Quiz: What You Don’t Know About South American Energy

Question:

Itaipu Dam, Brazil (Credit: -RS-/Flickr)

South America has vast energy resources, but how much do you know about the needs and reserves of its individual countries?

Quiz by Joe Eaton

Which country is the continent's largest energy consumer?

  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Chile

Brazil is the largest energy consumer in South America and the third largest in the Americas, behind the United States and Canada. Its total energy consumption has increased more than one third in the past decade, and the country has experienced severe power shortages. (See also: “The Global Electricity Mix”)

Which of the following South American countries had no proven oil reserves until 2014?

  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Paraguay
  • Bolivia

Unlike its neighbors, Paraguay produced no crude through 2013. In the fall of 2014, the London-headquartered oil exploration company President Energy made the country’s first major oil discovery in the Chaco Boreal region.

Which South American country claims the largest proven oil reserves in the world?

  • Bolivia
  • Venezuela
  • Brazil
  • Chile

Venezuela. It has 18 percent of the global total and is followed by Saudi Arabia.

Which country is the largest consumer of Brazilian crude oil?

  • China
  • Mexico
  • The United States
  • Russia

The United States has been Brazil's best oil customer for the past decade. Although Brazil exports oil to the U.S., it lacks refineries, so it imports the gasoline and diesel it uses from the U.S. and India.

Which South American country has the second largest shale gas reserves in the world?

  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Argentina

Argentina’s Vaca Muerta formation holds the world’s second largest shale gas reserve. China ranks first.

Which South American country is home to the largest oil discoveries in recent years?

  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Peru

Brazil's offshore basins, held under a cap of salt, are home to the world’s largest recent oil discoveries. They could transform Brazil’s economy.

What accounts for the majority of Brazil’s electricity generation?

  • nuclear
  • natural gas
  • coal
  • hydroelectric

Hydropower accounts for 80 percent of its electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Severe drought in 2014 spurred concerns that the country could face energy rationing during the World Cup games as reservoirs were at record lows.

Which South American country houses the largest solar power station in Latin America?

  • Chile
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela

The Amanecer Solar CAP plant in Chile’s Atacama Desert is the largest solar power station in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. The project, which was inaugurated early this month, was built in only six months. The project is a milestone in Chile, which unlike its neighbors in the region is only a minor producer of fossil fuels.

Which country is the smallest oil producer in OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries?

  • Venezuela
  • Uruguay
  • Ecuador
  • Suriname

Ecuador produced 526,000 barrels per day in 2013, the lowest output among OPEC member nations. The second smallest oil-producing member of OPEC is Qatar.

How much did coal production in Colombia rise between 2002 and 2012?

  • It didn’t rise, it declined
  • 25 percent
  • 50 percent
  • More than 100 percent

Colombia’s coal production more than doubled during that period. Regulatory changes have led to dramatic increases in the nation’s development of coal, oil, and gas over the past several years.

Vast oil reserves, along with government subsidies, historically have made gasoline in Venezuela the cheapest in the world. What was the average price per gallon in 2012?

  • 7 cents (2 cents per liter)
  • 75 cents ($2.83 per liter)
  • $1.07 ($4.04 per liter)
  • $1.97 ($7.44 per liter)

Venezuelans paid about 2 cents per liter for gasoline in 2012.

One country in South America gets far and away the largest share of its energy from sources other than fossil fuels, according to data from the World Bank. Which is it?

  • Paraguay
  • Guyana
  • Uruguay
  • Suriname

Paraguay ranks number one for clean energy, thanks to its reliance on hydropower.

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