On December 4, the world’s first icebreaker tanker which will, mainly, transport condensate oil was, officially, launched. ‘Boris Sokolov’, 44,500 dwt, was built by Guangzhou Shipyard for a major Greek shipping company. The vessel has a unique ability to operate in harsh Arctic winter even in temperatures below -50 degrees Celsius (-58 Fahrenheit). She is, also, equipped with pod propulsion that allows two-way icebreaking capability.
The Finnish Transport Agency published instructions for winter navigation in collaboration with the industry, shipping companies, charterers, vessels, icebreakers, pilots and vessel traffic services. During winter navigation ships are facing more risks than when sailing in ice-free waters.
The US Coast Guard Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Program, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, launched two 6U CubeSats from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on December 3. CubeSats aim to evaluate the effectiveness of space sensors to support Arctic search and rescue missions.
Dr. David Holland of New York University, in collaboration with Dr. Natalya Gomez at McGill University, are leading an investigation of sea level variations in the Disko Bay region of western Greenland.
Novatek announced that its joint venture Yamal LNG has began initial production of LNG at the plant’s third LNG train. The overall nameplate capacity of all three LNG trains is 16.5 mmtpa, or 5.5 mmtpa per LNG train. Novatek launched all three LNG trains from Yamal LNG project more than one year ahead of the planned original schedule.
‘Safe maritime operations under extreme conditions: the Arctic’ is a research project that is developing an innovative and integrated risk-based approach to safe Arctic navigation, ship design and operation. SEDNA has a global consortium, with 13 partners from 6 different countries, including China. It has already been launched since June 2017 and it is expected to be completed in May 2020.
The northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region has been an ecological, cultural, and economic center for Yup’ik, Cup’ik, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, and Inupiaq peoples for millennia. Yet, recently, a combination of factors, including less sea ice and more trade and resource development, has resulted to an increased vessel traffic in the region led by huge cargo vessels, tugs, and research vessels, and is expected to continue growing.
Climate change is a major problem affecting not only Antarctic, but the whole world. Antarctic is a picture of the world since it projects the effects of climate change. Today, parts of the Antarctic are warming three times faster than other parts of our planet, with scientists recording recently its warmest day ever – a distinctly not-freezing 17.5°C.
Russian natural gas major Novatek announced, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Novatek Gas and Power Asia Pte. Ltd., that it has shipped its first LNG produced cargo from the Yamal LNG project to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), through the Northern Sea Route, as part of its plans to expand customer base in China.
The Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center carried out a multibeam bathymetry survey and a land survey of Cannon Beach in Yakutat, Alaska. This aims to create a 3D map of the beach, under a US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management-funded project to assess wave energy in Alaska.
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