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Russia to further invest in Arctic projects

The President of Russia Vladimir Putin said in its address to the Federal Assembly that Russia is planning to expand its presence in the Arctic. In order for this to happen, the Northern Sea Route will play an important role. With a number of large-scale industrial projects, the country will try to improve transport, navigation and research, as it considers the Arctic to be key to its development.

Heavy weather leads to oil spill in Alaska waters

The spill reportedly occurred Monday morning after an abandoned building collapsed during extreme weather conditions. An oil fuel bladder located inside the building fell in the water releasing a max potential of 3,000 gallons of bunker C fuel oil, according to USCG. Weather at the time was sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts up to 75 mph.

New cooperation eyes Northern Sea Route development

On 26 February, Japanese MOL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Far East Investment and Export Agency, under the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East, to cooperate in the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian Far East.

Arctic sea ice reaches record low in January

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, data showed that ice is nearly 10% below average this January in the Arctic, an area larger than the states of California, Oregon and Washington combined. Carbon emissions are causing this change.

NASA study presents acceleration of Antarctic ice loss

A study conducted by NASA, based on an innovative technique for crunching torrents of satellite data, provided a clear picture of changes in Antarctic ice flow into the ocean. The findings confirm increased ice losses from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The new work provides a baseline for measurement of Antarctic ice changes.

EU funds Arctic research icebreaker consortium

A joint research icebreaker project was launched in January 2018, aiming at providing Europe with better capacities for marine-based research in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Research Icebreaker (ARICE) Consortium is financed by the EU Horizon 2020 RIA Research and Innovation action on the topic “Integrating Activities for Starting Communities”.

Sovcomflot, Sberbank sign Arctic shuttle tanker deal

Russian bank Sberbank and Sovcomflot signed a  USD 106 million project financing agreement, with a term of up to 14 years. The agreement will finance the construction of a high ice class Arctic shuttle tanker for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement with Gazprom Neft.

China to use the Arctic for its oil shipments

One of China’s major issues is the potential risk of the Malacca Strait to be closed. China receives most of its imports through this area and a potential closure can affect the country significantly. China receives more than half its oil imports via the Malacca strait. However, if a hostile navy blocks this strait, the economy of China can be significantly affected. 

GAC Russia secures Yamal LNG ship agency deal

GAC Russia announced it was appointed to manage Yamal LNG fleet of icebreaker tankers at Sabetta port for the next three years. Under the agreement, GAC Russia will handle an estimated 400 port calls every year; 200 in Sabetta and an additional 200 globally.

New icebreaking support vessel joins Sovcomflot’s fleet

Russian Sovcomflot held a naming ceremony for the new multifunctional icebreaking platform supply vessel ‘Yevgeny Primakov’, in Saint Petersburg, on 3 February. The vessel is designed for operations in the difficult ice and navigational conditions of the Far East Sea Basin (Sea of Okhotsk).

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