Analysis of the Interconnected Development Potential of the Oil, Gas and Transport Industries in the Russian Arctic
- The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is a historically established transport communication of a national scale, which runs along the seas of the Arctic and Pacific Oceans.
- The set of vehicles, including railway, pipeline transport, aviation, sea, and river fleet facilities.
- The coastal infrastructure—ports and means of navigation and hydrographic and meteorological support.
- Improving the efficiency of the Russian transport system. The development of Arctic hydrocarbon fields plays a very important role in ensuring the domestic consumption of energy resources in Russia and their export. The solution to this problem is possible only in the presence and continuous operation of transport networks throughout the region with access to the transport communications of Russia and the world. This requires the implementation of comprehensive infrastructure projects to modernize the existing transport infrastructure, which is part of the system of international transport corridors and the construction of new sea terminals.
- Switching of export flows to Russian ports in order to reduce the risks associated with the introduction of economic sanctions. The solution to the problems of transportation of strategic energy carriers can be carried out through the development of sea and rail transport, coordinated with the development of the pipeline infrastructure.
- Implementation of the regional socio-economic potential of individual territories. For the Arctic zone, the presence of developed transport infrastructure makes it possible to ensure the influx of continuous flows of raw materials, materials, and finished products, which will contribute to the further development of extractive industries.
- Formation of large competitive macro-regions. Solving the issues of developing the regions of the Arctic zone, which have significant reserves of minerals, in particular oil and gas, requires not only the construction of mining and processing enterprises but also the creation of an appropriate infrastructure to ensure their effective operation.
- Creation of conditions favorable for human life. The presence of a developed transport infrastructure that provides communications with the territory of the entire country makes it possible to solve the problems of optimizing settlement in the territories being developed. Ensuring all-season transport accessibility contributes to the emergence of new settlements and industrial facilities and, in the future, to minimizing the use of the rotational method of mining.
2. Literature Review
3. Research Methods
- An analysis of the time series, with the help of which the co-direction and coincidence of the nature of the dynamics of the total traffic flow along the NSR and the transportation of oil and gas cargo in the period of 2014–2022 are established. The nature of the dynamics was estimated based on the calculation of chain growth rates for the following indicators: the total traffic flow along the NSR, the total transportation volume of oil and gas cargoes, the transportation volume of oil and oil products, the transportation volume of LNG and gas condensate. Thus, 4 dynamic series were studied, of which each consisted of 9 levels. The chain growth rate for a specific level of the series (ti) is calculated as follows:The results are presented graphically.
- Correlation analysis made it possible to quantify the closeness of the relationship between the dynamics of the total cargo transportation volume along the NSR and the dynamics of the transportation volume of oil and oil products, LNG, and gas condensate. It has also been established that there is a connection between the dynamics of cargo transportation along the NSR and the dynamics of oil production and LNG production in the Russian Arctic zone. Based on the actual information of the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia, the NSR administration, and the State Atomic Corporation Rosatom, during the study, the pair correlation coefficients were calculated between the total traffic flow along the NSR from 2014 to 2022 and the following:
- The transportation volume of oil and gas cargoes for the same period.
- The oil production in the Russian Arctic zone from 2014 to 2022.
- The gas production in the Russian Arctic zone from 2014 to 2022.
- LNG production in the Russian Arctic zone from 2017 to 2022.
4. Results and Discussion
- The large-scale integrated investment project Yamal-LNG, aimed at the production, liquefaction, and supply of natural gas from the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye gas field to the customers. According to the PRMS standards, the volume of probable and proven gas reserves at the Yuzhno-Tambeyskoye gas field reaches 926 billion m3 . The annual design production is 27 billion m3 of gas . The annual production of LNG and gas condensate is envisaged at levels of 16.5 million tons and 1.2 million tons, respectively . The plant’s products are planned mainly to be supplied to the countries of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. As part of the project, a multifunctional seaport Sabetta was built in the Ob Bay of the Kara Sea. The own fleet has been formed to export the products, including 16 ultra-large crude carriers of ice class Arc7 of the Yamalmax series, as well as 5 auxiliary vessels of the port fleet. To use 4–8 nuclear icebreakers is planned to ensure year-round pilotage of tankers in ice-congested water; logistic schemes have been developed for large-tonnage vessels along the Northern Sea Route, taking into account the environmental safety requirements. The unique geographic location of the Yamal Peninsula makes it possible to create a flexible and competitive logistics model that ensures year-round LNG supplies to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. LNG will be supplied to the markets of Northeast Asia in summer via the NSR, and in winter via the western route with LNG transshipment at one of the European regasification terminals. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd production lines were put into operation, respectively. In 2021 and 2022, 19.4 million tons and 21 million tons of LNG were produced, respectively , which indicates that the plant is operating in excess of production capacity.
- Arctic LNG-2 project aimed at the development of oil and gas condensate fields in the Gydan Peninsula. The annual production volume is 19.8 million tons of LNG . It is planned to supply products to the countries of Europe and Southeast Asia in 2023–2040. The project operator, PJSC NOVATEK, is intent on the creation of an Arctic cluster capable of providing up to 70 million tons of freight traffic along the NSR by 2040 .
- Development of oil deposits on the western coast of the Ob Bay of the Kara Sea as part of the project New Port–Gates of the Arctic. Oil is to be supplied all year round through the unique sea terminal Gates of the Arctic in the amount of up to 8.5 million tons annually.
- Development of the Payakhskaya group of oil fields (Taimyr Peninsula) and export of oil through the Tanalau cargo terminal at the mouth of the Yenisei in the amount of up to 5 million tons per year.
- Development of the Prirazlomnoye offshore oil field with year-round transportation of the produced oil to the port of Murmansk by very large ice-class crude carriers. Until mid-2022, the logistics chain was as follows: oil produced on the offshore ice-resistant fixed platform Prirazlomnaya was shifted to shuttle tankers, after which tankers delivered crude oil to the floating oil storage Umba. The same floating oil storage was used by Gazpromneft-Yamal LLC to store oil produced at the Novoportovskoye field. After delivery to the floating storage, an agreement was concluded with the buyer, who shipped oil to his own tanker and took it for further processing, or there was transportation, as a rule, to Rotterdam, after which oil was transferred to the buyer. In June 2022, the European Union introduced a package of sanctions prohibiting the supply of oil to Europe by sea, which jeopardized the activities of Gazprom Neft Shelf LLC and Gazpromneft-Yamal LLC. In this situation, the main direction of the supply of Russian oil becomes eastern: to China and India. Oil transportation from platform Prirazlomnaya is possible only by sea transport, and it is currently possible using the Northern Sea Route.
- According to PJSC Rosneft, the Vostok Oil project, aimed at developing the group of Payakha fields, was supposed to provide a cargo flow through the NSR in the amount of 25 million tons by 2024, but it will be able to reach the specified capacity only by 2025.
- PJSC NOVATEK, which is the main user of the NSR, previously planned to supply 46.7 million tons of cargo along this route by 2024 as part of the already operating Yamal-LNG liquefied natural gas plant and new projects—Arctic LNG-2 and Ob LNG. However, the plan was adjusted by the company to 35.5 million tons .
- In the conditions of economic sanctions, the volume of international companies’ cargo transportation in NSR has significantly decreased.
- The absence of a comprehensive program for the socio-economic development of the territories adjacent to the route would ensure the full loading of the railway line and its payback.
- The instability of the ruble exchange rate hinders the implementation of industrial and infrastructure projects.
- The absence of a well-developed financial mechanism for project implementation.
- The continued and growing dependence of the Russian industry on imports of high-tech modern equipment in the face of economic sanctions.
- Physical proximity to explore offshore oil and gas fields.
- The possibility of a partial shift of large military industrial enterprises and the use of their unique fixed assets in the production of equipment for the oil and gas industry .
- Ease of use of the Kola Bay and adjacent bays for the basing of the icebreaker fleet.
- Developed industrial infrastructure, which allows us to locate enterprises in the region that carry out installation and repair of drilling and mining equipment  and maintenance of the fleet.
- The implementation of ambitious projects for the development of Arctic oil and gas fields calls for special attention to the development of transport communications and infrastructure. The transport and logistics sector is becoming an important service sector.
- Currently, the territory of the Russian Arctic is suitable for an effective transport and infrastructure system to ensure smooth and fast transportation of raw hydrocarbons produced, other cargo, and personnel to the areas of exploration and production. Harsh natural and climatic conditions and the remoteness of the fields from the coastline will be taken into account.
- Modernization of the existing transport and logistics schemes in the Arctic region, their integration into the system of world transport communications, and the creation of new high-tech port terminals and facilities will allow redirecting export flows to the Russian ports, thereby reducing the risks arising from the aggravation of the foreign policy situation. It follows from the analysis that the use of the Murmansk seaport for the transportation of raw hydrocarbons has a number of competitive advantages:
- The geographical and geopolitical position of the port allows for free access to the Atlantic Ocean, bypassing the closed straits.
- The technical characteristics of the port allow the reception of large and ultra-large crude carriers without imposing requirements on their dimensions or freight-carrying capacity.
- The almost total absence of ice cover in the port water area allows for year-round transportation to the Atlantic Ocean without an icebreaker escort.
- A developed system of railways ensures regular transportation to the ports.
- High industrial and human potential.
- The Northern Sea Route, together with the adjoining railway lines, river communications, highways, aviation, and coastal infrastructure, can form the basis of the transport system of the Arctic zone and contribute to an increase in its transport and infrastructure potential. At the same time, the significance of the NSR is great as the shortest transport corridor linking Europe and the Pacific region.
- The implementation of large-scale investment projects in the oil and gas industry of the Russian Arctic zone is of fundamental geopolitical importance, as it is a tool for strengthening Russia’s regional presence in the Arctic, and also contributes to the development of regional development processes in the Arctic, namely, increasing the NSR cargo turnover; increasing the transport and infrastructure potential of the region; construction of infrastructure facilities in the oil and gas industry; and the development of domestic shipbuilding.
- The industrial development of the Arctic zone involves an increase in the hydrocarbon resources production and cargo transshipment and therefore requires the formation of an efficient transport infrastructure. In particular, the implementation of the Yamal LNG project plays an important role in the region’s development. The creation of the northernmost LNG plant, as well as a full-fledged year-round seaport of Sabetta, can become incentives for the Northern Sea Route development.
- The need to create a transport system based on the Northern Sea Route with a developed network of ports and infrastructure, including navigation, hydrometeorological, repair, and information services, is becoming very relevant.
- In case of sustainable warming, the ice cover thickness in the Arctic may decrease, which will create more favorable conditions for navigation in the Arctic seas and further intensification of hydrocarbon production on the shelf. The Northern Sea Route in this situation can become one of the most important transport corridors in the world.
- The production of liquefied natural gas is one of the most important factors in the development of shipping in the Arctic zone.
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Parameters of the Terminals||Murmansk||Kamchatka Peninsula|
|Properties of offshore transshipment facility||20 mln t||20 mln t, 500 ship entries|
|Location||Ura Bay (40 km from Murmansk, 1000 nautical miles from Sabetta)||Bechevinskaya Bay (100 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky town, 4000 nautical miles from Sabetta)|
|Concept||2 vessels—LNG storage, sale under FOB terms is possible||2 vessels—LNG storage, sale under FOB terms is possible|
|Year||The Traffic Flow, mln t||Chain Index||Year||The Traffic Flow, mln t||Chain Index|
|Factorial Indicators||Oil Production|
in the AZRF
in 2014–2022, mln t
Production in the AZRF in 2014–2022, mln m3
|LNG Production in the AZRF in|
2017–2022, mln t
|Total NSR traffic flow in 2014–2022, |
|Total NSR traffic flow in 2017–2022, |
|Project Characteristics||Place of Implementation||Implementation |
|Reconstruction of the Sea Port Bering: strengthening the berth walls, modernization of loading equipment, expansion of warehouse and repair facilities||NSR,|
The Chukotka Autonomous District
|Construction of non-freezing deep-water seaport Indiga||NSR,|
|Until 2025||300,000||Priority, planned|
|“Deep-water area”: the construction of the deep-water area of Arkhangelsk seaport will actively promote the development of offshore fields in the Arctic zone||NSR, Archangelsk||Until 2030||208,000||Priority, planned|
|Construction of a support base for coastal support of offshore projects in the Russian Arctic zone: creation of berthing facilities and access to the federal road and rail network; creation of service areas for drilling platforms and vessels involved in geological exploration||Murmansk Region||Until 2025||18,000||Current|
|Arctic LNG 2: construction of three LNG production lines||Murmansk Region||Until 2025||1,550,000||Current|
|Development of the Zapadno-Ozernoye gas and Verkhne-Telekayskoye oil and gas condensate fields||The Chukotka |
|Determined by the investor||5400||Planned|
|Reconstruction of berth infrastructure facilities||Murmansk Region||Until 2022||2463||Implemented|
|Northern Latitudinal Railway: connection of the Northern and Sverdlovsk railways and ensuring the shortest transit of hydrocarbon cargoes and cargoes necessary for the development of gas condensate and oil fields||Yamalo-Nenets|
|Construction of the Sosnogorsk-Indiga railway to ensure more efficient transportation of hydrocarbons to the Northern Sea Route||Nenets Autonomous District||Until 2025||190,000||Priority, planned|
|Construction of the Arkhangelsk seaport deep-water area||Archangelsk Region||Until 2030||36,569||Current|
|Construction of the railway line Belkomur: formation of a new, “diagonal” direction in the system of international transport corridors of the European part of Russia; redistribution of cargo flows from the ports of the Baltic to the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk||Archangelsk Region||Until 2030||225,000||Priority,|
|Creation and operation of the railway line Bovanenkovo–Sabetta: ensuring the delivery of goods and shift crews to the port of Sabetta, to the gas condensate fields of the Yamal Peninsula, and the export of liquid hydrocarbons||Yamalo-Nenets|
|Location||Murmansk Region||Yamal Peninsula||Archangelsk Region||Nenets Autonomous District|
|Basin||Barents Sea||Kara Sea||White Sea||Barents Sea|
|Throughput capacity, thousand tons per year||24,647.2||16,000 (LNG), 1350 (gas condensate)||11,772.9||12,100.4|
|Dimensions of the vessels (length/width/draft), m||With no restrictions||350/50/12||114/14/3.6||120/15/3.5|
|Number of terminals||110||11||6||2|
|Special features||Base port for providing traffic under the MTA; the base of the nuclear icebreaker fleet; communication with the industrial centers of Russia and abroad by air, road, and rail||Largest center for|
the formation of
to ensure the
deposits in the
access to the world ocean in the western and eastern
|Connection to |
onshore oil tanks
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Katysheva, E. Analysis of the Interconnected Development Potential of the Oil, Gas and Transport Industries in the Russian Arctic. Energies 2023, 16, 3124. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073124
Katysheva E. Analysis of the Interconnected Development Potential of the Oil, Gas and Transport Industries in the Russian Arctic. Energies. 2023; 16(7):3124. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073124Chicago/Turabian Style
Katysheva, Elena. 2023. "Analysis of the Interconnected Development Potential of the Oil, Gas and Transport Industries in the Russian Arctic" Energies 16, no. 7: 3124. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073124