The declaration on building the 1,319 km (819.6 mile) pipeline, which will provide opportunities to deliver crude from the Caspian Sea countries of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to Central and Western Europe bypassing the congested Bosporus Straits, was signed in Zagreb by the energy ministers from Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.
The pipeline construction project is estimated at $2-3.5 billion, depending on the volume of oil pumped. The pipeline's maximum capacity is expected to be 90 million metric tons (659.7 million barrels) of crude oil per year. The construction is to be completed not earlier than 2011.
Serbia's Energy Minister Radomir Naumov earlier said the document signed in Zagreb at the international forum on energy security and energy investment in south-eastern Europe, crowns three years of negotiations and will be the first step towards implementing a large project to deliver crude from the Caspian oil producing region to Western Europe.