Marine Link
Friday, July 20, 2018

Arctic Ocean News

Russia's First Sea-borne Nuclear Power Plant Arrives in Arctic

Akademik Lomonosov (Photo: Rosatom)

Russia's first-floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission, providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.The state company behind the plant, called the "Akademik Lomonosov", says it could pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, but green campaigners have expressed concern about the risk of nuclear accidents. Greenpeace has called it the "nuclear Titanic".Russian state nuclear company Rosatom…

Arctic Ice Sets New Record Low for Winter

Photo: NOAA

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has set a new record low for the wintertime in a region strongly affected by long-term trends of global warming, U.S. and European scientists said on Wednesday. Sea ice around the North Pole expands to its biggest extent of the year in February or March after a deep freeze in the winter polar darkness and shrinks to the smallest of the year in September, at the end of the brief Arctic summer. Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7…

New LNG Tanker Forges Path for Arctic Shipping

Photo: Sovcomflot

An ice-breaking tanker docked for the first time at Russia's Arctic port of Sabetta to test a new route that could open the ice-bound Arctic Ocean to ships carrying oil and liquefied gas. The route is eagerly anticipated by energy firms that want to develop resources in the Arctic but face obstacles in getting oil and gas from remote and freezing fields to world markets. Environmental activists fear commercial shipping in the Arctic -- now possible because climate change has thinned…

The Icebergs Are Coming: Shipping in the North Atlantic

Distance has to be kept: Icebergs can harm the ships. The only ships coming consciously close to the icebergs are cruisers with ice class. The picture is taken off one of them, the Hanseatic from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. (Photo: Hapag-Lloyd)

At present, several icebergs are drifting out of the Arctic Ocean and into the North Atlantic. This natural phenomenon occurs each year in the period roughly stretching between April and August. During this season, these massive chunks of ice cross the major shipping routes on the North Atlantic. But German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd is prepared for them, as the company’s captains keep their vessels south of the drift ice limit so as to avoid any dangerous collisions. American and Canadian authorities mark the drift ice limits on their own maps.

ASCO's New Service to Arctic Ocean

Pic: Port of Antwerp

The Russian Arctic Shipping Company (ASCO) operates between the port of Antwerp and the Arctic region of Russia. Its ice-reinforced vessels with a capacity of 7,000 to 12,000 tonnes will mainly carry project cargo. The company operates six vessels, enabling it to offer a monthly rotation. From Antwerp the ships travel via the Baltic (calling at among others St. Petersburg and Ust Luga) and then on the more northerly Russian ports such as Archangel, Sabetta, Murmansk and Nova Zembla. The agent for this service is Seabow, specialising in breakbulk and ro/ro with the emphasis on Russia.

Melting Sea Ice: A Canary in the Coal Mine

© André Gilden / Adobe Stock

The rapid loss of Arctic sea ice is a sentinel. Most of us will never venture into the Arctic, but it can and does provide us with a forewarning of impacts coming to our parts of the Earth – and some of the most significant impacts will directly affect the maritime industry. In earlier times, coal miners were sometimes overcome by the buildup of odorless carbon monoxide gas. Some died as a consequence. Eventually it was realized that canaries were more susceptible to the gas than were humans.

Ocean Conservancy Calls for Clean Arctic

Photo: Ocean Conservancy

“Ocean Conservancy welcomes steps taken by the International Maritime Organization to mitigate risks to the Arctic from the use and carriage of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. “Support for Measures to Reduce Risks of Use and Carriage of Heavy Fuel Oil as Fuel by Ships in Arctic Waters marks an important milestone in the bid to phase out the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. “With climate change impacts resulting in record-breaking loss of sea ice—winter ice in the Arctic…

First of Yamal LNG Tankers Starts Navigation via the NSR

Christophe de Margerie. Photo: Total

The first Arc7 ice-class LNG tanker “Christophe de Margerie” has entered the Kara Sea and has started its first LNG cargo voyage through the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The subleased tanker will go through the NSR without the escort of icebreakers and will deliver LNG from Norway to South Korea in 15 days. The utilization of the route from Europe to Eastern and South-Eastern Asia through the NSR halves the transportation time to market compared to the traditional route. The start…

Afloat on a Frigid Frontier

Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Maple stand lookout watch in the Arctic Ocean approximately 100 miles east of Barrow, Alaska, July 25, 2017. This was the first day of the patrol the crew encountered ice. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Nate Littlejohn)

Located 100 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska, the crew of the 225-foot buoy tender out of Sitka was on a mission to support marine mammal research conducted by Josh Jones, a graduate student researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in San Diego. The Coast Guard crew used their buoy-tending skills and equipment to recover the floating ball, which surfaced after spending a year 1,000 feet below. Suspended beneath the yellow buoy was a high-frequency acoustic recording package (HARP)…

Arctic Thaw helps Russian Shipping

File Image ((c) Paul Brown)

Arctic thaw aids shipping most along Russian coast; Russia to start LNG exports from Yamal in late 2017. Russian shipping in the Arctic is benefiting from winds that are driving the oldest and thickest sea ice towards North America, further opening a remote region that is thawing amid global warming, scientists say. The thinning Russian ice could help liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, due to start exports from Russia's Yamal Peninsula in late 2017, to navigate an icy route east to Asia for more than a planned six months of the year, they said.

US Navy Buoys into the Arctic Ocean

An Air-Deployable Expendable Ice Buoy is deployed in the high Arctic near the North Pole from a Royal Danish Air Force C-130 aircraft operating out of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, as part of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). Photo: United States Navy

The U.S National Ice Center (USNIC) in coordination with the Office of Naval Research, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, the Danish Joint Arctic Command, Environmental and Climate Change Canada and University of Washington deployed buoys into the Arctic Ocean during a joint mission. The joint mission was conducted to collect weather and oceanographic data to enhance forecasting and environmental models thereby reducing operational risk for assets in the Arctic. "Polar lows…

Artists Pay Tribute to Historic Russian Icebreaker

(Photo: Rosatomflot)

In 1977 Russian nuclear icebreaker Arktika became the world's first surface ship to reach the North Pole. Now 40 years later, a depiction of the historic vessel is a main component of a graffiti style art installation in Murmansk, Russia. Arktika was in service from 1975 to 2008 under the operation of Atomflot, who said six artists, four designers and one operator contributed to the creation of the 600 square meter art piece. The mural displays information about the history of Murmansk, cultural events, objects and the nature of the region.

Man Medevaced from Chinese Research Vessel near Alaska

U.S. Coast Guard photo

A man with a broken arm was medevaced from the Chinese research vessel Xue Long, 15 nautical miles from Nome, Alaska, Saturday morning. A smallboat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley embarked the man and transferred him to the Alex Haley for further transfer to Nome. Coast Guard District 17 command center watchstanders received a relay notification from a Coast Guard liaison to China who reported a Chinese national aboard the Xue Long suffered a broken arm while conducting research in the Arctic Ocean.

Marine Casualty Investigation

Dennis Bryant

In the realm of marine casualty investigations the allocation of blame should be secondary to marine safety. There are three important criteria for marine casualty investigations to be of value to the maritime industry. First, the report must be completed promptly. It does little good to see for the first time the report on a casualty that occurred three or more years ago. Second, the report must be publicly disseminated. The best report is of little value if it is available only to the principals. Third, the report must focus on the root cause of the casualty.

Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier for Yamal LNG Project Named Vladimir Rusanov

Left: Ice-Breaking LNG Carrier Vladimir Rusanov, Right: Yamal LNG Project Trading Routes. Photo: MOL

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that on December 21, a naming ceremony for an ice-breaking LNG carrier, which was jointly ordered by MOL and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (China COSCO Shipping), was held at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering  (DSME). As a crowd of VIPs and personnel related to the project looked on, the newbuilding vessel was named the "Vladimir Rusanov" by Ms. Veronika Makeeva of PAO Novatek, the major shareholder of the Yamal LNG project. The name is derived from Russian Arctic explorer and geologist.

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

(Photo: BSEE)

Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean. The well is expected to run more than 6 miles (10 km) long. The project could result in 20,000 barrels a day of oil production, according to regulator U.S.

BSEE Oversees Spudding of New Oil Well in Arctic

Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Italian oil producer Eni began drilling the new well off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, reports Reuters. "New oil exploration in Arctic federal waters is underway this week with the spudding of a new oil well from an existing man-made island in the Beaufort Sea. Two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel were on-hand Monday ensuring compliance with approved permits, federal regulations and safety standards as Eni U.S.

Korea to be Shipbuilding Leader Again: President

President Moon Jae-in (left) smiles as he receives a model of the icebreaker LNG carrier tanker `Vladimir Rusanov` from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering CEO Jung Sung-leep, at Daewoo`s Okpo Shipyard in Geoje, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, on Jan. 3. Photo:  Office of the President

President Moon was visiting Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering`s Okpo Shipyard in Geoje, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, to inspect the shipbuilding yard of an icebreaker arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker. “The government will protect and bring up your hope,” he said. The icebreaker LNG carrier the president inspected is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that`s specialized in polar regions. It enables the ship to safely navigate cold weather in temperatures as low as minutes 52 C.

US Navy Kicks Off ICEX 2018

Image: Official U.S. Navy file photo.

Commander, Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR) officially kicked-off Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018 in the Arctic Ocean with the construction of temporary Ice Camp Skate and the arrival of two U.S. Navy fast-attack submarines and one U.K. Royal Navy submarine March 7. ICEX 2018 is a five-week biennial exercise that allows the Navy to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience in the region, advance understanding of the Arctic environment and continue to develop relationships with other services, allies and partner organizations.

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.

Threat from wandering greenhouse gas

AWI sea-ice physicists have ericted an ice camp to investigate melt ponds on Arctic sea ice. (Photo Alfred-Wegener-Institut  Mar Fernandez)

On the seafloor of the shallow coastal regions north of Siberia, microorganisms produce methane when they break down plant remains. If this greenhouse gas finds its way into the water, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters. As a result, the gas can be transported thousands of kilometres across the Arctic Ocean and released in a completely different region months later. This phenomenon is the subject of an article by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, published in the current issue of the online journal Scientific Reports.

Near Record Low Arctic Ocean Ice a Boost for Shipping

© Misiurin Viacheslav / Adobe Stock

Winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean covered the second smallest area on record this year, part of a thaw that is opening the region to shipping and oil exploration and may be disrupting weather far to the south, scientists said on Friday. The extent of floating ice likely reached an annual maximum of 14.5 million square kilometers (5.6 million square miles) on March 17, fractionally bigger than a record set in 2017, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said. Sea ice around the North Pole freezes to its biggest at the end of the winter in March…

New Icebreaking LNG Carrier Enters Service

Icebreaking LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov during ice trials in the Arctic Ocean (Photo: MOL)

A new icebreaking liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier jointly owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (China COSCO Shipping) loaded its first cargo at the Yamal LNG plant in northern Russia. The 299m, 172,000m3 Vladimir Rusanov conducted it is first loading for Yamal LNG at Sabetta port on March 27 and 28. Vladimir Rusanov left South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (DSME) Okpo shipyard after her naming ceremony in December 2017 and headed to the Arctic Ocean through the Suez Canal for three weeks of ice trials.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

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