“The signature is imminent, it will be done in New York,” an Italian government source told Reuters of the intergovernmental agreement for the TAP gas project linking the three states.
TAP is one of a number of projects aiming to carry gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to Europe which is keen to reduce its dependence on existing suppliers including Russia.
The 520-kilometre pipeline is intended to take gas from the Caspian through Greece, Albania, the Adriatic Sea and southern Italy to Western Europe.
The partners in TAP are Statoil, E.ON Ruhrgas and EGL.
Last month, TAP and the BP-led mega-project signed an agreement on funding work on its export pipeline proposal and arranging for an equity option of up to 50% in the line.
Shah Deniz II is operated by BP with Statoil, Socar, Total, Eni, Lukoil, TPAO and NIOC also involved.
The consortium is due to decide by the middle of next year on its export route to Europe, with TAP and Nabucco West — which is to run 1300 kilometres from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to the Austrian hub of Baumgarten – being the two remaining contenders.