MOSCOW, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The Russian parliament's lower house gave its preliminary backing on Friday to amendments that would allow competitors of state-run Gazprom to export seaborne liquefied natural gas.
** Companies which held licences to build an LNG plant or send gas to a liquefaction plant, as of Jan. 2013, will be allowed to export LNG.
** State-controlled companies may export LNG from offshore fields or from production sharing agreements.
** LNG should not compete with Gazprom's pipeline exports.
Russia's main LNG projects:
SAKHALIN-2 - Russia's only active LNG project produces 10 million tonnes per year on two production lines, or trains. Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsui are keen to expand to 15 million tonnes, but have failed to persuade Gazprom.
There is a question mark over the source of feedstock for an expanded Sakhalin-2 plant. Gazprom says additional exploration is needed to ensure supplies.
YAMAL LNG - Novatek, France's Total and China's CNPC aim to launch the first 5 million tonne line in 2016 to liquefy gas from the 418 billion cubic metre (bcm) South Tambei field on the Arctic Yamal Peninsula, then raise capacity to 16.5 million tonnes by 2018. The LNG would travel through Arctic seas to customers in Asia.
Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa has signed a deal to buy 2.5 million tonnes of LNG from the project. Gazprom does not supply gas to Spain.
SAKHALIN-1 - ExxonMobil and its Russian state-controlled consortium partner Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin, have agreed to build a plant with production capacity of 5 million tonnes on Sakhalin Island near the fields or at the mainland export terminal, De Kastri.
Production could start in 2018 - the same year that Gazprom plans to commission its own LNG plant near the Pacific port of Vladivostok - pitting the state energy giants against each other in a battle for market share in China, Japan and South Korea.
Rosneft has chosen CB&I and Foster Wheeler as contractors for front end engineering and design (FEED) of the project.
BALTIC - Gazprom has revived plans to build an LNG plant on the shore of the Baltic Sea. It aims to launch the first stage of the plant on at the end of 2018. It has said that the plant will produce up to 10 million tonnes of the frozen gas a year.
VLADIVOSTOK - The lynchpin of Gazprom's Asia strategy, Vladivostok LNG would liquefy gas from fields in East Siberia at a new plant at the Pacific port with a capacity of 10-15 million tonnes per year.
President Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to press ahead with the so-called Eastern Programme, expected to cost some $40 billion, to develop the fields and build a pipeline and plant.
A feasibility study for the plant was completed with Japan's Itochu Group.
PECHORA LNG - Headed by Maxim Barsky, a former top executive at Russian oil company TNK-BP, this project on the coast of the Barents Sea would produce 2.6 million tonnes per year of LNG from two fields in Timan-Pechora oil province.
Gazprom has been in talks for a role at Pechora LNG and the RusEnergy website has named China's CNOOC as a possible partner. Under the bill before parliament this project would not qualify to export LNG.
SHTOKMAN - Gazprom sees 2030 as the potential launch date for the 3.9 trillion cubic metre Barents Sea field after the breakdown of a partnership with Total and Norway's Statoil . It had aimed to sell 7.5 million tonnes per year of LNG from 2017.
GAZPROM-NOVATEK JOINT VENTURE - Gazprom and Novatek agreed to build additional LNG capacity near Yamal LNG which would bring total capacity on the Arctic peninsula to more than 30 million tonnes per year. Novatek said recently that the JV is unlikely to go ahead.
(Reporting by Melissa Akin, Vladimir Soldatkin and Katya Golubkova; Editing by Anthony Barker)