Editorial: Egypt's crucial stake in world oil supply

Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shout

Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shout during clashes with Egyptian police at the Rabaah Al-Adawiya protest camp in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt. (Aug. 14, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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That's roughly the number of barrels of oil passing through Egypt's Suez Canal and Sumed pipeline daily, about 5 percent of global consumption. Oil futures surged on financial markets last week amid rampant political violence in Egypt. Though the bloodshed prompted Egypt's army to step up canal security, a closure wouldn't be unprecedented. Egypt blocked the canal from 1967 to 1975.

The turmoil of the Arab Spring -- Libya's production is still down -- could again bring the region's volatile geopolitics back to U.S. gas pumps.

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