The Gazprom tanker, which was intended to provide gas to Kaliningrad, switched to the Northern Sea Route. The vessel carries Yamal LNG to Asian countries and is plying its second voyage.
According to navigation portals, the regasification terminal - LNG tanker Marshal Vasilevsky has switched to delivering Russian LNG to Asian countries along the Northern Sea Route. Thus, at the end of August, the vessel delivered liquefied gas from the Yamal LNG project to Shenzhen, China. Following it, it returned along the Northern Sea Route to the port of Sabetta and is now heading to the Indian Ocean region, where it should arrive on October 24. Obviously, now the ship is going along the Northern Sea Route.
In 2019, Marshal Vasilevsky arrived in Kaliningrad as a regasification terminal in case of interruptions in the supply of pipeline gas through Lithuania. However, they did not occur, and in the same year the ship started to transport LNG to various parts of the world, including the United States.
Judging by the navigation portals, this year the LNG tanker was engaged, for example, in the delivery of LNG from Qatar to Europe. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping states that Gazprom Flot is the owner of Marshal Vasilevsky, while Sovcomflot is the ship owner and operator.
Gazprom Fleet itself announced the voyage to China and the departure of the tanker for the next export loading at the port of Sabetta. According to the company, “the vessel will make an independent passage without icebreaker assistance”.
Whose cargo is delivered by the Russian tanker in August-October along the Northern Sea Route is unknown. It is known that Gazprom has an agreement with Yamal LNG for 2.9 million tons per year (4 billion cubic meters). At the same time, one of the long-term clients of the company is the Indian Gail, with which there is an agreement for 2.5 million tons per year (about 3.5 billion cubic meters).
Now the navigation season is on the Northern Sea Route and there are nine tankers on the route at once. This route reduces the delivery of LNG from Yamal to Asia from five to three weeks, which optimizes both delivery and transportation expenses.
This year Asia is once again a premium market for LNG suppliers. With a record cost (over $ 1,100 per thousand cubic meters according to the JKM index), the region offers the highest prices for spot cargo. At the same time, the lion's share of Russian LNG is supplied under long-term agreements pegged to the price of oil products. Kommersant estimated that, given the oil price of $ 70 per barrel, Novatek's Yamal gas would cost the Chinese company CNPC $ 8 per MMBTU (about $ 290 per thousand cubic meters).
“According to our joint plans with Novatek, effective year-round navigation along the NSR should start in the winter of either 2023–2024 or 2024–2025,” Igor Tonkovidov, general manager of Sovcomflot, told reporters on the sidelines of the SPIEF. He clarified that navigation will depend on the progress of the construction of a series of advanced new-generation gas carriers at the Zvezda shipyard and on the schedule for the entry into operation of this fleet.