EIA: Ecuador energy analysis

Ecuador's energy consumption, from BP report

Ecuador, the smallest oil-producing affiliate of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is the fifth-largest oil producer in South America, and has the third-largest oil reserves in the region, after Venezuela and Brazil.

In 2012, the country produced 503,600bo/d and had 8.24billion bbl of proven crude oil reserves. Ecuador’s exports to the US, Chile, Peru, and Japan amounted to 354,000bbl/d in 2012, with Ecuador being the third-largest exporter of oil to the US west coast.

In January 2013, sources estimated that the country had about 247Bcf of natural gas reserves, following gross production of 54Bcf in 2012. Ecuador’s main natural gas development is the Amistad field, operated by Petroamazonas in the Gulf of Guayaquil. Petroecuador took over the Amistad project after US-based Noble Energy decided to exit the country rather than renegotiate its product contract. Amistad's natural gas production flows to the Machala facility, a 130 MW onshore, gas-fired power plant that supplies electricity to the Guayaquil region.

In December 2012, Petroecuador began drilling for natural gas after spending $48 million to install the Ocean Spur jackup rig from Italy-based Petrex. Petroecuador projected production would increase from 1.8Mmcf to 2.2Mmcf over the 18-month contract period.

In May 2013, French company Nexans was contracted by China’s Sinohydro Corp. to supply seven km of single-core 500 kV XLPE insulated power cable to transmit power from a dam on the Coca River for distribution into Ecuador’s power grid. The project will house eight generation units with a total installed capacity of 1500 MW. The Coca Codo Sinclair (CCS) hydroelectric project—a $2.6 billion project that started in 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015—sits in between the provinces of Napo and Sucumbios, and operates at an installed power of 1500 MW. Its annual energy output of 8.8 billion kWh will meet one-third of the power demand in Ecuador. The CCS project uses the waters of the Quijos and Salado Rivers that form the Coca River, which flow at 222m3/sec.

In 2012, oil accounted for 76% of the country’s energy consumption, followed by exclusively state-owned hydroelectric power. In 2009, the Ecuadoran government said that it planned to double the country's hydroelectric power usage by 2020, increasing it from 43% to 86%. Worldwide, Ecuador ranked 44th in installed hydropower capacity, and 10th in added hydroelectric capacity in 2012.

image source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

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