The increase in U.S. domestically produced crude oil is changing trade patterns through world chokepoints. Historically, U.S. refiners have been major consumers of African crude oil, primarily light sweet crude from Nigeria, Algeria, and Angola. However, with increased U.S. production of light, sweet crude, the U.S. has imported less crude oil from Africa, and more African crude has been sent to Asia through the Strait of Malacca.
- Strait of Hormuz: 17 million barrels per day
- connects Persian Gulf with Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea
- Strait of Malacca: 15.2 million barrels per day
- running between Malaysia and Singapore it allows the shortest sea route between the African and Persian Gulf suppliers and the Asian consumers
- Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline:
- located in Egypt, strategic routes for Persian Gulf oil and natural gas shipments to Europe and North America.
- the Bab el-Mandeb Strait is a chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East, and it is a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.
- the Danish Straits and the Turkish Straits are key oil export routes to Europe for Russia and other Eurasian countries, including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
- Panama Canal:
- it and the Trans-Panama Pipeline’s relevance to global oil trade has diminished as many modern tankers are too large to travel through the canal and also because of falling oil production from Alaska’s North Slope, decreased oil volumes going through the pipeline. However, the Panama Canal is undergoing an expansion, scheduled to be completed in 2015, that will allow transit of larger ships with greater volumes, including LNG tankers.
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