World: The Threat to the Oil Flow

No shortages yet, but a closure of the strait could be catastrophic

Within hours of full-scale warfare between Iraq and Iran, the two countries were out of the oil-exporting business, and the world abruptly lost 7% of its total petroleum supply. If it had to happen, the loss could hardly have come at a better time. For good reason, throughout the West there was a concerted effort to reassure the public. Some oil experts and politicians insisted that there was no cause for panic, that the future was not so desperate as some headlines leaped to suggest, and that the immediate impact...

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