Drilling mud management:
Transforming waste into new resources

Capipendi block in Bolivia

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.


Circular 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.

A female scientist in a lab

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