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History made as Russian oil heads to Europe over the frozen Arctic

By The Siberian Times reporter
24 February 2015

First shipment leaves from Yamal Peninsula across the roof of the world as tankers head through the Northern Sea Route for first time.

'We are hoping to ship about 50,000 tonnes of oil until May'. Picture: Slava Titov

History has been made after the first winter oil shipment from Russia over the roof of the world left for Europe. The 16,000 tonnes of Novy Port oil set off from Yamal on board tankers that will be the first to navigate through the new Northern Sea Route across the Arctic.

Tests were carried out last year on the feasibility of using the frozen waters, traditionally open for just four months in the summer, all-year-round. Now the first ships have departed on the route ahead of schedule.

Dmitry Kobylkin, the Yamal Nenets Autonomous region governor, offered his congratulations and said it was a 'truly historic event'. He said: 'For the first time oil from Novoportovskoye is going to be delivered to European customers. We want to thank Gazprom Oil for their fruitful co-operation.

'I have no doubt that such successful events like today’s oil shipping will strengthen the company even more, cement our relations, and will work towards further social and economic development of Yamal, as well as will make our country even more successful'.

The Gazprom Oil tankers that left Yamal were escorted by an Atomflot ice breaker, and are due to arrive in Europe early next month. It is estimated the new route through the East Siberian Sea is able to slash at least three weeks off normal sailing times from Russia and Asia to European trading partners.

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

History made as Russian oil heads to Europe over the frozen Arctic
History made as Russian oil heads to Europe over the frozen Arctic. Picture: Slava Titov

Alexander Dyukov, chairman of the board at Gazprom Oil, said: 'We plan to have oil-shipping all year round, and winter shipping confirms that our plans are realistic. As one of the results, we will get a very good experience of working in hard Arctic conditions. The faster that the Novoportovskoye oil site reaches full commercial operation, the sooner we will start selling oil. We are hoping to ship about 50,000 tonnes of oil until May'.

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

Comments (4)

Russia has to design a new kind of tugboat and micro-icebreaker to protect the cargo ship from small icebergs against which large icebreakers cannot do anything. An small ship which will be a mixture of tugboat and micro-icebreaker could be rapid enough to protect the cargo sip preventing ice blocks from colliding against it. The price of this protection boats will be just a fraction of an icebreaker and can be manufactured in a short period of time.
Enrique, Spain
02/03/2015 06:03
As professor Oleg Anisimov says, icebreakers cannot protect cargo ships from ice floes...Icebreakers are very expensive and take years to be build, but against ice floes it are necessary much smaller and rapid ships, a mixture of tugboat and mini-icebreaker to prevent ice floes from colliding against the cargo ship. They will cost just a fraction of the price of a current icebreaker and will be much more rapid and manageable against the most dangerious ice floes.
Enrique, Spain
02/03/2015 06:14
fascinating development
May, China
25/02/2015 12:20
111, 222
25/02/2015 12:07

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