Natural resources, energy and environment
Dolomite, which is used in the production of fertilizers, has long been the only mineral extracted in Belize. But in 2005, foreign companies found oil off the coast of the country and oil production began the following year.
Oil recovery is sensitive as large parts of the country’s coast are made up of sensitive coral reefs. In 2013, the Supreme Court stopped drilling in several places (Current policy). Belize has no opportunity to refine the oil itself, which instead exports. In 2012, oil exports accounted for almost a third of the country’s total exports. By 2019, the oil deposits are expected to be over.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Belize with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Almost all the energy that Belize consumes therefore comes from imported oil, mainly from the United States. Since 2006, Belize has been a member of the Caribbean cooperation organization Petrocaribe. The cooperation means that the member states are offered cheap oil by Venezuela. They only have to pay half of the costs directly while the rest can be paid off in 25 years at preferential interest rates. The collaboration initially had little effect in Belize because the largest gas station owner was Esso, which did not want to buy Venezuelan oil. In 2012, however, Esso sold several petrol stations to Puma Energy, which buys oil from, for example, Venezuela.
Half of all electricity is imported from Mexico. To reduce dependence on imports, three hydroelectric power plants have been built in the Macal River, the last of which, at Vaca Falls, was clear in 2010.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, BZ stands for Belize. Visit itypeusa for more information about Belize.
Just over half of Belize’s land area is covered by forest, but only one-sixth of the timber is considered profitable to harvest. In the 1990s, laws were introduced to protect the forests and mangrove swamps along the coast. There are several nature reserves, including in the Mayan areas.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
597 kilos of oil equivalent (2007)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
495 thousand tons (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.4 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
35.0 percent (2015)