EU Will Decide on Nabucco Project in May

VIENNA -- The European Union will hold an energy security summit on May 7, where it could announce a decision on the Nabucco gas project allowing construction to start, the EU energy commissioner said Tuesday.

To curb its reliance on Russia, the EU is backing the 3,300-kilometer, 7.9 billion euro ($10.2 billion) Nabucco pipeline that would carry Caspian gas across Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to an Austrian distribution hub from 2013.

Andris Piebalgs told Austrian daily Wirtschaftsblatt, "I believe that, on May 7 at the summit of the southeastern gas corridor, we will be able to report an agreement that will allow the construction of the Nabucco pipeline."

The summit has not yet been officially announced, but Piebalgs' spokesman confirmed that it would take place on May 7 in the Czech Republic, which has made energy security one of its main tasks during its six-month stint holding the EU presidency.

The EU was recently rattled when a gas dispute between Russia and transit country Ukraine cut supplies to Europe during freezing weather, forcing factories to close and leaving thousands of households shivering.