World sending crude to China via Arctic – Bloomberg  

The Northern Sea Route cuts transportation times to Asia’s biggest economy by 30%

A Russian tanker loaded with crude is heading through Arctic waters to China as Moscow seeks to expand the use of the Northern Sea Route in the face of Western sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The Aframax-class tanker Primorsky Prospect, carrying about 730,000 barrels of Urals crude, left Russia’s Baltic port of Ust-Luga on July 11-12, according to ship tracking data.

The vessel, built in 2010 and owned by Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, was tracked sailing up the north up the coast of Norway, showing its destination as Rizhao in China, where it’s scheduled to arrive on August 12, the outlet said.

An EU embargo on seaborne exports of crude, accompanied by price caps on oil and petroleum products originating from Russia, has triggered a reshuffle in global oil supply. Last year, in a matter of months, Moscow rerouted most of its oil flows that used to go to the EU, to Asian markets – ramping up shipments to China and India at the expense of Western nations.

However, new destinations have added thousands of kilometers to delivery times and made freight more expensive.

Russia’s economic future lies in Arctic, minister tells RT

Using the so-called Northern Sea Route (NSR) could shorten the voyage by as much as two weeks, or by about 30%, compared with the southern route through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal.

Russia wants the Northern Sea Route – which runs through the Arctic Ocean off the country’s northern coastline and is the shortest shipping route between East Asia and Europe – to become a major shipping lane, and is investing heavily in its infrastructure.

Currently, Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom, which has a fleet of nuclear ice-breakers and operates the route, along with oil producers, is studying a possible redirection of crude shipments from Baltic ports through the Arctic.

The Arctic route is not used in winter due to thick ice. But Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer Novatek, which operates liquefied natural gas projects on the Arctic coast, plans to begin year-round eastbound navigation via the Northern Sea Route at the start of 2024.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section


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