Norway hopes to use the Northern Sea Route in a few months. Increased shipping saw 27 vessels using the route last year, a huge increase like indeed in the Northern Sea route.
They want to transport gas from the Snowhite area to Asia. An LNG tanker will sail between Hammerfest in Norway to Japan as soon as the ice is thin enough.
The vessel, Ribera del Duera Knutsen, is strentghened for sailing in sea ice. In fact it is the only LNG tanker in the world with an 1A class permission for sailing in ice.
The sailing would take around 20 days, a big improvement from the route through the Suez Canal used today. This means the ship can go three tours next summer.
"We have not been in contact with Statoil about the transport but technically it is possible," Synnøve Seglem from OAS Shipping said to the NRK. "It is of course a feasible option for everybody," he added.