Production of electricity rose from 29 million kWh in 1960 to 418 million kWh in 1998, then declined to 302 million kWh in 2000. Over 98% of the country's power production is hydroelectric. Electricity consumption in 2000 was 406.9 million kWh. Congo imports about a quarter of its electricity from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A Chinese-built, 74-MW hydroelectric project at Moukoukoulou Falls, on a tributary of the Niari River, came into operation in 1978. Another Chinese-aided hydroelectric project, the 100-MW Imboulou Dam was located on the Léfini River, 225 km (140 mi) north of Brazzaville.
Petroleum extraction began in 1960, with 31,847 tons, and did not increase substantially until 1972, when 336,000 tons were produced. The 2001 output was 262,000 barrels per day. Proven oil reserves in 2002 stood at 1.5 billion barrels, with ultimately recoverable reserves of about 2.1 billion barrels. Much of the oil was long considered unrecoverable by conventional methods. As in most West African oil-producing countries, oil exploration focuses on deepwater offshore areas. Congo's largest oil field is ELF's N'Kossa field in the permit area of the Haute Mer well located 76 km (47 mi) offshore under 792 m (2,600 ft) of water. A new national oil company, the Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo (SNPC), was established by the government in 1998. France and the United States purchase most of Congo's crude oil exports; the United States received 38,000 barrels per day of its crude oil in 2001.
Congo has an estimated 121 billion cu m (4.3 trillion cu ft) of natural gas reserves. As of 2002, all of the output was flared or vented because of lack of infrastructure.