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Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador

January 20, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador
Source: Energy Information Administration

In Ecuador, the oil sector accounts for a sizeable portion of all export earnings and represents one-third of all tax revenues. Resource nationalism and debates about the economic, strategic, and environmental implications of oil sector development are prominent issues in the politics of Ecuador and the policies of its government. The smallest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Ecuador produced 505,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil in 2012 and exported more than one-third of it to the United States. A lack of sufficient domestic refining capacity to meet local demand has forced Ecuador to import refined products, limiting net oil revenue.

Ecuador rejoined OPEC in 2007 following a near 15-year hiatus from the organization. Despite a challenging investment environment prompted by government initiatives to increase the share of oil revenue for the state, 2012 oil production in Ecuador returned to the 2008 annual level.

Ecuador’s energy mix is largely dependent on oil, which represented 76% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2012, according to the British Petroleum’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2013. Hydroelectric power was the second largest energy source. Natural gas and non-hydro renewable fuels are also important to Ecuador’s energy mix.

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CRS — Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

July 15, 2013 Comments off

Ecuador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States has traditionally had close relations with Ecuador, yet tensions in the U.S.-Ecuador relationship have surfaced in recent years as the left leaning government of President Rafael Correa (2007-present) has objected to U.S. influence in the region which it has labeled “imperialist.” Nevertheless, the United States is Ecuador’s largest trade partner and has extended trade preferences to Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) since the legislation’s enactment in 1991. The ATPA provides unilateral preferential access to the U.S. market for certain products in order to reduce dependence on the illegal drug trade, although the Correa government in late June 2013 “renounced” its participation in the program. For additional information on the consideration of trade preferences for Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act by the 113 th Congress, see CRS Report RS22548, ATPA Renewal: Background and Issues , by M. Angeles Villarreal.

This report provides a brief background on political and economic conditions in Ecuador under President Correa, and examines current U.S. relations with Ecuador. It provides context for recent developments such as the asylum request reportedly made to Ecuador by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden who is wanted on espionage charges in the United States for release of top secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs. For more information about Ecuador’s extradition policies and legal analysis, see CRS Legal Sidebar WSLG561, U.S. May Face Significant Obstacles in Attempt to Apprehend Edward Snowden , by Michael John Garcia.

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador

October 29, 2012 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador
Source: Energy Information Administration

By global standards, Ecuador is a relatively small oil producer and exporter. However, the oil sector plays a prominent role in the country’s politics and economic welfare. The oil sector accounts for about 50 percent of Ecuador’s export earnings and about one-third of all tax revenues. Despite being a crude oil exporter, Ecuador must still import refined petroleum products due to the lack of sufficient domestic refining capacity to meet local demand. As a result, the country does not always reap the full rewards of high world oil prices — while these high prices bring Ecuador greater export revenues, they also increase the country’s refined product import bill.

Ecuador rejoined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2007, after leaving the organization at the end of 1992. Ecuador is OPEC’s smallest oil producer and exporter. Despite an increasingly challenging investment environment, Ecuador has managed to slightly increase production since 2009.

Ecuador’s energy mix is largely dependent upon oil, which accounted for approximately 70 percent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2010. Hydroelectric power was the second largest energy source, though its share of Ecuador’s electricity generation — nearly two-thirds in 2008 — has declined in recent years due to droughts. Non-hydro renewables constitute another important part of Ecuador’s energy mix, almost all of which is attributable to the use of bagasse (the fibrous residue of processed sugarcane) in industry and the traditional use of biomass in rural households. However, estimates of Ecuador’s biomass consumption are inherently imprecise due to the fact that traditional fuel wood is not typically bought and sold in easily observable commercial markets.

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador

September 4, 2011 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Ecuador
Source: Energy Information Administration

Ecuador is one of Latin America’s largest oil exporters, with net oil exports estimated at 285,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2010. The oil sector accounts for about 50 percent of Ecuador’s export earnings and about one-third of all tax revenues. Despite being an oil exporter, Ecuador must still import refined petroleum products due to the lack of sufficient domestic refining capacity to meet local demand. As a result, the country does not always enjoy the full benefits of high world oil prices: while these high prices bring Ecuador greater export revenues, they also increase the country’s refined product import bill. 

Map of Ecuador

 

In 2007, Ecuador re-joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), after leaving the organization at the end of 1992. Ecuador is the smallest oil producer in OPEC, with an assigned production quota of 434,000 bbl/d. Despite an increasingly challenging investment environment, data available indicate that Ecuadorian production is increasing in 2011. A growing share of Ecuador’s exports are going to China, which has secured fixed supply in exchange for loans from the China Development Bank.

Country Specific Information: Ecuador

May 8, 2011 Comments off

Country Specific Information: Ecuador
Source: U.S. Department of State

May 03, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country about the size of Colorado. It has a democratically-elected government and national assembly. Ecuador is geographically and ethnically diverse. In general, tourist facilities are adequate but vary in quality. Ecuador has used the U.S. dollar as its official currency since 2000. Both U.S. coins and Ecuadorian coins, which are equivalent to the value of the U.S. coins, are used. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Ecuador for additional information.

Please visit our section on the Galapágos Islands for more information.

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