Cepsa continues with the process of decarbonization of its activity and, as EL MUNDO has learned, will sell the Exploration and Production business in Peru and Colombia. The management bank Scotiabank will manage the sale process, which involves putting on the market the wells it has in these countries, which accounted for around 9% of the company's oil production in 2022. The company led by Marteen Wetselaar began last year a transformation strategy, Positive Motion, to which it will allocate 8,000 million euros until 2030 to develop new sustainable business areas.

This means that so far this year Cepsa has put up for sale almost 60% of its Exploration and Production business -known as Upstream in the sector-, after selling in May close to 50% of its capacity in an already announced goodbye to crude. Peru and Colombia are another step in this direction.

From Cepsa they detail that "we do not comment on possible operations, but we can point out that, within the framework of the development of our 'Positive Motion' transformation strategy, the company recurrently evaluates different options to maximize the value of its assets."

The main move in this regard took place six months ago, in March 2023, when the company reached an agreement to sell its Exploration and Production business in the United Arab Emirates to France's TotalEnergies. This meant getting rid of its 20% stake in the Satah Al Razboot (SARB), um Lulu, Bin Nasher and Al Bateel fields, which was then the largest producer in this area. The operation was valued at 1,500 million euros.

The energy group divested in this sale of 50% of its Upstream activity, although it still maintained the businesses of Algeria, Peru and Colombia. For some time now, Cepsa has been shifting towards an activity more focused on renewable energies and biofuels.

The company's own CEO, Maarten Wetselaar, emphasized this idea when the agreement was announced and stressed that "this transaction positions Cepsa to accelerate its strategic objective of migrating its businesses towards new sustainable areas, such as green hydrogen or biofuels, as well as the development of the first ultra-fast charging network for electric vehicles in Spain and Portugal".

This strategy has made the firm begin to turn its attention to electrification – especially electric mobility – and sustainable fuels. These include second-generation biofuels – sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – and green hydrogen. In fact, a few days ago it sealed an agreement with Air Europa to supply the SAF that will be used by the company's planes that fly from Madrid to Havana, which will have 2% of the 'green' fuel in the tanks. According to the ReFuelEU Aviation initiative, which is part of the Fit for 55 legislative package, this will be the percentage of FAS that all flights departing the European Union must use by 2025. The figure will increase until it reaches 70% in 2050.

The increase in the amount of mandatory FAS will be phased – 6% in 2030, 20% in 2035, 34% in 2040 and 42% in 2045 – partly because the production of these biofuels is still done on a smaller scale than traditional ones. However, they are, at least for now, the only option to decarbonise the aviation sector, responsible for between 2% and 3% of global CO2 emissions. That is, there will be a significant demand and a market that is estimated to have an impact of about 56,000 million euros on the GDP of Spain, which will need about five million tons of 'green' fuel to meet EU requirements in 2050, according to a recent study by PwC.

The other big leg of Cepsa's plan is green hydrogen. The firm aspires to produce and distribute it on a large scale and has already reached agreements with Spanish companies such as Fertiberia, with which it will jointly develop a plant in Huelva, which is part of the so-called Andalusian Valley of Green Hydrogen, which will mobilize 3,000 million euros. It also wants to create the first maritime corridor of this gas – which is transported mainly in liquid form in the form of ammonia or ethanol – between Spain and Rotterdam.

  • Petroleum