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Climate change

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

Constantly striving to be more efficient

We believe energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although energy efficiency has always been a part of our projects, in recent years we have gone one step further by promoting ambitious goals and plans to reduce the energy and carbon intensity of our operations.

Shaping the future of industry

2018-2025 emissions reduction objective infographic

1. Controlling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Around 60% of a refinery’s variable costs are related to energy. Improving the efficiency of our processes solves the two-fold challenge of cutting costs and reducing GHG emissions. 

Our energy management systems allow us to establish both annual and long-term energy efficiency plans and emissions reduction objectives. In order to guarantee operational excellence in terms of energy, we constantly monitor our energy and carbon plans.

Therefore, we have been developing emissions reduction plans since 2006. In the first of these, we made a commitment to reduce our CO2 equivalent (CO2e ) emissions by 2.5 million metric tons between 2006 and 2013. We far exceeded this objective, reducing our emissions by 3.1 million metric tons of CO2e by the end of 2013.

In the 2014–2020 Emissions Reduction Plan, we set ourselves the goal of reducing emissions by 1.9 million metric tons. This objective was increased to 2.1 million metric tons CO2 e by 2020 in the update of our strategic plan in 2018.

Also in 2018, we defined a new Emissions Reduction Plan for 2018–2025, which includes a 3 million metric ton-reduction in CO2e emissions by the end of this period.

Our new, more ambitious objective requires us to expand our scope of action. Until now, we have primarily focused on energy efficiency, but we will now also work on:

  • Reducing methane emissions.
  • Reducing routine flaring.
  • Improving energy efficiency.
  • Using low-emissions technologies and renewable energies in our operations.


2. Reducing emissions from flaring

Flares are a key factor in ensuring that our facilities are safe and the environment is protected. Actions to reduce emissions from the routine burning of hydrocarbons in flares are especially important as they allow us to reduce GHG emissions and minimize the loss of products or fuel.
In this respect, we have joined the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative, where we work together with other companies from our sector, governments, and institutions to reduce these emissions.

In 2018, at Repsol we set ourselves the goal of reducing routing flaring by 50% by 2025, in line with the aim of minimizing routing flaring by 2030.
We also have our own Environmental Performance Practices (EPP), which allow us to ensure that our new upstream facilities include solutions to prevent routine flaring right from the design phase.

Green Bond

3. Pioneers in sustainable investment

In 2017, we issued a certified green bond valued at €500 million and became the first Oil & Gas company to use this type of asset. It will be used to fund over 300 initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

  • A green bond is a fixed income security issued with a guarantee that the amount deposited will be used for sustainable activities.
  • Our bond was well received and in just two hours purchase orders worth €3 billion came in.
  • The green bond issued has a five-year term to maturity.
Improved fuels for transportation

4. Working to make engines use fuel more efficiently in transportation

Sustainable mobility will help society transition to a low-emissions future..

The following steps are being taken to achieve this:

  • Developing and marketing improved fuels with better efficiency for transportation so that they reduce GHG emissions.
  • Working with vehicle manufacturers to progress toward more efficient engines and less polluting engine-fuel-lubricant combinations
  • Working on new propulsion systems that use different sources of energy (fossil fuels and renewables) to find more efficient and economically sustainable solutions.
  • Our emissions in the value chain in 2018

    We are identifying and measuring our emissions in order to adopt measures designed to reduce them along the entire value chain.

Reducing our carbon footprint

At Repsol, we calculate the carbon footprint of our products by analyzing their impact in all stages of their life cycle. The methodology that we use for the calculation is ISO 14067 certified, an international standard that validates the rigor of our work.


Calculating our carbon footprint allows us to:

  • See the impact of our products with respect to greenhouse gases.
  • Take steps to reduce this footprint by better adapting our products to the environmental challenges of our society.
  • Understand and improve the performance of our value chain.
  • Identify areas for improvement in order to offer our customers increasingly competitive and sustainable products.
We believe it is essential to have sound climate change governance systems that promote accountability and transparency. The ability to respond to the needs and expectations of our stakeholders is a key element for us.

Some of our projects

repHEN project
Replacement of compressors
Oil well optimization
Improved the efficiency of furnaces
Pipelines in the project rephen facilities

This tool monitors fouling in heat exchangers, and is used in all refineries. It allows us to:

  • Define optimal strategies for programmed cleaning and opportunity shutdowns.
  • Analyze investments to implement online cleaning.
  • Identify opportunities to improve equipment and processes.


Where All refineries CO2 reduction 3-10%
Shot of the compressors at a refinery

Replacement of compressors

Replacement of two compressors for a more efficient model with a variable speed motor in Muskiz (Spain), which allow for the optimization of consumpton by adapting to process demands and therefore leading to a 77,000-metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions each year.



Where Muskiz - Spain CO2 reduction 77,000 t CO2 / year
Shot of the machinery at a refinery

Optimizing electric submersible pump systems in oil wells

Development of a tool to evaluate electrical submersible pumping systems in the oil wells of Block 16 and 67, located in Ecuador. This action reduces CO2 emissions by 5,500 metric tons each year.

  • Establishing energy efficiency criteria.
  • Planning well interventions and equipment changes based on efficiency.


Where Ecuador CO2 reduction 4,500 t CO2 / year
Vista parcial de instalaciones de una refinería

Improving the efficiency of two furnaces in Cartagena

Two new air preheaters were installed in two furnaces at the refinery in Cartagena (Spain) in order to recover residual heat and thereby reduce CO2 emissions by 14,000 metric tons per year.



Where Cartagena refinery CO2 reduction 14,000 t CO2 / year