Portuguese Pipeline System

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

Portuguese Pipeline System (POPS) is a North American Treaty Organization (NATO) oil pipeline in Portugal.[1]


The system includes a pair of pipelines in northern and central Portugal. The northern pipeline, located in the Porto metropolitan area, runs south from the port of Leixões to the military airport at Ovar on Portugal's Atlantic coast.[2] The southern pipeline, located in the Lisbon metropolitan area, runs east from the port of Trafaria to the Almada naval base to the Montijo air base.[3]

Northern Section

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Southern Section

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Project Details

  • Operator: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Current capacity:
  • Length:
  • Status: Idle
  • Start Year:


The NATO Pipeline System (NPS) was set up during the Cold War to supply NATO forces with fuel. 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 Europe Pipeline System, and eight national pipeline systems. In addition to the Portuguese Pipeline System (POPS), these include: the Greek Pipeline System (GRPS); the Icelandic Pipeline System (ICPS); the Northern Italy Pipeline System (NIPS); the Norwegian Pipeline System (NOPS); and the Turkish Pipeline System (TUPS), which comprises two separate pipeline systems known as the Western Turkey Pipeline System and the Eastern Turkey Pipeline System.[4]

Proposed rehabilitation of the pipeline to supply Lisbon's Montijo and Portela airports

In 2016, Portugal's national energy regulator ENMC (since renamed ENSE) agreed to pay €1.1 million annually to the Portuguese Navy and National Defense Agency for rights to use and develop the Lisbon section of the Portuguese Pipeline System, together with its associated port and storage facilities in Trafaria, over a 25-year period. ENMC reportedly planned to invest €20 million to rehabilitate the pipeline, which had fallen into disuse, as a means of supplying Lisbon's planned new international airport in Montijo. A potential future expansion proposed by ENMC would extend the pipeline north to Lisbon's Portela airport[3], which is the largest airport in Europe not currently served by a pipeline.[5]

Truckers' strikes in 2019 disrupted fuel supplies to the Portela airport, prompting renewed interest in an airport pipeline, with rehabilitation of the NATO pipeline discussed as a possible solution.[6]

A July 2019 environmental impact report for the new Montijo airport, which is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2022, listed the NATO pipeline as one possible fuel source, but noted that the pipeline remained non-operational.[7] Press reports at the time indicated that the new airport would more likely receive fuel via tanker truck.[8]

As of 2020, alternative methods of supplying fuel to the Montijo and Portela airports were gaining traction, including a possible new link to the nearby Barreiro Liquid Fuel Terminal or a southward extension of the existing 147-kilometer Sines - Aveiras de Cima oil pipeline operated by CLC.[9]

Articles and resources


  1. Defense Oil Management Ministry of Defense, accessed August 2018
  2. "Aeródromo Militar de Ovar". Wikipedia. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Infra-estruturas da NATO vão levar combustível aos aeroportos do Montijo e de Lisboa". Jornal de Negócios. April 5, 2016.
  4. NATO Oil Pipeline North Atlantic Treaty Organization, accessed August 2018
  5. "Portugal só tem 200 kms de oleodutos". Semanario SOL. August 26, 2019.
  6. "Oleoduto para Lisboa custa €10 milhões mas está na gaveta há cinco anos". Jornal Expresso. April 19, 2019.
  8. "Combustíveis: Novo aeroporto do Montijo vai ser abastecido por 20 camiões por dia". O Jornal Económico. July 29, 2019.
  9. "Aeroporto do Montijo avança. Segue-se a batalha nos tribunais - DN". Diário de Noticias. January 22, 2020.

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