ME oil supply situation as Gaza war brings world into unknown territory (part 2)

Guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87)

26 Nov 23
“Following the detentions, Houthi forces fired two short-range ballistic missiles at Mason and the tanker, according to CENTCOM.
At approximately 0141 on Nov. 27 Sanaa time, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of USS Mason (DDG-87) and M/V Central Park. The missiles landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships. USS Mason, which is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, was concluding its response to the M/V Central Park distress call at the time of the missile launches. There was no damage or reported injuries from either vessel during this incident,” reads a late Sunday statement from CENTCOM.

Tradewinds reported about the 20,000-dwt Central Park:
26 Nov 2023
The Turkish-captained vessel has a multinational crew consisting of a crew of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals. The vessel is carrying a full cargo of phosphoric acid.

Where exactly was it?

South west of Aden

This incident shows how close we could come to the beginning of a tanker war and how quickly that can happen without us really prepared for that. The Impact of a tanker war can be seen in Iraq’s oil production history shown in the graph below. Today it would be more serious as oil depletion has advanced by 40 years.

Fig 1: Iraq oil production since 1965

The tanker war in the 1980s, the sanctions on Saddam Hussein (Oil for Food Program) and the Iraq war with its following civil unrest have interrupted oil production, resulting in an “under production” of oil compared to its reserves.

Fig 2: Iraq monthly crude production and Brent oil price (EIA data)

Iraq war and its aftermath failed to stop the beginning of peak oil in 2005

Fig 3: Iraqi crude production and exports (Jodi data)

Fig 4: Kuwait oil production since 1965

Fig 5: Kuwait crude production and exports (Jodi data)

Fig 6: UAE oil production since 1965

Fig 7: UAE monthly crude production (EIA data)

Fig 8: Qatar oil production (crude, condensate, NGPLs)