Drilling mud management:
Transforming waste into new resources
Thermal desorption porcess
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.
What does this technique consist of?
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.
Benefits of this initiative
The advantages of using the thermal desorption technique are:
Drilling mud management in figures
of waste treated since 2016 by thermal desorption.
of recovered 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.
Find out more about our circular economy projects
Polyurethane recycling pioneers in Europe
By the end of 2022, our chemical recycling plant in Puertollano will be started up with a capacity to treat 2,000 tonnes of waste.
Fuels from urban waste
We recover leftover energy from urban waste that has reached the end of its useful life in order to produce fuels.
We obtain new polyolefins from recycled materials, while guaranteeing top quality and functionality.
Advanced biofuels from waste
We process raw materials derived from waste and transform them into biofuels.
We bring renewable energy generation to the point of consumption by creating solar communities.
We implement solutions to transform biomass into advanced biofuels with low CO2 emissions.
Drilling mud management
We transform drilling mud waste into new fuels by applying thermal desorption techniques.
We transform plastic waste into circular polyolefins that feature the same quality and functionality of virgin materials.
Lubricants formulated with regenerated bases
We use base oils derived from the regeneration of used oils to produce new lubricants.
Waste treatment in our facilities
We apply bioremediation and compost techniques to make use of waste.
Reusing asset equipment
We extend the useful life of our asset equipment by reusing it in our own operations or those of other companies.
Reusing water from urban wastewater plants
We reuse water from urban wastewater treatment plants to reduce the amount of fresh water consumed.