Pass notes No 3,113: Strait of Hormuz

Age: As old as the hills either side of it.

Appearance: Wet and warshippy.

Aha! The bit of water we keep seeing on the news. The one next door to Iraq … You mean Iran.

They’re just different spellings of the same word, aren’t they? Er…

But there’s no room to go into that. Tell me about this strait thingy. It’s the narrow passage where the Persian Gulf joins the Arabian Sea, and through that the rest of the Indian Ocean. To the north is Iran; to the south, the Musandam peninsula.

Which I’ve never heard of. It’s an enclave of Oman. But if you’re not sure what an enclave is …

Let’s pretend I’m not. Then you need a dictionary as well as an atlas. The point is that if you want to get oil out of large areas of the Middle East, you have to go through Hormuz. According to G2’s sources in the petrochemical industry-

Also known as Wikipedia … Don’t disillusion the readers. On an average day tankers carry 17m barrels of crude oil through the strait. That’s a fifth of the oil trade worldwide. Economically essential, yet easily blocked, the strait is what military strategists call a choke point.

When you say it’s narrow … It’s about 54km across at … >>>

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