South America / GoM

Belize flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Belize

Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south
Size: 22966 sq. km total (Land area: 22806 sq. km  Water area: 160
Population: 301,270 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2% (2000 census)
Government: parliamentary democracy
Capital city: Belmopan
Legal system: English law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Belizean dollar (BZD)

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. 

There is oil in Belize. Over the last forty nine years, oil exploration companies have discovered high grade, crude oil in the country. But the quantity of oil found (about two to three barrels of oil a day) is not of commercial amount (five thousand barrels of oil a day).

There have been fifty wells drilled by companies coming to Belize to conduct explorations in Western Belize. They come in; drill the earth but leave after months of work does not produce the necessary quantity of the natural resource.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 2,413 bbl/day (2006)  
Consumption: 3,000 bbl/day (2006)  
Exports: 1,960 bbl/day (2006)  
Imports: 6,754 bbl/day (2004)  
Reserves:  (1 January 2006 est.)  
Major fields:

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