NE Passage Open; LNG From Europe To Asia
Key points here: huge LNG demand in Asia. The actual route, while interesting is kind of economically irrelevant so far.
"The Norwegian LNG plant at Hammerfest was developed with exports to the US in mind. But the rapid uptake of shale in America has curbed the demand for imported gas.
Meanwhile in Japan, in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there has been a growing interest in alternative power sources, especially gas.
"The major point about gas is that it now goes east and not west," says Gunnar Sander, senior adviser at the Norwegian Polar Institute and an expert on how climate change impacts economic activity in the Arctic.
"The shale gas revolution has turned the market upside down; that plus the rapid melting of the polar ice."
He stresses that the changes in climate are less important than the growing demand for oil and gas.
"The major driver is the export of resources from the Arctic region, not the fact that you can transit across the Arctic sea."