Sovcomflot’s (SCF) three Arctic shuttle tankers in the ‘Shturman Albanov’ series have passed the one million tonnes crude oil shipment milestone.
The vessels ship oil produced at the Novy Port oil and gas condensate field from the Gulf of Ob (Kara Sea) to Murmansk.
The millionth tonne cargo of oil was loaded on ‘Shturman Albanov’ on 29th January, 2017 at the Arctic Gate marine terminal located near Cape Kamenny (Gulf of Ob).
By this time, the SCF tankers had completed 33 voyages carrying Novy Port grade oil since last autumn. The first cargo was loaded on the lead ship of the series, ‘Shturman Albanov’, on 12th September, 2016.
SCF’s three Arctic shuttle tankers – ‘Shturman Albanov’, ‘Shturman Malygin’ and ‘Shturman Ovtsyn’ – were designed to carry crude oil from the Yamal Peninsula to Murmansk all year round under a long-term contract with Gazprom Neft.
They fly the Russian flag and are registered at St Petersburg.
On her maiden voyage, ‘Shturman Ovtsyn’ sailed from South Korea across the Russian Arctic to the Novy Port oil terminal in winter.
In December last year, she left Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. On 21st December, she transited the Bering Strait and into the Chukchi Sea in a convoy escorted by the nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘50-Let Pobeda’.
The two other vessels in the convoy were a heavy lift carrier and a general cargo ship.
On 3rd January, the convoy arrived in the Gulf of Ob. While the other two vessels berthed at Sabetta, at the northern end of the Yamal Peninsula, the ‘Shturman Ovtsyn’ sailed deeper into the Gulf to Cape Kamenny and the Novy Port oil terminal without icebreaker assistance.
Never before has a convoy of commercial vessels transited the Northern Sea Route, from the east to the west, at this time of year, SCF claimed in its newsletter.
The three shuttle tankers were delivered by Samsung to SCF last year. Another three sister vessels are still under construction. All six will be deployed shipping oil between the Novy Port and Kola Bay, where the FSO ‘Umba’ is anchored as a transhipment storage vessel.
The new Arctic tankers are 259 m long, 34 m wide and have a deadweight of about 42,000 tonnes. They were all built to Arc7 Ice Class notation.
Designed for sailing in shallow waters, the ships have a draft of only 9.8 m and a wider beam than normal for tankers of this size. They are all of the double-acting type fitted with ABB Azipods and when going astern they are able to break through 1.8 m of ice and 1.4 m of ice while going ahead.