Honduras has for many years relied on fuelwood and biomass (mostly waste products from agricultural production) to supply its energy needs. The country has never been a producer of petroleum and depends on imported oil to fill much of its energy needs. In 1991 Honduras consumed about 16,000 barrels of oil daily. Honduras spent approximately US$143 million, or 13 percent of its total export earnings, to purchase oil in 1991. The country's one small refinery at Puerto Cortés closed in 1993. Various Honduran governments have done little to encourage oil exploration, although substantial oil deposits have long been suspected in the Río Sula valley and offshore along the Caribbean coast. An oil exploration consortium consisting of the Venezuelan state oil company, Venezuelan Petroleum, Inc. (Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.--PDVSA), Cambria Oil, and Texaco expressed interest in the construction of a refinery at Puerto Castilla in 1993, with production aimed at the local market.
Fuelwood and biomass have traditionally met about 67 percent of the country's total energy demand; petroleum, 29 percent; and electricity, 4 percent. In 1987 Honduran households consumed approximately 60 percent of total energy used, transportation and agriculture used about 26 percent, and industry used about 14 percent. Food processing consumed about 50 percent of industrial sector energy, followed by petroleum and chemical manufacturing.
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