South America / GoM

Chile flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Chile

Location: Southern South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru also includes Easter Island (Isla de Pascua) and Isla Sala y Gomez
Climate: temperate; desert in north; Mediterranean in central region; cool and damp in south
Terrain: low coastal mountains; fertile central valley; rugged Andes in east
Size: 756950 sq. km total (Land area: 748800 sq. km  Water area: 8150
Population: 16,454,143 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Mapudungun, German, English
Government: republic
Capital city: Santiago
Legal system: based on Code of 1857 derived from Spanish law and subsequent codes influenced by French and Austrian law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Chilean peso (CLP)

Country profile

Chile has one of South America's most robust and open economies. The country is an associate member of the Common Market of the Southern Cone (MERCOSUR) and full member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization. Chile is a member of a number of free trade agreements (FTAs) with various countries, such as Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the United States, and the European Union. The FTA with the United States entered into force in January 2004 and plans to lead to full trade liberalization within 12 years.

In 2005, Chile’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.3 percent, continuing the strong growth experienced in 2004 (6.2 percent). Booming prices for Chile’s mineral exports, especially copper, are the principle drivers of the high growth rate. State-owned copper mining firm Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) is the world's largest copper-producing company. While copper and other minerals remain the mainstays of Chile’s exports, trade of other non-traditional products, such as forestry products, fresh fruit and seafood, have grown considerably over the past two decades.

Chile has limited domestic energy resources. As a result, the country must import the bulk of its energy needs. Chile's growing reliance on energy imports, particularly on natural gas, has not been without consequences. In April 2004, Argentina began restricting natural gas exports to Chile, with cuts reaching nearly 50 percent of contracted volumes on some days. Chile, in turn, began to reconsider its energy policy, which, prior to the import restrictions, had assumed an increased use of natural gas and power imports from Argentina. Most importantly, Chile has begun to pursue other sources of natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or piped gas from other countries.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 15,100 bbl/day (2006 est.) 1 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 238,000 bbl/day (2006 est.) 8 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 31,510 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 222,900 bbl/day (2004 est.) 6 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Reserves: 150 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.) 93 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Chile - recent news

29 Feb 24
Chile: ENAP partners with Upwing Energy for deployment of the Subsurface Compressor System
Upwing Energy, a gas tech innovator and service company, has inked a deal with Empresa Nacional del Petróleo (ENAP), the Chilean energy company, to deploy its first Subsurface Compressor System™ (SCS) in South America, significantly enhancing production and recoverability from gas assets while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions associated with production.
04 Oct 22
Chile: Petrofac to support green ammonia development in Chile
Petrofac, a leading international service provider to the energy industry, has won its first new energy-focused project in Chile, supporting Transitional Energy Group (TEG) on their Gente Grande Green Ammonia Project as Owner’s Engineer.
19 Apr 22
Chile: Wood to engineer Total Eren’s large-scale green hydrogen project in Chile
Wood will provide conceptual engineering for Total Eren’s H2 Magallanes Project, a large-scale green hydrogen production facility, to be located in the commune of San Gregorio, in the Magallanes region, Southern Chile.
25 Mar 22
Chile: Blue Elephant Energy expands its portfolio in Chile to 161 MW
The Hamburg-based solar and wind farm operator Blue Elephant Energy has contracted four more PV projects in Chile with a total capacity of 44 MW on 17 March 2022.
03 Dec 21
Chile: Total Eren launches studies aiming to develop a large-scale green hydrogen project in Chile's Magallanes region
Total Eren, a leading renewable energy Independent Power Producer ('IPP') based in Paris, has announced the kick-off of the studies for the development of a large-scale green hydrogen Project called 'H2 Magallanes' totalling up to 10 GW of wind installed capacity to be located near the borough of San Gregorio, in the Magallanes region, Southern Chile.

Chile - more news

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