This month the Ob River liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier chartered by Gazprom Marketing & Trading Group and operated by Dynagas made the world’s first voyage via the Northern Sea Route.
The crew discharged the tanker in Japan, replenished fuel and food reserves in South Korea and after that sailed in ballast to Western Europe via the Northern Sea Route. According to the schedule, the vessel passed Cape Dezhnev, the easternmost point of continental Russia, and entered the Chukchi Sea to meet the 50 Years of Victory nuclear icebreaker on October 9.
Built in 2007, the Ob River carrier is Ice Class 1A (Lloyd’s Register) and ready for low-temperature operation. The carrier crew performed well during ice operations between 2009 and 2011 (shown on photo) when the carrier was chartered by Gazprom Marketing & Trading for LNG export within Sakhalin II, the first Russian project on LNG production, with Gazprom as the majority shareholder. There are Russian officers, graduates of Makarov State Maritime Academy among the members of the internationally diverse crew.
According to Nikolai Grigoryev, Director of the International Shipments and Logistics Department of Gazprom Marketing & Trading: “Starting from 2009, we cooperated with partner shipowners on safety assurance for LNG shipments in ices and low temperature environment specific for the Sakhalin II project. Our purpose was to get ready for possible LNG cargo shipment in the Russian Arctic. Among the challenges of this trial voyage by the Ob River carrier was collection of data and verification of technical and commercial availability of the Northern Sea Route for international LNG trade. The results of the voyage will be extremely important for the entire LNG industry as well as for the Northern Sea Route development, that’s why we are proud that Gazprom is the leader of this strategic project.”
Tony Lauritzen, Commercial Director of Dynagas noted: “Our company long and thoroughly prepared the sail via the Northern Sea Route for the purpose of LNG cargo transportation, and we are enthused that we managed to complete the voyage. We are happy that Gazprom Marketing & Trading took part in the voyage. This company gave a strong backing to this project.”