In December 2017, Novatek launched its much-praised Yamal LNG in the Arctic Circle. Despite difficult permafrost conditions and financial limitations imposed by U.S. sanctions, Yamal LNG was finished on time and on budget. Claims have been made that Yamal LNG will be directed to the Asian market, however, there are several factors that limit its turn to the Asia-Pacific. Pivot to Asia? Yamal LNG, co-owned by Russia’s Novatek, France’s Total SA and China’s CNPC and Silk Road Fund, has often been called Russia’s window to the Asia-Pacific. The project’s website praises the plant’s unique location as an opportunity for flexible and competitive logistics which will enable year-round energy supplies to the Asia-Pacific and European markets. In reality, Yamal LNG’s delivery flexibility is constrained by conditions in the Arctic. Between December and April annually, the Northern Sea Route connecting the Yamal Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific, is closed. Shipments can only […]