Early Freeze Stops Alaska Fuel Delivery

Posted December 6th, 2011 at 7:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

With the port of Nome, Alaska frozen shut by an early season storm, residents of the far northern U.S. town are faced with the prospect of extremely high gasoline prices. The port froze before the final fuel delivery of the season arrived.

Local government officials have researched alternative ways to get the fuel into Nome. The prospect of flying the fuel into the Alaska port city was even considered, but was found to be far too expensive.

A Russian ice-breaking tanker ship may provide the solution. The tanker is certified to travel through ice up to more than a meter thick, and possibly could deliver the much needed fuel products.

Ironically, oil-rich Alaska will depend on heating oil and gasoline shipped in from Inchon, South Korea by a Russian tanker to survive until the next regularly scheduled warm weather delivery.

The frozen Alaskan waters could prove too tough for the vessel to penetrate when it arrives from South Korea late this month. The specially equipped tanker is capable of off-loading its precious cargo from nearly 2 kilometers away through special hoses.

This cold weather assignment is nothing new for the Russian crew. The icebreaker typically delivers oil products to Russia’s far east.