Fulfilling NWO’s core function, that of delivering crude oil to refineries is achieved by means of oil pipelines. Before the crude oil gets pumped to its destination via the long-range pipelines it needs to be pumped from the tanks to the main pumps using booster pumps which are part of the Wilhelmshaven tank farm. The starting points of NWO’s own pipeline to Wesseling and NDO’s pipeline to Hamburg are the main pipeline pumps.
The NWO pipeline supplies BP Europa SE’s refinery in Lingen, the Ruhr Oel GmbH refineries in Gelsenkirchen-Scholven and -Horst, and Shell Deutschland GmbH’s refinery in Wesseling. Additional oil storage locations along this long-range pipeline are in Brögbern (Emsland) and in Ochtrup (Westphalia). NWO is in charge of managing and operating storage at the Ochtrup facilities owned by BP Europe SE, holding a total volume of 50,000 m³, which can be either used for filling with crude oil or emptying using NWO’s long-range pipeline.
NWO’s pipeline measures 28 inches in diameter and is 391 km long with its branch pipelines included. In the manner customary for long-range pipelines it is mostly laid underground and runs above ground only at certain points. Since it is operating around the clock, it is constantly filled with around 142,000 m³ of crude oil which is continually being refilled. The quantities flowing into and out of the pipeline are constantly being centrally monitored and recorded using gauging systems of various types.
Apart from being a service provider in its own right, NWO is also a management company on behalf of NDO’s pipeline. This 142 km-long pipeline is without branch pipes and, unlike the first, measures 22 inches in diameter over the initial 136 km and 34 inches for the rest of its length. This long-range pipeline belongs to the Norddeutschen Oelleitungsgesellschaft mbH (NDO), a 100% subsidiary of Holborn Europa Raffinerie GmbH (HER). The HER refinery serving Hamburg harbour is supplied using the NDO pipeline.