Factbox - The Suez Canal: a vital oil transit route with an ancient history

LONDON (Reuters) - The Suez Canal, blocked by a giant container ship that ran aground on Tuesday, is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe and about 15% of global shipping traffic moves through it. The 193-km (120-mile) waterway, run by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, is a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt.

Reuters March 27, 2021 00:06:56 IST
Factbox - The Suez Canal: a vital oil transit route with an ancient history

Factbox  The Suez Canal a vital oil transit route with an ancient history

LONDON (Reuters) - The Suez Canal, blocked by a giant container ship that ran aground on Tuesday, is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe and about 15% of global shipping traffic moves through it.

The 193-km (120-mile) waterway, run by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, is a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt.

HOW MUCH OIL GOES THROUGH THE CANAL?

Of the 39.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil imported by seaborne methods in 2020, 1.74 million bpd went through the Suez Canal, according to data intelligence firm Kpler.

WHICH DIRECTION DO CRUDE OIL BARRELS FLOW?

Crude oil and refined fuels flow in both directions.

Between December and February, 3.6 million bpd of oil moved through the canal, of which 1.5 million bpd was crude, according to the International Energy Administration.

More crude flows eastwards. About 1.1 million bpd went east during this period, accounting for about 4.5% of Asia's seaborne imports. About 400,000 bpd went west, mainly to Europe, the IEA said.

WHAT ABOUT REFINED PRODUCTS?

Just under 9% or 1.54 million bpd of global refined product imports flowed through the Suez Canal last year, according to Kpler. Plastics feedstock naphtha makes up a large portion of refined product flows in the canal.

Most eastbound volumes were fuel oil, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas while mostly diesel and jet fuel went west, the IEA said.

ARE THERE PIPELINES PARALLEL TO THE CANAL?

The 320-km (200-mile) Sumed pipeline connecting the Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean transports 80% of the oil shipped from the Middle East Gulf to Europe, according to the Sumed website.

The pipeline has a capacity of about 2.8 million bpd but utilisation is often well below capacity. About 1.3 million bpd flowed through the system in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The other option is to sail around Africa, which can add two weeks and additional fuel costs to a voyage.

IMPORTANCE FOR LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG)

The canal was used for 6-8%, or 22 million tonnes, of global LNG trade in 2020, according to the IEA. About 25% of Middle East LNG exports transited the waterway to deliver gas mainly for European buyers.

HISTORY

The first canal dug to connect the Red Sea to the Mediterranean dates back to the reign of Senausret III, Pharaoh of Egypt (1887-1849 BCE). A modern artificial waterway was completed in 1869.

Egypt nationalised the canal in 1956, prompting an invasion by shareholders Britain and France along with Israel. The Suez Crisis ended after Egypt sank 40 ships in the canal and the United States, Soviet Union and United Nations intervened, forcing Britain, France and Israel to withdraw.

The canal was badly damaged in the June 1967 Six Day War that pitted Egypt and other Arab countries against Israel. With opposing forces encamped on either side, it remained closed until after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Egypt regained full control of the canal after the Yom Kippur War and reopened it in June 1975.

(Reporting by Julia Payne, Shadia Nasralla, Ron Bousso and Jonathan Saul; Editing by Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour
Business

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour

By Mike Spector and Jeffrey Dastin (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board has begun reviewing ballots from Amazon.com Inc's workers in Alabama, who have voted on whether to form a union, with momentum for future labour organizing at America's second-largest private employer hanging in the balance. Agents from the labour board began sifting through ballots sent to more than 5,800 workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama-based warehouse at 10 a.m

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push
News & Analysis

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push

By Elizabeth Culliford NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spotify Inc said on Tuesday it has purchased Betty Labs, the company behind sports-focused social audio app Locker Room, to accelerate its move into live audio. New voice-based platforms, including invite-only social app Clubhouse, have seen rapid growth in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting
Business

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting

By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Tuesday as the Suez Canal reopened to traffic and the dollar rallied, while focus turned to an OPEC+ meeting this week, where analysts expect an extension to supply curbs to offset dim demand prospects. Brent crude fell $1.20, or 1.9%, at $63.78 a barrel by 1:12 p.m.