The Strait of Hormuz is a strait situated between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman that provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. It is bounded by Iran on its North Coast, and the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman on its South Coast. Qeshm Island is also located in the Strait of Hormuz and belongs to Iran. The Strait has a width of 54 kilometres at its narrowest.
The Strait is of vital importance to international trade as is estimated that an average of over 14 tankers carrying 17 million barrels of crude oil pass through the Strait every day, representing about 20% of the world's total petroleum and around 35% of the petroleum traded by sea. According to reports, more than 85% of these crude oil exports are intended for Asian markets, with Japan, India, South Korea and China the main destinations.