Friday, July 19, 2019

Straits of Hormuz? Time To Dust Off The Trans-Arabia Canal Project

Far from a perfect solution, in the event of a shooting war one sunk tanker would be enough to stop traffic for a considerable period of time. But, and that's a big but, anything short of that level of bellicosity, such as current Iranian piracy, would make having an alternative to the Straits of Hormuz a strategic and tactical asset.

The linked piece references the proposed north-south Salman canal but there have also been proposals for longer east-west canals that avoid Iran's beachhead, Yemen and connect the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

HT: Thai Military and Aisia RegionApril 24, 2016:

Gulf News, Sept. 10, 2015:
Study calls for 950-kilometre canal bypassing Hormuz
Additionally, as part of their spat with their LNG producing brothers, the Saudis are threatening to build the Salwa canal across the base of the Qatar peninsula and turn Qatar into an island.

As we saw in last month's "Closing the Canal: The 1967 Six Day War’s Impact on Maritime Trade", canals are important.

And then there are pipelines, in fact there used to be one that ran northwest through Jordan.
Either way though, Qatar is screwed, and that's 25% of world LNG.
Just sayin', lots of moving parts here.