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A gas field in Iran (file photo) (Fars)
June 27, 2006 -- The European Commission and representatives of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria have backed the building of a pipeline to transport Caspian and Middle East gas to the European Union.
A joint declaration supporting the Nabucco pipeline was agreed June 26 in Vienna, Austria.
The planned 3,300-kilometer pipeline is part of EU moves to diversify its energy supplies after gas supplies from Russia were briefly interrupted during a pricing row between Russia and Ukraine at the start of this year. Russia supplies about one-quarter of Europe's gas.
The pipeline is expected to cost 4.6 billion euros ($5.8 billion), and reports said construction is expected to start in 2008, with the first gas flowing in 2011. Plans call for the pipeline to eventually transport about 30 billion cubic meters of gas from the Caspian region to Central Europe per year.
(compiled from agency reports)