Russia’s First LNG ship to ship bunkering takes place near Murmansk

Novatek-Western Arctic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s major LNG producer Novatek, completed Russia’s first ship-to-ship LNG transshipment in the Kildin Strait of the Barents Sea.

The Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker Nikolay Yevgenov successfully reloaded an LNG cargo delivered from the Yamal LNG facility at Sabetta to the conventional tanker Yamal Spirit.

The ship-to-ship LNG transportation was conducted at a temporary LNG Offshore Transshipment Complex in the Murmansk region within the seaport of Murmansk. The LNG Transshipment Complex will see to the uninterrupted year-round LNG transferral from the ice-class tankers carrying LNG produced in the Russian Arctic to customary LNG tankers.

Novatek, in a press release, said that the ship-to-ship transshipment complex in the Murmansk Region represents another significant milestone in developing Novatek’s LNG supply chain from the LNG facilities located in the Russian Arctic to the global natural gas-consuming markets.

Optimizing the tanker fleet in the Arctic region as well as the creation of the transshipment infrastructure allows the company to develop its internal ability to perform LNG transshipment in Russia.

The Yamal venture owns four operational and two newly built Arc7-class LNG tankers capable of navigating through Arctic ice, making them key to transporting LNG from Novatek's Yamal LNG plant in northern Russia.

Things were in jeopardy back in September last year when the U.S sanctioned state-owned COSCO's subsidiaries, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management, for allegedly ferrying Iranian crude.

China LNG Shipping (Holding) (CLNG) is 50% owned by COSCO Dalian, and is a joint venture by COSCO and other entities. CLNG is Teekay’s partner in its 50-50 Yamal LNG Joint Venture,which consequently drove up LNG transportation prices in the later half of last year.

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