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Our circular economy projects

Drilling mud management

Drilling mud management: Transforming waste into new fuels

Industrial complex in the middle of the jungle

At Repsol, we apply circular economy criteria to all of our operations and assets wherever we operate. One of the techniques we use is thermal desorption to treat drilling mud generated during the exploration phase.

This technique, which is applied at our Caipipendi field in Bolivia, enables us to obtain from waste, such as drilling mud, two new resources: fuel and water, which are fed back in separately and with different purposes into the processes. 

Thermal desorption

Thermal desorption is a process in which drilling cuttings are heated (with initial concentrations of hydrocarbons between 5-50%) until reaching temperatures between 95 and 500°C, allowing evaporation and condensation of water and hydrocarbon. This enables us to obtain a dry solid material (ash) with a lower hydrocarbon content. 

Circular benefits

With this initiative, we will be able to:

  • Reduce the final amount of waste and therefore our carbon footprint.
  • Manage our waste at our own facilities without having to transport it, thus avoiding the environmental impact associated with transportation.
  • Consume less virgin raw materials by reusing the water and fuel extracted from waste treatment in our operations.

Drilling mud management in figures

  • Tree and cycle icon

    15,000 tons of treated waste

    Since 2016, we have treated more than 15,000 tons of waste with the thermal desorption technique.
  • Cycle icon

    2,000 m3 of diesel recovered

    With this technique, we have also recovered 2,000 m3 of diesel that has been reused in our operations.
  • Classification by key lines and value chain

    Our circular economy projects are aligned with the key lines of our strategy and are present throughout our entire value chain, from obtaining raw materials to commercializing products and services.
    Classification by key lines and value chain

Find out more about our circular economy projects