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Navigation aidCEPSA

Brief History

Cepsa - Compañia Española de Petróleos S.A. - was established in 1929 to build Spain's first independent oil refinery, but due to the Spanish monopoly arrangements was unable to retail fuel (other than a couple of outlets in Andorra) until the late 1980s. When the monopoly was broken up after Spain's accession to the EU, Cepsa was allocated around 30% of the market. In 1991 it entered into a joint venture with Elf, leading to dual branded Cepsa-Elf stations but more recently the composite branding was dropped, reverting to the simpler Cepsa name. After Elf was acquired by Total it was 48.83% owned by the larger French company for a decade, but retained considerable autonomy. In 2011 Total's interest was sold to the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi, which had already built up a 47.06% stake in the Cepsa.

Cepsa is one of the few companies still to sell branded maps, in the form of its Mapamax large format atlas, jointly produced with Anaya Touring.

2013 Cepsa mapamax atlas

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1997 Cepsa Guide (not to same scale)

In the mid 1990s Cepsa introduced a spiral bound Guia Cepsa (right, not to same scale) incorporating a complete road map of Spain and Portugal at 1:500,000, designed to compete with the popular Campsa guide. This was prepared for them by Everest and ran to around 650 pages.
However, in 2004 the guide was replaced by a simpler softback "Mapamax" atlas. This was initially sold at the special price of €4,90 and covered the country at 1:400,000, and annual editions - produced in association with the Anaya Touring Club - have been produced since then: the examples below are (L-R) from 2008, 2009 and 2011. The 2013 edition, which now costs €6,90, is shown above right.

2004 Cepsa atlas of Spain
2004 Image courtesy Alex Drews

2008 Cepsa atlas of Spain

2009 Cepsa atlas of Spain

2011 Cepsa mapamax atlas

Maps: Portugal

2012 Cepsa map of Portugal

Cepsa developed a retail chain in Portugal after the market was liberalised in the late 1980s, and later acquired Total's assets there too.
In 2012 Cepsa's Portuguese subsidiary acted as the sole sponsor on a map to be given away by the leading weekly newspaper in Portugal, Expresso with its edition 2052. Drawn at around 1:600,000 by Info Portugal (like Expresso in the Impresa publishing group), it used clear modern cartography to locate all Cepsa outlets, as can be seen from the extract of the Algarve near Lagos (right). The reverse was given over to town plans of the 18 district capitals.

Extract from 2012 Cepsa map of Portugal

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Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2009-13

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.