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Author Topic: Northern Sea Route thread  (Read 34971 times)

sidd

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #150 on: August 17, 2017, 07:52:11 PM »
" ... the Laws of the Sea, signed by all major states including the US."

Note that the USA has signed the 1994  Agreement of Implementation, but has never signed the Convention.

TerryM

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #151 on: August 18, 2017, 01:09:02 AM »
" ... the Laws of the Sea, signed by all major states including the US."

Note that the USA has signed the 1994  Agreement of Implementation, but has never signed the Convention.


According to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea


The US has never been a party to, nor a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea


Sometimes, when atmospheric conditions are just right, the density of the fog propagating from Foggy Bottom's propaganda mills can become so thick, that a skilled mariner can cut a slice, dip it in rum, and subsist on it for some days.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #152 on: August 18, 2017, 05:12:50 AM »
My point was that the USA agreed to the 1994 agreement on implementation but not UNCLOS. As in your reference:

"Although the United States helped shape the Convention and its subsequent revisions,[5] and though it signed the 1994 Agreement on Implementation, it has not signed the Convention as it objected to Part XI of the Convention."

What is Part XI ? From
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

"Part XI of the Convention provides for a regime relating to minerals on the seabed outside any state's territorial waters or EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones). It establishes an International Seabed Authority (ISA) to authorize seabed exploration and mining and collect and distribute the seabed mining royalty.

The United States objected to the provisions of Part XI of the Convention on several grounds, arguing that the treaty was unfavorable to American economic and security interests. Due to Part XI, the United States refused to ratify the UNCLOS, although it expressed agreement with the remaining provisions of the Convention."

I guess the USA wants to make big holes in the seabed without interference ...

sidd

Rob Dekker

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #153 on: August 18, 2017, 08:02:36 AM »
Thank you sidd for clarifying the US position w.r.t. UNCLOS.
From the Wiki page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea
we read :
The United States objected to Part XI of the Convention on several grounds, arguing that the treaty was unfavorable to American economic and security interests. The U.S. claimed that the provisions of the treaty were not free-market friendly and were designed to favor the economic systems of the Communist states.
Which kind of makes sense, when we look at the picture that Pavel posted.
About 1/3rd of the Arctic now falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Russia.



I find it rather ironic that since UNCLOS was signed in 1994, that the US has obliged by its rules (after all they signed the Agreement of Implementation) even though they did not sign the Convention itself, but Russia seems to be the only state that is still violating UNCLOS law even though they DID sign.

Now, don't get me wrong. The Arctic is a very large place, and the Northern Sea Route is long and still has pockets of ice even in August and September. So it's fair if Russia would charge a fee if ice-breaker assistance is needed and a fee if search-and-rescue is needed. But requiring a permit and fee for anyone sailing its international waters (beyond 12 miles from the coast) clearly does violate UNCLOS.

Incidentally, that permit process and the fees make the Northern Sea Route less attractive for business, which may help in keeping the NSR a bit less popular as a reliable sea route. Other routes, including the NW passage may be more cost effective in the end.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 08:20:10 AM by Rob Dekker »

sidd

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #154 on: August 18, 2017, 08:30:30 PM »
UNCLOS disputes include, in addition to the Russian Arctic case, Russia/Ukraine, China/Philippines, Bangladesh/Myanamar and the Chagos Islands dispute (now rejected) to name a few.

The Chagos islanders didn't really have a case in law, but i think if i were in their place i would reach for any straw, as they did. What was done to them is quite revolting.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #155 on: August 18, 2017, 08:43:42 PM »
Thank you sidd for clarifying the US position w.r.t. UNCLOS.
From the Wiki page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea
we read :
The United States objected to Part XI of the Convention on several grounds, arguing that the treaty was unfavorable to American economic and security interests. The U.S. claimed that the provisions of the treaty were not free-market friendly and were designed to favor the economic systems of the Communist states.
Which kind of makes sense, when we look at the picture that Pavel posted.
About 1/3rd of the Arctic now falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Russia.



I find it rather ironic that since UNCLOS was signed in 1994, that the US has obliged by its rules (after all they signed the Agreement of Implementation) even though they did not sign the Convention itself, but Russia seems to be the only state that is still violating UNCLOS law even though they DID sign.

Now, don't get me wrong. The Arctic is a very large place, and the Northern Sea Route is long and still has pockets of ice even in August and September. So it's fair if Russia would charge a fee if ice-breaker assistance is needed and a fee if search-and-rescue is needed. But requiring a permit and fee for anyone sailing its international waters (beyond 12 miles from the coast) clearly does violate UNCLOS.

Incidentally, that permit process and the fees make the Northern Sea Route less attractive for business, which may help in keeping the NSR a bit less popular as a reliable sea route. Other routes, including the NW passage may be more cost effective in the end.
I don't believe that any 'Communist States' had any stake in the Arctic, even back in 1994.


Canada has been concerned with the pollution of what she considers to be her northern waterways, while the US has always maintained that these are open to all. Another concern in Canada is that the US wants her waters to include water north of the Canadian NWT, rather than the border running straight to the pole as shown on the Russian map.
IIRC the UN very recently ruled that the Sea of Okhotsk is Russian (interior)? waters. Russia has apparently been playing by the rules since signing on early, and having her paperwork and studies turned in on time is beginning to pay dividends.
The reason for Russia's huge share of Arctic waters is just a product of the very large coastline she presents.
Terry

Rob Dekker

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #156 on: August 19, 2017, 09:31:52 AM »
I don't believe that any 'Communist States' had any stake in the Arctic, even back in 1994.
Can you elaborate ? You think Russia didn't want an Exclusive Economic Zone 200 miles off their coast, or did you mean to say that Russia was not a Communist State in 1994 ?

Canada has been concerned with the pollution of what she considers to be her northern waterways, while the US has always maintained that these are open to all.

ALL waterways, especially the ones more than 12 miles of the coast are open to all.
That's the whole idea behind UNCLOS, and it counts for the NW passage and the Northern Sea Route as well :
http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf

gerontocrat

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #157 on: August 19, 2017, 09:55:47 AM »

.... a fee if search-and-rescue is needed.

The written and unwritten Law of The Sea requires assistance to be given to anyone in distress on the sea without counting the cost.
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #158 on: August 19, 2017, 10:06:24 AM »

.... a fee if search-and-rescue is needed.

The written and unwritten Law of The Sea requires assistance to be given to anyone in distress on the sea without counting the cost.

Where exactly in UNCLOS do you see that requirement (especially the part about "without counting the cost") ?

Jim Hunt

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #159 on: August 19, 2017, 10:21:39 AM »
Getting back to the sea ice for a moment, with Cesium's assistance "Snow White" has officially cut the red ribbon for the NSR in 2017:

http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2017/08/the-northern-sea-route-in-2017/#Aug-19
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gerontocrat

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #160 on: August 19, 2017, 01:28:05 PM »
.... a fee if search-and-rescue is needed.
The written and unwritten Law of The Sea requires assistance to be given to anyone in distress on the sea without counting the cost.
Where exactly in UNCLOS do you see that requirement (especially the part about "without counting the cost") ?

Maybe not in UNCLOS (though I am surprised if there is no reference within it to many other treaties on this).

See - http://www.pacmar.com/story/2015/07/01/maritime-law/rescue-at-sea/357.html

Extract below.

International Treaties

There are several international treaties to which the United States is a signatory that impose a duty on mariners to give assistance to persons in danger at sea. For example, in 1910, the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Assistance and Salvage At Sea [Brussels Convention] was adopted. It was ratified by the United States and came into force in 1913.

Article 11 of the Brussels Convention provides: “Every master is bound, so far as he can do so without serious danger to his vessel, her crew and passengers, to render assistance to everybody, even though an enemy, found at sea in danger of being lost.” Article 11 also provides that a vessel owner is not liable for the master’s failure to render the required aid.

The International Convention on Salvage [Salvage Convention] was adopted in 1989 and replaced the Brussels Convention. It was ratified by the United States in 1992 and came into force in 1996. Article 10 of the Salvage Convention has three parts. The first part provides: “Every master is bound, so far as he can do so without serious danger to his vessel and persons thereon, to render assistance to any person in danger of being lost at sea.” The second part requires the signatory countries to adopt measures necessary to enforce the first part. The third part exempts a vessel owner from liability if the vessel’s master breaches the duty imposed by the first part. Article 16 provides that the person whose life is saved from danger at sea does not owe compensation to anyone for doing so.

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea [SOLAS] was first adopted in 1914 in response to the Titanic disaster. It has been amended several times since. The version in effect today was adopted in 1974 and entered into force in 1980. Regulation 33 provides: “[t]he master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance, on receiving information from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so.”

None of these treaties provides for a penalty or enforcement mechanism. That aspect is left to the signatory countries.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 01:40:04 PM by gerontocrat »
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jplotinus

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #161 on: August 19, 2017, 09:50:50 PM »
I don't believe that any 'Communist States' had any stake in the Arctic, even back in 1994.
Can you elaborate ? You think Russia didn't want an Exclusive Economic Zone 200 miles off their coast, or did you mean to say that Russia was not a Communist State in 1994 ?

Canada has been concerned with the pollution of what she considers to be her northern waterways, while the US has always maintained that these are open to all.

ALL waterways, especially the ones more than 12 miles of the coast are open to all.
That's the whole idea behind UNCLOS, and it counts for the NW passage and the Northern Sea Route as well :
http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf

Canada could, in theory, claim the Northwest Passage an internal waterway. Or, if shot down on that claim, some portions are <12 miles in width, thus giving Oh! Canada a second jurisdictional claim.


Rob Dekker

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #162 on: August 20, 2017, 03:56:51 AM »
Canada could, in theory, claim the Northwest Passage an internal waterway. Or, if shot down on that claim, some portions are <12 miles in width, thus giving Oh! Canada a second jurisdictional claim.

In theory, Canada can claim that (certain routes) of the Northwest Passage are "internal waters".
They would need to file that claim, with supporting evidence, and present it to the UN, which will then make a ruling. Canada has not done that yet, so existing rules apply.

If Canada can identify a route that is less than 24 miles wide (2*12 miles), then YES, they can claim that route as internal waters even under existing law. And they could even charge a fee for passing if they want to. But for any route wider than 24 miles, current laws of the sea (UNCLOS) applies, and these passages would be free for all to pass.

Quantum

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #163 on: August 21, 2017, 11:18:17 PM »
This is getting irritating now. I cannot see anything at all on MODIS because of the persistent cloud cover. I really like to use that to confirm exactly the date it opened.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #164 on: August 21, 2017, 11:26:46 PM »
This is getting irritating now.

Have you tried Sentinel 1? SAR sees through the clouds :) Albeit not every day :(

http://www.polarview.aq/arctic
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #165 on: August 24, 2017, 11:26:49 PM »
According to the BBC:

A commercial LNG tanker has sailed across the colder, northern route from Europe to Asia without the protection of an ice-breaker for the first time.

The specially-built ship completed the crossing in just six-and-a-half days setting a new record, according to tanker's Russian owners. The 300-metre-long Sovcomflot ship, the Christophe de Margerie, was carrying gas from Norway to South Korea.

The Christophe de Margerie is the world's first and, at present, only ice-breaking LNG carrier. The ship, which features a lightweight steel reinforced hull, is the largest commercial ship to receive Arc7 certification, which means it is capable of travelling through ice up to 2.1m thick. On this trip it was able to keep up an average speed of 14 knots despite sailing through ice that was over one-metre-thick in places.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Peter Ellis

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #166 on: August 25, 2017, 01:31:35 PM »
Seems a bit silly to say "without the protection of an ice-breaker" when it IS an ice-breaker!

Ninebelowzero

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #167 on: November 04, 2017, 01:51:34 AM »
 The Christophe de Margerie recently came back through the Northern sea route encountering the ice cover and if unescorted will probably exit Westwards.

Long term plans for the region may involve the use of these expensive icebreaker tankers as shuttles with conventional tankers making final deliveries.

http://www.highnorthnews.com/russias-novatek-to-build-lng-transshipment-hub-at-kamchatka/

gerontocrat

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #168 on: November 10, 2017, 04:19:33 PM »
The Russians are going for the LNG biznis big-time.

http://arctic.ru/infrastructure/20171024/684745.html

"24 OCTOBER 2017
Novatek gives Zvezda construction documentation for 15 LNG Arctic tankers

Novatek has supplied Zvezda Shipyards with documentation necessary for the construction of 15 LNG Arctic tankers for Arctic LNG-2, TASS reports, citing Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek's chairman of the board.
"We are currently holding talks through Sovcomflot, and we have provided Zvezda Shipyards with all the documentation necessary for the construction of Arctic ships, which will bring LNG tankers ordered by our carriers to this trans-shipment point," Mikhelson said.
Earlier Mikhelson stated that Novatek is planning to use tankers built in Russia for its LNG projects, TASS writes. Before that, President Vladimir Putin said that oil companies should place more orders at the Zvezda Far East Shipyards, since it has the capacity to complete these orders."

https://www.kallanishenergy.com/2017/10/25/novatek-to-build-reloading-lng-terminal-in-russias-far-east/

Novatek to build reloading LNG terminal in Russia’s Far East
October 25, 2017

Russia’s independent natural gas producer, Novatek, said Monday it entered an agreement with the Kamchatka Territorial Government to build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Russia’s Far East.

The parties signed a cooperation agreement to create favorable economic and organizational conditions to construct the facility for reloading LNG from Arctic ice-class tankers to conventional LNG tankers on the East Coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Kallanish Energy learns.

Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek’s chairman, said the project “will optimize the logistics of LNG supplies from the Arctic region, stimulate usage of the Northern Sea Route, and create a new LNG supply hub for Asian-Pacific regional consumers.”
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litesong

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #169 on: Today at 03:31:45 AM »
Was watching a documentary on Russian operations through the Northeast Arctic Passage. One Nuclear powered ice breaker conducted a flortilla of other nuclear powered ships (not all military) thru the Passage. However, once the ice breaker conducted the ships through safely, it was off to another set of ships that needed guidance in the other direction. It appeared that such operations are continuous, as long as Arctic heavy sea ice conditions do NOT shift or expand to close off the Passage. 

Jim Hunt

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #170 on: Today at 11:42:12 AM »
Was watching a documentary on Russian operations through the Northeast Arctic Passage.

Gotta link?
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A-Team

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Re: Northern Sea Route thread
« Reply #171 on: Today at 12:08:01 PM »
capable of traveling through ice up to 2.1m thick. On this trip it was able to keep up an average speed of 14 knots despite sailing through ice that was over one-metre-thick in places.
Pity that these ships don't log ice thickness and properties along the way. Maybe they do but it just doesn't get compared with or integrated into near real-time Arctic Ocean sea ice thickness products. Or maybe most are following in the rubble track of a previous icebreaker and the data is of little interest.

However to the extent they are passaging through the ESAS, it would be incredibly useful to have multibeam hull sonar both subsurface penetrating and methane bubble hotspot monitoring. Historically, a lot of oceanographic and meteorological data arise in this way.

Research vessels are surely determining ice thickness and properties as they go but make a point of not sharing it, I suppose because release would undercut journal publications two years down the road (it wouldn't). I found that especially annoying this August to see twitter scenes of scientists standing out in the rain at the North Pole, complaining about about mushy ice yet not sharing the slightest shred of actual data.