Repsol S.A.[2][nb 1] (Spanish pronunciation: [repˈsol]) is a Spanish energy and petrochemical company based in Madrid. It is engaged in worldwide upstream and downstream activities. In the 2020 Forbes Global 2000, Repsol was ranked as the 645th-largest public company in the world.[3] It has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. It is vertically integrated and operates in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

TypeSociedad Anónima
PredecessorInstituto Nacional de Hidrocarburos
Founded1987; 34 years ago (1987)
HeadquartersRepsol Campus, ,
Area served
Key people
Antonio Brufau Niubó (Chairman)
Josu Jon Imaz San Miguel (CEO)
ProductsOil and gas exploration and production, natural gas and LNG trading and transportation, oil refining, petrochemistry
ServicesFuel stations
RevenueIncrease €51.353 billion (2020)[1]
Increase €2.359 billion (2020)[1]
Increase 49.701 billion (2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease €60.778 billion (2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease €30.914 billion (2020)[1]
Number of employees
Increase 24,506 (2020)[1]
SubsidiariesRepsol Petróleo, Repsol Butano, Repsol Química, Repsol Exploración, Petronor



In 1927 CAMPSA (Compañía Arrendataria del Monopolio de Petróleos S.A.), headed by Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, was created with the objective of administering concessions in handing over the state monopoly of petroleum companies. Originally the company was arranged so that the state would have a minority stake. The Creation of CAMPSA intensified the progress of the Spanish refinery industry.

In 1941 the Spanish government under Francisco Franco created the INI (National Industry Institute), in order to finance and promote Spanish industries. The INI supported CAMPSA in its exploration of Tudanca, Cantabria, a monumental moment in Spanish exploration on the Iberian Peninsula. The year 1947 marked the end of a 20-year contract between the Spanish state and CAMPSA, decentralizing services while at the same time giving specific rights to the state to intervene in the company's affairs, minus distribution and commercialization, which remained exclusive to CAMPSA.[4]

In 1948, REPESA (Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras S.A.) was incorporated for the installation of a refinery in the Valley of Escombreras (Cartagena).

REPESA became the symbol of the increasing industrial consolidation in the refining sector, as it took on the production and marketing of petrol, oils and lubricants under its own brand name.'[4] From the beginning, REPSOL was REPESA's "star brand" of petroleum[4] as a REPESA product brand.[4]

International expansionEdit

Repsol Campus in Madrid, company's headquarters built in 2013.
Repsol oil refinery in Puertollano.
A Repsol service station.

In 1999 Repsol bought 97.81% of the Argentine oil and gas company YPF S.A., which at the time was the largest oil-and-gas company in Ibero America. The acquisition better positioned Repsol as a multinational company. Repsol's acquisition of YPF also increased its capital to 288 million shares worldwide. Repsol's presence in Latin America was one of the keys to corporate growth. It was the first full year after the acquisition of YPF and the consolidation of Gas Natural SDG by global integration. The company's business structure was more balanced and international. Then in December 2001 Repsol completed an asset exchange agreement with Petrobras, making it the second largest consolidated oil company in Brazil. The same year Repsol announced new discoveries in Libya, Indonesia, Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, and Bolivia, prompting the development and marketing of its electricity business through Gas Natural SDG.[4] In 2003 Repsol tripled its reserves and production of hydrocarbons in Trinidad and Tobago. North American expansion in 2008 saw Repsol open a massive regasification plant on the east coast of Canada with enough capacity to supply up to 20% of the gas demand for New York and New England.[4]

Canary IslandsEdit

Following years of opposition from environmentalist groups, Spain finally gave permission in August 2014 for the company and its partners to explore prospects off the Canary Islands.[5] Eventually, in January 2015, after two months of exploration about 50 kilometers off the coasts of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, the company said in a statement it only found small deposits that were not worth drilling thus scrapping the project.[6]

Change to the company profileEdit

In 2008 Repsol began an intensive exploration campaign in which it focused its efforts on and invested in exploring in new areas, with results that enabled the company to change its profile. Using cutting edge technology, the company made over 30 hydrocarbon discoveries, many of which were considered to be among the largest in the world. This efforts was recognized by Petroleum Economist magazine as the "Best energy company of the year".[7]

Talisman acquisitionEdit

In December 2014 Repsol announced that it would buy Canadian oil company Talisman Energy in a transaction worth about $15.1 billion Cdn ($13 billion US).[8]

Company name and originsEdit

In 1971 Repsol logo first appears, as REPESA (Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras S.A.) brand product, during the motorcycle Derby of that year.

Its name derives from the founding company REPESA for its visibility and easy pronunciation in different languages. In 1991, the Instituto Nacional de Hidrocarburos (INH), before the imminent demise of the state oil monopoly, set the goal to create a company of mixed public-private capital, which exploited state oil assets. When looking for a name a survey at street level was performed and the only two words that people recognized and associate with the world of oil were CAMPSA (badge of the former monopoly) and REPSOL; obviously, this last one was chosen to name the new company.

"A short, round, sonorous and catchy name was searched. As many terms of the language sink their roots in Latin, here the first letters of a small company of lubricants (Repesa) were used, and the term is completed with the star that identifies Spain in the cultures of the north. Repsol is one of the few names of companies which does not obey an acronym or joins that obsession of putting together letters of horrific names. And that was the first hit".

Business areasEdit


Exploration and production of oil and natural gas are in charge of Repsol Exploration SA and its many subsidiaries. It is present in several countries as Spain, Norway, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Malaysia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, United States of America, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Russia and others. Repsol's had an intense exploration campaign throughout these years, with a 38% success rate.

The oil and gas exploration and production activity is Repsol's main growth driver. Repsol has become a world leader in exploration, with over 40 finds since 2008. To guarantee this activity in the long term, in 2013 Repsol incorporated 65 exploration blocks, mainly in the United States (44 blocks) and Norway (6 blocks), into its mining holdings.

Production was doubled as a result of the acquisition of Talisman Energy in 2015. As of January 2021 net production is averaging 715,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.


Downstream activity involves the supply and trading of crude and products, oil refining, petroleum product marketing (Marketing), distribution and marketing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), production and marketing of chemicals and the development of new energies.

The Repsol Group owns and operates five refineries in Spain (Cartagena, A Coruña, Bilbao, Puertollano and Tarragona), with a combined distillation capacity of 896,000 bo/d. Installed capacity at La Pampilla refinery (Peru), in which Repsol holds a 51.03% stake and is the operator, is 102,000 bo/d.

Marketing their products is in charge of Repsol, CAMPSA and Petronor brand this through an extensive network of over 6,900 outlets, of which over 6,500 are service stations, distributed in Europe and Latin America. Repsol is one of the leading retail distributions of LPG, bottled and bulk, worldwide and is the first in Spain and Latin America. LPG sales totaled 2,464 Mt in 2013.


The Chemicals division produces and markets a wide variety of products in over 90 countries and it is one of the leaders of the market on the Iberian Peninsula. Its activities range from basic petrochemicals to derivatives.

Production is concentrated at three petrochemical complexes located in Spain (Puertollano and Tarragona) and Portugal (Sines), where there is a high level of integration between basic and derivatives, as well as with refining activities in the case of the Spanish facilities. Repsol also has a number of subsidiary and affiliate companies, through which the company produces polypropylene compounds, chemical specialties and synthetic rubber at special plants.

Brief chronologyEdit

  • 1948 incorporation REPESA (Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras S.A.) created for the installation of a refinery in the Valley of Escombreras, Cartagena (Spain).
  • 1981 Creation of INH: Public organization created to integrate the various companies operating in the oil and gas in which the Spanish state had a controlling interest or was the sole owner.
  • 1987 Creation of the Repsol group: Its sole shareholder is the INH. Repsol brings together the companies in which the Spanish state had a controlling interest in the areas of exploration and production (old Hispanoil), refining (formerly ENPETROL), chemical and liquefied natural gas (LNG), Butane (former Butano S.A.), CAMPSA and Petronor. Repsol Chemical (Alcudia), initially a subsidiary of Repsol Petroleum, which will then be a subsidiary.
  • 1989 The State (INH) began the privatization of Repsol. IPO of 26% of Repsol Capital. Repsol shares, S.A. upgraded trading on exchanges in Spain and New York.
  • 1991 Natural Gas Company is created.
  • 1997 The State completes the process of privatization of Repsol. IPO of 10% of Repsol capital
  • On April 16, 2012 the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced the introduction in the Congress of a bill to "safeguard the sovereignty of Argentina hydrocarbons." This project has as main purpose the expropriation of 51% of the shares of YPF.
  • On March 28, 2014 Repsol's Annual General Meeting ratified the "Convenio de Solución Amigable y Avenimiento de Expropiación" which recognises the Repsol's right to receive $5 billion as compensation for the expropriation of the 51% shareholding in YPF and YPF GAS, together with payment guarantees.
  • On May 15, 2018 Repsol announced it would no longer seek growth for oil and gas.[9]

Expropriation of YPFEdit

The YPF Tower in Buenos Aires.

In May 2012, the Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, proposed the expropriation of 51% of Repsol's shares in YPF. The Republic of Argentina's Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Act that was passed that summer made officially possible the expropriation of Repsol's shares. Repsol went to various international bodies to pursue legal action directly after losing its shares of YPF.[4] The expropriation was an attempt by the Argentine government to nationalize its oil and gas production. Results however show that the move to nationalize actually hurt oil production in Argentina. Compared to the oil production in 2011, YPF's oil production in 2012 fell by 8%, according to data from Argentina's Department of Energy.[10]

Repsol had the backing of the EU and the US, and both powers condemned Argentina's move as expropriation. President Fernández claimed that the state would seize 51% of YPF.[11] In June 2013, Repsol rejected a $5 billion proposal from Argentina to compensate for the 2012 expropriation. The proposal also would have given Repsol drilling rights to 6.4% of the massive Vaca Muerta shale-gas field. The board of Repsol unanimously rejected this offer, as it would have caused them to drop a $10.5 billion lawsuit that was in progress against the Argentine government. Repsol at the time owned 6.4% of YPF.[12] On 25 February 2014, the Repsol board announced it had accepted a settlement offer from the Argentine government of an issue of Argentine bonds valued at $5 billion. The deal concluded after three months of negotiations in Buenos Aires was subject to shareholder approval. The agreement ended two years of legal wrangling and the potential for a long drawn-out legal battle. Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau described the "friendly" settlement as "extremely positive."[13]

Environmental recordEdit

In 2011 Repsol built the world's first service station certified by BREEAM, "the leading international method for evaluating and certifying building sustainability". The construction of the station was completed under green architecture parameters, utilizing multiple recycled materials.[4] The publication Newsweek selected Repsol as the most environmentally respectful energy company of 2012.[14] However, recent reports of Repsol drilling in the indigenous lands of the Peruvian Amazon display a disregard for the environment. According to an Environmental Impact Assessment, Repsol's exploration of the rainforest will involve drilling at least 21 wells. Although Repsol denies it, 20 of the 21 wells fall within the land of indigenous people, who are very vulnerable to any sort of contact with foreigners.[15]

In 2016, Repsol ranked as being among the 12th best of 92 oil, gas, and mining companies on indigenous rights in the Arctic.[16] In 2021, Repsol was ranked no. 9 in the Arctic Environmental Responsibility Index (AERI) that covers 120 oil, gas, and mining companies involved in resource extraction north of the Arctic Circle.[17]


Repsol has been a longtime sponsor of motorsport. It partners with Honda Racing Corporation to compete in MotoGP under Repsol Honda Team since 1995, winning titles with legendary riders such as Mick Doohan, Àlex Crivillé, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, and Marc Márquez. Previously, it supported two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz until 1997, Formula One teams Jordan Grand Prix in 1998, Arrows Grand Prix in 1999–2000 and Scuderia Toro Rosso from 2018, and the Mitsubishi Ralliart factory program at the Dakar Rally until 2009.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Originally an initialism for Refinería de Petróleos de Escombreras adding the word Sol (Sun)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Repsol. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  2. ^ "Repsol cambia el nombre tras expropiación en Argentina"[permanent dead link], El Nuevo Herald, 2012-05-31
  3. ^ "Forbes Global 2000". Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h " About us>Our History".
  5. ^ "Spain's Repsol gets long awaited green signal to explore off Canary Islands". Spain News.Net. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  6. ^ Repsol scraps controversial oil exploration off Canary Islands The Guardian 19 January 2015
  7. ^ " Business News>Energy Resource".
  8. ^ " Business News>Talisman agrees to $15.1B Cdn takeover by Spain's Repsol".
  9. ^ "Repsol to End Pursuit of Oil Growth", Bloomberg, 2018-05-15
  10. ^ "Repsol expropriation: So who is eating Argentina's lunch now?".
  11. ^ "US Condemns YPF Expropriation As Spain-Argentina Trade War Nears".
  12. ^ "Repsol Rejects Argentina's YPF Compensation Offer".
  13. ^ "$5bn compensation by Argentina for YPF assets accepted by Repsol". Argentina Star. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Repsol, elegida la energética más respetuosa con el medio ambiente por Newsweek".
  15. ^ "Repsol to drill for oil in Amazon rainforest in Peru".
  16. ^ Overland, Indra (2016). "Ranking Oil, Gas and Mining Companies on Indigenous Rights in the Arctic". ResearchGate. Arran. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  17. ^ Overland, I., Bourmistrov, A., Dale, B., Irlbacher‐Fox, S., Juraev, J., Podgaiskii, E., Stammler, F., Tsani, S., Vakulchuk, R. and Wilson, E.C. 2021. The Arctic Environmental Responsibility Index: A method to rank heterogenous extractive industry companies for governance purposes. Business Strategy and the Environment. 30, 1623–1643.

External linksEdit