Novatek said on 1 October that 15 liquified natural gas (LNG) cargos from the company’s Yamal LNG project were shipped eastbound to the Asian Pacific markets directly via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) during third quarter 2019.

“The increase of LNG delivered eastbound via the NSR confirms the commercial priority of the Asia-Pacific region as a strategic direction for future deliveries of Novatek’s LNG,” Novatek’s First Deputy Chairman Lev Feodosyev said. “Developing further the navigational efficiency via the NSR combined with the construction of LNG transshipment complexes in Kamchatka and Murmansk will optimise the company’s logistics chain,” he added.

The largest independent natural gas producer in Russia, Novatek, said the eastbound shipments represented about 25% of all LNG dispatched from Yamal LNG during the quarter. Planned 2019 volumes of LNG delivered eastbound to the Asian Pacific markets via the NSR will be increased by more than 4 times compared to last year.

A current fleet of 13 Arc7 ice-class tankers along with lower ice-class designated tankers to transport LNG cargos support the Yamal LNG project, Novatek said, adding that the full compliment of 15 Arc7 ice-class tankers are expected to be in operation by end of 2019, which will increase the number of direct LNG deliveries eastbound via the NSR.