Editorial: Turkish Straits Of The Dire Kind

Tim Haïdar

"The only safe ship in a storm is leadership"

And well may the world need enlightened leadership as storm clouds rain bullets over the Syrian-Turkish border and drizzling tensions become torrents of enmity. As Turkey looks increasingly like it will be dragged into the escalating conflict with its neighbour to the south, oil prices have risen to reflect the disruption this may cause.

With its topographical position as the pivot between Europe and Asia, full on military engagement would jeopardise vital hydrocarbon supply routes, such as the Turkish Straits that connect the Black sea to the Aegean.

With 1.1 billion barrels of hydrocarbon passing through these narrow aquatic corridors in 5,500 tankers every year, any disturbance of this crucial energy chokepoint could be potentially disastrous.

This geopolitical commotion has also coincided with predictions that a resurgent Iraq could become the world’s second biggest oil exporter by 2030. Sharing a land border with Turkey to the north, production at Iraq’s 10 gigabarrel Kirkuk field may also be affected by a spill over of hostilities.

Let's hope that calm heads prevail in turbulent times.

Read more Oil & Gas Analysis in our Notes from the Editor


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