Russian shipping company Sovcomflot and Shell have completed the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering of a large ocean-going tanker in U.S. waters.
The Sovcomflot-operated Gagarin Prospect, an LNG-fueled Aframax tankers, is on long-term charter to Shell. The tanker was underway recently from Corpus Christi, Texas to Europe when it met up with the LNG bunkering vessel Q-LNG 4000 off Port Canaveral, Florida, to receive 1,075 cubic meters of marine LNG bunkers.
Sovcomflot said the operation demonstrates the rapid expansion of LNG bunkering infrastructure, particularly on the transatlantic tanker trade between Europe and the US Gulf, and the US Gulf and East Coast Canada. The Gagarin Prospect had to deviate less than 150 nautical miles from its intended voyage, equivalent to a half day of sailing, while the bunkering operation took just 11 hours.
“This is another important milestone highlighting the progress of the ?ombined efforts of Shell and Sovcomflot to reduce the environmental impact of energy shipping,” said Sergey Popravko, Chief Operating Officer of SCF Group (Sovcomflot). “Our work started back in 2018, with the first marine LNG fuelling operation of Gagarin Prospect in the Port of Rotterdam.”
Gagarin Prospect is one six LNG-powered Aframax tankers currently operated by Sovcomflot, two of which are on long-term charter to Shell. The 114,000 dwt tankers are built to ice-class 1A notation enabling year-round operation in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe transporting crude oil and petroleum products.
Delivered earlier this year, the Q-LNG 4000 is first offshore LNG bunkering articulated tug and barge in the United States. It is also on long-term charter to Shell.
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