Global warming : a gas tanker crosses the passage Arctic North-East

The “Christophe de Margerie”, the name of the former Ceo of Total died in a plane accident in 2014 in Russia, is party at the end of July the plant of liquefaction of gas from Snøhvit in Norway, with as destination the port of Boryeong, South Korea.

“This is the first commercial vessel to borrow only this road to the north to reach in a 15-day Asia by the Bering strait”, said the French group, about the gas tanker ice-breaker.

This road, which runs along the northern coast of Siberia, allows ships to win 15 days compared to the classical pathway, which passes through the Suez canal, said the group. This sea route remains impassable a good part of the year, but the recent climate warming and the breakup of the pack ice has made it more accessible. Until now the ships were escorted by icebreakers.

>Infographic : 15 days earned with the passage Arctic North-East (red)

Russia is a lot of emphasis on this passage for its maritime traffic

The tanker is operated by the public group Russian maritime transport Sovcomflot for the account Total, as well as three other companies : the number two Russian gas Novatek, the chinese NCPC and the bottom controlled by the chinese State Silk Road Fund.

It will transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), produced on the peninsula, russia Yamal (which should see the light of day in a huge factory LNG) to Europe throughout the year and to Asia, without escort of icebreakers, between may and November, provides Total.

Fifteen other tankers of this type, will progressively come into operation between Yamal, Europe and Asia, says the group. The plant of Yamal must produce some 16.5 million tons of LNG from 2019, in a region situated beyond the polar circle.

Tribute to Christophe de Margerie

Russia is a lot of emphasis on the development of the maritime traffic by the North-East passage, that the difference of the seaway slaloming across the northern desert regions of Canada, is punctuated by ports and military bases that can help the ships in distress.

The inauguration of the lng carrier, in June last, was for Vladimir Putin the opportunity to do a eulogy supported by the boss of Total who died in Russia in 2014 :

“This modern ship will bear the name of the French businessman who was a great friend of our country, ‘Christophe de Margerie’. This man possessed a strategic vision in particular. He has done a lot to strengthen the relations of friendship and partnership with Russia, it has contributed to the materialization of a series of major joint projects in the energy sector. The name of the vessel in her honor is a symbol of our sincere attitude and kind to this eminent personality, a tribute to his memory. “

(with agencies)

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