The Trans-Israel pipeline (Hebrew: קו צינור אילת אשקלון), also known as the Tipline or the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline was built in 1957 to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe. The Iranians stopped the use of the pipeline after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown as a result of the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979. The 254 km, 42" pipeline's capacity from a special pier in Ashkelon to Eilat's port on the Red Sea is 400,000 barrels (64,000 m3) per day, and 1.2 million barrels per day (190,000 m3/d) in the opposite direction. The pipeline is owned and operated by the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) which also operates several other oil pipelines in Israel.
In 2003, Israel and Russia made an agreement to supply Asian markets with Russian oil delivered by tankers from Novorossiysk to Ashkelon and then reloaded onto tankers in Eilat for shipment to Asia. In other words, the oil would flow in the direction opposite to the one intended when the pipeline was originally constructed. This route from Europe to Asia is shorter than the traditional one around Africa, and cheaper than the one via the Suez Canal.
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