Novatek Builds Giant Arctic LNG Tanker

June 24, 2011
Russian gas producer Novatek plans to build a new type of LNG tanker, designed for big-scale year-round shipping in the Arctic.

A big number of technology experts and scientists have been included in the process of designing the LNG tanker adjusted to harsh Arctic shipping, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson told journalists.

"This kind of tanker does not yet exist", he said, Oilru.com reports. –Our task is to construct the tanker hulls in a way which secures economically beneficial use, with a deadweight of maximum size and at the same an acceptable speed capacity, he said.

The tanker will be specially designed for Novatek’s Yamal LNG project, the project which is based on the resources from the South Tambey field. As BarentsObserver previously reported, Novatek recently granted Total a 20 percent stake in the project. However, more foreign companies are likely to follow. Mikhelson confirms that talks are held with companies from both India and Qatar, as well as several other countries, and that the new partners will be announced in the course of the year. Novatek has previously confirmed that up to 49 percent of the project shares might be sold to foreign partners.

It is expected that parts of the LNG produced in the Yamal project will be exported along the Northern Sea Route.

According to Mikhelson, the Yamal LNG project is estimated to cost between 15-20 billion USD. This estimate does not include the construction of the LNG tankers.

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