Ever Given, none taken; A short diary note about getting stuck (badly)
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The Suez Canal — a man-made waterway that provides passage for around 50 ships a day.
So you can imagine the traffic jam currently backing up due to the directional difficulties of the Ever Given, which lost its sense of space and time overnight.
The cargo ship is about 400m long and 59m wide.
Evidently, that’s about the same width of the Canal itself, judging by this timeless snapshot which is now dominating the 24-hour news cycle.
The photo was taken by engineer Julianne Cona, who’s stuck on the boat behind.
It looks like the vessel ran aground before getting itself wedged, and a bunch of tug boats are now facing a Herculean effort to straighten it out.
(That followed what looks like a comical attempt by a small excavator, which can be seen at the right hand side of the above picture).
Satellite imagery shows other boats are now starting to bunch up behind the Ever Given, which has been up sh*t creek for more than 12 hours now.
Carved out by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, the Canal provides a direct trade route between Europe and Asia by connecting the Atlantic and Indian oceans via the Mediterranean Sea.
The Egyptian government launched a multi-billion dollar infrastructure program in 2015 to expand the canal’s capacity.
Of the more than 50,000 ships that pass through the canal each year, many are oil tankers.
A report from the US Energy Information Administration said the smooth functioning of the canal is “critical to global energy security”.
“Total oil flows through the Suez Canal and the SUMED pipeline accounted for about 9% of total seaborne traded petroleum (crude oil and refined petroleum products) in 2017,” the EIA said.
So far oil prices are little-changed from the news, with brent crude trading at around $US60 a barrel as at 1pm AEST.