Shell, Sovcomflot in first US Aframax LNG bunkering op

Shell and Sovcomflot have teamed up on what they say is the first LNG bunkering operation of an Aframax tanker in the US.

A unit of the Hague-based energy giant bunkered Sovcomflot’s Gagarin Prospect with the recently commissioned Q-LNG 4000. Shell charters both of these vessels.

The operation took place on March 15 off the Port of Canaveral, Florida, according to Sovmcoflot.

The tanker, which was en-route from Corpus Christi to Europe, received 1,075 cubic meters of LNG during the operation which marked the first-ever ship-to-ship LNG fueling of a large capacity Aframax tanker in the US, Sovcomflot said.

In addtion, the deviation from the vessel’s usual voyage route amounted to less than 150 nautical miles (0.5 days) and the bunkering took about 11 hours, the Russian shipping firm said.

“LNG can now be supplied ship-to-ship on the principal transatlantic tanker trade routes between Europe and the US Gulf, and the US Gulf and East Coast Canada, which has seen traffic increasing rapidly as a result of the growth in WTI crude exports from the US Gulf,” Sovcomflot said.

To remind, Shell completed the first bunkering operation using Q-LNG’s newbuild barge in the Port of Jacksonville in January this year.

After that, the first offshore LNG articulated tug and barge in America arrived at the Florida cruise port, where it will fuel Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras but also other vessels such as this tanker.

The barge loads LNG from a fuel distribution facility on Elba Island, Georgia.

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