16 Oil Tankers Stuck in Suez Canal

16 Oil Tankers Stuck in Suez Canal

March 26, 2021

Early Tuesday morning a 1,300-foot-long container ship became lodged sideways across the Suez Canal. The canal is one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

According to the Suez Canal Authority, “Nearly 19,000 ships, or an average of 51.5 ships per day, with a net tonnage of 1.17 billion tonnes passed through the canal during 2020.”

Right now, 16 oil tankers have been delayed because of the blockage. This is already causing oil prices to rise, yesterday oil prices rose $2 per barrel. This could cost global trade billions of dollars. A study by German Insurer Allianz estimated the blockage could cost global trade up to $10 billion a week.

This event shows how important it is for the United States to maintain our energy independence and domestic oil and gas supply. If we continue to rely heavily on foreign oil, events abroad like this will dramatically affect American businesses and households.

This also highlights the importance of infrastructure projects like pipelines, that provide a safe and reliable way to transport oil. Mark Williams, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie explains how the Sumed pipeline is beneficial in this situation.

“The Sumed pipeline between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean is used to divert Middle East crude oil flows to Europe around the Suez Canal, so we expect minimal impact on such flows. Russian Black Sea crude exports beyond the Mediterranean will be limited by the blockage of the Suez Canal, so will need to be processed within by Mediterranean refiners.”

In January President Biden made the mistake of canceling the Keystone Pipeline. This order not only cost thousands of American jobs but took away much-needed infrastructure to transport oil safely from Canada throughout the U.S. Hopefully, this week’s events show President Biden and his administration how important it is to have energy independence, as well as reliable channels to transport oil and gas to every American community.