Strategic maritime oil chokepoints in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific
This chapter focuses on the key maritime oil chokepoints in Asia and the Middle East –the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Malacca, the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, and the Bab el-Mandeb. It discusses the trends in cargo flow, especially oil and natural gas, at each of these key maritime oil chokepoints, as well as opportunities for expansion and alternative routes if the maritime chokepoints were closed. The chapter also discusses the challenges and opportunities for the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Malacca, the Suez Canal, and the Bab el-Mandeb. The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea with the Indian Ocean, and is the maritime route with the shortest distance between Asian importers and Persian Gulf oil suppliers. The Strait of Hormuz, which is located between Iran and Oman, connects the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman with the Persian Gulf, and is the most significant chokepoint for maritime transport of oil.