From Russia with LNG

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Arctic-class carriers have opened a new route for Yamal's LNG

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A steadily growing fleet of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers purpose-designed to combat the ice floes of the Northern Sea route is giving the giant Yamal plant in the Arctic Circle a long-term competitive advantage, as the vessels deliver gas into Asia and Western Europe in conditions that were until recently considered too hostile.

As two notable events showed in late November 2018, the vessels have opened up the gas-hungry markets of the Asia Pacific region just as the Yamal plant's third train is being steadily commissioned and worked up to full capacity through 2019. They also underpin president Vladimir Putin's determination to deploy the nation's oil and gas reserves as part of Russia's global diplomacy, especially in a growing rapprochement with China.

First, the 299-metre long Arc7 ice-class LNG carrier, Novatek's Rudolf Samoyvich, delivered the first shipment from the plant to China National Offshore Oil Corporation after sailing through the Northern Sea without the necessity of being escorted by ice-breakers. It was a breakthrough in LNG deliveriesthe first of its kind in an easterly direction in these waters. To boot, it was made towards the end of the navigation period.

Until the first Arc7 vessel, the Christophe de Margerie, took ....

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