Arctic LNG shipments: Russia’s Deputy PM supports exemptions for Novatek

LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie in the port of Sabetta, Arctic Russia. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Novatek must be allowed to continue LNG shipping with foreign-built tankers, Yuri Trutnev says.

Natural gas company Novatek is calling for amendments in current Russian legislation in order to pave the way for shipments of liquified natural to projected terminals in Murmansk and Kamchatka.

The company is fully supported by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who this week said he is ready to intervene if the company does not get the permissions it needs.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev in Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2015. (Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters)

“I recently signed a corresponding document, we support that Novatek is granted the right to do cabotage until it is able to build vessels in Russian yards”, Trutnev said in a press conference.

Yuri Trutnev is chairing the Russian Arctic Commission, a government body that assembles leading representatives on Arctic affairs.

New legislation a problem for Novatek

A new law that came into force in January this year says that shipping of oil and gas on the Northern Sea Route is conducted only by Russian-built ships. Novatek has so far got temporary permissions for its large-scale shipping of LNG from Yamal. Those permissions will have to be prolonged when the company builds its projected terminals in Murmansk and Kamchatka.

The Russian Transport Ministry has so far not granted Novatek the exemptions from the laws it wants. Deputy PM Trutnev says he is ready to help.

“If this time delay continues, I will somehow intervene”, he underlined.

Novatek will in the course of the year have at its disposal a fleet of 15 powerful icebreaking LNG carriers shipping liquified natural gas across the Russian Arctic.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s Inuit make voices heard on Arctic shipping routes, CBC News

Finland: Cold winter brings out Finland’s icebreakers ahead of schedule, Yle News

Norway: LNG tankers queueing up for reloading in Norwegian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian Arctic shipping to be regulated by Rosatom, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: ‘Uber for icebreakers’ idea gains traction in U.S. Senate, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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