Russian Capitalists Celebrate Global Warming by Building $20-Billion Natural Gas Plant in Arctic

Friday, July 26, 2013
Northeast Passage in Arctic (graphic: Russian Ministry of Transport)

Russian businessmen are celebrating the effects of global warming, not lamenting it like so many others around the world.


With the polar ice cap receding, executives at the Russian energy company Novatek see a money-making way to ship natural gas to China along the once-frozen Northeast Passage.


With help from the French energy company Total and the China National Petroleum Corporation, Novatek is building a $20 billion liquefied natural gas plant on Russia’s central Arctic coast.


Gas produced from the Yamal LNG plant would be shipped to Asia along northern sea lanes that only began opening up four years ago as warmer ocean temperatures thawed and thinned the ice sheets.


Global warming may be causing worrisome environmental changes, according to scientists and others, but for oil and gas entrepreneurs focused on the Arctic sea, such changes can mean newfound profits.


“It’s a reality of what is available today, and commercially it is a route that cuts cost,” Emily Stromquist, a global energy analyst at the Eurasia Group, told The New York Times.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Polar Thaw Opens Shortcut for Russian Natural Gas (by Andrew Kramer, New York Times)

U.S. Uses Global Warming to Lay Claim to 200,000 Square Miles of Arctic Waters (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

As Arctic Ice Melts, U.S. Competes for Oil, Gold and other Resources (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

A Disturbing Success: The First Commercial Trans-Arctic Passage (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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