Maritime Choke Points and the Global Energy System

  Maritime Chokepoints and Energy Flows Chatham House-MaritimeSecurity.Asia   The global energy transport system is vulnerable to disruption at key maritime choke points such as the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, Bab Al-Mandab, the Suez Canal, the Turkish Straits and the Strait of Hormuz.( + NOK). zz The impact of a disruption on energy supply, prices and markets depends on its extent and duration. Perceptions and the interaction of ‘wet barrel’ and ‘paper barrel’ markets play a major role in determining price level and volatility. zz Measures closing international straits are generally illegal in peacetime, and international law requires maintaining rights of transit passage during war. zz Establishing and maintaining legal and political norms around the security of maritime choke points – involving user states, consumer states and international bodies – are essential. zz Cooperative mechanisms between coastal states can enhance confidence, while the likelihood of deliberate disruptions would be reduced by industry and government measures to mitigate their effects. zz The security of maritime choke points ultimately rests on the observance of international law, and on the willingness and capacity of interested members of the international community to enforce it if necessary. Beyond these physical choke points, other factors or potential supply restrictions could also contribute to price volatility. Politically inspired sanctions, from whatever source, may further restrict supply.10 Finally, in recent times, the recrudescence of piracy, particularly in an increasingly broad maritime area off the Horn of Africa, presents a threat to steady oil supplies, and could lead to additional costs.11 Interestingly, when Somali pirates captured three Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCCs) in 2009–10 there was almost no impact on the oil price even though all three tankers had been loaded at Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia and were bound for the American market. Thus this direct threat to Western oil supplies went effectively unnoticed by the paper markets.27 The United Nations Security Council has, in recent years, acted to promote maritime security in the nonconflict context of multilateral anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia (under UNSC Resolution 1816 and then 1851 passed in December 2008).55 And while these resolutions have been very clear in emphasizing that these actions do not create any new customary international law – and in any case apply against a non-state actor against which there is universal jurisdiction – they do demonstrate the increasing willingness of the international community to act multilaterally to protect international shipping.   12 Seiten im obigen pdf ausführlich  
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