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Repsol's environmental principles are defined in our Health, Safety and Environment Policy, applicable throughout the company. To incorporate environmental, health, and safety criteria throughout the entire project cycle, let us minimizing environmental impact.

Our strategic commitment to the environment

In our Health, Safety and Environment Policy, we commit to undertake our activities with consideration for the health and safety of people and environmental protection as core values.

This requires a substantial commitment at all levels in our organization. The Executive Committee sets out the objectives and strategic guidelines in terms of safety and environmental issues , which form the basis for the targets and action plans for all company businesses. These plans identify actions required for the continuous improvement of our management, investments and associated expenses, and the adaptions to new legislative requirements.

Environmental objectives form part of the annual objectives of the business units and the annual objectives of individual Repsol employees with variable remuneration based on achieving objectives.

Since 2005, the Audit and Control Committee of the Board of Directors has overseen and directed the company's policy, guidelines and objectives on safety and environmental matters.

We invest in improvement

In 2011, environmental investments amounted to €622 million. We made these investments mainly to improve the environmental quality of oil products, minimize emissions to air, improve spill prevention systems and, to a lesser extent, to optimize water consumption, reduce the contaminant load of spills and increase energy efficiency.

Some of our main projects conducted in 2011 included the following investments:

  • Extending the distillation and conversion capacity of the Cartagena Refinery (Spain) with a total environmental investment of €316 million (€92 million in 2011)
  • Improving fuel quality at the Lujn de Cuyo (Argentina) refinery with an environmental investment amounting to €31.6 million
  • The comprehensive action plan to protect the coast of Tarragona (Spain) with an environmental investment amounting to €6.6 million
  • The continuation of our project to improve fuel quality at the A Corua (Spain) refinery with an environmental investment of €6.5 million.

In addition, expenses(69) came to €147 million, of which €43 million pertained to soil and underground water management.

During 2011, the extension to the refinery in Cartagena (Spain) has been completed, including significant environmental improvements.

Environmental improvements in the Cartagena refinery (Spain)

The C-10 project to extend the distillation and conversion capacity of the Cartagena refinery, which was completed in 2011, has been a huge success despite its being a complex industrial project. This is the largest industrial investment ever in Spain. It aimed to modernize the refinery by extending its capacity from 100,000 barrels/day to a capacity of 220,000 barrels/day and improving the FCC equivalent conversion rate from 0% to 92%. This project has enabled us to increase production of medium distillates, thus satisfying the demand for these products in Spain.

From the beginning of the project concerns for environmental care and improvement were a priority, leading us to take several actions that include:

  • Installation of higher performance flare gas recovery systems
  • More efficient water consumption management, integrated with wastewater processing. We have been developing annual water saving plans that enable us to reuse approximately 80% of all water withdrawn
  • Achieving optimum recovery in sulfur plants (99.5% compared to the standard 98.5%)
  • Reduction of chemical oxygen demand of water (COD) due to the spent caustic treatment plant
  • More reliably segregating different waste products for better management: Hydrocarbons, amines, accidentally oily water, oily water, etc.

Furthermore, we implemented the best environmental practices for the construction sector recommended by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, including promoting environmental training for employees; conducting energy saving information campaigns among employees; maintaining vehicles and heavy machinery in good conditions to prevent excess fuel consumption and reducing speed to dust particle emissions low; installing pressure relief, diffusers and low consumption sanitation devices at water consumption points; making regular inspections of plumbing installations to detect leaks; keeping hazardous products and waste isolated and contained to prevent spills or leaching; establishing agreements with suppliers to reduce packaging and favor reuse.

Continuing to apply these actions, along with searching for better available techniques and improvement opportunities, will allow us to continue optimizing environmental management in the daily life of the complex.

Our environmental management model

Repsol's environmental principles are defined in our Health, Safety and Environment Policy, applicable throughout the company. One of these principles is to incorporate environmental, health, and safety criteria throughout the entire project cycle, in order to minimize environmental impact. This is achieved through the safety and environment management system, based on a clear set of requirements, procedures, and guidelines.

In 2010, the company approved a new corporate standard for safety and environmental risk management for our industrial assets to ensure that any risks to the safety of persons, installations, and the environment are identified, studied, and minimized throughout the entire lifecycle of our industrial assets. This standard establishes the environmental studies to be conducted during each stage of the lifecycle.

Moreover, in 2011 we approved a corporate standard setting common guidelines for assessing the environmental, social, and health impact patterns in all company operations. This standard largely focuses on human rights and health aspects as well as integrating these with environmental aspects. Specifically, the environmental part of the standard establishes the studies to be applied to all new projects: Identification of environmental resources and hazards, environmental baseline, environmental impact assessment and monitoring plan.

Operating non-conventional resources

The increasing depletion of conventional crude oil and gas fields and the development of new technologies have enabled us to begin operating non-conventional resources, such as shale gas and shale oil. They are currently an interesting source of resources as many are located in fields previously considered exhausted and where they are estimated to be found in large volumes.

Continuing this line of research, in 2011 the company made a major discovery of shale gas and shale oil in the Vaca Muerta area, in the province of Neuqun in Argentina.

This discovery was the result of exploration work that has required over US$300 million since 2009. We expect to drill and complete 20 exploration wells in 2012 to prospect for resources in the area.

The company is applying best available practices in safety and the environment to all the project stages to ensure that risks and impacts related to this type of operation are continuously controlled and minimized.

For the non-conventional development of hydrocarbon extraction wells we use breacking techniques that include larger volumes of some inputs, such as water. The water flow used for the fracturing projected has been estimated at between 0.07 m3/s and 0.1 m3/s, which represents withdrawing between 0.6 % and 0.8 % of the ecological flow of the river.

The fractures are made at a depth of several thousand meters, causing no impact to aquifers that are used for human activities as these are usually found at shallower depths. Furthermore, as in conventional operations, before continuing the production process, the well is coated with cement to prevent any possible contamination of aquifers.

The chemicals used are those that have been used by the oil industry in the country for conventional crude oil and gas operations. Throughout the development of the work we periodically monitor all process operating conditions to take preventive action and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements applicable to drilling and production activities of this kind.

The project is constantly supervised by the appropriate authorities and with a policy of ongoing collaboration and contact with the authorities and the local environment.

Our efforts to ensure environmental protection and safety will be maintained as this project and any similar projects progress.

More information on environmental management aspects and improvement actions at

Certified ISO 14001 centers

The environmental management system is aligned with the ISO 14001 international standard and we encourage the progressive certification of our company sites to this standard as a way to promote continuous improvement and obtain external validation of our management systems. We currently have certification for all refining and chemical plants, all lubricant and specialities facilities, virtually all exploration and production centers and an increasing number of facilities for other company activities.

During 2011, we maintained this trend, increasing the number of certified centers with 18 new certifications: two LPG plants in Argentina (Junn and Crdoba), one LPG plant in Peru (Piura), 10 service stations in Peru, four marine and fishing supply facilities in Spain and a marketing subsidiary in Spain. See table Principal ISO 14001 Certifications in 2011.

More information on certifications at buscadorcertificados.

Principal ISO 14001 certifications in 2011
Activity Certified ISO 14001 centers %
Refining 9 de 9 100
Chemicals 8 de 8 100
E&P 14 de 15(70) 93
LPG 37 de 50 74
Technological centers 2 de 2 100
Lubricants and Specialities 17 de 17 100

Environmental audits

We have a safety and environment audit plan that includes internal audits, conducted by qualified personnel from a center other than the one under audit; legal external audits and audits for certification. This plan establishes three-year cycles over which all of our centers will be audited. Moreover, the number of audits must be balanced and complete, whereby audits are conducted on both technical aspects and those related to management systems. See the table Safety and Environment Audits 2011.(71)

Safety and Environment Audits 2011 Number
Internal 286
Certification 129
External (legal) 497
Total Repsol 912

Promoting training

We promote awareness and training programs among employees to further enhance environmental protection. In 2011, we delivered 13,482 hours of environmental training to 2,221 employees. See table Environmental Training 2011.

Environmental Training 2011 (72)
Hours Persons (73) Rate of coverage (74)
Spain 3,170 1,150 6%
Argentina 6,134 477 3%
Other Latin America (75) 3,781 504 9%
Rest of the world (76) 397 90 4%
TOTAL 13,482 2,221 5%
(69) The expenses resulting from the rights necessary to cover CO2 emissions are not included.
(70) The total number of Exploration and Production centers was adjusted due to the sale of assets: Barrancas and Termobarrancas in Venezuela and Bermeo in Spain.
(71) Local internal audits carried out by personnel from within each center are not included.
(72) The data includes training of our regular and temporary personnel. This does not include the training of contractor personnel.
(73) Persons attending courses.
(74) Percentage of persons who have undergone training in relation to the total staff.
(75) Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
(76) Algeria, USA, Canada, Libya, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, Guayana, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Holland.