A new trade route for energy supplies is opening up north of the Arctic Circle as some of the warmest temperatures on record shrink ice caps that used to lock ships out of the area.
This year is likely to rank among the top 10 for the amount of sea ice melting in the Arctic Ocean after heat waves across the northern hemisphere this summer. While that’s alarming to environmentalists concerned about global warming, ship owners carrying liquefied natural gas and other goods see it as an opportunity. Their cargoes have traversed the region for the first time this year without icebreakers, shaving days off shipping times and unlocking supplies from difficult-to-reach fields in Siberia.
“There is a growth trend for volumes transported via the Northern Sea Route this year,” said Sergei Balmasov, head of the Arctic Logistics Information Office, a consultancy in Murmansk, Russia. “The reason is an increase in LNG exports.” Bloomberg