Arctic Circle News

14 Nov 2019

USCG PSC Equals meaningful Polar Presence

An emperor penguin poses for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard needs a ship that can do more than just break ice; it needs a multi-mission ship to provide for the nation’s security, asserting its sovereign rights, and protecting its long-term economic interests. That ship is the Polar Security Cutter.Since Russia cashed the check in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska the U.S. has been an Arctic nation. Today, it is one of eight countries that have territorial land or seas above the Arctic Circle or in the polar region (six of those countries have Arctic Ocean coastline or an exclusive economic zone above the Arctic Circle). The U.S.

03 Jul 2019

Inmarsat, Space Norway to Launch Arctic Satellites

Inmarsat will introduce two new satellite payloads dedicated to the Arctic region in a partnership with Space Norway, and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT.The new Global Xpress (GX) payloads support the rapidly growing demand among both commercial and government users for seamless, reliable, high-speed mobile broadband services in the Arctic and throughout the world. They specifically address rising demand for high-speed mobile broadband Fleet Xpress service capability from the merchant shipping…

02 Jul 2019

Mitsui, JOGMEC join Arctic LNG-2

Image of LNG Plant: Novatek

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co and state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) have signed a sales and purchase agreement with Russia’s Novatek for a 10% participation interest in the Arctic LNG 2 project.The share will be acquired through the Dutch Company, Japan Arctic LNG B.V., in which Mitsui has invested jointly with JOGMEC. The equity ratio of JOGMEC and Mitsui will be set at 75 percent and 25 percent respectively.The project will develop natural…

29 May 2019

ABB Opens Marine Service Center in Russia

Photo: ABB

The new Marine Service Center builds on a decade of local ABB services in support of ice-going vessels and relies on a strong core of engineering expertise in Murmansk. In 2009, ABB’s engineers operating from smaller scale service facilities in Murmansk supported 15 vessels featuring the group’s equipment; in 2019, the number of ships has exceeded 50, with projects covering over 100 Azipod propulsion units. Responding to the needs of a growing customer base, ABB has expanded its service capabilities by opening a new…

09 May 2019

Finland-Norway Rail Link for Arctic Sea Route

A Finnish company said on Thursday it planned to develop a railway connection between north Finland and Norway's Kirkenes port to link with potential Arctic shipping routes at an estimated cost of between 3-5 billion euros ($3.4-5.6 billion).Global warming has reduced ice coverage in the Arctic, opening up the possibility of new and shorter shipping lanes between north Europe and Asia, though control of routes is disputed.Finland's Finest Bay Area Development said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway's Sør-Varanger Utvikling to investigate how to build a railway and its impact on the environment, society and the economy."An Arctic railway would connect Finland to the Northeast Passage," Kustaa Valtonen, a director at Finest Bay Area Development, said in a statement.

24 Feb 2019

Royal Marines Light Up Arctic Circle

Pic: Royal Navy

UK's Royal Marines lit up Arctic fjords and valleys as they laid down mortar rounds in the dark during winter training in Norway, said a press release from the Ministry of Defence.Illumination shells bathed the striking mountainscape around the small town of Bardufoss – roughly half way between Tromsø and Narvik – in an eerie light as the men of 40 Commando’s Mortar Troop conducted fire missions.The live firing is the latest chapter of the Royal Marines winter deployment inside the Arctic Circle…

21 Feb 2019

Round the Clock Business Demands Seamless Comms

Network Innovations and its inland waterways connectivity solution eliminates “dead spot” coverage woes. And, not a moment too soon.The bane of inland operators – or at least one of many – has always been the dearth of reliable and economical vessel-to-shore communications. Even in America’s heartland where cellular coverage is routinely billed as seamless, so-called ‘dead spots’ persist. Sometimes, this happens at the worst possible moment for an operator who has myriad far flung assets on dozens of remote inland waterways.

24 Jan 2019

GAC Pushes Further into Arctic

Pic: GAC Norway

GAC Norway opens new Arctic Circle branch at Tromsø in response to growing demand, said the company.Sitting 300km north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and serves as a portal to the Arctic. It is a popular port of call for cruise vessels, including those specialising in winter tours to treat their passengers to spectacular views of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).Tromsø is also growing in popularity as a base port for the oil & gas and offshore industries.In the past two years…

15 Jan 2019

Barclays Rejects Arctic Drilling

Image: NERC

U.K.-based international bank Barclays  announced a new energy policy that significantly restricts the bank’s financing for the exploration or extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic.The policy  rules out funding for companies seeking to drill in the Arctic Refuge as well as other climate change threats.According to the British multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in London, arctic oil and gas refers to new exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the area within the Arctic Circle which is subject to sea ice…

08 Jan 2019

Navy to Deploy Surface Ships to Arctic

US Navy photo

The U.S. Navy may follow up October’s carrier strike group operations in the Arctic with another foray into the icy High North, with leadership considering sending a group of ships into a trans-Arctic shipping lane this summer, the Navy secretary said.Much has been made of potential Arctic shipping lanes opening up as ice melts and more areas become navigable, said a press release from USNI NEWS.An expected uptick in commercial shipping and tourism in the Arctic region has put some urgency on the U.S.

11 Dec 2018

Arctic Posts Second Warmest Year On Record in 2018 -U.S. NOAA

Photo: NOAA

The Arctic had its second-hottest year on record in 2018, part of a warming trend that may be dramatically changing earth's weather patterns, according to a report released on Tuesday by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration."Arctic air temperatures for the past five years have exceeded all previous records since 1900," according to the annual NOAA study, the 2018 Arctic Report Card, which said the year was second only to 2016 in overall warmth in the region.It marks the latest in a series of warnings about climate change from U.S.

02 Nov 2018

DNV GL will Produce Report on Sustainable Blue Economy in Norwegian Arctic

Arctic and ocean centre group members. Pic: DNV GL

Center for the Ocean and the Arctic has commissioned DNV GL to produce report that answers questions like 'how do we manage ocean industries and future opportunities in the Arctic as part of a sustainable future?'.The newly established Center for the Ocean and the Arctic is based deep within the Arctic circle in one of Norway’s northernmost cities, Tromsø. Their task is to coordinate efforts to chart a course for sustainable use of the ocean and the Arctic.Their mandate also includes working towards the UN’s sustainable development goal #14 on conservation and sustainable use of the oceans.

22 Oct 2018

US Aircraft Carrier in Arctic after Three Decades

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Image: United States Navy

A US aircraft carrier strike group has entered in the frigid waters north of the Arctic Circle for the first time since the Soviet Union collapsed to join a massive NATO naval drill close to Russian border.According to a press communication from the United States Navy,  for the first time in nearly 30 years, a U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Arctic Circle Oct. 19 to conduct operations in the Norwegian Sea.Accompanied by select ships from Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG-8), the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S.

13 Apr 2018

Fire in Sauna Shuts World's Northernmost Oilfield

Goliat FPSO (© Eni Norge)

The world's northernmost oilfield was shut on Friday when a fire broke out in a sauna in the oil platform's living quarters, Eni, the Italian oil company that operates the field, said. The Arctic Goliat field is in the Barents Sea about 88 kilometers off the coast of Norway and inside the Arctic Circle. The platform has floating production, storage and offloading facilities and can produce close to 100,000 barrels of crude per day. The fire was quickly put out, and no crew members were injured, although some smoke did develop, Eni said.

14 Mar 2018

US Navy Submarines Surface in the Arctic Circle

Photo: US Navy

A pair of U.S. Navy submarines recently surfaced in the Arctic Circle as part of multinational maritime exercise north of Alaska. Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) and Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, USS Connecticut (SSN 22) surfaced in the Arctic Circle March 10 during the multinational maritime Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018. Both submarines, as well the UK Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant (S91), are participating in the biennial exercise in the Arctic to train and validate the warfighting capabilities of submarines in extreme cold-water conditions.

01 Mar 2018

Exxon Quits Some Rosneft Joint Ventures Citing Sanctions

Exxon's exit from projects will not affect the Sakhalin project off the eastern coast of Russia, Exxon and Rosneft spokesmen said. (Photo: Rosneft)

Exxon Mobil Corp will exit some joint ventures with Russia's Rosneft, citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014, while the Russian company said the pullout will result in serious losses for its U.S. partner. The move is an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia's invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign energy rivals to operate in the country, the world's largest oil producer. Yet the sanctions…

26 Nov 2017

Novatek Aims to Launch Yamal LNG on Dec 8

(Photo: Novatek)

Russia's Novatek has provisionally set Dec. 8 as the official launch date for its Yamal LNG plant, two sources with direct knowledge of the event planning told Reuters. Novatek's partners on the project are France's Total, the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and China's Silk Road Fund. The project, on the Yamal Peninsula above the Arctic Circle, will be Russia's second LNG plant after Sakhalin-2 on the Pacific island of Sakhalin. At full capacity, the Yamal facility will be able to produce 16.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year, which it will ship to Europe and Asia.

09 Nov 2017

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

Image: © Nightman1965/Adobe Stock

A group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked two U.S. senators in a letter on Thursday not to open the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to a copy seen by Reuters. The scientists, including several retired former officials from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said in a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell…

16 Jul 2017

China Acquires Global Ports: FT

File photo: China COSCO Shipping

With the aim to dominate maritime industry China has been acquiring overseas ports with huge investments which crossed USD 20 bln last year, Financial Times reported. Beijing has spent billions expanding its ports network to secure sea lanes and establish itself as a maritime power, says the report. China is aggressively pushing its  “One Belt One Road”, a grand scheme to win diplomatic allies and open markets in around 65 countries between Asia and Europe. It is pushing ahead with plans to open new shipping routes through the Arctic circle, the report said.

23 Jun 2017

Novatek Aims to Topple Qatar from LNG Top Spot

File photo: Novatek

Russian gas producer Novatek aims to topple Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas as it gets closer to completing its first LNG project, a top executive said, batting away concerns about U.S. sanctions on the sector. The country's largest non-state gas producer is expected to start exporting LNG from the first phase of the Yamal project, situated far above the Arctic circle, towards the end of this year and may bring forward its final stage by six months, CFO Mark Gyetvay said.

20 Apr 2017

Ampelmann Unveils the Icemann

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann, provider of offshore access to the energy industry, has unveiled its latest walk to work system which has been specially designed for operation in extreme cold conditions. The N-type, nicknamed Icemann, was officially launched in front of 200 guests on Thursday, April 20, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Designed to safely and efficiently transfer crew in extreme icing and temperatures as low as -28C (-18F), the fully enclosed and insulated system is operational in sea states up to 3.5 meters significant wave height and comprises active motion compensation.

20 Mar 2017

OP/Ed: Obama’s Arctic Decision Undercut His Own Legacy

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

On December 20, 2016, in an 11th hour unilateral action designed to cement his environmental legacy, President Obama withdrew 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean and 115 million acres in the U.S. Arctic Ocean (including the entire Chukchi Sea and a significant portion of the Beaufort Sea) from future oil and gas leasing. Unlike the five year moratoria announced by Canada, President Obama touted these closures as “permanent.” Not only does this short-sighted decision threaten the economic lifeline of Alaska, U.S. energy leadership and U.S.

18 Nov 2016

Obama Administration Bars New Oil, Gas Exploration off Alaska

A drilling ship Polar Pioneer in the Chukchi Sea, August 2015 (Photo: Mark Fink / Shell)

The Obama administration on Friday blocked new exploration for oil and gas in Arctic waters, in a win for environmental groups that had fought development of the ecologically fragile region. The Department of the Interior released a 2017 to 2022 leasing plan that blocked drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off northern Alaska. It also limited petroleum development in the Cook Inlet off south-central Alaska. Environmental activists have battled drilling in Alaska to protect whales, walruses and seals, and as part of a broader movement to keep remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2019 - Workboat Edition

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