MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said Thursday it scheduled an oil shipment from a northern arctic port to European consumers by using a sea tanker.
The company said it would ship a low sulfur blend of crude oil, dubbed Novy Port, from the field bearing its name from the Yamal peninsula.
"A sea tanker will deliver the oil to Europe in September and over 80,000 tons of the new Novy Port oil classification are scheduled to be delivered from the field by two tankers during the 2014 ice-free season," the company said in a statement.
Changes in global weather patterns are leaving parts of the arctic region ice-free for longer periods of time. Gazprom Neft said it confirmed in 2011 that using a nuclear-powered icebreaker would facilitate transportation of oil from the port on the northern peninsula, where pipeline infrastructure is lacking.
When ice is heavy, the company said it would ship oil by rail to a northern rail terminal for transportation to the regional market until an export terminal is completed in late 2015.
Oil work in the pristine arctic environment has raised concerns from environmental advocacy groups. Gazprom Neft said facilities at the peninsula were designed to reduce environmental impact.
"The first summer shipment of Novy Port oil sees the opening of a new transportation route, by sea," Chairman Alexander Dyukov said in a statement. "The experience we gain on this route will help us to achieve our plans and begin full-scale year-round development of the Novy Port field in 2016."