The vessel Ob River will be the first of its kind to travel across the Arctic carrying its load of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The vessel left Norway and is sailing north via Russia and then to Japan. By traveling across the Arctic, the trip is at least twenty days shorter. The Ob River has a strengthened hull and can carry up to 150,000 cubic meters of LNG. The Ob River is currently
in the Barents Sea and is being shadowed by a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker.
The trip via the Arctic has been made possible because of the increased ice melt, although there are significant hazards to shipping. The reduction of twenty days on the trip can mean a saving of 40 percent fuel, reducing costs and environmental pollution.
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