Unlike on most other Oceans, the oil transported in the waters outside the northernmost coastline of Norway and Russia is onboard relatively new tankers. Of the 21 vessels sailing notrth of Finnmark in December, only one was older than 14 years. None of them were single-hull tankers.
Although not as big as predicted a few years ago, the transport of petroleum in the European part of the Arctic is on rise. Last year, more than 12 million tons of oil was in transit to and from the Barents Region. That is up 1,28 million tons compared with 2012.
A total of 298 tankers carried petroleum products in the Barents Sea in 2013.
Joint surveillance It is the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) in Vardø that is in charge of the surveillance along the coast and presents the annual statistics. The officers on duty in Vardø have formalized a good cooperation with harbor and coastal authorities in Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Most of the oil in transit is shipped from Murmansk where it is re-loaded to larger tankers from other vessels and rail wagons.
All vessels passing through or proceeding to and from ports and anchorages within the Barents area have to report in to the vessel traffic management information system, named Barents VTMIS
Northern Sea Route Half a million tons of the fuel-oil, oil-condensate and LNG were transported along the Northern Sea Route, from the Barents Sea towards the Bering strait in the period from July to November. Of the 16 tankers sailing north of Siberia, nine voyages happened in October, the month when there was least sea ice. Two of the tankers come from Norway’s Mongstad refinery while one was loaded with liquid natural gas (LNG) from Statoil’s Melkøya plant on the Barents Sea coast.
The supertanker "Belokamenka" is used by Rosneft as a floating storage for ship-to-ship reloading of oil.
Photo: Thomas Nilsen / BarentsObserver
The ice-classed tanker "Vasili Dinkov" operated by Sovcomflot in the Kola bay waiting for oil.
Photo: Thomas Nilsen / BarentsObserver
The oil-terminal at Mokhnatkina Pakhta Cape south of Severomorsk. Oil is transported by rail to the onshore facility and transferred to the tankers by pipes.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.