Italy's Eni and Russia's Gazprom agreed on Friday to permit Electricite de France (EdF) to enter the South Stream project, Eni said.
Eni and Gazprom signed a Memorandum of Understanding enabling the French utility to acquire a stake in the joint venture to bring gas to Europe across the Black Sea.
The MoU is to be approved on Saturday at a meeting in St. Petersburg between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
"The deal also confirms the agreements on gas volumes that Gazprom will provide to Eni through the South Stream pipeline and that Eni will sell on the European markets," the Italian company said.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller earlier said EdF could get a 10% interest in the pipeline project.
South Stream, with an estimated price tag of 25 million euros, will connect Russia and the EU across the Black Sea and the Balkans, bypassing Ukraine.
Gazprom said last week it was ready to start South Stream's construction in 2013.
ROME, June 18 (RIA Novosti)