UPDATE 1-China issues draft rules to open access to oil, gas infrastructure

* NDRC opening access to LNG terminals, storage to third parties

* China to adopt thermal unit as gas measurement to replace tonnes (Adds details)

BEIJING, Aug 3 (Reuters) - China’s state planner issued new draft rules on Friday to give private companies access to the country’s oil and gas infrastructure, including crude oil pipelines, gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and underground gas storage.

The new draft rules followed requests from the country’s energy operators, especially in natural gas, for equal access to the nation’s natural gas pipeline network, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

The draft marks the first time the government has published a concrete plan to promote fair access to gas-related facilities, including LNG terminal and storage. It is Beijing’s latest move in its ongoing reform of the oil and gas sector to keep it from being monopolized by state companies.

The NDRC also proposed adopting thermal units as the standard measurement of gas instead of tonnes, saying it’s an easier way to calculate gas transportation cost.

Companies such as refiners, oil and gas producers, trading companies and utilities are encouraged to sign term contracts with pipeline operators to increase the utilization rate of the network grid, the statement said. (Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Tom Hogue)