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Spill management

Spill management

We use the best techniques available for preventing and responding to spills.

We are aware that spills constitute one of the biggest risks in the Oil & Gas industry, which is why we take several different measures to prevent and respond to environmental accidents, such as spill prevention and early detection mechanisms, and managing the risk of major incidents in the building of wells. 

At Repsol, we reinforce our control over spills with a norm overseeing the management of spills in the sea or rivers, in accordance with the Health, Safety and Environment Policy. This norm refers to the prevention of impacts caused by our activities and facilities and the minimization of risks associated with them.

Spill prevention

We carry out preventive measures to reduce both the number of spills and the amount of hydrocarbon spilled. 

To do so, we have continued the work that was planned to review action procedures, improve on change management and alarm management, automate and launch new safety systems, review our surveillance and control mechanisms, analyze best market standards, and apply the best technologies available.

Early detection of spills

Our Technology Center has collaborated with Indra to develop the HEADS system(Hydrocarbon Early Automatic Detection System),a cutting-edge technology capable of automatically detecting hydrocarbons in the sea with a response time of less than two minutes. Based on radar technology and thermal imaging, it is already being used at our Casablanca rig and the Tarragona marine terminal, and is also being applied at refineries such as La Pampilla (Peru) and Petronor (Bilbao).

Emergency management

When a spill occurs, we activate our emergency response mechanisms, and then establish new preventive measures to avoid it happening again. These mechanisms are critical at Repsol, and are essential for reducing as much as possible the impact we have on the environment and on people.

One example of how we do this is our intensive efforts to develop response capacity in the event of marine spills, as part of our program. Global Critical Management Program (A global program for preventing, preparing, responding, and recovering from the impact of major accidents during exploration and production operations). 

We also have several agreements with service and resource providers such as: Oil Spill Response (OSRL), Wild Well control, Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) and Global Well Capping Consortium.

Furthermore, we participate in national and international associations specializing in marine spills and emergencies, such as IPIECA (The Global Oil and Gas Industry Association for Environmental and Social Issues), ARPEL (The Regional Association of Oil, Gas and Biofuels Sector Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean), Protecma (Platform for Coastal and Marine Environment Protection), and ARCOPOL (Atlantic Regions Coastal Pollution Response).

Soil and groundwater management

We make a huge effort to prevent soil degradation by following the basic principle of precaution, carrying out remediation projects whenever necessary. We have an internal corporate norm on soil and groundwater management with a guide for evaluating and remediating contaminated soil and sites, and we also use systems such as Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR), that provides an early alert regarding leaks from underground tanks at our service stations. 

Remediation work primarily uses in situ techniques, without excavating: vacuuming, pumping, and injecting air through wells, vapor extraction, air sparging, and bioremediation. We occasionally use techniques for excavating and adequate soil and product management, generally for renovations or abandonment.