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Moscow allows Gazprom competitors to export LNG

26th November 2013

Russian parliament’s lower house lets oil and gas companies Novatek, Rosneft and Zarubezhneft compete with Gazprom in LNG race

Moscow allows Gazprom competitors to export LNG
Sakhalin tanker

Russia’s lower house of parliament on Friday gave a green light to end Gazprom’s gas monopoly and let a set number of competitors ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the energy hungry Asian market, Reuters reported, as the country seeks to expand its stake in the global LNG business.



The move would allow oil and gas companies Novatek, Rosneft and Zarubezhneft to compete with Gazprom in the LNG arena. In order to take effect in January, the measure still needs to be approved by the Russian parliament’s upper house and president Vladimir Putin.



Gazprom’s major LNG project at moment is the Sakhalin-2 plant, in which Shell holds a significant stake. Novatek is attempting to harness the Arctic’s gas resources alongside Total with its USD 20bn Yamal LNG project, while Rosneft and ExxonMobil in late-August started selecting contractors for a joint LNG project proposed in the Sakhalin Island.


Shale gas from the US and LNG from Qatar, Australia and other countries have brought further competition into the global gas market, and Asia, particularly Japan and China, is set to draw a considerable amount of LNG to shift away from other energy sources such as nuclear and coal. To tap into that market, Russia is seeking to double its slice of the global LNG trade to 10 per cent by the end of the decade.



“The Australian projects are further advanced, African projects are further advanced and Russian projects will have to move very, very quickly now if they are going to find a market," Reuters quoted Jonathan Stern, senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, as saying.