Many large vessels have to be strengthened to be able to sail in ice. Large companies are testing their fleets in order to be able to sail through the northern sea route.
Gazprom is one of them which is working with Sovcomflot to carry out test for LNG tankers in ice.
Gazprom director Aleksei Miller and Sovcomflot´s General Director Sergei Frank met last week and concluded in a press release:
"The relevance of LNG shipping along the Northern Sea Route to the Asian-Pacific region in growing quickly. With regard to gas exports to the region, the development of LNG production is an absolute priority in comparison with pipeline deliveries. Consequently, the deliveries of Russian LNG through the Northern Sea Route allows us to significantly reduce transportation costs, thus making the LNG highly competitive."
Gazprom is considering to sail from the Shtokman area to Japan with gas. Statoil is thinking the same.