Gas tanker crosses thawing Arctic without icebreaker for first time

Gas tanker crosses thawing Arctic without icebreaker for first time

Sovcomflot vessel cut through thinning sea ice on the northern sea route to carry its cargo of fuel from Norway to South Korea in record time.

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A commercial ship has crossed the Arctic’s northern sea route without an icebreaker escort, in the first such voyage logged by Russian administrators.

To take advantage of shrinking Arctic sea ice, Russian oil and gas shipper Sovcomflot invested in a carrier that can ply the polar seas year-round.

On her maiden voyage, the Christophe de Margerie completed the northern sea route in record time: six and a half days. She carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Norway to South Korea in 19 days, about 30% quicker than a typical passage by the Suez canal.

 

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