The first vessel to deliver a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Russia’s Yamal plant via the Northern Sea Route this year is on its way to China, ship-tracking data showed and analysts said, Reuters reports.
The direct route to Asia, shorter than the westward journey via Europe, is frozen for much of the year but is being used increasingly as climate change means it is free of ice for longer.
This year’s opening is more than a month earlier compared to 2019, when the first vessel to go via the route left Yamal LNG on June 29.
The Christophe de Margerie vessel, an Arc7-classed LNG tanker, left the Sabbeta port in Russia’s Arctic on May 18 and is expected at China National Petroleum Corp’ (CNPC) Tangshan LNG terminal on June 11, data on Refinitiv Eikon showed.
China’s LNG demand is recovering from a dip caused by the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, contributing to a rise in spot LNG prices in Asia over the last week.