Iraq looking for alternatives in case Strait of Hormuz is closed: Iraqi PM

Iraq looking for alternatives in case Strait of Hormuz is closed: Iraqi PM
Published: 10 July 2019 - 5 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that his government is looking at alternatives in case passage through the Strait of Hormuz becomes impossible. He noted that if trade through the Strait of Hormuz is disrupted, this would be a "major obstacle" to his country's economy, Reuters reported.

"We have concerns about the possibility of closing the Strait of Hormuz," Abdul-Mahdi said, according to Kuwait news agency KUNA. "We are working on possible solutions to avoid the crisis, which would be a major obstacle to the Iraqi economy."

One solution was an extension of an existing oil pipeline from Basra to Jordan or Syria, among other potential solutions under discussion by the nation's Council of Ministers.

Around one-fifth of global oil consumption travels through this strategic chokepoint, and Bimco, the world's largest shipping association, estimates that 49% of crude transported by sea must pass through the Strait of Gibraltar; approximately 19.7mn barrels.

Following weeks of tension and attacks on regional oil infrastructure, UK forces seized an Iranian ship off of Gibraltar, and tensions have risen as some fear retaliation; a BP oil tanker changed course before arriving at Iraq's main terminal and remained anchored off of Saudi Arabia.

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