To begin this overview of the year 2018 I would like to thank Cepsa s professionals for their valued contribution to the Company's results, which this year in my opinion are excellent. Without their engagement and hard work it would not be possible to continue growing and driving forward our business plan, generating value and maintaining a high level of quality, both of which characterize our products and services.
Also I would like to express my gratitude to our sole shareholder, Mubadala Investment Company, and to the Board, for their confi dence both in myself and all those who form part of the company. Without their support and drive it would not be possible to carry out the important projects that are helping to transform the company.
In 2018 we continued to advance in our strategic 2030 plan, with the aim of consolidating as a global energy company. To do that we are optimizing our already mature businesses, using the latest technology, and adapting our processes to market demands and new regulations. At the same time we are strengthening our leadership by expanding our business in new countries and business areas. An investment over the year of 2.3 billion helps to support our sustainable long term growth plan backed by our expertise and know-how.
Before going into the details of the results for the year, it is essential that I fi rst mention safety. We are all conscious of safety in all of the places where we work, and we seek to instill a culture among our professionals to ensure that considering risk factors becomes second nature to them. As a result of this continued work, we have managed to reduce the Lost Worktime Injury Frequency ratio for the eighth consecutive year in 2018 to 0.9 for every one million hours worked.
And now turning to results for the year, we can see that the adjusted net results for the year of 754 million indicates that we are going in the right direction. The year was especially good for the Exploration and Production business, thanks to the increase in the basket of crude oils we use rising from $52.6 a barrel in 2017 to $67.2 a barrel in 2018.
Effi ciency programs and cost reductions in place over recent years also contributed. We have also helped to guarantee future business growth through the new concessions in Abu Dhabi and the Gulf of Mexico, and we have strengthened and consolidated our activities in Algeria.
Meanwhile, the Refi ning business has operated in a less favorable environment, in particular the refi ning margin last year was $6.1 a barrel, compared with $7.5 a barrel the previous year. Despite this, the business distilled 161 million barrels of crude, obtaining 21.8 million tons of derivative products, with a capacity utilization rate of 91%, highlighting the effi ciency of our plants.
Our marketing activity was also intense. We sold 21.9 million tons of products: fuels, kerosene, fuel oils, lubricants, asphalts, and liquefi ed petroleum gas. We also strengthened our product offering through the launch of Cepsa Hogar, becoming the fi rst company in Spain to bring together electricity, natural gas and fuel services together in one package. The construction of our fi rst wind farm in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), the record capacity utilization rate of the Medgaz pipeline of 81%, or the start of crude commercialization from our new oilfi elds in Abu Dhabi by our Trading department, were also milestones for the year that I would like to highlight. They show the strength of our integrated business model and assure the sustainability of our company in the long term.
The Chemicals business area sold 2.9 million tons of products in the year and continues to be one of the engines of our international growth. In 2018 it started up the revamping project of our LAB plant in Spain, and took the fi rst steps for the construction of a new LAB plant in Abu Dhabi. Both projects will help us to maintain our global leadership in this product.
Our investment for the year was 2.3 billion, which clearly indicated our intention to keep progressing in our future strategy; maintaining and increasing our leadership positions, strengthening through our continuous effi ciency and operating excellence programs, replicating our integrated
business model in other locations with leading and robust partners, and also exploring other new business opportunities.
I would like to stress that all of this business and future plans goes in hand with a responsible management. We are fully aware of the importance of being viewed as a company that creates value for the areas where we work, and that we do so with fi rm values and ethics. These issues were formalized by Cepsa in 2018 following the approval of a new Corporate Responsibility Policy, through which we commit to incorporating best practices in this area and the daily management of our business. The Director Corporate Responsibility Plan is without a doubt our roadmap for responsible management, and is at the forefront of our sustainable growth strategy.
Once more, I would like to place on record my thanks for the hard work, talent, and enthusiasm of Cepsa s professionals, and underline their commitment to our plans for the future. Between us all, and with the support of our sole shareholder, Mubadala, I am convinced that we will make them a reality.
PEDRO MIRÓ Vice Chairman and CEO of Cepsa
52018 ANNUAL AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY REPORT
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