NSR Shipping activities in January – April 2024

CHNL publishes an interim statistical report on shipping traffic on the Northern Sea Route during the winter period of 2024. The analysis includes voyages with the ship’s departure date from the departure port between January 1 and April 30, 2024. Data on the number of voyages for the export of LNG, Oil, Gas condensate, and Products of the Norilsk Nickel company are presented in comparison with the same period in 2023 and 2021.

All data on cargo transportation obtained based on the AIS information and are for informational purposes only. The estimation of the quantity and distribution of supply delivery voyages were made based on the geography of transportation and is an approximate quantitative assessment.

Map 1. Total traffic on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) during the period of January to April 2024. The colors indicate domestic and international voyages.

During the winter navigation period, we focus on the main year-round projects for the transportation of mineral resources by sea. This includes the export of LNG from the port of Sabetta, Crude oil from the Arctic Gates terminal at Cape Kamenniy, Gas condensate from the port of Sabetta, and the shipment of Products of “Norilsk Nickel” Company from port Dudinka to Murmansk. In addition, there are voyages for delivering materials, equipment, and supplies to the construction sites of new cargo terminals in the NSR. Mainly these are projects Vostok Oil and Arctic LNG-2. In January – February 2024, there were also two transit voyages from China to Murmansk.

Table 1. Ongoing year-round projects on the NSR for the export of mineral resources

During the winter season, transportation is carried out using a fleet of high ice-class vessels. More than half of all voyages are performed by ice-class vessels of Arc7, and in terms of the percentage of total deadweight, this figure is 85%. At its core, this is an export flow of LNG, Crude oil, and Gas condensate. The second major category is ice-class vessels of Arc4. They are mainly used for delivering materials and supplies for the construction of new facilities on the projects Vostok Oil and Arctic LNG-2.

Table 2. Distribution of the number of voyages by ice class and types of vessels. January – April 2024.

Map 2. Overall traffic on the NSR from January to April 2024. Different projects are indicated by color.

LNG export from the port of Sabetta

During the period under consideration, the LNG exports amounted to 99 voyages. The main destinations were France, Belgium, Spain, and transshipment near Kildin Island, close to the port of Murmansk. Each of the 15 specialized LNG carriers completed 6-7 voyages in the first 4 months of 2024. In a similar period in 2023, we registered 96 voyages, and in 2021, 89 voyages. Thus, we can say that the number of shipments of LNG has increased by approximately 10% compared to 2021.

Table 3 Number of LNG carriers departures from the port of Sabetta by direction in January – April 2024. Comparison with the total number of LNG shipments from Sabetta in 2023 and 2021.

Map 3 LNG exports from the port of Sabetta January – April 2024

Export of Crude oil from the Arctic Gate Terminal at Mys Kamenniy to Murmansk port RPK Nord Terminal

Crude oil is exported year-round by 7 high ice-class Arc7 tankers to the RPK Nord transshipment terminal at Murmansk port. The oil is then shipped further for export. In comparison to 2021, in 2024 the number of voyages for a similar period was lower. In 2021, there were 66 voyages, while in 2024 there were 58.

Table 4 Number of oil shipments from the Arctic Gate terminal in January – April 2024. Comparison with the number of shipments for the same period in 2023 and 2021.

Map 4 Oil export through the Arctic Gate Terminal to Murmansk. January – April 2024

Export of Gas condensate from the port of Sabetta

Two specialized ice-class tankers of the Arc 7 carry out the export of gas condensate year-round.

Table 5 Tanker voyages with Gas condensate from Sabetta in January – April 2024.

As can be seen from the statistics, over the past few years the number of shipments has remained the same, at two cargo parcels per month. Typically, the cargo goes directly to Rotterdam or another European port.

Table 6 Number of Gas condensate shipments from the port of Sabetta in January – April 2024. Comparison with the number of shipments for a similar period in 2023 and 2021.

Map 5 Export of Gas condensate from the port of Sabetta in January – April 2024

Export of products of Norilsk Nickel Company from the port of Dudinka

In 2024, the number of Norilsk Nickel Company export voyages from Dudinka remains the same as in 2021.

Map 6 Export of products of Norilsk Nickel company from Dudinka port in January – April 2024.

Delivery of equipment and supplies for the new cargo terminals of the Vostok Oil and Arctic LNG-2 projects

Map 7 Equipment delivery for the Vostok Oil project in January – April 2024. Includes return voyages and voyages.

Table 7 Number of voyages by Ice class for the Vostok Oil project in January – April 2024. Includes return voyages.

Map 8 Equipment delivery for the Arctic LNG-2 project in January – April 2024. Includes return voyages.

Table 8 Number of voyages by Ice class for the Arctic LNG-2 project in January – April 2024. Includes return voyages.

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