Russian gas giant Gazprom said that the Lena River, one of six vessels in its LNG fleet, has recently completed a journey through the Magellan Strait, marking the first time a Gazprom LNG tanker has travelled this route.
The 155,000-cbm tanker left Bonny, Nigeria on 6 April, transiting the Magellan Strait on 20 April, before arriving in Manzanillo, Mexico for discharge 26 days later, Gazprom Export said in its May newsletter.
The tanker was bought in December by Monaco-based Dynagas LNG Partners from Greece’s Dynagas Holding. The 2013-built LNG carrier is currently operating on a five-year charter with Gazprom Global LNG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom, that ends on October 2018.
After Portuguese maritime explorer Ferdinand Magellan first traversed the channel at the Southern tip of South America in a successful attempt to find a passage from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean in the 16th century, the Magellan Strait became an important waterway for sailing ships, especially before the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914, Gazprom Export said.
“Narrow, complicated and stormy, this challenging passage was one of two practical maritime routes between the Atlantic and Pacific. Today, it remains a common but considerably safer passage for those ships rounding South America that too large to transit the Panama Canal before its expansion is completed in July 2016,” it added.