The Barents Sea Arctic

VSF: To understand the Russian Arctic, the Barents Observer always has interesting informative articles. Years ago I read from many sources that Putin did not accept global warming. In fact he saw recurring Sun Cycles as an opportunity to develop oil and gas.

The Barents Sea borders both Norway and Russia. There have been agreements as to who gets the resources. But mostly they seem to get along.

Here are a few recent articles.

Russia must make a great shift towards the East, says Minister of the Arctic | The Independent Barents Observer

…the shift towards the East will take time, and argues that Russia has a time gap of ten years where it can use its revenues from natural resource exports to rebuild the economy.
Natural resources from the Arctic will be of significant importance in the process. And regional resources must be develop “as soon as possible, as long as the markets allow for it.”
Minister Chekunkov admits that international sanctions now inflict massive damage to Russian businesses. Our industry is now cut off access to technology that is needed for production of thousands of goods, “from paper to satellites,” he writes.
“The skies are closed for our aircraft, the borders are closing for goods, as well as for people.”
And there is a dramatic situation in domestic east-west logistics. According to the minister, there is today a deficiency in transportation capacities between western Russia and the Far East of 70 million tons. That will increase to 160 million tons by 2025, he explains.
And the situation has gotten even worse as western companies have moved their shipping containers out of Russia.
But the troubles notwithstanding, Russia will prevail, Chekunkov writes confidently. “Russia has everything that is needed for it to overcome the problems and achieve a high level of economic growth, not fall behind in technologic development and take a decent position in a complicated and changing world,” the minister argues.
The bright prospects outlined by Russia’s Arctic minister are not shared by leading economists. Paradoxically, Chekunkov’s opinion piece was published on the same day as an economic report by Vladislav Inozemtsev, Director of the Russian Center for Post-Industrial Studies.
In his analysis, Inozemtsev writes that Russia’s current economic downturn is “certainly going to ‘outdo’ the crisis year of 2009.” Then, the country’s GDP shrank by 7,9 percent.
The economist warns that Russian economy could end up in “a full-blown disaster as early as in 2024−2025.”

As more warriors from Pechenga perish in war, local military towns face overhaul | The Independent Barents Observer

 Russian brigades located near the border to Norway and Finland have experienced big losses of warriors on the battlefields in Ukraine. Already the first days of the onslaught, a major number of men are believed to have lost their lives in fights outside Kharkiv.
Regional Governor Andrei Chibis in mid-March made a visit to the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade and the 200th Motorized Rifle Brigade, the units that are believed to have suffered the biggest losses.
… from regional information, there are at least 1,274 soldiers from the Kola Peninsula that either are dead, injured or still fighting in Ukraine.

Construction of second Arctic floating nuclear power plant is underway | The Independent Barents Observer

Construction of second Arctic floating nuclear power plant is underway
Three years after “Akademik Lomonosov” started to produce electricity for the remote Siberian community of Pevek, the first of four in a new generation of up-scaled floating nuclear power plants for the Arctic is now officially under construction at a yard in China.

   The hull to the first two new floating NPPs will be built in China. This is unlike the “Akademik Lomonosov” whose hull was built in Severodvinsk by the White Sea before being towed to St. Petersburg where reactors and other gear were built.
Atomenergomash, a sub-company of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation, took part in the keel laying ceremony via a video-link from Moscow to the yard in Nantong in the southeastern Jiangsu province.
The barge will be 140 meters long and 30 meters wide and will have a weight of nearly 10,000 tons, Atomenergomash informs.
By the end of 2023, the barge will be towed to Russia where installation of the reactors, auxiliary equipment, control room and accommodation area will take place.
The company doesn’t say which shipyard in Russia will do the job; the Baltiskiy Yard in St. Petersburg or the Zvezda Yard in Bolshoy Kamen in the Far East of the country. Severodvinsk in the northwest is likely too busy with building military nuclear submarines.
By the end of 2022, a decision will be taken on where to build the hulls for the third and fourth floating NPP.
As previously reported by the Barents Observer, the contract to supply four floating nuclear power plants to Chukotka Autonomous Okrug was signed with Rosatom last year.

The “North Pole” is on its way to the Arctic | The Independent Barents Observer

The Severniy Polus has the shape of a bathtub and will soon become a key tool in Russian Arctic research.
It is due to arrive in Murmansk on the 15th of September. Shortly afterwards, the platform will embark on a voyage to the New Siberian Islands, Minister of Natural Resources Aleksandr Kozlov informs.
“Already in the near future we will have reliable and full information about the North Pole of our planet!” the minister says.
The Severny Polyus is capable of undertaking geological, acoustic, geophysical and marine research under the harshest of Arctic conditions. Even in temperatures down to minus 50°C it is believed to be able to provide comfortable living and working conditions for researchers and crew.
On board are 15 labs where researchers can work year-round.
During this year’s expedition, the vessel is to test its key equipment.

Gazprom’s new major Arctic project might be a dead end | The Independent Barents Observer

There has been a big buzz on the remote Yamal tundra since construction works were officially launched in March 2019. President Vladimir Putin was on a direct televised line from the Kremlin as Gazprom workers brought big machines and equipment across the snow- and ice-covered stretches of the Arctic lands.
“The Kharasaveyskoye field will open new horizons for the development of the industry, for the strengthening of our export potential and further gasification of Russia,” Putin said in his greeting.
The field that is located on the western shore of the Yamal Peninsula has reserves of about 2 trillion cubic meters of gas and is Gazprom’s next step in its big development plan for the resource-rich region.
The Kharasavey will be connected by a 108 km long pipeline to nearby Bovanenkovo, the huge field launched in 2012.
During the whole summer of 2022, ships have shuttled to the local Kharasaveyskoye sea terminal, many of them with construction materials and supplies to the several hundred workers on site. Production is due to be launched in 2023.
The Kharasavey and Bovanenkovo are believed to have combined natural gas reserves of seven trillion cubic meters. Several more trillions are to be added to the reserves table as Gazprom continues its grand development program for the region.

… The natural gas from Kharasavey, Bovanenkovo and other fields in the area now risk being “stuck” in the Arctic as practically all regional infrastructure is aimed at the EU market.
The natural gas from Yamal is sent by the Bovanenkovo–Ukhta pipeline, a northern section of the more than 4,000 km long Yamal–Europe pipeline.
Vast volumes of natural gas will now simply accumulate in domestic Russia. And there is hardly a quick fix to the problem.
Gazprom has ambitious plans to connect the Yamal Peninsula with China, and a new pipeline is projected to connect the Bovanenkovo with existing infrastructure on the eastern side of the Ob Bay. In 2021, Gazprom even launch an underwater pipeline across the great bay.

GAZPROM map of gas transportation system:


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