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Safety & Environment Water Management

Walking the Talk on Sustainable Water Management

In 2016, Repsol’s water management strategy focused on providing adequate fresh water storage capacity to support our drilling and completions activities scheduled for the Duvernay area. Specifically, two ponds, measuring 120,000 cubic metres each, were built in Pine Creek and Bigstone using proven engineering standards and lined containment materials such as clay and geosynthetic clay. To ensure sustainable water use, Repsol will fill the ponds during high flow times thereby minimizing the impact on the environment. 

In 2017, Repsol plans to source water from Pine Creek, Athabasca River, and Marsh Head Creek. Furthermore, Repsol plans to submit an application for a permanent licence for fresh water use to support its operations. 

Part of Repsol’s water management strategy is to reuse as much flowback water as possible in our completions operations. We have experienced success in our Wilrich operating area where approximately 70% of our wells have used flowback water, and in Wildriver, where 30% of the wells used flowback water.

Repsol's Water Tool

Repsol Oil & Gas Canada has adapted a Water Tool used globally by Repsol for both the downstream business units (refining and chemical plants) and the E&P conventional assets. This initiative is a good example of integration and knowledge transfer among different areas and countries where we operate. 

This tool assesses water use in our operations and provides a rigorous analysis of internal and external risks. Some of the components include source water location, watershed specific demand, comparisons to water volume use in different parts of the business, potential impacts on ecology, and water disposal practices. Based on the risks identified and evaluated, Repsol has developed a 2017-2020 action plan that outlines specific prevention and mitigation actions.

The Athabasca River Basin (ARB) Initiative

In 2016, Repsol joined the ARB Initiative, a basin-wide collaborative effort to create a common understanding of the issues and opportunities and inform decision-making processes for proactive water management across the Athabasca River Basin. WaterSMART, an independent consulting company based in Calgary with a focus on sustainable water management, developed this initiative and will be executing it in collaboration with participants representing a broad range of water users and stakeholders (industries, government, universities, regulatory bodies, and Aboriginal groups). 

As WaterSMART describes it, “proactive water management means looking at the whole watershed and the current issues and changes, and discussing mitigation and management options to deal with future changes in flow before they arrive.” An integrated modeling tool has been built and is currently being tested by participating members of the project.

Sharing Best Practices and Engaging with Stakeholders

Repsol is committed to minimizing adverse impacts to local stakeholders, working with industry partners, and reducing our environmental footprint. We actively participate in industry and technical working groups – Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Fox Creek Operators Group, and West Central Synergy Stakeholders - to share industry best practices and continually improve our operations. 

Repsol encourages early and meaningful dialogue with communities and landowners to address concerns and to share our water management plans. 

Repsol works diligently to mitigate impacts to water in the areas in which we operate; we do so by committing to a responsible and sustainable water strategy, which involves evaluating the amount of fresh water used, reusing flowback water, and investigating alternate water sourcing options." 

JoAnne Volk, Water Engineer, Canada Business Unit

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