WAR Main Persian Gulf Trouble thread

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Strait of Hormuz: the world's most important oil artery
April 23, 2019 / 11:51 AM / Updated 6 hours ago

LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Iran has said it would block the Strait of Hormuz if it was barred from using the strategic waterway through which about a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes.

The threat from an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander followed a U.S. announcement on Monday that it would end exemptions granted last year to eight buyers of Iranian oil and demanding they stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

Oil prices have surged to six-month highs.

The Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route linking Middle East oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond, has been at the heart of regional tensions for decades
.

Iran has made threats to block the waterway in the past, without acting on them.
Below is some background about the Strait:

WHAT IS THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ?

* The waterway separates Iran and Oman, linking the Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea.

* The Strait is 21 miles (33 km) wide at its narrowest point, but the shipping lane is just two miles (three km) wide in either direction.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

* The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that 18.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of seaborne oil passed through the waterway in 2016. That was about 30 percent of crude and other oil liquids traded by sea in 2016.

* About 17.2 million bpd of crude and condensates were estimated to have been shipped through the Strait in 2017 and about 17.4 million bpd in the first half of 2018, according to oil analytics firm Vortexa.

* With global oil consumption standing at about 100 million bpd, that means almost a fifth passes through the Strait.

* Most crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq — all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries — is shipped through the waterway.

* It is also the route used for nearly all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced by the world’s biggest LNG exporter, Qatar.

* During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, the two sides sought to disrupt each other’s oil exports in what was known as the Tanker War.

* The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, is tasked with protecting the commercial ships in the area.

* “While the presence of the U.S. Fifth Fleet should ensure that the critical waterway remains open, provocative Iranian military manoeuvres are likely in the immediate offing as is a nuclear restart,” analysts at bank RBC said on April 22.

* Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in return for an easing of sanctions under a 2015 deal with the United States and five other global powers.

Washington pulled out of the pact in 2018. Western powers fear Iran wants to make nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this.

* “All of these geopolitical stories could present a cruel summer scenario for President (Donald) Trump as he seeks to keep oil prices in check,” the RBC analysts said.

ARE THERE ALTERNATIVE ROUTES FOR GULF OIL?

* The UAE and Saudi Arabia have sought to find other routes to bypass the Strait, including building more oil pipelines.

* The following EIA table shows existing pipelines and proposed projects:

HAVE THERE BEEN INCIDENTS IN THE STRAIT BEFORE?

* In July 1988, the U.S. warship Vincennes shot down an Iranian airliner, killing all 290 aboard, in what Washington said was an accident after crew mistook the plane for a fighter. Tehran said it was a deliberate attack. The United States said the Vincennes was in the area to protect neutral vessels against Iranian navy attacks.

* In early 2008, the United States said Iranian boats threatened its warships after they approached three U.S. naval ships in the Strait.

* In June 2008, the then Revolutionary Guards commander-in-chief, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran would impose controls on shipping in the Strait if it was attacked.

* In July 2010, Japanese oil tanker M Star was attacked in the Strait. A militant group called Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility.

* In January 2012, Iran threatened to block the Strait in retaliation for U.S. and European sanctions that targeted its oil revenues in an attempt to stop Tehran’s nuclear programme.

* In May 2015, Iranian ships fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker which it said damaged an Iranian oil platform, causing the vessel to flee. It also seized a container ship in the Strait.

* In July 2018, President Hassan Rouhani hinted Iran could disrupt oil flows through the Strait in response to U.S. calls to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. A Revolutionary Guards commander also said Iran would block all exports through the Strait if Iranian exports were stopped.

Sources: Reuters/Refinitiv/Energy Information Administration

Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar Editing by Edmund Blair

https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-iran-oil-strait/factbox-strait-of-hormuz-the-worlds-most-important-oil-artery-idUKL5N2254EM
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
U.S. urges Iran to keep Strait of Hormuz open -State Department
April 23, 2019 / 11:14 AM / Updated 6 hours ago

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - The United States called on Iran to keep the straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab open, a State Department official said on Tuesday after the United States a day earlier demanded that Iran oil buyers halt their purchases by May 1.

“We call on Iran, and all countries, to respect the free flow of energy and commerce, and freedom of navigation” in the straits, the official said.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton Writing by Susan Heavey

https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-iran-oil-state/u-s-urges-iran-to-keep-strait-of-hormuz-open-state-department-idUKL1N2250NF
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
US deploys two carrier strike groups in Mediterranean – first time since 2016

DEBKAFile
April 23 2019

The John C. Stennis and Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups have joined the US Mediterranean 6th Fleet for the first time in more than two years. This was announced on Monday, April 22, by the 6th Fleet commander, Vice Adm Lisa Franchetti.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that this unusual concentration of US naval and air might in the region is intended to convey a warning to Iran against striking back at the US or its allies in the region in retribution for tightened Trump administration sanctions on its oil experts. This level of concentrated strength is capable of countering any Iranian attempt to interfere with the oil tanker shipping plying routes to market from the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden or the Red Sea.

Vice Admiral Franchetti commented that it was a rare opportunity for two strike groups to work together alongside key allies and partners in the region. Our sources say she was referring to British, French and Israeli naval forces.

The vice admiral, who has served as 6th Fleet commander since early 2018, added: “The dual carrier operations in the Mediterranean showcase the flexibility and scalability maritime forces provide to the joint force, while demonstrating our ironclad commitment to the stability and security of the region.”

https://www.debka.com/us-deploys-two-carrier-strike-groups-in-mediterranean-first-time-since-2016/
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
ItaMilRadar‏ @ItaMilRadar · 8h8 hours ago

The USS John C. Stennis (CNV-74) CSG transited the Suez Canal on April 20 and is now sailing somewhere in the central Mediterranean Sea westbound.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · Apr 22

Any move by #Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz would constitute a global geopolitical crisis

Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · Apr 21

As of May 2nd, the US will not issue sanction waivers to any country importing Iranian oil, #SecState #Pompeo announces
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3‏ @EndGameWW3 · 3h3 hours ago

Iran's parliament approves bill labelling US army as 'terrorist' @AJENews
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Ugh-I see the potential for a BIG war in that tiny little strait. The Iranians are hurting bad enough as it is, losing some of their biggest oil buyers as they have done is making Iran's economy tank harder than hard.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Bloomberg Opinion‏Verified account @bopinion · Apr 22

The tension in the Gulf — and especially in the Strait of Hormuz — is rising again, and the echoes of conflicts 30 years ago are getting louder
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Good thing the US is a net exporter of oil and gas. No longer being held over the middle east oil barrel is a nice feeling. Plus with the waivers going out of effect for some countries still buying Iranian oil (South Korea, India and Taiwan come to mind) those countries can now buy oil from us instead.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Bloomberg Opinion‏Verified account @bopinion · Apr 22

When Iran officials talk about shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, they mean it.

They could accomplish it in just 48 to 72 hours, as commercial shipping would opt not to take the risk of passing through the waters
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Seth Frantzman‏Verified account @sfrantzman · 55m55 minutes ago

Someone pointed out that in the Persian Gulf at the moment is "Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is in the Persian Gulf. On April 11, the ARG and part of the MEU made a port visit in Jebel Ali, UAE"
 

Attachments

blackjeep

The end times are here.
Trouble in The Straits is NOT what we need right now.
High gas and diesel prices will slow the economy, and I would really rather not see a shooting war in the Middle East. :shk:
 

SmithJ

Veteran Member
Good thing the US is a net exporter of oil and gas. No longer being held over the middle east oil barrel is a nice feeling. Plus with the waivers going out of effect for some countries still buying Iranian oil (South Korea, India and Taiwan come to mind) those countries can now buy oil from us instead.
We still import 800,000 to 1,000,000 barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia alone, to say nothing of the rest of OPEC
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Global oil surges amid OPEC caution to offset Iran sanctions

Jessica Resnick-Ault
April 22, 2019 / 9:02 PM / Updated 24 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices hit their highest in about six months on Tuesday as sources said Gulf OPEC members were ready to raise output only if there was demand before offsetting any shortfall following a U.S. decision to end waivers for buyers of Iranian crude.

Output in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, will rise in May, but that it is not related to Iran sanctions, the sources said.

The sources said Saudi production in May will also stay within its production target under a OPEC+ supply-cutting deal, which has led global supply cuts since the start of the year aimed at propping up crude prices. The group is set to meet in June to discuss output policy.

The United States on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he was confident that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will fulfill their pledges to make up the difference in oil markets, a U.S. official told reporters Monday.

“The Saudis aren’t rushing to fill what could be a substantial supply gap in the market,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital Management LLC. “The market has gotten tight globally over the course of the last several months, primarily because of the efforts of Saudi Arabia.”

U.S. crude futures settled up 75 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $66.30 a barrel, after hitting an intraday high of $66.60, the highest since Oct. 31.

Brent crude rose 47 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $74.51 a barrel. The global benchmark earlier touched $74.73, a level not seen since Nov. 1.

Before the reimposition of sanctions last year, Iran was the fourth-largest producer among OPEC at around 3 million barrels per day (bpd), but April exports have shrunk to below 1 million bpd, according to tanker data and industry sources.

For a graphic on Iran seaborne crude oil & condensate exports, click: tmsnrt.rs/2DE8CHt

The market structure for U.S. crude changed Monday, with the front month trading at a premium to the next month. The trend, known as backwardation, intensified on Tuesday with the largest premium since December.

Brent was also in backwardation, hitting its highest front-month premium in three weeks.

“The backwardation is indicative of what is really driving things,” Again’s Kilduff said.

The premium for front-month crude shows the immediate supply constraints are seen as time-limited, given Saudi Arabia’s ability to tap excess capacity, he said.

China, Iran’s largest customer with imports of about 585,400 bpd of crude oil last year, formally complained to Washington over the move, which a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said “will contribute to volatility in the Middle East and in the international energy market.”

The move to increase pressure on Iran came amid other sanctions Washington has placed on Venezuela’s oil exports and as combat threatens to disrupt Libya’s exports.

For a graphic on Russian, U.S. & Saudi crude oil production, click: tmsnrt.rs/2EUHeFO

U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected last week, while gasoline inventories increased and distillate stocks drew, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.

Crude inventories rose by 6.9 million barrels in the week to April 19 to 459.6 million, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.3 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 389,000 barrels, API said.

Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore and Noah Browning in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Kirsten Donovan and Chris Reese

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-global-oil/global-oil-surges-amid-opec-caution-to-offset-iran-sanctions-idUKKCN1RZ01S
 

AlfaMan

Has No Life - Lives on TB
True, but the Saudis have the pipeline to the red sea so the strait of Hormuz isn't as much a bottleneck to them.

We still import 800,000 to 1,000,000 barrels of oil a day from Saudi Arabia alone, to say nothing of the rest of OPEC
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
DEBKAfile Englishþ @debka_english · 15h15 hours ago

US severs Iran’s oil export lifeline. A hawkish new Revolutionary Guards chief prepares payback

DEBKAfile Englishþ @debka_english · Apr 21

Khamenei appoints new Revolutionary Guards commander -
 

Bardou

Veteran Member
I just filled up, there were 2 gas tanker trucks reloading the tanks! Cars pulling in and out to get the cheap gas. $3.55 a gallon at the casino, but every where I looked it was $4.03+ a gallon. The Indian casinos are the cheapest around for gas and everyone is taking advantage of it.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Iran Threatens To Close Strait Of Hormuz If US Blocks Its Oil Exports

by Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Monday, 04/22/2019 - 08:31

With oil surging to a six month high after a now confirmed report that Trump will not reissue Iranian oil export waivers after they expire on May 2, removing up to 1 million barrels from the market...

... Tehran has gone on the offensive and on Monday a senior Iranian military official said the Islamic Republic will close the Strait of Hormuz if it’s prevented from using it, the state-run Fars news agency reported.

"The Strait of Hormuz based on international law is a waterway and if we are prevented from using it, we will close it,” Reuters reported, citing Alireza Tangsiri, head of the revolutionary guards navy force.

Separately, the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Monday quoted an unnamed Iranian oil ministry source as saying that "whether the waivers continue or not, Iran’s oil exports will not be zero under any circumstances unless Iranian authorities decide to stop oil exports ... and this is not relevant now." The source added that "we have been monitoring and analyzing all possible scenarios and conditions for the advance of our country’s oil exports, and necessary measures have been taken ... Iran is not waiting for America’s decision or the lack of it to export its oil. We have years of experience in neutralizing efforts by enemies to strike blows against our country."

* * *

To be sure, this is not the first time Iran has made such a threat: back in December Iran warned it would close the global oil chokepoint, when it said that "if someday, the United States decides to block Iran’s oil (exports), no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf."

President Rouhani's December threat had been welcomed by hardline clerics and military officials, including Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.

Previously, in early November, a prominent hardline cleric told a Friday prayer gathering in Mashhad, considered Iran's spiritual capital, that Iran has the power to "instantly" create conditions for $400 a barrel oil prices if it decides to act in the Persian Gulf. Shia cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda grabbed headlines at the time by declaring, "If Iran decides, a single drop of this region's oil will not be exported and in 90 minutes all Persian Gulf countries will be destroyed."

And during the prior summer, after similar threats were issued from Tehran the spokesman for the US military's Central Command, Captain Bill Urban, told the Associated Press that US sailors and its regional allies "stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows".

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway carrying a fifth of the world’s traded oil that Iranian officials have threatened to block in retaliation for sanctions targeting the country’s nuclear program.

The U.S. has said it would move to stop any Iranian attempt to block the waterway.

As such, if Trump is indeed serious about not renewing Iran's export waivers, it may launch a sequence of events that culminated with regional war that pits Iran against the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Whether or not Russia and China back Iran could mean the difference between a localized conflict and World War III.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-22/iran-threatens-close-strait-hormuz-if-us-blocks-its-oil-exports
 

SmithJ

Veteran Member
True, but the Saudis have the pipeline to the red sea so the strait of Hormuz isn't as much a bottleneck to them.
Yes, but the pipeline capacity is limited and tankers have to transit the straits to the Gulf of Aden past Yemen, whom the Saudi’s are currently at war with.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Iran has three options 1 close the Strait of Hormuz or 2 close the Strait of Bab al-Mandab or 3 close both straits.

The Strait of Bab al-Mandab is at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Iran's Allies in Yemen could fire missile at oil tankers in the strait.

NW
 

night driver

ESFP adrift in INTJ sea
And again, people are shaping their expectations to match the insanity that "Trump = Obama".

He is NOT.

And he doesn't pussy out like Barry the First.
 

TheSearcher

Are you sure about that?
Iran has three options 1 close the Strait of Hormuz or 2 close the Strait of Bab al-Mandab or 3 close both straits.

The Strait of Bab al-Mandab is at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Iran's Allies in Yemen could fire missile at oil tankers in the strait.

NW
Option #3: The Iranian people string up the mullahs and stop them from causing the country to glow in the dark.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3
Iran: Senior IRGC officer flees, increasing defections reported – Iran Commentary

Iran: Senior IRGC officer flees, increasing defections reported
irancommentary.wordpress.com
5:26 PM · Apr 23, 2019 ·
https://t.co/UBKMNeSn6y
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
If this alls going south, expect Iran and Saudi Arabia to be in military conflict real soon.

Expect missiles fired from Iran to try to take out oil pipelines and refineries.

NW
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This bares watching as well

EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3
US ambassador to Russia meets Navy leaders in Italy to discuss response to Russian naval activity in the region - News - Stripes

US ambassador to Russia meets Navy leaders in Italy to discuss response to Russian naval activity...
stripes.com
5:30 PM · Apr 23, 2019 ·
https://t.co/PiKQI7BrYw
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member
Trouble in The Straits is NOT what we need right now.
High gas and diesel prices will slow the economy, and I would really rather not see a shooting war in the Middle East. :shk:
Pretty much what most of the other countries in the world are likely saying too.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
ELINT News
@ELINTNews
#UPDATE: NEW- President Trump & his advisers are considering revoking sanctions waivers that have allowed several countries to collaborate with Iran on civil nuclear projects, including those intended to restrict Iran's nuclear production capabilities

Trump admin mulls more sanctions that could threaten safeguards on Iran's nuclear program
cnn.com
5:58 PM · Apr 23, 2019 · https://t.co/MdQUoIYgJ4


ELINT News
@ELINTNews
·
1h
Replying to
@ELINTNews
#UPDATE: Trump admin officials held several meetings in recent weeks to discuss eliminating some or all of the nuclear sanctions waivers, but a decision has not yet been made. National Security Adviser John Bolton has been among those pushing for the US to take this next step

ELINT News
@ELINTNews
·
1h
#UPDATE: Several nuclear experts have warned that eliminating the sanctions waivers that allow countries like Russia and China to help Iran modify its nuclear facilities would be a provocative move and could prompt Iran to leave the agreement

ELINT News
@ELINTNews
·
1h
@IntelCrab

@TheWarMonitor
if this happens, another nail in the coffin after US left JCPOA last year and imposed massive sanctions on Iran, then designated IRGC as foreign terror org last week, removed sanctions waivers on all nations importing Iranian oil just yesterday, now this
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Seth Frantzman
@sfrantzman
·
1h
There were reports of increased naval activity, including two US aircraft carrier groups, now in the Mediterranean , of interest also the Mission #Clemenceau Le Charles de Gaulle had met USS Stennis in Red Sea bit over a week ago.
(link: https://www.stripes.com/news/us-ambassador-to-russia-meets-navy-leaders-in-italy-to-discuss-response-to-russian-naval-activity-in-the-region-1.578086#.XL9DLEUieZg.twitter) stripes.com/news/us-ambass…
Image

Seth Frantzman
@sfrantzman
·
1h
My map shows the routes of these groups. The USS Stennis had left Manama on March 28-29 and headed via Hormuz to the Bab-el-Mandeb to Red Sea and then Suez. The Lincoln was in Palma de Mallorca on April 15. #Navalhistory

??? ????? ???? Retweeted

Seth Frantzman
@sfrantzman
Basically, despite the story of some massive naval build-up, it's not as clear. The French are heading for the Indian Ocean and the Americans going in the other direction. The idea that there is some massive fleet due to Iran tensions may be just coincidence.
5:26 PM · Apr 23, 2019 ·
14
Retweets
20
Likes

Seth Frantzman
@sfrantzman
·
1h
Replying to
@sfrantzman
Someone pointed out that in the Persian Gulf at the moment is "Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is in the Persian Gulf. On April 11, the ARG and part of the MEU made a port visit in Jebel Ali, UAE"

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: April 22, 2019
news.usni.org
https://t.co/tA6DLp85JH
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Mina‏ @Minajabbarian · 5h5 hours ago

Today, @SecPompeo announced that the U.S. will grant ZERO EXCEPTIONS to all importers of Iranian oil, in order to deny the regime the revenue it needs to fund terrorism and violent wars abroad.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Holger Zschaepitzþ @Schuldensuehner · Apr 21

Oil jumps >2% as US to eliminate Iran #oil waivers after May 2 expiration. The current set of waivers -- issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey -- expire May 2
 

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Shacknasty Shagrat

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Holger Zschaepitzþ @Schuldensuehner · Apr 21

Oil jumps >2% as US to eliminate Iran #oil waivers after May 2 expiration. The current set of waivers -- issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey -- expire May 2
Excellent graphics!!
Here is a little more data, The US will be able to increase the 11mbopd but over time.
And a personal anecdote, 6 months ago, we were offered $30,000 for the family share in two existing wells, 4 months ago, they increased the offer to $50,000. Last week, they bumped the offer to $90,000.
What will China do?
The US can help out with SKorea, India and Japan.
Remember, when Trump does stuff, he does it bigly.
SS
'U.S. monthly crude oil production exceeds 11 million barrels per day in August. U.S. crude oil production reached 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in August 2018, according to EIA's latest Petroleum Supply Monthly, up from 10.9 million b/d in July.Nov 1, 2018'
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=us+oil+production+barrels+per+day
 
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mzkitty

I give up.
Posted this on the Winds of War thread; probably should be here too, if it isn't already posted:


Sotiri Dimpinoudis ❁‏
‏ @sotiridi
3h3 hours ago

#Breaking: US aircraft have reportedly performed a number of air-strikes, and bombed 32 oil trucks who tried to enter areas of the Syrian regime routes transporting oil from #Iran.
 
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