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First winter season oil shipments over the frozen Arctic heralded a success

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 June 2015

Total of 110,000 tonnes sent to Europe across the new Northern Sea Route.

History was made earlier this year when 16,000 tonnes of Novy Port oil set off from Yamal on board tankers destined for Europe via the new Northern Sea Route. Picture: Gazfprom Neft

The first-ever winter programme of shipping oil over the roof of the world has been completed by Gazprom and heralded a major success.

History was made earlier this year when 16,000 tonnes of Novy Port oil set off from Yamal on board tankers destined for Europe via the new Northern Sea Route.

Since then a number of other ships have made the same journey over the Arctic, with a total of 110,000 tonnes navigating its way north from the Novoportovskoye field in Yamal.

Alexander Dyukov, chairman of the board of Gazprom Neft, said: 'The long-term strategy of is to increase production in the fields of the far north, both on land and at sea. These projects will continue to develop rapidly and within a few years they will account for a substantial part of the company's production.

'We are continuing to develop uniquely for the Russian oil and gas industry technical, logistical and marketing solutions that allow us not only to begin the year-round industrial development of Novoportovskoye field, but also increase the share of export payments in Russian roubles.'

Winter oil


Winter oil


Winter oil

Escorted by ice breaking ships, the first tankers went over the Arctic in February, with the route through the Kara Sea slashing at least three weeks off normal sailing times from Russia to European trading partners. Pictures: Gazprom Neft

Escorted by ice breaking ships, the first tankers went over the Arctic in February, with the route through the Kara Sea slashing at least three weeks off normal sailing times from Russia to European trading partners.

Until then, shipping had to travel via the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal as well as the pirate-plagued Gulf of Aden.

The operation has been a success and has also passed all strict ecological tests, with the equipment used in the pumping process specially certified. A number of training exercises were also held before the start of the shipments to allow personnel to practice potential emergency situations.

Located above the Arctic Circle, Novoportovskoye is one of the largest developed oil and gas fields on the Yamal Peninsula. Its isolated geography means that shipping via Cape Kamenny is the most efficient way to transport oil.

Currently, oil from the field is delivered to the coast via a discharge pipeline stretching over 100km and with the capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year.

Novoportovskoye deposit


Novoportovskoye deposit


Novoportovskoye deposit

Located above the Arctic Circle, Novoportovskoye is one of the largest developed oil and gas fields on the Yamal Peninsula. Pictures: Gazprom Neft

In January, the company began the construction of the second stage of the pipeline, which in future will transport at least 5.5million tonnes of oil per year.

After increasing the capacity of the pipeline, and the construction of a new oil terminal, oil will be able to be transported by sea all year round.

Earlier this month Gazprom Neft announced it planned building its own fleet of icebreakers, and signed contracts for two of the specialised ships.

According to Denis Sugaipov, the head of the directorate for major projects, they will be 'unique ships in terms of technical characteristics' and will be operational by 2017.

Meanwhile a number of other major infrastructure projects are being built as Sabetta as the region gears up to increase trade across the roof of the world, and for the opening of the new LNG plant.

Comments (6)

Would be interesting to be given some idea of the difference in fuel costs between the two routes. It must be substantial.
Simon Robinson, Crewe UK
12/06/2015 01:21
3
0
Tony, te difference from soviet times is that now the Route is open also during the Winter, so production doesnt have to stop...that is why it is new as now it can be used all the year.
Enrique, Spain
10/06/2015 08:23
4
0
1. You reference the "New Northern Sea Route" - The Soviets used this route extensively in the 1970's -80's. It's not new.
2. The journeys you mention involve less than one third of the Northern Sea Route - technically much less if we note that the Northern Sea Route ends at the Kara Gate.
3. The article says "Until then, shipping had to travel via the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal as well as the pirate-plagued Gulf of Aden." Seriously? from Yamal, through Suez, to Europe? Seems like a rather circuitous route.
Tony, Boston MA USA
09/06/2015 23:18
1
0
Global warming surely has its advantages.
Xueyu Ouyang, Castillo, Tierra del Fuego
07/06/2015 00:59
4
1
How about a map to show us the route? That would be interesting!
Erica, USA
06/06/2015 03:38
8
0
The laser being developed in Siberia to cut icebergs Will make an interesting contribution in the futuro.
Enrique, Spain
06/06/2015 01:05
4
1
1

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