Greece, Russia, Bulgaria to finalize pipeline deal Feb. 7, minister says

Greece, Russia and Bulgaria will finalize the text of a long-delayed, US$1 billion oil pipeline deal early next month, Greece's development minister said Monday.

Working parties from the three countries will meet Feb. 7 at the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas "with the goal of finalizing the details of the agreement," Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said.

The 280-kilometer (175-mile) pipeline would link Burgas with Greece's Aegean Sea port of Alexandroupolis, providing an alternative transit route past the crowded Bosporus Straits in Turkey.

The project, under discussion for more than a decade, was given a boost in September when the heads of government of the three countries met in Athens to voice support for the pipeline, reports AP.

A consortium of companies from the three countries including Russia's Rozneft, Gazprom Neft and Transneft, as well as Greece's Hellenic Petroleum SA will build and operate the project.

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