Central Europe Pipeline System

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Central Europe Pipeline System, also called the Central European Pipeline System, or CEPS, is an oil pipeline in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.[1]


Main feeder routes are:

Marseilles–Lyon–Langres–Nancy–Zweibrücken, Amsterdam–Liège–Trier-Karlsruhe, and Le Havre/Dunkirk–Cambrai–Aachen/Reims–Belfort

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Project Details

  • Operator: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Current capacity:
  • Length: 5,314 km / 3,302 mi
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1950s


The Central Europe Pipeline System is one of several pipelines in the NATO Pipeline System (NPS). The NATO Pipeline System was set up during the Cold War to supply NATO forces with fuel and it continues to satisfy fuel requirements. The NPS links together storage depots, military air bases, civil airports, pumping stations, truck and rail loading stations, refineries and entry/discharge points. It is comprised of two multinational pipeline systems; North European Pipeline System and the Central European Pipeline System, and eight national pipeline systems. These include; the Greek Pipeline System (GRPS); the Icelandic Pipeline System (ICPS); the Northern Italy Pipeline System (NIPS); the Norwegian Pipeline System (NOPS); the Portuguese Pipeline System (POPS); the Turkish Pipeline System (TUPS), which comprises two separate pipeline systems known as the Western Turkey Pipeline System and the Eastern Turkey Pipeline System..[2]

The system consists of over 5,314 km (3,302 mi) of pipeline running through Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Besides these host countries, the system is also used by the United States military.


The pipeline system was founded in the late 1950s by NATO being funded as part of the NATO Common Infrastructure Program, with the various participating countries already having some of the infrastructure and capabilities required to operate such a system.

In the 1980s, the pipeline was attacked several times by terrorist organizations. The Belgian communist terrorist organisation Communist Combatant Cells carried out five bombings against the pipeline on 11 December 1984, and one more attack on 6 December 1985. Earlier that year, in April 1985, a bomb attack was carried out against a part of the pipeline in Southern-Germany by Red Army Faction sympathisers.

At the end of the Cold War the system was significantly reduced as various military airports that used the system were closed, such as Bitburg Air Base and Soesterberg Air Base. However, in some other places expansion of the pipeline continued and in October 2008 construction of 80 kilometres (50 mi) of additional pipeline was completed between Aalen and Leipheim.

Since 1959, excess capacity of the pipeline may be used by civilian users. Currently, around 90% of the fuel transported through the system is for civilian users, customers including various large European airports such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Brussels Airport, Frankfurt am Main Airport, Luxembourg Airport, Cologne Bonn Airport and Zürich Airport.

The operating company for German territory is Fernleitungsbetriebsgesellschaft GmbH (FBG) headquartered in Bad Godesberg and established in 1956. FBG is a parent of Industrieverwaltungsgesellschaft (IVG). In war times, it is operated by the armed forces of the NATO countries where the part of the pipeline is located.

Articles and resources


  1. Defense Oil Management Ministry of Defense, accessed August 2018
  2. NATO Oil Pipeline North Atlantic Treaty Organization, accessed August 2018

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on the Central Europe Pipeline System ([1]). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License]. [[Category: Existing pipelines in Belgium]