ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has met with top executives from an Azerbaijan natural gas consortium who are due to announce plans Friday on a major pipeline deal to western Europe.

Crisis-hit Greece is backing the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, TAP, project that would cross its territory before running across southern Albania and undersea to Italy. It is in direct competition with the Nabucco West project that would run a longer overland route to Austria.

Austrian power utility OMV, which is backing Nabucco, said Wednesday that it had not been selected.

TAP and British Petroleum, the main developer of the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea, had no comment on OMV's announcement.