U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- Panama is not a producer of crude oil, natural gas, or coal. However, the country serves as an energy transit point through its controls of the Panama Canal and Trans-Panama Pipeline.
- Total primary energy consumption in Panama was about 270 trillion British Thermal Units (Btu) in 2011. Of consumption, refined petroleum products, all of which are imported, represented 84% and hydro accounted for 15%. Together, coal and biomass represented less than 1%. The United States is the leading source of Panama's energy imports.
- In 2011, hydroelectric power accounted for 53%, and oil-fired generation accounted for 46% of Panama's net electricity generation (7.64 billion kilowatthours). Generation from biomass sources made up the remaining portion of less than 1%.
- Panama is one of six Central American countries to join SIEPAC or the Sistema de Interconexión Eléctrica de los PaÃses de América Central. The 1,118-mile transmission project connects the electricity grids of Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, creating a single multinational grid with an independent system operator.
- To meet domestic demand for electricity, Panama has collaborated with its neighbors to construct shared transmission lines. Examples include a power line stretching roughly 381 miles with 300 megawatts of capacity between Panama and Colombia and a transmission line spanning 1,111 miles with a capacity of 300 megawatts between Guatemala and Panama.
- The Panama Canal is an important trade route connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. While goods both destined for and originating from the United States are shipped through the Panama Canal, the route transports limited volumes of crude oil and refined petroleum products. The Canal is only 110 feet in width its narrowest point, Culebra Cut, and many modern tankers are too large to travel through it.
- According to the Panama Canal Authority, 943,000 bbl/d of oil and natural gas were transported through the canal in 2012. Crude oil and petroleum products made up 804,000 bbl/d. Liquefied natural gas accounted for 19,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Approximately 80% of the oil and natural gas trade flows from the South Atlantic to the Pacific.
- In order to make the canal more accessible to larger tankers, the Panama Canal Authority began an expansion program that it expects to complete by the end of 2015, according to Reuters. However, vessels similar to the Suezmaxes and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) will not be able to transit the canal according to Lloyd's List Intelligence.
- The Trans-Panama Pipeline (TPP) or Transisthmian Pipeline, which is situated near the Costa Rican border, is another oil transit route that reduces transportation times and costs between the Atlantic and Pacific basins. It was originally constructed to facilitate crude oil shipments from Alaska to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, but was recently reversed to carry crude oil from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. An analysis of tanker data suggests that about 100,000 bbl/d of crude oil, most of which is of Colombian and Angolan origin, flowed through the pipeline in 2013.
Analysis Last Updated: May 2014
Overview data for Panama+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: May 30, 2013
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