Azerbaijan, Baku, June 10 / Trend , A. Badalova/
Inter-governmental agreement on Nabucco will be signed by early July at the latest, EU business quoted EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs as saying.
"We are close to signing the Nabucco deal, in late June or early July," Piebalgs said a joint press conference with Romania's Economy Minister Adriean Videanu.
At a meeting in Prague in May, the EU and Turkey said they wanted to wrap up talks on the Nabucco deal "as quickly as possible (and) to sign it by the end of June 2009."
At Caspian oil & Gas 2009 conference held in Baku on June 3-4, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International Director Reinhard Mitschek said inter-governmental agreement on Nabucco "can be signed in a couple of weeks."
The Nabucco project worth €7.9 billion will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Construction of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2010. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters per year. Nabucco shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE with 16.7 percent each.
But Piebalgs also appeared favorable to Russia's rival South Stream project, describing it as an additional gas source for Europe, which is not going against our interests.
"A limited number of pipelines makes us vulnerable, we saw this in January (with the Russia-Ukraine price row) and the explosion of a gas pipeline in Transdniestr, so the more pipelines the better," Piebalgs said.
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