Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Russian ship to pump fuel to ice-bound Alaska port
by Staff Writers
Nome, Alaska (AFP) Jan 13, 2012

Residents of the remote Alaskan port of Nome on Sunday awaited the transfer of much-needed fuel from a Russian ship that battled through some 300 miles (480 kilometers) of Arctic ice to get here.

Helped by a US Coast Guard icebreaker, the Russian tanker Renda docked at Nome on Saturday.

It will remain there until 1.3 million gallons of fuel are delivered to the town of some 3,500 people, which did not get its usual pre-winter oil delivery due to a storm in the fall.

It is the first time such a fuel delivery has been attempted through some 300 miles of ice in the depths of winter, and wind and currents made progress through the ice difficult.

"Our goal is that nobody gets hurt, no product gets spilled, we have no accidents -- it's not over until the Renda is out of the ice and headed back to Russia," Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo said.

"We have a long way to go, keeping an eye on safety and bringing our mission to a conclusion."

A special waiver had to be granted to allow the Renda to head to the rescue, as normally only US-owned and operated vessels are allowed to make such deliveries, under a 1920 US law.

Petty Officer Sara Francis, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, has said the fuel transfer was scheduled to begin on Monday after the ice around the Russian tanker had solidified again, making it possible to approach it.

Once hoses are connected, the fuel transfer operation is expected to take some 45 hours, pumping continuously day and night until the fuel is all delivered, officials say.

A path has been cleared through the snow on a beach with a good view of the harbor for townspeople to watch the action, but red-tipped stakes have been placed in the ice to mark off an out-of-bounds area where the hoses will run.

Even once it has started transferring the fuel, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the operation will take, since the extreme temperatures could interfere with how fast the fuel can be pumped.

Jason Evans, chairman of Sitnasuak Native Corp., the company which contracted the Renda to make the delivery, explained that the price of flying in the fuel would have been too high.

"The company could not simply add the cost of flights to the current price per gallon -- around $5.50 -- as we have a competitor in town," Evans said.

"To fly it in, it would take four flights a day to manage current use levels."

The bone-chilling weather is harsh even by Alaska's standards: officials said temperatures had been down to minus 50 degrees on the two vessels.


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Russian river water unexpected culprit behind Arctic freshening
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 05, 2012
A hemispherewide phenomenon - and not just regional forces - has caused record-breaking amounts of freshwater to accumulate in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea. Frigid freshwater flowing into the Arctic Ocean from three of Russia's mighty rivers was diverted hundreds of miles to a completely different part of the ocean in response to a decades-long shift in atmospheric pressure associated with th ... read more

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LAMP reveals lunar surface features

Lunar orbiter spots moisture locations

'Mini moons' may surround Earth

Rare Moon mineral found in Australia

Opportunity Targets Amboy Rock For Extra Study Ahead of Winter

Mars Express spots wrinkle ridges and grabens in Tempe Terra

Mars Science Lab Completes Biggest Maneuver On Route To Mars

Stranded Mars probe to crash into ocean Sunday: Russia

The gadgets which stood out at CES

Smart appliances set to transform the home

Boeing begins NASA solar electric propulsion study

Solid state Swiss Army Knife can save digital lives

China launches Ziyuan III satellite

Spying on Tiangong

China's space ambitions ally glory with pragmatism

Why The X-37B Is Not Spying On Tiangong

ISS Team Undertakes 'EPIC' Event

Photographing the International Space Station from Your Own Backyard

New crew arrives at international space station

NASA 'Smart SPHERES' Tested on ISS

Canaveral has busy 2012 launch schedule

China to launch Bolivian satellite in 2013: Chinese Ambassador

Ariane 5, Soyuz, Vega: Three world-changing launch vehicles

Satellites: Europe's Arianespace sets 13 launches for 2012

Scientists Discover a Saturn-like Ring System Eclipsing a Sun-like Star

Planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception

Milky Way teaming with 'billions' of planets: study

Kepler Mission Finds Three Smallest Exoplanets

Building the smallest magnetic data storage unit

Russia Mars probe 'crashes into Pacific': military

Making Building Blocks For Chemical Industry From Wood While Boosting Production 40 Percent

Publishers slow library e-books

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement