Global Energy Monitor

Africa and the Middle East are home to 49% of all oil transmission pipelines under construction globally at a cost of US$25.3 billion, according to new data from Global Energy Monitor.

The 2023 annual survey of data in the Global Oil Infrastructure Tracker shows that these regions together are building 4,400 kilometers (km) of crude oil transmission pipelines at an estimated capital expenditure of US$14.4 billion. An additional 10,800 km are proposed in these regions at an estimated cost of US$59.8 billion.

Globally, there are 9,100 km of oil transmission pipelines under construction and an additional 21,900 km of proposed pipelines. These pipelines in development are estimated to cost US$131.9 billion in capital expenditure [1].

Key points:

  • The total 31,000 km of oil pipelines in development globally represents an increase of nearly 30% from this time last year.
  • The leading five countries in terms of in-development pipelines (proposed and under construction) are the United States, India, Iraq, Iran, and Tanzania.
  • The top five parent companies developing oil pipelines are state-owned enterprises and private companies, including Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, the China National Petroleum Corporation, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, India’s Numaligarh Refinery Limited, and France’s TotalEnergies.
  • The longest pipeline projects under construction are the 1,950-km Niger–Benin Oil Pipeline and the Paradip Numaligarh Crude Pipeline (PNCPL) in India, both slated to start operating in 2024. Canada is home to the third-largest pipeline project under construction, the 980-km Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX), expected to start in 2023 as an expansion to the existing Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline.
Baird Langenbrunner

The crude expansion in Africa and the Middle East is pumped as a panacea to the chaos of global energy demand, which is driven in large part by Europe’s scramble for oil and gas outside of Russia. But the approach might entrench these regions to costly infrastructure that will in time need phased out, saddling it with stranded assets. The solution is not to build more crude oil pipelines but to use that money and build reliable, low-carbon energy systems and transmission networks.

Baird Langenbrunner, Project Manager for the Global Oil Infrastructure Tracker