Saber-rattling in Strait of Hormuz as UAE opens bypass pipeline

Oil prices rose by over dollar to approximately $103 a barrel July 16 after a US Navy ship fired at a fishing boat off the United Arab Emirates (UAE), killing one on board and injuring three. The fishing boat reportedly failed to heed warnings. No link to Iran was claimed in the incident, but it came two days after an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps naval commander boasted that Iran has the capability to blockade the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's parliament is currently considering a bill calling for the strait to be closed until sanctions are lifted. (Reuters, The Nation, Pakistan, July 16) The UAE has meanwhile just completed a new overland pipeline that strategically bypasses the Strait of Hormuz. Abu Dhabi, one of the UAE states, has started exporting its first crude from the new pipeline, shipping the oil from the sheikhdom of Fujairah to a refinery in Pakistan. (Bloomberg, July 16) (See map.)

See our last post on Iran, the regional pipeline wars and the global struggle for control of oil.

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