The Saam FSU arrives in the Ura Guba after four month of towing from South Korea. Photo: Kola town on VK

The "Saam" FSU arrives in Ura Guba. It will open a new export scheme for Russian Arctic LNG

The 400 meter long floating storage unit has arrived to the far northern Russian bay where it will serve as reloading base for Novatek's liquified natural gas.
June 28, 2023


After more than four months of towing from the Daewoo Shipping & Marine Engineering yard in South Korea, the Saam FSU arrives in the Ura Guba, the bay on Russia’s Barents Sea coast.

Photos from site show several tugs accompanying the huge ship into the narrow bay. Judging from ship traffic services, there are at least eight tugs and support vessels surrounding the floating unit.

The Saam FSU is 400 meter long and 60 meter wide. It set out from South Korea on the 22nd of February, and was escorted by at least two support escort on its voyage south of Africa.

Map collage by the Barents Observer

The FSU will be permanently based in Ura Guba, and serve as reloading point for liquified natural gas produced in the Yamal LNG and Arktik LNG 2.

Ice-class tankers will soon start shuttling from Novatek’s production plants in the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas to Ura Guba where they will reload the LNG to the FSU. Conventional carriers will subsequently pick up the natural gas and bring it to buyers across the globe.

The new logistical scheme will significantly facilitate Novatek’s LNG export.

Ura Guba is situated about 50 km north west of Murmansk City and 100 km east of the border to Norway. Nearby is the closed Navy town of Vidyaevo, and a submarine base that includes subs from the Northern Fleet’s 11th and 7th Divisions.


A FSU similar to the Saam is under construction and is later this year to be deployed in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka.

According to Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson, the two reloading facilities will promote price stabilisation in the market.

“We hope that the presence of permanent volumes of LNG at these sites will lead to price stabilisation in the market: we hope that both futures and speculative hedging in the LNG market will stabilise,” he told news agency Finmarket.

Russia plans to boost LNG production in the Arctic over the next year. According to the country’s Plan for the Northern Sea Route, at least 60 million tons of LNG will be exported from the region by year 2032.

A significant share of it is to be handled by the Saam FSU in Ura Bay.



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