An intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the $1 billion Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in the Balkans will be signed this month.

The 280-kilometer pipeline will pump Russian oil to Europe, the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region via the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and Greece’s Alexandroupolis, on the Aegean, enhancing the countries’ roles as key energy transit hubs.

Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece signed a memorandum on the pipeline in April 2005, which will pump 35 million metric tons of oil a year (257.25 million bbl), a volume that could eventually be increased to 50 million metric tons (367.5 million bbl).

The project is designed to bypass the crowded Bosporus Strait in Turkey. Russia’s state-controlled oil producer Rosneft, state pipeline operator Transneft, and energy giant Gazprom will hold a total of 51% in the project, while Greece and Bulgaria will control 24.5% each.