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India and China cannot rely on US oil as Iran troubles heat up

American shale offers some hope for Asia, but practical problems too

| India

The threat to the Asia's vital oil supplies from the Middle East has escalated sharply since four oil tankers were sabotaged in the Gulf of Oman on May 13. A second attack on oil vessels in the region in June, the arrest of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iran's revolutionary guards, and the U.S. and Iran shooting down each other's surveillance drones in the area -- these all point to a protracted problem that could become much worse before it gets better.

But as Asia's biggest oil-consuming economies grapple with the twin challenges of this escalating hostility and losing access to Iranian crude under U.S. sanctions, their solution -- seeking refuge in increased imports from the U.S. -- is a risky strategy.

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