South America / GoM

Panama flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Panama

Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Terrain: interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Size: 78200 sq. km total (Land area: 75990 sq. km  Water area: 2210 sq.km)
Population: 3,292,693 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Government: constitutional democracy
Capital city: Panama
Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Currency: balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)
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: 93,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Exports: 4,140 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Imports: 92,170 bbl/day (2006 est.)  
Reserves:    
Major fields:



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