New Icebreaker Tanker Opens NSR

Its strong, ultra-lightweight steel reinforced hull makes it the largest commercial ship to receive Arc7 certification and allows it to sail through ice up to 2.1 meters thick.

Alarmist media like the Guardian are claiming this event signals the demise of Arctic ice, when in fact it is a triumph of modern technology over natural challenges.  Headlines are announcing a tanker transited the Northern Sea Route (NSR) without icebreaker escort, neglecting to mention that the vessel in question is an icebreaker that functions as a tanker.

Operated by Sovcomflot on behalf of Total, Novatek, CNPC and the Silk Road Fund, this 300 meter long carrier has a capacity of 172,600 cubic meters of LNG.

From Total Inaugurates the Northern Sea Route with LNG Carrier Christophe de Margerie

It’s on its way! After loading its cargo at the Snøhvit LNG export terminal in Norway, in which Total has an 18.4% interest, the Christophe de Margerie is taking the Northern Sea Route to Boryeong in South Korea, where it will deliver a cargo for Total Gas & Power. It’s the first unescorted merchant LNG vessel ever to take this route, which makes it possible to reach Asia via the Bering Strait in 15 days versus 30 days via the Suez Canal.

This technological feat was made possible through the participation of Total teams to the design of these next-generation LNG carriers. Compilations of technology, they efficiently transport large quantities of LNG year-round, without requiring escort icebreakers during the period from July to November. The Christophe de Margerie is the first of a total of 15 planned LNG carriers that will be gradually deployed.

They have been specially designed for Yamal LNG, a flagship Total project (20%) in northern Russia to develop the giant onshore South Tambey gas and condensate field with the construction of a liquefaction plant. Ultimately, close to 16.5 million tons of LNG a year will transit through the port of Sabetta, built specifically for the project.

Energy companies are planning for ice and are building equipment to deal with it.  It is not evidence of global warming but human ingenuity.


  1. craigm350 · August 25, 2017

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.


  2. joekano76 · August 25, 2017

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.


  3. Hifast · August 25, 2017

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


  4. Francis Bowkett · August 25, 2017

    “..they efficiently transport large quantities of LNG year-round, without requiring escort icebreakers during the period from July to November.”

    The article is not clear as to whether or not these ships will use the NSR year-round. If they will, then the above quote implies they will have icebreaker support from December to June. Or perhaps during the Dec. to June period they will revert to using the Suez canal?


    • Ron Clutz · August 25, 2017

      Agree that the article is not clear on that point. They do intend these ships to transport LNG from Yamal, which suggests they will use the NSR as much as possible.

      Note in the second photo above that these ships are designed with a normal prow to cut through open water, while the stern is designed to break ice. In icy conditions they proceed in reverse, the ship’s momentum takes it on top of the ice with its weight breaking open the pathway.


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