Russia to end Gazprom LNG monopoly: Energy Minister


Russia to end Gazprom LNG monopoly: Energy Minister

MOSCOW -- Russia will liberalize exports of liquefied natural gas at the beginning of next year, bringing to an end the monopoly of gas giant Gazprom, the energy minister said in an interview with Kommersant daily.

Alexander Novak told Kommersant that amendments to the export law introducing liberalization should be passed to the government in the coming weeks with measures in place from Jan. 1, 2014.

President Vladimir Putin said last month that Russia should liberalize the LNG market, allowing companies other than state-controlled Gazprom to sell gas abroad.

Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich said the opening up of exports will allow Russia to enter the market "at the right time." He also said that liberalization would speed up the three major projects planned by Gazprom, Novatek and Rosneft by increasing competition.

Russian companies have already signed large-scale deals with Asian partners. In June, Novatek, Russia's No. 2 gas producer, signed a deal to ship gas from its planned Arctic liquefaction plant to China National Petroleum Corp., which acquired a 20% stake in the project. And State oil firm OAO Rosneft signed agreements to ship LNG to Japan, as well as agreeing to supply China with 15 MMmtpa for 25 years for just over $10 billion per year.

Dow Jones Newswires

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