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The Short Cut: An Economic Resource

Tapline, Transporter of Petroleum

Tapline and Pipeline Technology

Tapline and the Community

A Challenge for the Future

  THE SHORT CUT: An Economic Resource

Throughout the world, rapidly expanding populations and rising human aspirations have become hallmarks of the twentieth century. Nations everywhere are taking increasingly critical inventory of their natural assets. Whether such assets are petroleum or mineral deposits, forest preserves, waterways, or tourist attractions as diverse as sunshine or snow or antiquities, sovereign governments are making sure that they are soundly developed and conserved.

The Trans-Arabian Pipe Line Company-Tapline, as it is commonly known-is proud of the role it has played in the development and use of a unique Middle East economic resource: the petroleum transportation route across northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. For, in the language of geometry, the relatively straight line followed by Tapline is the shortest distance between two major petroleum points. Crude oil transported via Tapline from the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the eastern Mediterranean moves a total of 1,700 kilometers overland. An oil tanker making the round-trip sea voyage between the same two points must travel 10,000 kilometers.

This short cut has meant economic gain and new development to the countries through which it passes, those ancient lands at the transportation crossroads of the world's earliest civilizations. It has enabled the companies which built and own Tapline to move oil toward the expanding markets of Europe and the Western Hemisphere at lower cost. The story that follows is that of the Tapline enterprise today and its place in the economic life of the countries with which it shares this important resource-the long short cut, the modern trade route of steel.