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Arctic Ocean

Two Seattle-based Coast Guard Divers die in Arctic Ocean

Accoring to reports, two Seattle-based Coast Guard divers died Thursday while diving in the Arctic Ocean, about 500 miles north of Barrow, Alaska. Lt. Jessica Hill, 30, of St. Augustine, Fla., and Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, 26, of Miami, were assigned to the Cutter Healy. The ship was on a scientific mission when the deaths occurred, according to the Coast Guard. Hill and Duque were on a practice dive familiarizing themselves with the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, the Coast Guard said. The cause of this dive accident is under investigation. The 420-foot Healy is one of three polar ice breakers operated by the Coast Guard. Healy is primarily used for Arctic science operations under sponsorship of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Source: Seattle Times


Chinese Icebreaker Transits Northern Sea Route

Photo credit:antarctica.gov.au

The icebreaker 'Xuelong' made the Arctic Ocean passage from China through to Norwegian waters. The Chinese icebreaker completed the Arctic North-East Passage marking the first such voyage by a Chinese vessel and opening an Arctic route connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic for future Chinese science expeditions. In completing the voyage, the icebreaker Xuelong or Snow Dragon channeled through five marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean: the Chukchi Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Laptev Sea


Samsung Wins Tanker Contract

According to a Korea Herald report, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. won a $422.5 million deal to build three arctic tankers for Russian state-owned shipper Sovcomflot. Samsung is the first Korean shipbuilder to receive an order for ice-breaking oil-carriers. Sovcomflot plans to operate the artic tankers over the Barents Sea between the Varandiy oil well in the Arctic Ocean and Murmansk harbor in Russia, according to the report


Navy Submarines Begin Arctic Ocean Exercises

Arctic-bound USS New Mexico: USN official photo

Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Mexico (SSN 779) and Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767) have commenced Ice Exercise 2014 (ICEX 2014) in the Arctic Ocean, says Commander,  US Submarine Forces. "In keeping with the Department of Defense's Arctic Objectives, the Submarine Force uses Ice Exercises to prepare for a wide range of challenges and contingencies," said Capt. Paul Whitescarver


U.S., Canadian Coast Guard Oil Spill Exercise

Representatives from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, Arctic region stakeholders and established responders are scheduled to hold a joint “Canada - United States North” (CANUSNORTH) tabletop exercise March 16 and 17 at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. This biennial exercise provides an opportunity for all responders to work together to consult on local issues and improve communications and coordination for potential responses to pollution incidents in the contiguous


Adm. Papp Continues USCG Arctic Outreach

Anchorage, Alaska Introductions: Photo credit USCG

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp has spent a week in Alaska, underscoring the importance of establishing and maintaining a range of Arctic partnerships. Despite snowfall in the North Slope of Alaska last week and cooler than average temperatures all summer, Arctic sea ice extent tracked well below average again this year. This ongoing transformation of the Arctic Ocean from a solid expanse of inaccessible ice fields into an emerging maritime frontier is attracting increased human activity


NOAA Meetings Arctic Oil & Gas Activities

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will conduct five scoping meetings to receive public comments on its planned environmental impact statement on the effects of oil and gas activities in the Arctic Ocean. Meeting will be held in Wainwright (March 9); Barrow (March 10); Nuiqsut (March 11); Kaktovik (March 12); and Anchorage (March 23). Written comments should be submitted by April 9. 75 Fed. Reg. 8304 (February 24, 2010).


USCGC HEALY Geophysical Survey

The National Science Foundation is making available a draft environmental assessment for the proposed marine geophysical survey to be conducted by the USCG icebreaker HEALY. Plans call for the HEALY to transit the Arctic Ocean from northern Alaska to Svalbard during the period 5 August to 30 September 2005. Scientific research, particularly sediment coring, will be conducted en route. While marine mammals will be encountered


Aker Arctic WinsShuttle Tanker Contract

Aker Arctic Technology of Finland and the St. Petersburg based FSUE Admiralty shipyards signed a contract for a license and design including classification package of two 70,000 dwt double-acting Arctic shuttle tankers, which the yard is building for ZAO Sevmorneftegaz for the Prirazlomnoye oil field in the Arctic Ocean. The ships are the largest tankers so far built by the yard and will be delivered towards the end of 2007 and respectively 2008.


Arctic Research Ship Scientists on Thin Ice

Polarstern Backdrops Scientific Expedition: Photo credit Alfred Wegener Institute

Return to Bremerhaven: The research vessel 'Polarstern' returns with new findings from the Central Arctic during the 2012 ice minimum. After a good two months. 54 scientists and technicians from twelve different countries conducted research on the retreat of the sea ice and the consequences for the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems Since its departure from Tromsø (Norway) on 2 August 2012 Polarstern has travelled some 12,000 kilometres and conducted research at 306 stations


Crystal Cruises to Sail Elusive Northwest Passage

Crystal Cruises Northwest Passage

  The “World’s Best” Crystal Cruises is introducing a new expedition-style  voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean via the legendary Northwest Passage – one so mysterious and remote (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle)


Crystal to Cruise via Arctic Northwest Passage in 2016

Arctic waters: File photo

Crystal Cruises says it is introducing a new expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean via the Northwest Passage (500 miles north of the Arctic Circle) that explorers spent centuries seeking, until it was first completed successfully by Roald Amundsen just over 100 years ago.


US Hearing to Review Arctic Policy

Photo: Kitty Mecklenburg, RUSALCA

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), will hold a hearing next week to review U.S. policy in the Arctic and how the agencies with the largest presence in the Arctic intend to implement such policy.


MOL to Launch Arctic Ocean LNG Route

MOL Arctic.jpg

Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (MOL) said on Wednesday that it will start transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Arctic Ocean in 2018 using icebreaker LNG tankers. MOL, with its joint venture partner China Shipping, has ordered three icebreaker LNG carriers from South Korea's Daewoo


Dopeless® technology debuts in Alaska

Dopeless® technology debuts in Alaska - Tenaris NorthSlopeDopele

An important European national oil and gas company successfully drilled the first complete Dopeless® technology well in Alaska in March 2014. The operation took place at Alaska’s North Slope, located on the northern part of the Brooks Range on the coast of the Arctic Ocean


Canada Announces Franklin Search, 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition:

Icebergs: Photo Canadian Govt.

The Govermnent of Canada announces that with an unprecedented number of organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors it will partner together, using state-of-the-art technology, to locate the historic ships of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition.


U.S. Must Answer Russia's Challenge In The Arctic - Treadwell

Mead Treadwell

Russian President Vladimir Putin's Arctic expansionism is a challenge the U.S. must answer with icebreakers, ports, and territorial claims of our own, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell said today. Treadwell spoke this morning at the 34th Annual U.S


Melting Sea Ice Opens Arctic Passages for Invasive Species

Arctic Navigation: File photo

For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The newly opened passages leave both coasts and Arctic waters vulnerable to a large wave of invasive species, biologists from the Smithsonian Environmental Research


Kara-Winter-2014 Ice Expedition Successfully Completed

Kara-Winter-2014 Ice Expedition

  The Kara-Winter-2014 Ice Expedition organized by the Arctic Research and Design Center (a joint venture of Rosneft and ExxonMobil) with expert support from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Federal State Budget Institution was successfully finished


Russia to Beef Up Arctic Military Infrastructure

Pyotr Veliky: Photo Russian Navy

The Russian Northern Fleet will deploy military infrastructure in most of the archipelagos and islands of the Arctic Ocean on the borders of Russia, according to official news agency Arctic-Info, citing the Northern Fleet command spokesman Andrey Korablev.


The Bounds of Arctic Russia Defined

Antique Arctic Map image in public domain

A decree defining the land territory of Arctic Russia has been signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and published on the Kremlin's website, reports the officeal news agency Arctic-Info. According to the [final] document, the Russian Arctic zone includes the territory of Murmansk Region


US Unprepared for Arctic Oil Spill: New Report

Report cover courtesy of NRC

The work of a committee, the National Research Council has released a new report – 'Responding to Oil Spills in the U.S. Arctic Marine Environment', which concludes that the the U.S. is far from ready to respond effectively to such an event.


Arctic Energy Exploration Efforts Heat Up

The first ever cargo vessel to sail from Murmansk to Shanghai via the Northern Sea Route, without the assistance of icebreakers, recently completed its maiden crossing, cutting a 65-day journey on the return leg down to 19 days. ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion technology helps to make the year-round journey possible. (Photo: ABB)

Oil and gas—and also mining—are the drivers today propelling Arctic maritime operations and the construction of new vessels able to operate in extreme latitudes.  While the gas and oil resources can be recovered in the Arctic or far north and shipped to markets by sea or


Russia Ships First Oil From Offshore Arctic Platform

(Image: http://media.gazprom-neft.com)

President Vladimir Putin hailed Russia's first shipment of Arctic offshore oil on Friday, saying the platform decried by environmentalists will help Moscow expand its global energy markets share.   Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia's top gas producer Gazprom, shipped the first 70


ONR Researchers Explore a Changing Arctic

Photo by Bill Shaw, Naval Postgraduate School

As sea ice continues to recede at a record pace in the Arctic, officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) on April 14 announced new efforts to determine the pace of change in what some are calling Earth's final frontier. Scientists sponsored by ONR have traveled to the Beaufort Sea in the






 
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