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June 27, 2022

In Colombia, natural gas consumption has been exceeding production

Colombia dry natural gas production and consumption (2010‚Ä&2020)
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Colombia Country Analysis Brief

In 2020, when drought resulted in decreased hydroelectric power, Colombia imported 14.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas, which helped the country meet natural gas demand for electricity, according to our recently updated Colombia Country Analysis Brief.

More than 65% of electricity generation in Colombia came from hydroelectricity in 2020, compared with more than 80% of Colombia’s annual energy generation in prior years. Because hydropower is the main source of electricity generation in Colombia, droughts can significantly affect the country’s electricity generation mix.

Most of the natural gas consumed in Colombia is produced there and used for electricity generation. However, more recently, imports have been filling the gap between domestic natural gas production and domestic demand. In 2020, 399 Bcf of dry natural gas was produced in Colombia, and 413 Bcf was consumed domestically.

Concerns about the reliability of electricity supply prompted the Colombian government to approve the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, Sociedad Portuaria El Cayao (SPEC), in November 2014. The facility came online in November 2016. The government has since proposed the Pacific Regasification LNG terminal as the country’s second LNG import facility.

Colombia electricity generation (2000‚Ä&2020)
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Colombia Country Analysis Brief

The utility EPM is currently developing a new hydroelectric dam project, Ituango. The first of eight 300-megawatt generating units is under construction and is scheduled to start operation in the second half of 2022. The entire project will have a capacity of 2.4 gigawatts by its scheduled completion date in 2025. If realized, the Ituango project would be the largest hydropower plant in Colombia in terms of generating capacity. In 2020, Colombia had a total of 17 gigawatts of installed electricity generation capacity.

Principal contributors: Kimberly Peterson, Sean Hill