Cameroon began offshore oil production in 1977. Annual production has gradually fallen since 1985, and the decline is expected to continue as existing reserves are depleted. Output amounted to 76,600 barrels per day in 2001, down from 100,000 barrels per day in 1999. However, as of 2002, Cameroon was still sub-Saharan Africa's fifth-largest crude oil producer. Field development and production began in the Kribi-Campo basin in the mid-1990s, and the Ebome field came online in 1996. As of 2002, the major operators were Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Total Fina Elf. Work was under way on development of the Doba basin oil fields and construction of a pipeline between Cameroon and Chad, with the aid of a $93 million loan from the World Bank. Production was expected to begin in early 2004. In October 2002, Cameroon and Nigeria, both of whom claim the potentially oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula, received a ruling on the dispute from the International Court of Justice, which granted the peninsula to Cameroon. Cameroon's petroleum consumption in 2001 was 22,000 barrels per day. The country reportedly has large reserves of liquid petroleum gas, which are largely untapped.
Hydroelectric resources remain the most readily exploitable form of energy in Cameroon, which, together with the Democratic Republic of Congo, is considered to have the greatest hydroelectric potential in Africa. Electrical energy is produced primarily by two hydroelectric stations on the Sananga River. Nearly 60% of the power from these stations goes to the aluminum smelter at Edéa. Cameroon's installed electrical capacity was 819,000 kW in 2001; total production of electricity in 2000 was 3.5 billion kWh, of which 97.4% was from hydropower and the remainder from fossil fuels. Consumption amounted to 3.4 billion kWh in 2000.
In the 1980s, hydroelectric capacity was expanded by an additional complex on the Sananga River (Song-Loulou) and a 72-MW generator (built with Chinese aid) on the Bénoué. However, despite Cameroon's impressive waterpower resources, the national electricity grid runs principally from Douala to Yaoundé and from Douala to Bafoussam. Most other areas are served by diesel-generated electricity or have no electricity at all. Cameroon's National Energy Plan attempts to prepare for a diminishing petroleum output. Hydro-Quebec of Canada conducted a feasibility study of the Nachtigal Power Station, which could provide 280 MW of hydroelectric power on the Sananga River north of Yaounde. In 1998, Hydo-Quebec was awarded a contract to upgrade the Song-Loulou hydroelectric facility.