* Law takes effect from Dec. 1, 2013
* Novatek, Rosneft to benefit from amendments
MOSCOW Dec 2 Russian President Vladimir Putin
has signed into law amendments that will allow rivals of
state-owned Gazprom to export liquefied natural gas
(LNG), bolstering hopes for Russia to boost its share of the
global LNG market.
The changes to rules on gas exports and foreign trade,
published by the state's law information site on Monday, will
enable Russia's No.2 gas producer Novatek and top oil
firm Rosneft to launch LNG projects.
The measure took effect from Dec. 1 2013, the document said.
Putin has urged Russian companies to develop production of
seaborne LNG and increase their global reach to diversify gas
supplies away from Europe, which has been trying to reduce its
dependence on Russian energy.
Gazprom's monopoly on pipeline gas exports, which are
currently pumped only to Europe, stays untouched.
Russia wants to double its share in the global LNG market by
2020 from 4.5 percent. Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell
own Russia's only LNG plant, on the Pacific island of Sakhalin,
which produces 10 million tonnes of the super-cooled gas a year.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Douglas Busvine
and Elizabeth Piper)