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Bypassing the Strait of Hormuz? Not quite yet.

The United Arab Emirates delays the construction of a pipeline that would reduce U.S. reliance on the Strait of Hormuz, at the center of tension between Iran and the U.S. in recent weeks.
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An Emirati soldier stands guard in front of the French navy frigate in 2009. A new pipeline in the United Arab Emirates would help reduce reliance on the Strait of Hormuz for oil exports to the West. (ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

The previous deadline for the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline, which would would bypass the Strait of Hormuz to carry most of the UAE's oil, to international markets, was set for April, Reuters reports

But the UAE oil minister says issues with construction will delay the launching of the pipline for another six months, amid a growing rhetoric tussle between Iran and the U.S. over the strait.  

Flows through the strait -- considered the world's most important shipping lane -- are estimated at around 15-17 million barrels per day, and Iran threatened to close the key waterway following a new round of sanctions against the regime. 

The U.S. relies heavily on Middle East oil and gas imports, much of which passes through the strait. 

U.S. naval forces fired back by rescuing 13 Iranian sailors from Somali pirates in the nearby Arabian Sea. 

More from GlobalPost: Strait of Hormuz: War of words over Iran oil blockade threats (VIDEO)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-casbah/bypassing-the-strait-hormuz-not-quite-yet