Russian government committee approves LNG exports liberalisation

Reuters

* Russia aims for LNG exports liberalisation from next year

* Government yet to send proposal to parliament

MOSCOW, Oct 29 (Reuters) - A Russian government committee on

Tuesday approved amendments to a law to end Gazprom's

monopoly on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports which supporters

say will bolster Russia's LNG sector.

Approval by the Legislative Committee is non-binding but the

government usually implements the committee's guidelines and

submits them to parliament, which is dominated by allies of

President Vladimir Putin who has voiced support for the

liberalisation.

Officials say the new law is likely to be implemented from

Jan. 1, 2014.

Russia, the world's top producer of conventional gas, has

been slow to develop its LNG business.

Gazprom operates Russia's sole LNG plant - a

10-million-tonne-per-year facility on Sakhalin - in a consortium

that includes Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsui.

Other companies, including Novatek and Rosneft

, are pursuing plans for LNG production.

Gazprom has monopolised exports of Russian gas since 2006.

The new law does not affect its pipeline gas exports to Europe,

which cover a quarter of the region's gas needs.

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