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Southeast European Oil Pipeline Deal Signed

April 3, 2007 -- Five Southeastern European countries have agreed to start work on a 1,400-kilometer Pan-European Oil Pipeline (PEOP), estimated to cost between $2 billion and $3.5 billion.

The pipeline would connect Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta with Trieste in Italy.

The declaration was signed in Zagreb today by top officials from Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy. Correspondents say the project fits with Europe's aim of reducing its reliance on Russia and the Middle East for its energy needs.

The pipeline is due for completion by 2012. It will supply refineries in northern Italy and Central Europe with crude from the Caspian, notably from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The route may also be used to transport natural gas.

Most parts of the pipeline are already in place. It is necessary to build a part connecting the Romanian city of Pitesti with Pancevo in Serbia, and a stretch between Croatia's northern Adriatic through Slovenia to Trieste.


Exporting Kazakhstan's Energy

Work on a Kazakh pipeline (TASS file photo)

PRESSURE FROM THE KREMLIN? Columbia University political science professor Kimberly Marten told an RFE/RL briefing that Russia seems to be using its control of gas pipelines in the former Soviet Union to pursue its goals in Kazakhstan.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 60 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan.