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.