On 6 November 2013, the Russian government submitted to the Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian legislature) a bill aiming to amend the Federal Law 'On the Expert of Gas', broadening the entities who may undertake natural gas exports, including LNG operations. The bill would amend the existing Gas Export Law (N. 117-FZ, dated 18 July 2006, and Federal Law N.164-FZ 'On the Fundamentals of the Governmental Regulation of Foreign Trade Operations'). The proposed revisions to the Gas Export Law are detailed below.
In addition to Gazprom and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, the following categories of companies will also be allowed to export Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG):
I) entities holding licenses for the development of subsoil blocks of federal importance, if the license for the development of the respective subsoil block as of 1 January 2013 contemplates either (a) the construction of a LNG facility, or (b) the supply of the gas extracted from such subsoil block to an LNG facility for liquefaction
II) state controlled Russian companies (i.e. companies in which the Russian Federation holds and/or controls directly or indirectly more than 50% voting equity) which are the users of subsoil blocks located on the sea bed of the Russian internal sea waters, territorial sea, and continental shelf (including the Black and Azov Seas), and liquefy gas extracted from such subsoil blocks, or liquefy gas extracted under Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs), including agreements concluded prior to the entry into force of this amendment
III) subsidiary companies, in which the state controlled companies set forth in paragraph (II) above, hold more than 50 percent voting equity and which liquefy gas extracted from the foregoing subsoil blocks, or liquefy gas extracted under PSA agreements, including agreements concluded prior to the entry into force of this amendment.
The amendments to the Gas Export Law also establish an obligation for all exporters of LNG to provide information about their exports to the Russian Energy Ministry.
The proposed revisions to the Law Regulating Foreign Trade Operations contemplate entrusting the Russian Energy Ministry with the authority to issue licenses for the export of Russian gas in liquid state.
If adopted by the Russian Federal Assembly and promulgated in time, the above amendments will come into force on 1 December 2013.