I dearly hope the Iranians haven't been reading my blogs. Because a while back on this very site I warned that if Iran decided to block the Straight of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, they'd throw the world's oil markets into turmoil. We'll, guess what? That's exactly what Iran has threatened to do, and this week the US has dispatched their navy to make sure this vital energy channel stays clear. 15.5 million barrels of oil go through Hormuz every day and that's nearly a third of all the oil consumed on the planet.
A grim prediction that I hope wouldn't come true. But it has. And because of all this international sabre rattling, the oil speculators are bound to start buying up crude futures in the hope of some opportunistic profit from potential future shortages. All this shows just how vulnerable the oil market is to the ebbs and flows of geopolitical upsets and we poor baffled consumers sit at the end of this massive multi-billion dollar food chain getting royally shafted.
And here's another sobering snippet of news. In 2011 there was a global banking group that actually had more oil sailing around oceans in tankers than BP.
That shows just what an important trading commodity oil has become and how many of the world's financial institutions will come to rely upon crude as part of their balance sheets. So don't talk to me about any more government fuel duty rises. 2012 is going to see oil climb in price again and the last thing we need is more self-inflicted pain.