The intergovernmental agreement for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline will be signed in Ankara on July 13, it emerged on July 3.
"The commission has received an invitation to the signing ceremony," Ferran Tarradellas Espuny, the European Commission's spokesperson for energy issues, told a daily press briefing, as quoted by Dow Jones.
The deal "was agreed between the relevant member states, which are the ones Nabucco will cross, and Turkey, based on the principles of mutual solidarity, mutual equality and interdependence," he said.
Romania's economy minister Adriean Videanu, quoted by Reuters, said that the main obstacle raised by Turkey, which demanded that per cent of the pipeline's capacity for its domestic usage or for re-export. "As far as I know it is solved, but I do not know details," Videanu said.
The Nabucco consortium includes Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Romania's Transgaz, Hungary's MOL, Austria's OMV and Germany's RWE, all holding equal shares in the project. The pipeline will start at Erzurum in Turkey and end near Vienna, from where further extensions could be built into Germany and Poland.
Construction work is tentatively due to start in 2011 and the pipeline could be in commercial operation by 2014. Analysts, however, have questioned the consortium's ability to secure enough gas for the pipeline, which would have a capacity of 31 billion cu m when it is completed.