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Sabetta port, Arctic Russia

The Sabetta port is related to the Yamal gas mega project. Scientists and environmentalist warn about consequences of the accelerated Russian Arctic development.


Sabetta is one of the largest Russian Arctic ports situated on the Yamal peninsula, on the bank of the Ob River [2]. The port project was iniciated by the Russian Government as a project of strategic importance for the development of gas-rich Yamal Peninsula. The port is directely related to the Yamal Gas Mega Project. The extensive construction of transportation infrastructure is still ongoing in the scope of the Yamal project, including the Sabetta sea port [7]. Key companies of the port development include Novatek, the Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, and the state enterprise Rosmorport [1] [4]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sabetta port, Arctic Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Yamal Penninsula
Location of conflict:Sabetta, Gulf of Ob
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The port project is estimated to cost approximately $2.3 billion. The Russian Government provided $1.5 billions and the rest will be funded by Yamal liquified natural gas (Gazprom). The main constructors of the port are Novatek and Rosmorport [1] [2].

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Project area:60
Level of Investment:2,300,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises:Gazprom (Gazprom) from Russian Federation
Novatek from Russian Federation
Rosmorport from Russian Federation
Relevant government actors:Government of Russia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-The Barents Observer. Alternative Environmental Media
-Eye on the Arctic alternative Environmental Media
-Bellona Foundation
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Local scientists/professionals
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Air pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Fires, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of alternatives:This case does not involve any alternative proposal. On the contrary, the government and the company seek an increase in the port's annual shipment cargo of liquified natural gas.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Scientists, journalists and activists report on the consequences of the entire Yamal mega project including the Sabetta port. However, development programs continue to rise one after another.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[4] Barents Observer: China increases stake in Yamal
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[7] The Polar Silk Road: China’s New Frontier of International Cooperation
[click to view]

[7] Henry Tillman, Yang Jian and Egill Thor Nielsson (2018). The Polar Silk Road: China’s New Frontier of International Cooperation. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, 345–362

DOI: 10.1142/S2377740018500215
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Ship Technology: Port of Sabetta, Yamal Peninsula
[click to view]

[1] Ship Technology: Port of Sabetta, Yamal Peninsula

[5] Eye on the Arctic:

The Barents Observer: This could soon be the world’s biggest Arctic port
[click to view]

[3] The Barents Observer: This could soon be the world’s biggest Arctic port
[click to view]


[4] Barents Observer: China increases stake in Yamal
[click to view]

[5] Eye on the Arctic: Latest LNG carrier arrives in Arctic Russian port, marks completion of tanker fleet

[6] Arctic Today: The latest plan to ship Russian Arctic gas to market? A nuclear-powered submarine tanker
[click to view]

[8] The Moscow Times: Ice on Russia's Northern Sea Route Has Disappeared, Opening Up Arctic Shipping Lanes
[click to view]

[9] The Moscow Times: Moscow Adopts 15-Year Grand Plan for Northern Sea Route
[click to view]

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Last update24/01/2020
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