Barroso hails agreement on Nabucco gas pipeline project
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday hailed an agreement to be signed by Turkey and four European Union member states on a gas pipeline project as crucial for EU's energy security, Xinhua reported.
An inter-governmental agreement between Turkey and Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria concerning the legal framework of the 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline will be signed in Ankara, Turkey, on Monday.
The Nabucco pipeline will pump gas from the Caspian region to the EU through Turkey, bypassing Russia.
"The Nabucco project is of crucial importance for Europe's energy security and its policy of diversification of gas supplies and transport routes," Barroso said in a statement. "The signature will show that we are determined to make this pipeline a reality as quickly as possible."
The agreement covers all legal and regulatory aspects of the pipeline, making it a "one-stop shop" for buyers. The European Commission has been a facilitator of negotiations.
The pipeline will ultimately be able to pump 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year by 2020, or about 5 to 10 percent of the total gas consumption of the EU by that time.
Construction of the pipeline was expected to begin in 2010 with a total cost of 7.9 billion euros (11 billion U.S. dollars).