The Panamax-class tanker “STI Heritage” left Murmansk on July 19 and arrived its port of destination Map Ta Phut in Thailand on August 16. The vessel sailed through the Northeast Passage in only eight days, with an average speed of 14 knots, Newsland.ru reports.
The tanker transported 61.000 tons of gas condensate for Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer. “STI Heritage” is the second tanker that Novatek sends through the Northern Sea Route this summer. The first one, “Perseverance”, left Murmansk in the end of June, thus opening the sailing season record early. This tanker, transporting 70.000 tons of gas condensate, sailed the route on 15 days with an average speed of 7.6 knots.
Novatek plans to ship a total of 420 000 tons of gas condensate – six times as the previous year – along the Northern Sea Route. Later in August the company plans to send the largest tanker ever through the passage – the 120 000 tons Suezmax class tanker “Vladimir Tikhonov”, as BarentsObserver reported.
The maximum extent of Arctic sea ice before the melting season started this year was at the lowest ever measured. In July, the Arctic sea ice hit the lowest recorded level for this month in more than three decades of record-keeping.