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Gas Tanker Ob River Attempts First Winter Arctic Crossing

A large tanker carrying liquefied natural gas is the first ship of its type attempting to cross the Arctic ocean from Norway, scheduled to arrive in Japan in December, reports Matt McGrath of BBC News. The Greek tanker, chartered by Russia’s Gazprom, has a crew of 40, accompanied by Russian icebreakers. If all goes well, the route reduces the trip by 20 days. The Norwegian liquefied gas plant was built for exports to the US, but a natural gas boom there eliminated that market. Meanwhile, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has Japan scrambling for substitutes. Some 40 ships took the route in 2012, compared with 19,000 through the Suez Canal. But in the case of an accident or leak, sending clean-up or rescue crews to the Arctic would be far more costly and challenging than sending them to the populated Suez area. The ship, built in 2007, has a reinforced hull. Insatiable demand for energy could well speed melting and the Arctic’s demise. – YaleGlobal

Gas Tanker Ob River Attempts First Winter Arctic Crossing

A vessel carrying liquefied gas from Russia to cross Arctic, from Norway to Japan, reducing trip time, but raising risks
Matt McGrath
BBC News , 29 November 2012
 Click here to read the article in BBC News.

Matt McGrath is environment correspondent for BBC News. 

Source:BBC News
Rights:BBC © 2012