Trans-Arabian Oil Pipeline

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

Trans-Arabian Oil Pipeline (Tapline) خط أنابيب التابلاين is a retired oil pipeline ran from Al-Dammām on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia to Sidon, Lebanon, on the Mediterranean Sea in the Middle East.[1] [2]


The pipeline ran from Qatif- Qaisumah in Saudi Arabia through Jordon then northwest across southern Syria to Sidon in Lebanon.[2]

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Project details


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  • Operator: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Owner: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Parent Company: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Capacity: 500,000 bpd[3]
  • Length: 1,141 km[4][2]
  • Diameter: 30/32 in[3]
  • Status: Retired (1984/1990/2001)[4]
  • Start year: 1950[4]
  • Cost: 150 US million

Qatif-Qaisumah Segment

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  • Operator: Saudi Aramco
  • Owner: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Parent Company: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Capacity: 500,000 bpd[3]
  • Length: 507 km[2]
  • Diameter: 30/32 in[3]
  • Status: Retired (2001)[4]
  • Start year: 1950[4]


Trans-Arabian Pipeline, also called Tapline, crude oil pipeline in southwestern Asia. located in the northern Saudi Arabian desert, is considered a historical feat of engineering that brought energy to Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War.[4] It began operations in 1950, it was the world’s largest oil pipeline system. It carried billions of barrels of crude oil through 1,648 kilometers from Abqaiq on the Arabian Gulf to the Mediterranean port of Sidon in Lebanon.[4]

The 315-mile (507-km) portion from Al-Dammām to Al-Qayṣūmah in Saudi Arabia gathered the output of several Saudi oil fields, which was then pumped through the remaining 754 miles (1,213 km) of the pipeline across the deserts of northern Saudi Arabia into Jordan and then northwest across southern Syria and Lebanon.[2]

In 1944, Aramco founded the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company as a joint venture between Aramco and other leading international oil companies, and so began an eighteen-month planning phase. [4]

The Tapline would pass through Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and moved from engineering blueprint to reality when construction began in 1947.[4]

The Tapline remained a key component of Aramco’s oil delivery network for more than 40 years, until a new generation of larger and more cost-effective supertankers reduced the Tapline’s economic advantages. Pumping was discontinued, but the pipeline continued to transport smaller quantities of oil up until 1990.[4]

With new 500,000-ton supertankers now the preferred method of transporting oil around the world, the Tapline was completely decommissioned and finally ‘de-cruded,’ or cleaned out, in 2001.[4]

In December 2020, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Culture selected it as Saudi Arabia’s first industrial heritage site, to propose it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[4]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Trans-Arabian Oil Pipeline, Wikipedia, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Trans-Arabian Pipeline | pipeline, Asia". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "شركة التابلاين .. سادت ثم ماتت". صحيفة الاقتصادية (in العربية). 2017-02-19. Retrieved 2023-01-27.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 "The Tapline: a legacy of triumph". Retrieved 2023-01-27.

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