Colombia - Energy and power



Colombia's mountainous terrain and network of rivers offer one of the highest potentials in the world for the generation of hydroelectric power. These resources remain largely undeveloped, despite intensive government efforts. Installed capacity was 12,705,000 kW in 2001, down from 14,614,000 kW in 1998. Production in 2000 was 42,900 billion kWh, of which 26% came from fossil fuels, 73% from hydropower, none from nuclear energy, and the remainder from other sources. In the same year, consumption of electricity totaled 40.3 billion kWh. Colombia is Latin America's largest producer of coal, with proven reserves of7.4 billion tons in 1997, and production of 42 million tons in 2000. Plans for privatization of Colombia's power industry have been delayed by security problems associated with terrorism. In the first two months of 2002, six publicly owned power distribution facilities had been attacked by guerrilla groups.

Colombia's proved petroleum reserves were estimated at 1.75 billion barrels in 2002. Production of oil rose rapidly risen from7.4 million tons in 1982 to 30.1 million tons in 1995. In 1999 it hit an all-time high of 826,000 barrels per day, before declining to 616,000 barrels per day in 2001. The Colombian government has implemented new regulations to encourage increased exploration and production and estimates that production could grow to 850,000 barrels per day by 2010. However, terrorist and paramilitary activities have affected the oil industry. Leftist rebel groups bombed the Cano Limón oil export pipeline 170 times in 2001, and the abduction and killing of oil union officials have led to repeated strikes in the industry. Colombia's oil refining capacity was approximately 285,850 barrels per day as of 2002.

The production and consumption of natural gas have grown since the mid-1970s. Proved reserves in early 2002 were 122 billion cu m (4.3 trillion cu ft), down from 195 billion cu m (68.8 trillion cu ft) in 2000. In 2001, production totaled 5.69 billion cu m (200 billion cu ft).

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