Situation vision by the Russian experts (Adm.) |
Difficult, frequently the disputed questions caused by persevering and consecutive realization Islamic republic of Iran of the national nuclear program, induce politicians, military men and expert community actively to discuss prospects of development of a situation round Iran, to assume various, including. Power variants of the decision of the Iranian nuclear problem. In passing discussions one of the major places is taken away to the political, economic and military aspects connected with Strait of Ormuz. As conditions around this waterway are characterized by regular aggravations of intensity that it is possible to observe now.
The inquiry: Strait of Ormuz is between Arabian Peninsula (Oman, the United Arab Emirates) and Iran. It connects the Persian and Oman gulfs of Arabian Sea.
Length of passage - 105 miles (195 km), width - 29,2-62,2 miles (54-116 km), depth of a navigable part? From 27 to 229 m. the Passage is divided into two ship canals in width about 2, 5 km everyone, 5 kilometer buffer zone separated from each other. Both ship canals are in maritime belt of Oman. And tankers, as a rule, use for pass through passage northern channel.
Further in the Gulf the tanker way passes near to the islands Big and Small Tomb grasped by Iran in December, 1971, in waters, as which Iran considers as the (territorial dispute from the United Arab Emirates (эмират Races-ales-hajma) of an accessory of islands till now is not settled). We will notice also that oil from the countries of a zone of Persian Gulf is taken out mainly by the supertankers having displacement to 500 thousand of tons. Strait of Ormuz? A key element of Persian Gulf, its collar.
The waterway from Persian Gulf through Strait of Ormuz is considered one of the major international sea transport communications. It’s raised, sensitive importance for world politics and economy consists that now from the Gulf zone through passage transportation to 40 percents of world export of oil is carried out by the sea. This oil is extracted in Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Daily from region by tankers it is taken out from 16, 5 to 19 million barrels of oil which is delivered in the Asian states (13 million barrels), mainly to Japan (5,5 million barrels, or? Oil import) and China (3,9 million barrels), and through Bab el Mandeb and Suez canal arrives in the European countries. Besides, the part of the Arabian oil goes to the North America and other states. Besides oil by sea through strait of Ormuz (mainly from Iran and Qatar, and also from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) daily by tankers it is transported to 3,5billion cubic foots сжиженного the natural gas exported to Asia (mainly to Japan, South Korea and India), Europe and the North America. Important value has also that by sea through Strait of Ormuz the considerable part of the foreign trade turnover (not connected directly with hydro carbonic sector) the states of a zone of Persian Gulf, first of all Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and also Iran and Saudi Arabia, and, partly, Iraq is carried out.
Expert estimations show, what even the short-term termination of navigation through Strait of Ormuz will lead to a suspension большей to a part of oil and gas deliveries from the states of a zone of the Gulf. In turn, the termination of deliveries of hydrocarbon raw materials will negatively be reflected in a world hydrocarbon conjuncture, a world economic situation as a whole. The spasmodic rise in prices for the oil visually testifies to it, caused only threats of occurrence of a confrontation in a zone of Persian Gulf or military men “Games”, regularly spent here both Iranians, and Americans and their allies.
Let's notice that from a suspension of deliveries of oil and gas from the Gulf countries will suffer not only the countries importing it from the Arabian monarchy, Iran and Iraq, but also the states-exporters which will have considerable financial losses, and their general economic and social situation considerably will worsen that is fraught with destabilization of internal political conditions, growth of activity of opposition forces, mainly radical Islamic orientation.
As to alternative ways of transportation of hydrocarbons from the Gulf zone for today and the next years they as show calculations of experts, are unable replace to the full a sea way through Strait of Ormuz. So, petro- and gas pipelines from East province of Saudi Arabia to port Janbu on Red sea have the limited throughput (an oil pipeline? 5 million barrels a day, but after carrying out of necessary completions). The Arabian monarchies consider a variant of building of a powerful oil pipeline through territory of Oman with an exit to gulf of Oman.
However this project is still very far from practical realization and one of obstacles for its realization is the position of Oman, doing not wish to clash with Iran and co-operating with ИРИ in oil and gas spheres. The Transarabian oil pipeline (Tapline), laid in even 1940th years from Saudi Arabia through Jordan and Syria in the South Lebanese port Sajda does not work within several decades. Its capacity made 500 thousand barrels a day. There is no yet a speech and about possibility of transportation of oil from Southern Iraq to Syria, Turkey or to Saudi Arabia (to port Janbu). Nevertheless, Iraq has a number of advantages in this question: the country in a condition to pump over oil from the northern deposits in Turkish Mediterranean port Dzhejhan. Capacity of this oil pipeline about 1, 6 million barrels a day. Also during rather small time it is possible to restore work of an oil pipeline from Iraq in the Syrian port of Tartus and the Lebanese Tripoli (here, apparently, has put not so much in technical problems, how many in the political decision). Through this oil pipeline it is possible to pump over every day to 700 thousand barrels of oil.
The civil-engineering design of an oil pipeline from area of the Iraq city of Hadita to the Jordanian port Aqaba in the Akaba gulf of Red sea is studied. Its capacity should make 500 thousand barrels of oil a day. Completely have no alternative to a sea way of export of oil Kuwait and Qatar. Has no alternative ways of export of the oil and Iran. The similar situation develops and with transportation of natural gas. Iran has a gas pipeline for its export to small volumes to Armenia. As to a gas pipeline Iran? Pakistan? India even in case of the positive political decision of this point in question for its building and commissioning some years is required. At level of discussions there is possible participation Islamic republic of Iran in the international project “Nabuko” On gas transportation through Turkey to Europe. As to Qatar possessing third in the world after Russia and Iran stocks of natural gas this country simply does not have other way of its export as by sea through strait of Ormuz. Complexities with export of gas an overland way are available for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Thus, in foreseeable prospect the situation with ways of transportation of hydrocarbon raw materials from a zone of Persian Gulf hardly will seriously change. Moreover, existing forecasts speak about increase in loading at transportation of oil and gas by sea. And it at the general growth petro- and газодобычи in region and increase in a share of Near-Eastern hydrocarbon raw materials in the world market which by 2020 should make 36 percents (in 2006 - 30 percents). Simultaneously also the geography of export of the Arabian, Iraq and Iranian oil essentially will change. So, if in 2003 the share of the countries of Asia made in it of 24 percents in 2030 this indicator as it is predicted, should reach 58 percents the general considerable dependence of economic on hydrocarbon raw materials will remain also. So, by estimates of experts, in 2030 in universal fuel balance the share of the liquid fuel which has been not connected with oil and natural gas will make only 9 percents
V.P.Jurchenko (Institute of the Near East, 15.07.2008)
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