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Safety on offshore platforms

We are experienced in offshore operations and have carried out drilling in deep water wells, both in the Gulf of Mexico and in other parts of the world. The company implement the strict requirements adopt by the industrial sector.

As of December 31, Repsol was operating 291 blocks at sea in 15 countries.

Actividades offshore

As of December 31, Repsol was operating 291 blocks at sea in 15 countries. We also had a non-operated participation in 192 blocks in 14 countries.

Offshore blocks operated by Repsol
Country Exploration Development Total
Spain 14 11 25
Argentina 2 1 3
Brazil 7 7
Cuba 1 1
United States 238 238
Equatorial Guinea 1 1
Guyana 1 1
Indonesia 1 1
Morocco 2 2
Norway 2 2
Portugal 2 2
Surinam 1 1
Trinidad and Tobago 3 3
Tunisia 3 3
Uruguay 1 1
Total 276 15 291

Repsol is an active member of the Oil and Gas Producers Association (OGP), which brings together oil and gas production companies to promote safety and sustainable operations. To ensure that the lessons learned from industry incidents (such as the Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Montara in the US and others) are applied to offshore operations around the world, this organization issued a series of recommendations that are consistently implemented in the company's drilling projects. These recommendations enable us to improve prevention and the ability to respond to spills in offshore drilling operations.

Of these recommendations, we have adopted the following:

  • Introduction of review processes: Prevention and reliability are achieved through review processes and internal and external audits. To meet this criterion we have implemented: Project handling (IPM - Integrated Project Management), peer reviews (including technical and operational reviews), integrated equipment audits, internal and external management system audits.
  • Risk management: During all drilling project stages we carry out qualitative and quantitative studies according to our Safety and Environmental Risk Management in Industrial Assets rule/regulation and the new procedures to identify and assess these risks, which require bow-tie analyses for high potential risks.
  • Ensuring competence: To ensure our people and teams are able to understand and manage risks, and as part of the people management and supplier assessment processes, we assess staff competence to ensure their aptitude, particularly in the case of people with responsibility over critical safety and environmental elements.
  • Application of international standards and best practices: We have specialized staff responsible for preparing, maintaining and disseminating benchmark procedures and rules/regulations to ensure that the latest standards are applied to our projects.
  • Application of double barrier criteria: We have regulations requiring the use of double barriers in all productive wells to prevent discharging hydrocarbons or other fluids to the environment. This concept has been fully integrated in company designs and operations.
  • Emergency response: During 2011 we enhanced the implementation of company emergency response procedures and plans at all levels (local, regional and international emergencies) to all company operations, particularly offshore operations.
  • Response to spills: As part of our emergency response procedures, for each offshore well we define possible spill scenarios and develop corresponding control plans. This entails having equipment and staff available to respond to a contingency at all times. We are also members of OSR (Oil Spill Response), an international organization made up of oil operating companies, specialized in oil spill prevention and control and related technical assistance.

CLEAN project at the Casablanca platform (Spain)

The CLEAN project (Casablanca active life extension project) for the Casablanca platform, part of the Spain business unit, aimed to ensure the technical integrity of the platform, to extend its useful life by ten years and improve operating safety.

This project involved:

  • Extension of working life: We validated the original design compared to current standards and its suitability for ten further years of operation, including an extensive initial inspection and verification program, and the implementation of resulting improvements, the formalization of a rigorous multiple-year program of inspections and maintenance, and the certification of the design and conditions of the facility by an external certification body
  • Safety studies: We brought forward the updating of all technical studies required by the company's policy on safety and environmental risks in industrial assets and we have developed an improvement implementation plan for 2012
  • Benchmarking: We conducted a comparative study with other facilities in benchmark countries to adapt installations in relevant aspects
  • Procedures: We updated all critical operating procedures for the platform, included in the operations manual
  • Response to spills: We initiated a research and testing program for early spill detection technologies.

The platform life extension program resulted in Lloyds Register issuing a certificate of compliance to operate the platform for the next ten years.

The estimated investment for this project is €50 million, including investments made in 2011 and those planned for 2012 to complete improvements.