Project type: LNG
Operator: Yamal LNG
Partners: Novatek (50.1%), Total (20%), CNPC (20%) and Silk Road Fund (9.9%)
Start date: 2017
A world leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG), Total draws on strong, diversified positions along the entire LNG value chain. One iconic Group project in the area is Yamal LNG, located in Russia’s Far North.
A Complex Yet Highly Competitive Project
A Major Technological Challenge
Foundations on permafrost: Learn more about the engineering challenges involved in Yamal LNG on our Exploration & Production site
At the start of the project, there were no access routes to the site by land or by sea. To facilitate the transportation of equipment and staff, construction began on a large-capacity regional transportation hub in 2011, comprising the port of Sabetta and an international airport.
Shipping LNG in such extreme conditions also required Total and its partners to design a new breed of vessel: the LNG ice-breaker tanker. This innovative solution allows LNG to be transported all year long without the assistance of ice breakers. Measuring 300 meters and boasting a capacity of 172,600 cubic meters, the ship can sail in ice of up to 2.1 meters thick. In all, 15 LNG ice-breakers will be gradually commissioned between now and 2019, the first of which is the Christophe de Margerie.
The Northern Sea Route
To unlock access to the vast gas resources of Russia’s Far North, the Yamal LNG project has inaugurated a new LNG shipping route. Known as the Northern Sea Route, it enables vessels to reach Asia in 15 days via the Bering Strait, compared with 30 days using the conventional route through the Suez Canal. The journey can be made between May and November, when the ice is thin enough to navigate. This feat is only possible thanks to a new breed of versatile LNG carriers, which feature ice-breaking technology.