East-West Crude Oil Pipeline

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This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor and the Center for Media and Democracy.

East-West Crude Oil Pipeline, also known as the Petroline, is an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.[1]


The pipeline runs from Abqaiq in Eastern Saudia Arabia, to the Yanbu Oil Terminal on Saudia Arabia's Red Sea Coast.

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Project Details

  • Operator: Saudi Aramco[1]
  • Current capacity: 5,000,000 barrels per day
  • Proposed capacity: 7,000,000 barrels per day
  • Length: 1,200 kilometers
  • Status: Operating
  • Start Year: 1982, 2018


The East-West crude oil pipeline is 1,200 kilometers long and consists of two pipelines, one measuring 48 inches and another at 56 inches in diameter. The pipeline runs from the oil fields in Saudi Arabia's eastern province to the port at Yanbu along the Red Sea. The pipeline was built in 1981 and its capacity was increased to 5 million bpd in 1992. The 56-inch pipeline transports oil while the 48-inch pipeline has the ability to transport natural gas, which also power the 65 turbines along the line.[2] There are also 11 pumping stations and two breaking stations.[3] In 2014, the 56-inch pipeline was operating at a 2 million bpd capacity while the parallel 48-inch pipeline was converted to transport oil, significantly increasing the pipeline system's capacity to its 5 million bpd potential.[2] In 2016, Aramco planned to expand the pipeline's capacity from 5 million bpd to 7 million bpd by 2018, a 40% increase.[4]


The East-West pipeline was built in 1981, shortly before Aramco's Trans-Arabian Pipeline to the Mediterranean fell mostly into disuse, providing an alternative outlet for Saudi oil exports through the Red Sea instead. The East-West pipeline was built by the state-owned General Petroleum and Mineral Organization (Petromin), while Aramco constructed a parallel pipeline for transporting natural-gas liquids, which reached Yanbuʿin 1981. Aramco has since become a state-owned company of Saudi Arabia and operates both pipelines.[5]


The pipeline was originally built with a capacity of 1.8 million bpd. In 1987, the pipeline was expanded to accommodate 3.7 million bpd.[6] In 1993, the pipeline was expanded again, increasing the pipeline's capacity to 5 million bpd.[7] The next expansion is planned to be completed by 2018 and will increase the pipeline's capacity to 7 million bpd.[8]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 East-West Crude Oil Pipeline, A Barrel Full, accessed September 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Country Analysis Brief: Saudi Arabia, U.S. Energy Information Administration, September 10, 2014
  3. Aramco East/West Pipeline Upgrade, Offshore Technology, accessed October 2017
  4. Saudi Aramco Plans Big Boost in Capacity of 1200-km East/West Pipeline, Pipeline Technology Journal, June 03, 2016
  5. Saudi Arabia, Britannica, accessed October 2017
  6. Jubail & Yanbu: The East-West Pipeline, accessed October 2017
  7. Saudi Aramco Completes Petroline Expansion, MEES, May 24, 1993
  8. Saudi Aramco to expand capacity of east-west pipeline by end-2018, Arabian Business, May 31, 2016

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