Energy ministers from Romania, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey signed a support accord in Vienna for the Nabucco pipeline that will bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Central Europe.

The companies that will take part to the construction project are OMV Austria, MOL Ungaria, Botas Turcia, BulgarGaz Bulgaria and Transgaz Romania. The construction of the 3,300 km pipe is scheduled to begin in 2008 and finish around 2011.

Officials of the countries involved tried to get the European Commission support for the project by accepting some exceptions to the current restrictive legislation in order to sign some long term contracts with delivery in advance.

This possibility will attract funds from the European Investment Bank The EC does not admit long term projects but the Nabucco pipeline is of major importance for the Union as an alternative to the Russian gas delivery by Gazprom, and an exception is to be made, according to some EU officials.