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The Myth of Liberalization

from FELJ

The current issue of the Energy Law Journal has a fascinating discussion about the extent of liberalization of Russian LNG exports. "The Myth of Liberalization: the 2013 Changes in the Russian LNG Export Regime" was written by Roman Sidortsov, a Doctoral Researcher at the Scott Polar Research Institute and a member of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Mr. Sidortsov suggests that many energy experts were quick to label the 2013 amendments to two Russian statutes governing LNG exports as liberalization. Although the Amendments effectively ended Gazprom’s monopoly on LNG exports, they failed to truly liberalize the LNG sector. According to Mr. Sidortsov, the degree of the Russian government’s involvement and control, and not the mere number of actors allowed to participate in an oil and gas-related activity, should serve as the main criteria for determining the liberalization effect of a particular legislation. He concludes that the LNG Export Amendments were enacted to serve the companies that the Russian government controls via ownership and/or personal connections and thus have left the Russian LNG export sector under heavy government control.

*Since 1980, the Energy Law Journal has provided great value to the Energy Bar Association's members. The Journal provides in-depth analyses on current, salient issues affecting members and their clients and businesses and provides a forum for the exploration and understanding of new, cutting edge issues. The Journal is a benefit to EBA members and subscriptions are available to non-EBA members. more

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