Skip to content

Russia Will Upgrade the Northern Sea Route To Expand Oil and Gas To China

Russia is engaging in what is said to be a new energy plan focused on significantly expanding the Northern Sea Route, which is considered more “flexible” than building new pipelines. This also avoids problems that could arise from U.S. sanctions in the construction of a new pipeline. The fleet will be expanded. Three new nuclear-powered ships have entered the route and three more are under construction. First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov will be responsible for its development.

On the first working day after President Vladimir Putin’s return from his May 16-17 trip to China, the government assessed the capabilities of the shipbuilding industry to implement the country’s new energy plan, said Dmitry Pilyasov, director of the Center for the Economy of the North and the Arctic. The expert stressed that pipeline systems limit maneuverability in the issue of oil and gas supplies, due to their attachment to specific consumers.

There will also be a program for further development of the shipbuilding industry, given the restrictions imposed by South Korea on the production of ships for Russia. “Due to South Korea’s refusal to supply technology, the Zvezda shipyard in Vladivostok had difficulties in meeting the deadlines for the construction of ice-class vessels, since the project was a joint venture of the two countries,” Pilyasov explained. For this reason, the expert is sure, there is now a diversification of risks—significant funds are allocated for the development of Karelian and St. Petersburg shipyards engaged in similar projects.