Russian's lower house backs LNG export law at first reading


MOSCOW, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Russia's lower house ofparliament took a first step on Friday towards allowing rivalsof state-controlled Gazprom to export liquefiednatural gas (LNG), as the world's top energy producing nationstakes a claim to growing Asian markets.

The bill would open the door for Russia's top independentgas firm Novatek and state oil major Rosneft to break Gazprom's monopoly on exports - but only for thesupercooled gas shipped by tanker.

The measure passed by an overwhelming majority at the firstreading and is expected to clear parliament quickly. Dependingon when President Vladimir Putin signs it, the measure may takeeffect from January.

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