Washington — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday questioned the US role protecting oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, arguing that the expensive military presence benefits “very rich” Middle East exporters and Asian importers when the US no longer needs the oil.
“We get very little oil from the straits anymore,” he said during a speech at a teen summit in Washington. “We hardly use it.
“We’re getting 10% [of oil from the Strait of Hormuz], only because we sort of feel an obligation to do it,” Trump continued. “We don’t really need it, we’ve become an exporter, we don’t need it.” Trump said the US has policed the key oil chokepoint “for many, many decades” without reimbursement from other countries. “Why are we policing for China? Very rich. For Japan? Very rich,” he said. “Why are we doing it? Why do we have our ships there?” Shipping risks through the Strait of Hormuz have climbed since Iran seized a UK-flagged chemical tanker and briefly detained a UK-owned VLCC on Friday. The incident followed tanker attacks in May and June. About 17.3 million b/d of crude oil and 3.3 million b/d of refined products flowed through the strait last year, or the equivalent of about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption, according to the US Energy Information Administration. About 76% of the crude and condensate that moved through the chokepoint went to Asia, EIA said. The US imported about 1.4 million b/d of crude and condensate from Persian Gulf countries through the strait last year, or about 18% of total imports and 7% of US liquids demand, EIA said. The escalating tensions have forced Asian refiners and shipowners to weigh alternative crude sources, deploy contingency plans and boost safety measures for navigation along Iran’s coastal areas. The US Department of Defense and State Department have for weeks been trying to build a coalition called Operation Sentinel to share the burden of protecting the waterway. They have yet to announce specific results of that diplomacy. Japanese and British officials have signaled the two key US allies would not take part in the coalition, although Japan had upper house elections Sunday and the UK got a new prime minister Tuesday. Nick Bit: Just to keep the record straight in GROSS terms the US produces more oil then it consumes and does export a SMALL amount. BUT the US still imports a LOT of oil because the old outdated US refiners cannot use a lot of the crude oil America produces. And the pipelines do not exist to get that oil from the remote parts of America to the refineries. And starting later this year the US will hit peek oil production. And output will fall! Fracked wells lose over 90% of their production after the first year. AND AND AND the economics don’t work. Its costs more to keep fracking the wells then the oil they produce. A deep dark little secret they keep forgetting to tell you. That is why fracking companies are going broke wholesale. And the smart money will not loan them another penny. As far as gulf oil through the straights. its the cheapest oil in the world to produce and very soon America will need more of that supply as the fracking boom turns into a bust!