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Novatek advances in the Arctic

Having demonstrated the viability of tanker exports to the Pacific around Russia's Arctic coast, Novatek should reap the rewards at the Yamal LNG project, writes NJ Watson

IT WAS not Novatek's second-quarter financial results that pushed its shares to record highs in August, but the company's, and Russia's, first oil tanker to sail the frozen Arctic route to the Pacific Ocean. On 17 August, Russia's largest independent gas producer sent a consignment of gas condensate from the port of Murmansk, in Russia's extreme northwest, to the Asia-Pacific region across the Arctic Ocean's Northern Sea Route (formerly known as the Northeast Passage). On 6 September, the consignment, for China National Offshore Oil Company, arrived at the Chinese port of Ningbo. The 22-day journey was about "half the time required by the traditional shipping route through the Suez Canal",

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