Saturday, October 23, 2010

Russia looks north for oil transit routes

Moscow aims to send as many as seven oil tankers to Asia through icy waters in the arctic next year, a Russian shipping service announced.
Rosatomflot, a subsidiary of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said six or seven oil tankers and several dry-cargo ships are slated through the so-called Northern passage next year, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Rosatomflot said it hasn't awarded any contracts yet but the northern route could shorten the trip to Asia by 5,000 nautical miles, saving about two weeks in transit time.
Moscow is undertaking an exploration operation of its arctic territories. With sea ice receding in part because of global climate change, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia are examining territorial claims to the arctic as once-trapped hydrocarbons become more exposed.
Moscow is trying to convince the international community that it has a greater claim to the arctic. A 1982 convention gives bordering nations the right to extend arctic claims if the government can prove its continental shelf extends beyond a 200-mile limit.

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