Repsol scaling up U.S. low-carbon business

| By Darrell Stonehouse

Spanish energy group Repsol is increasing its focus on renewable energy as part of its effort to cut corporate emissions.

Repsol expects to more than triple renewables capacity between 2022 and 2025, and then again in the 2025-2030 period. The company has a goal of achieving total renewable generation capacity of six gigawatts (GW) in 2025 — up from 1.6 GW in 2022 — rising to 20 GW in 2030.

By 2030, around two-thirds of its renewables production will be derived from PV solar with the rest mostly from onshore wind and hydroelectricity.

Source: Repsol Global Sustainability Plan 2023. For more on Evaluate Energy Documents, watch a short video here or click here for more information

In the U.S., Repsol’s portfolio already includes some solar and battery storage, while its upstream oil and gas assets are scattered across the Gulf of Mexico, the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas, and Alaska’s North Slope.

Low-carbon growth

Repsol’s chairman, Antonio Brufau, recently called the energy transition an “enormous opportunity” for the company, and one that will dictate future spending patterns.

The proportion of capital expenditure on low-carbon businesses will rise from 35 per cent to at least 50 per cent by 2031, and 60-90 per cent in the 2041-2050 timeframe.

As well as production and marketing of renewable electricity, it also plans to increase investment in biofuels, renewable hydrogen, synthetic fuels, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), energy efficiency, and other value-added services such as electric mobility.

While much of this will be focused on Spain, Repsol is actively building up its low-carbon business unit in the U.S., with collaborations and investments in CO2 storage and geothermal.

It entered the U.S. renewables market in 2021 following the purchase of 40 per cent of Hecate Energy, a PV solar and battery storage project developer, and started producing electricity from its first operated project the following year with the 62.5 MW Jicarilla 2 solar plant in New Mexico.

The company is developing a further 62.5 MW solar photovoltaic and 20 MW battery storage project at the same location and is also advancing two additional solar projects in Texas — the 637 MW Frye project and 629 MW Outpost project.

It has also proposed a CO2 storage hub offshore Louisiana, in shallow waters in the South Timbalier Lease Area, working alongside Carbon Zero LLC and other partners.

Repsol is technical leader for the project, which was recently selected to negotiate funding support from the Department of Energy.

The company is also evaluating geothermal potential on its Eagle Ford asset in Texas.

Upstream emissions challenges

Source: Evaluate Energy ESG – find out more here.

Repsol is targeting net zero emissions by 2050 and aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its operated assets by 75 per cent by 2025 compared to its 2021 baseline. It hopes to slash methane emissions intensity by 85 per cent by 2025, compared to 2017.

Like other operators, though, it faces a test in achieving emissions goals as it nurtures and expands oil and gas activities.

That includes the Pikka development — Repsol’s first in Alaska — adding gross production of 80,000 bbls/d of oil, with production expected in 2026.

The company claims Pikka has a carbon intensity index among the lowest in its global portfolio, highlighting its focus on lower-emissions projects.

This year, Repsol also added to its Eagle Ford shale acreage, where it now operates 126,364 net acres with average production of around 48,905 boe/d in the unconventional play.

To help meet emissions targets, it is deploying technology such as aerial and satellite leak detection and electrification of its operations, as well as circular economy initiatives aimed at energy efficiency.

In line with its decarbonization objectives, this year Repsol also achieved certification for all of its natural gas production in the Marcellus of Pennsylvania with the MiQ standard for methane emissions performance.


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