The Strait of Hormuz is crucial shipping route that links Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. But it has been at the heart of regional tensions for decades, Reuters reports.


Now, after the US informed that it will end the waivers to the eight countries buying Iranian oil, Iran threatened to block the waterway, which has done in the past in the past as well, but without acting on them.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, about 18.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of seaborne oil were transported through the waterway in 2016. That was around 30% of crude and other oil liquids traded by sea in 2016.

In addition, approximately 17.2 million bpd of crude and condensates have been shipped via the Strait in 2017 and about 17.4 million bpd in the first half of 2018, according to oil analytics firm Vortexa.

Considering the fact that the global oil consumption stands at about 100 million bpd, nearly a fifth passes through the Strait.

The Strait of Hormuz is also the route used for nearly all the LNG produced by the world’s biggest LNG exporter, Qatar.

However, there are alternative routes for Gulf oil, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia seeking other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines.