First Yamal LNG Cargo Shipped to China’s CNOOC via Northern Sea Route

Christophe de Margerie first cargo
The Christophe de Margerie, the first of 15 icebreaking LNG carriers ordered for the Yamal LNG project to provide transport of LNG year-round in the Arctic, loads its first cargo at the Yamal LNG plant at the Port of Sabetta on the Yamal Peninsula, December 8, 2017. Photo: SCF Group

Russian oil and gas firm Novatek has shipped it first cargo of Arctic gas produced at Yamal LNG to China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

The LNG cargo was delivered to the Fujian LNG Terminal in China via the Northern Sea Route. The cargo was transported aboard an Arc7 ice-class LNG carrier in just 20 days, completing its eastbound transit of the NSR in 7.5 days and without icebreaker support.

“We expanded our customer base in China by shipping our first cargo of LNG to CNOOC,” said Leonid Mikhelson, NOVATEK’s Chairman of the Management Board. “This shipment also represented our first cargo along the Northern Sea Route via the Eastern direction in November, essentially towards the end of the seasonal navigation period.

Novatek shipped its first cargo of liquified natural gas from the Yamal LNG project to China back in June.

Yamal LNG is operated a joint-venture comprising Novatek, holding 50.1% in the project, with France’s TOTAL and China’s CNPC and Silk Road Fund as minority partners.

The project will eventually utilize a fleet of 15 Arc7 ice-class LNG carriers which will transport LNG from the port of Sabetta to Asia Pacific and European markets. Eight of vessels are in operation so far.

The vessels are custom-designed to support year-round navigation without the need of icebreaker assistance along westbound navigation routes, and eastbound via the Northern Sea Route during the summer navigation season.

Yamal LNG opened in 2017 and is expected to ramp up to full operations in 2019, at which point it will be producing 16.5 MTPA of LNG and up to 1.2 MTPA of gas condensate.