As part of our commitment to responsible energy development, Repsol works to reduce environmental impacts to the landscape resulting from our activities. Reducing our footprint is an important consideration throughout the lifecycle of a project, from project planning through to project closure and reclamation. Our goal is to reduce the size and impacts of our surface disturbances to ensure biodiversity is maintained, natural ecosystems are unharmed, and our sites can be reclaimed to pre-disturbance capacity.


Minimizing surface disturbance

At Repsol, we deploy technologies such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that allow us to drill multiple wells from a single well pad. These technologies enable us to unlock oil and gas resources previously uneconomic to develop, access a greater area of the reservoir from a piece of land smaller than drilling multiple vertical wells from single well pads, and greatly reduces the amount of land disturbed in our drilling operations.

We enter into agreements with local operators to share infrastructure. Repsol has provided access to other operators to use water stored in our water reservoirs, thereby eliminating the need for them to build their own reservoirs and avoiding more surface and environmental disturbance.


Minimizing biodiversity and natural ecosystem disturbances

We minimize impacts to biodiversity and natural ecosystems by employing sound environmental planning that is attuned to local settings and sensitivities to support all our seismic, construction and drilling projects. This can involve baseline environmental studies, formal or informal environmental impact assessments, conducting wildlife sweeps of project areas as part of the planning process and developing attendant protection plans. As part of the development planning process, the potential placement of wells, pipelines and associated infrastructure is reviewed for environmental considerations by means of a Constraints Assessment.


Wetlands protection

Wetlands are a critical part of the natural environment; they reduce the impacts of floods, replenish groundwater, improve water quality and provide habitat for many species, common and endangered. Under the Alberta Wetland Policy, avoidance must be a priority at all stages of the planning process. It is Repsol’s responsibility to avoid wetland impact and to justify wetland impact where avoidance is not feasible.

Well pads and pipelines are situated to avoid wetlands. When wetlands and waterbodies cannot be avoided, attempts are made to minimize the amount of wetland disturbed. Repsol will mitigate impacts by reclaiming the wetland at the end of the life of the well, or by contributing to the creation of new wetlands in the same area where the impact occurred.

At Repsol, not only do we work to minimize our impacts to biodiversity and natural ecosystems in the planning process and during our operations, we participate in industry-wide and multi-industry initiatives to redress historical impacts.


The Foothills Stream Crossing Partnership

The Foothills Stream Crossing Partnership (FSCP) is a multi-industry partnership with the main objective of improving the condition and performance of stream crossings on the landscape. Habitat reconnection and the mitigation of sedimentation are vital to the long-term health of our watersheds, playing a fundamental role in the natural processes for water filtration, recharge of groundwater, and carbon sequestration.

At Repsol, we utilize the FSCP online system to manage 244 crossings and track data on the environmental and structural performance of wetland crossings. Our mitigation work has resulted in the re-connection of almost 30 km of high priority fish habitat. These measures have a vital impact to vulnerable species including the Athabasca Rainbow Trout, Arctic Grayling and Bull Trout. As an active member of the FSCP, Repsol is committed to working in partnership to continue the positive impact on the environment for years to come.


Reclaiming the disturbance

As a responsible operator, Repsol maintains a strong Abandonment, Remediation and Reclamation (AR&R) Program across its operations. This program informs our work to reduce our environmental footprint and restore habitat to its natural condition. Reclamation of sites starts even before a well is drilled or other infrastructure is constructed. Detailed reclamation plans are part of the company’s application for approval of a project.

Land reclamation follows standard steps:

  • Ground re-contouring, including drainage systems.
  • Replacing subsoil, topsoil and organic material salvaged before land disturbance.
  • Revegetation and seeding.
  • Monitoring soil and water quality and vegetation establishment.

It can take 15 years or longer to effectively restore a habitat to its natural condition. Over the course of those years, Repsol continues to monitor the site to ensure there are no long-term impacts that prevent effective restoration.

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Corporate Responsibility Strategy

Sustainability is an essential part of our forward-looking vision and the shared commitment undertaken by every one of us at Repsol