Editor's note: As part of our partnership with PBS's Nightly Business Report, TheStreet's Scott Eden will join NBR on Tuesday (check local listings) to discuss how the ongoing turmoil in Egypt is impacting oil tanker stocks.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Concerns have eased that the political turmoil in Egypt -- and a potential revolution in that nation -- could force the closing of the Suez Canal.
The crucial artery, through which about 4.5% of the world's oil production passes each day, is controlled by the Egyptian military and operated under the auspices of the government-owned Suez Canal Authority.
It generated some $9 billion for Egypt in 2009, the latest year for which data is available, and thus represents the nation's third-largest source of foreign currency. For that reason, analysts say, it's in no one's interest to close the canal -- neither the embattled regime hanging on to power by a thin string, nor any new government that takes its place.
The greatest concern at the moment, according to analysts, is that a labor shortage caused by the uprising or the resulting national curfew might disrupt the canal's operation.
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