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Sovcomflot’s Christophe de Margerie crosses Northern Sea Route

Sovcomflot’s ice-class LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie, has completed its maiden transit through the formidable Northern Sea Route from Europe to Asia. Setting a new record, the world’s first and only ice-breaking LNG carrier has shown its incredible ability to serve the huge reserves located on the Yamal Peninsular.

Named in honour of the former Total chief executive and chairman who tragically died in a Moscow air accident in 2014, the Christophe de Margerie is one of a series of 15 ground-breaking ice-class ships designed to serve the Yamal LNG project, located deep in the Russian Arctic.

Recognised for his commitment to Russia’s oil and gas industry, Christophe de Margerie was posthumously awarded the nation’s Order of Honour by President Vladimir Putin. Widely credited with the meteoric rise of Total as an industry giant, Christophe de Margerie not only strengthened industry relations, but also bilateral French-Russian relations, too. His legacy of synergy and support between lives on through this record-breaking vessel.

Other than the vessel’s naming connection, Total is also proud to have been an integral part of the Yamal LNG Project itself. With a 20% stake, Total exists as an essential partner to the project, helping to realise its yield of 16.5 million metric tons of LNG production capacity a year. On top of 25 years of operations in the country, this is another example of Total’s strong working relationship with Russia’s oil and gas industry.

With an ability to travel to the peninsular without the aid of icebreakers, the Christophe de Margerie is able to leverage upon year-round access to the Yamal LNG liquefaction plant – thanks to an innovative ability to run ahead and astern, depending on ice thickness. Similarly, manoeuvrability is aided by rudderless propulsion – powered by azimuth thrusters capable of rotating 360 degrees.

Its diesel engine also has the capacity to run on gas, which can produce enough energy and electricity from LNG for the ship’s propulsion and operating requirements. Working in such extreme environments called for specific and specially designed products – lubes that encourage seamless operations in difficult conditions.

That is why Total Lubmarine provided the Christophe de Margerie with a range of lubes that answer the Northern Sea Route’s most difficult questions, including main engine oils and auxiliary equipment lubes. With its extensive industry knowledge and experience, Total Lubmarine was able to provide this range of lubes able to cope with temperatures as low as -60C.

With the success of the Christophe de Margerie, Total Lubmarine looks forward to supporting Sovcomflot’s future ice-class endeavours.

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