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Water management

At Repsol we aim to attain sustainable water use and management by continuously searching for solutions that deliver responsible use of water resources and preserve water quality, through design and effective implementation operations at all our facilities.

Most of our water withdrawal takes place in refining and chemical activities. During 2011, we withdrew 116,220 metric tons, an amount similar to that used the previous year. Our main water sources are surface resources (56%), the public network (39%), and to a lesser extent underground aquifers (5%). In 2011, we reused 15,160 metric tons of water, 13% of the water withdrawn, a similar quantity to the previous year.

As part of our annual objectives, in 2011 we continue to establish programs for streamlining water use and preserving its quality, mainly in our refining and chemical plants. Some of our most significant actions were implemented in the extension project of the Cartagena refinery (see case study on the Environmental improvements in the extension of the Cartagena Refinery).

Trends in water withdrawal.

Improving discharged water quality

En 2011 hemos conseguido retutilizar 15.160 kilotoneladas de agua, el 13% de agua captada, lo que supone una cantidad similar a la del ao anterior.

We manage the quality of discharges with advanced technologies for processing, controlling, characterizing and separating the flows in order to minimize discharge and the contaminant load.

The main contaminants discharged at our facilities are: hydrocarbons, suspended solids and organic matter likely to undergo oxidation, measured as Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD).

During 2011, the discharge of hydrocarbons remained at similar levels to the previous year. Suspended solids and COD increased mainly in exploration and production operations in Trinidad and Tobago.

Trends in hydrocarbons discharged to water

Water-related risks and opportunities

We are aware that our company's exposure to risks associated with the use of water at our installations. To avoid these risks and take advantage of our opportunities, we have made great efforts to analyze and participate in the development of different methodologies on this topic in the oil and gas sector.

By participating in IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues), we have worked to adapt the Global Water Tool (GWT) developed by the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) to our sector. The use of this tool, along with other local information available, has enabled us to make a preliminary identification as to which of our operations are located in areas of water shortage in order to intensify our efforts there.

We also participated in developing the Local Water Tool (LWT), promoted by GEMI (Global Environmental Management Initiative), which allows a more detailed analysis of the risks associated with water management at a site level, with consideration for different types of risks. Those associated to water scarcity, water quality, new legal developments or possible cost increases, characteristics of ecosystems and possible conflicts with stakeholders, and others.

We have conducted a preliminary identification of operations located in water stress areas

Opportunities in water management

In 2011 we conducted a series of pilot studies that have helped us to identify opportunities to optimize water use and improve discharge quality, as well as prioritizing these based on a risk analysis.

These studies took place in three sites: the refining and petrochemical facilities in Puertollano (Spain), and our exploration and production operations in Block 16 (Ecuador). The objective was to identify the implications that water use can have both for the installation and its immediate surroundings, not only at present but also in the medium and long term.

We conducted detailed analyses of water balance in the facilities and of the main issues of water management. At the same time, we conducted a water risk analysis, based on the Local Water Tool methodology, in light of possible risks associated with current and future water availability and quality, the characteristics of local ecosystems and watersheds, possible legal developments and price policies that may have greatest impact and possible conflicts with local stakeholders.

We plan to extend this analysis in 2012 to other refining, chemicals and exploration and production centers, the better to identify and manage all possible water-related risks in our facilities and to continue to make improvements.

(78) The 2009 and 2010 data have been modified due to an improved calculation methodology in exploration and production operations in Trinidad and Tobago