Source: Energy Information Administration, World Oil Transit Chokepoints.
Oil Transited at Major Strategic Locations, 2010
The geostrategy of maritime petroleum circulation is mainly composed of major chokepoints, with two of extremely high importance; Hormuz and Malacca. Hormuz represents the most important strategic passage in the world, solely because of its access to the oil fields of the Middle East through the Persian Gulf, while Malacca is an active commercial point of transit between the Indian and Pacific oceans. From the Persian Gulf, two major axis of oil circulation service Western Europe and the United States (westbound) and Pacific Asia (eastbound). As the eastbound and westbound pressure on oil circulation increases, so does the need to maintain the integrity of the strategic passages supporting its trade. This is particularly the case for China, as its oil imports are transiting through the Strait of Hormuz, Malacca and the South China Sea. A significant amount of oil is also transit through the Danish Straits (e.g. Oresund) as well as Bosporus. In both cases, flows are mainly related to Russian oil exports.