South America / GoM

Guatemala flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Guatemala

Location: Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize
Climate: tropical; hot, humid in lowlands; cooler in highlands
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow coastal plains and rolling limestone plateau
Size: 108890 sq. km total (Land area: 108430 sq. km  Water area: 460 sq.km)
Population: 13,002,206 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
Government: constitutional democratic republic
Capital city: Guatemala
Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: quetzal (GTQ), US dollar (USD), others allowed
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: 20,100 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Consumption: 73,510 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Exports: 15,560 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Imports: 72,960 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Reserves: 526 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)  
Major fields:



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