Over 90 percent of oil exports from the Persian Gulf pass through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital sea passage only 30 miles wide at its narrowest point. It is commonly believed that a tanker accident, a terrorist attack, or a military effort to close the Strait would send energy prices skyrocketing, threaten ing the global economy. Some scenarios might temporarily interrupt oil flows, while others, such as a major Iranian military attack, might have longer-term consequences.
This website is intended to help assess the threat to oil flows through the Strait. It provides background on the political, economic, business, technical, and military issues involved in potential disruptions. Oil producers, tanker and insurance companies, and regional and global military forces would all react to any attack on Persian Gulf shipping.
Historical and technical perspectives offered here should help readers attain careful, reasoned, responsible views of the severity of the dangers imposed by the world's dependence on the Strait of Hormuz.