North Peruvian Pipeline

It’s one of the most important and largest works done in Peru in the last 100 years.

History began in 1972, when the Government (which at that time depended of the Ministry of Energy and Mines) entrusted PETROPERÚ to carry out the studies required for the construction of the North Peruvian Pipeline (ONP, for its initials in Spanish) and set the contracts with the companies capable of carrying out the work.

The contract for the final design was adjudicated in 1973 to Bechtel Company, and on September 16, 1974 both parts signed into it.

The construction of the ONP required a large amount of labor. Only during the time of largest activity, it required the participation of 7,800 workers. Also, thanks to the skill and experience of the best pipeline constructors of the world, the laying of the primary pipelines took only two years.

So, by December 31st 1976, Station 1 of the ONP (San Jose de Saramuro) received oil from the PETROPERÚ deposits. The first front of crude arrived at the Bayovar Terminal on May 24 1977.

By June 7, 1977, the tanker ship Trompeteros carried out the first shipment of crude with the La Pampilla Refinery as its destination, in Lima. Later, the North Branch Pipeline (ORN, for its initials in Spanish) was built to transport oil from the Andoas Station to Station 5 and went into operation in February 24, 1978.

Main pipeline

The North Peruvian Pipeline begins its travel in Station 1, in San Jose de Saramuro (Loreto), on the margins of the Marañon River and some 200 kilometers southeast of Iquitos, then continues westward, in the middle of the forest, along the Marañon River, towards Station 5.

From that station, which is the confluence point of the ORN, the pipeline continues southeast to Station 6, in Kuzu Grande, district of Manseriche, province of Alto Amazonas. It goes on parallel to the highway that goes from the town of Mesones Muro to Bagua, in the department of Amazonas, were Station 7 is located, and heading southeast arrives at Station 8, in the area around the town of Playa Azul, district of Pucara province of Jaen, department of Cajamarca.

On that point, the pipeline changes direction northeast, to Station 9, which is the last pump station, and from there it beings its ascent to the Andes mountains, which it crosses in the Porculla Passage, at a height of 2,390 meters above sea level. Here it starts its descent until it reaches the Sechura desert, in the department of Piura, where the Bayovar Terminal is located.

Northern Branch Pipeline

The Northern Branch Pipeline (ORN), was added in 1976 to the ONP to make feasible the transportation of crude oil extracted from the oil fields in the Andoas area.

The ORN begins in the Andoas Station and continues southwest, crossing the Pastaza, Huazaga and Huituyacu rivers, until the crossing of the Morona River, where the Pumping Station of the same name is located.

Always in the southwest direction, it crosses the Marañon River and continues, on flat and dry terrain, to the crossing of the Saramiriza River, reaching its final destination in Station 5 of the Main Pipeline.


The ONP, pride of the Peruvian engineering, crosses coast, mountain and jungle, and has a length of 1,106 kilometers, of which 854 kilometers correspond to the main pipeline and 252 kilometers to the North Branch. The main duct is divided into two sections, the first is made up of 24-inch diameter pipes joining stations 1 and 5. It should be noted that the pipe is protected with epoxy paint.

In the second segment, which begins at Station 5, the 36”pipe is protected with black polyethylene tape, 20 thousandths of an inch thick, and covered by a white tape of the same material 25 thousandths of an inch thick, in order for it to be able to successfully cross the mountains and the dessert.

In the briny and rocky areas, until it arrives at Bayovar Port, the pipe has been covered with tar primer, 4 millimeters thick, with two coatings of fiberglass and an external coating of tar-saturated felt.

The ORN has a length of 252 kilometers. It begins in the Andoas Station, joining the main pipeline at Station 5.

The entire pipe meets the requirements established in the 5LX API standard, 19th edition of 1973, or the API 5LS standard, 7th edition of 1973.

The material of the pipe is grade X-52, with a minimum fluency limit of 36.3 kilograms per square millimeter. The pipes have a minimum thickness of 6.35 millimeters.

What is its main function?

To transport oil from the Peruvian forest to the Bayovar Terminal, located in the Northern coast of Peru. This way we can supply a greater amount of crude to the refineries of the country, or abroad in case of exports.

How does it benefit us?

The transport allows us to grant value to the oil from the Peruvian forest, which at the same time makes the generation of the oil canon viable, for the benefit of the local and regional governments where the resource is extracted.

Storage tanks

The ONP has four collection stations:

  • liStation 1: Has five (5) tanks with a total operational capacity of 395.000 barrels.
  • liAndoas Station: Has three (3) tanks with a total operational capacity of 123.000 barrels.
  • liStation 5: Has six (6) tanks with a total operational capacity of 705.000 barrels.
  • liStation 7: Has two (2) tanks with a total operational capacity of 20.800 barrels.
  • liBayovar Terminal: Has fourteen (14) tanks with a total operational capacity of 1’680.000 barrels.
  • liThe tanks are of Soviet manufacture and were purchased semi-built, in rolls of up to 65 tons of weight. Three months liwas the average time it took to set them up.

Main Pumps

Main components of each pumping station:

  • The ONP has 21 main pumps installed to drive the oil, thirteen of which are powered by turbines and eight by engines.
  • In Station 1 there are two (2) motor pumps, while in stations 5, 6, 7 and 8 there are two (2) turbo pumps in each station.
  • Station 9 has five (5) turbopumps used for pumping the oil up to 2,390 meters above sea level, at the height of the Porculla Pass, in the Andes mountains.
  • The Andoas and Morona Stations have three (3) motor pumps in each station.


There are four (4) Ruston-General Electric turbo generators installed in the ONP stations, each 1,100 kilowatts, and twenty-one (21) motor generators, made up of Caterpillar or Perkins engines, for which the power varies between 75 and 800 kilowatts, according to the needs of each station.

Bayovar Terminal

A 42”-diameter pipeline carries the crude oil from the tank field to the dock, first passing a turbine-powered flow measurement system with capacity for 100,000 barrels per hour.

In the pier, the tanker ships are loaded through four loading arms 16” in diameter, hydraulically powered by remote control. Each loading arm has an operation capacity of 25 thousand barrels per hour, with a total of 100 thousand barrels per hour as maximum oil loading speed.

The pier is 113 meters long – from the shore – and 500 meters between its T-shaped edges. It’s built on steel stilts embedded on the seabed. The pier can receive tanker ships of up to 250 thousand tons of dead weight.

Also, all the facilities are protected with firefighting systems, such as seawater or pressurized foam sprinklers and throwers, which operate on and under the loading platform.

The submerged facilities of the pier have a cathodic protection system with impressed current.