Russian government committee approves LNG exports liberalisation
* 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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