Chapter 19

Global Maritime Bottlenecks

19.1Major Oil Chokepoints

The free flow of oil is critical to world commerce and global economic prosperity. Oil trade requires the use of maritime trade routes, which can span from hundreds to thousands of miles, as well as unhindered access to jetties and other port facilities. Hence, oil tankers often travel through straits and canals to reduce transport costs. These passageways—referred to as chokepoints—are narrow channels along the most widely used global sea routes, some so narrow that restrictions are placed on the size of the vessel that can navigate through them.150

Chokepoints are a critical part of global energy security because of the high volume of petroleum and other liquids transported through ...

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