South America / GoM

Costa Rica flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Costa Rica

Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
Size: 51100 sq. km total (Land area: 50660 sq. km  Water area: 440 sq.km)
Population: 4,195,914 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), English
Government: democratic republic
Capital city: San Jose
Legal system: based on Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Licensing:

Country profile

With hardly any domestic hydrocarbon reserves, Central American countries rely heavily on imported oil for their energy needs. The countries of Central America, including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, have traditionally been dependent upon agricultural exports for a large portion of their economic activity. However, in recent years, these countries have begun to diversify their economies towards manufacturing and tourism. As a result, the countries have been especially affected by high world oil prices in recent years. Partially offsetting this, many have been able to secure preferential pricing for oil from Venezuela and Mexico.

Central America does have a large amount of installed hydroelectric capacity, but the region still relies upon imports for some three-fourths of its total energy consumption. Despite the lack of sizable oil reserves, Central America remains an important transit center for oil via the Panama Canal and as a potential energy transit center between North and South America.

Energy production and consumption


Oil Gas
Production:    
Consumption: 43,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Exports: 2,998 bbl/day (2004 est.)  
Imports: 43,640 bbl/day (20045 est.)  
Reserves:  (1 January 2006 est.)  
Major fields:



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