Europe / Caspian / CIS

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Summary | Profile

Country profile: Belgium

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
Climate: temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy
Terrain: flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast
Size: 30528 sq. km total (Land area: 30278 sq. km  Water area: 250
Population: 10,403,951 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Government: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Capital city: Brussels
Legal system: based on civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Currency: euro (EUR)

Country profile

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. The latest Belgium Oil & Gas Report from BMI forecasts that the country will account for 5.7% of developed European regional oil demand by 2010, while making no appreciable contribution to supply.

In Developed Europe, overall oil consumption reached 14.18mn barrels per day (b/d) in 2005. It is set to rise to around 14.83mn b/d by 2010. In terms of natural gas, the Developed Europe region last year consumed 436bcm, with demand of 519bcm targeted for 2010, representing 19.2% growth. Production of 282bcm in 2005 should fall to 277bcm in 2010, which implies net imports rising from last year's 154bcm to some 242bcm by the end of the period. Belgium's share of gas consumption in 2005 was 3.9%, while it has no share of production. By 2010, its share of gas consumption is forecast to be broadly unchanged.

Belgium has a privatised energy sector operating under EU guidelines. There is no upstream oil and gas segment, but downstream oil and gas features a mixture of IOCs and former state companies now in foreign hands. Both the gas and power markets are substantially open to competition, with full opening imminent.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 9,000 bbl/day (2006)  
Consumption: 591,000 bbl/day (2006) 16 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 523,400 bbl/day (2006) NaN 
Imports: 1 bbl/day (2006) 17 billion cu m (2005)
Reserves: NaN   
Major fields:

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