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Northern Sea Route – New Oil Road to China

Oil from Russia went to China through the ice: tankers from the Baltic were sent along the Northern Sea Route.

For the first time, two tankers with Russian oil will transition from the Baltic ports to China along the Northern Sea Route. This will reduce delivery times by a third. Earlier, Russian companies and Rosatom began discussing redirecting Russian oil from the Baltic ports to the Northern Sea Route as the safest and most attractive route.

Two Aframax-class tankers with Russian oil immediately headed for China via the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Raw materials were transported along this route before but from Murmansk. The Baltic ports traditionally provided Europe. However, Europe banned the import of Russian oil in December last year.

According to AIS data, two Sovcomflot ice-class tankers, Primorsky Prospekt and NS Arctic, are coming. The first left the port of Ust-Luga on July 13. The second left the port of Primorsk on July 14. Today ships were sailing along the coast of Norway. Tankers will bring up to 224 thousand tons of oil to the port of Rizhao on the northeast coast of China.

The new route will take ships 31-34 days. They will arrive at the port of destination on August 12 and 18. The length of the route will be 8600 miles. Icebreakers are already on the Northern Sea Route. After the opening of navigation, they provided passage for the first five tankers with Yamal LNG.

The new route will be both shorter and faster. For example, the tanker Mindoro goes from Primorsk to the port of Rizhao. It follows the traditional route around Europe via the Suez Canal. According to the data transmitted by the ship, the entire journey will take him 45 days.

The safest and most attractive route

After the EU banned the import of Russian oil and, together with the G7, introduced a price ceiling for third countries, China and India became the primary recipients of raw materials from Russia. In May, Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev said that the state corporation and Russian companies were working on redirecting Russian oil from the Baltic ports to the Northern Sea Route as the safest and most attractive route.

Analyst of FG Finam Alexander Potavin noted that the President instructed to increase the traffic along the NSR to 80 million tons by 2024. Since the ultimate goal of the NSR is the developing countries of Asia, the easiest way to report on the solution to this issue is to redirect ships with oil from the Baltic to China through the polar latitudes.

Leading Arctic companies — Novatek, Vostok Oil, Gazpromneft, Norilsk Nickel, Baimskaya, Severnaya Zvezda — signed up for target cargo volumes. In accordance with the agreements, only these companies must supply at least 30 million tons to the NSR this year.

Alexei Chekunkov , Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic

Sanctions against Russia will probably slow down the execution of the previously planned development of the NSR. However, it will not be stopped. It is not only Russia that is determined to proceed. Buyers of Russian oil in Asia are determined just as much.

Information published in EADaily was used for this article.

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