants to shut down the economy.

    You won’t believe who Rachel Notley, the new NDP Premier of Alberta, appointed as her chief of staff.

    He’s an anti-oil extremist from Ontario, named Brian Topp.

    Topp says he wants Alberta to “produce a lot less hydrocarbon energy”. He says the Keystone XL pipeline is “fundamentally wrong… I think it should be stopped.”

    And he actually compared oil and gas companies to arms dealers selling “landmines”.

    Do you think I’m exaggerating? Each of those anti-Alberta smears is a direct quote from Topp. And that’s just what he says in public.

    -Ezra Levant

    • Shebel

      It is going to be an interesting year.

  • Hard Little Machine

    That’s more or less been Obama’s plan. Threaten the Straits of Hormuz, jack up the prices of oil and bail out his Iranian colleagues.

  • Waffle

    I’m watching the price of spot gold. Right now it’s up more than $20 since yesterday (Wednesday) at noon. The price of gold is usually a pretty good indicator of what is happening in the world — in terms of stability. The Straits are a very strategic passage for the transport of oil. If that is disrupted, watch the price of gold go through the roof.

    Putting a damper on Alberta oil is like shooting oneself in the foot.