Thursday, February 28, 2019

Shipping/LNG: "Novatek Wants Arctic Sea Route Open Year Round"

That may be a tall order over the next few years.
Despite the return of the troubling thin ice in the Bering and Chukchi seas—top center in this DMI map:

the overall ice sheet is still recovering from the lows earlier this decade, see after the jump.
(we use volume rather than extent as a better measure of what the weather and melt physics are acting upon)
From gCaptain:
Russian gas producer Novatek wants to use nuclear icebreakers to keep the Northern Sea Route, a shipping path traversing the Arctic to Asia, open all year long for its liquefied natural gas (LNG), a top executive said on Wednesday.

“Our plan is to keep the Northern Sea Route open twelve months a year in 2023 to 25 with 100-megawatt-hour nuclear icebreakers,”...MORE
The recovery does not mean that the trend has reversed, just that for now the odds that you'll need a big icebreaker are going up. The Russians seem to know this and are building some next-generation ships that will be the most powerful ever.
Via the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System: