• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 2 days "What’s In Store For Europe In 2023?" By the CIA (aka RFE/RL as a ruse to deceive readers)
  • 6 days America should go after China but it should be done in a wise way.
  • 17 mins Even Shell Agrees with Climate Change!
  • 2 days How Far Have We Really Gotten With Alternative Energy
  • 2 days World could get rid of Putin and Russia but nobody is bold enough
  • 3 days The European Union is exceptional in its political divide. Examples are apparent in Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Netherlands, Belarus, Ireland, etc.
  • 5 days Oil Stocks, Market Direction, Bitcoin, Minerals, Gold, Silver - Technical Trading <--- Chris Vermeulen & Gareth Soloway weigh in

Breaking News:

OPEC Lifts Production in February

EIA Confirms Moderate Crude Build, Products Draw

EIA Confirms Moderate Crude Build, Products Draw

Crude oil prices went lower…

Petrobras Plans Dividend Squeeze To Fund Transition to Renewables

Petrobras Plans Dividend Squeeze To Fund Transition to Renewables

Brazil’s state-owned energy heavyweight Petrobras…

Drought Could Jeopardize Cargo Flows Through Panama Canal

The worst drought in Panama on record risks creating another bottleneck in global trade and strain supply chains as the water levels in the Panama Canal are at their lowest level since one of the world’s most important trade chokepoints opened for navigation in 1914.

The Panama Canal, an important route connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has seen this year record-low water levels in its Gatún Lake. Authorities have already imposed some navigation restrictions to cope with the drought.

Container ships have had to reduce their loads by around one-quarter over the past month as a result of those restrictions, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Container traffic continues, but some shippers have had to unload containers on the side of the canal on the Pacific Ocean, move them by rail, and then return those to vessels before crossing through the side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Although not a major oil trade route, the Panama Canal handles U.S. LNG cargoes from the U.S. Gulf Coast and copper cargoes from large producer Chile.

In the middle of April, the Panama Canal Authority lowered the maximum draft level for Neopanamax vessels transiting the interoceanic waterway due to the recent drought, which has resulted in low levels in its lake system. Vessels making the transit will be offered a draft of 47.5 feet instead of the maximum allowed, which is 50 feet, the authority said.

Earlier this month, it said that “LNG carriers transiting through the all-water route typically report drafts of up to 37 feet, hence these temporary adjustments have had little impact.”

Rainfalls in Panama have been well below average so far this year, and the El Niño—expected to result in higher temperatures and less rain -- could worsen the water-level situation further in July, the Journal notes.  


Bottlenecks on the Panama Canal, which handles around 5% of annual global maritime trade, could result in delays, create additional supply-chain issues, and push up the costs for chartering vessels and moving goods.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • DoRight Deikins on June 20 2023 said:
    From my info, the drought is quite possibly over.
  • Paul Smith on June 20 2023 said:
    Many of these "unexpected" events will grow as we move deeper into fossil fuel induced climate change. The oil industry is killing itself.

Leave a comment

EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News