The Latin America and the Caribbean region, as of 2010, have 23% of world oil reserves. It is the second region with the largest reserves, exceed only by the Middle East. As for natural gas, Latin America and the Caribbean rank fifth in reserves.  These reserves are not evenly distributed, and even when the region is a net oil exporter, many its countries import this energy source.

The asymmetries of the countries in the distribution of reserves, production and demand for hydrocarbons has set a wake-up call to seek mechanisms of technological, regulatory and policy development, plans and programs to enable the countries of the region to reach the ground of energy security on hydrocarbons which, despite the efforts of mankind, still is the main energy consumed.

So much so that the hydrocarbons went from 53% of global demand in 1949 to 61% in 2011.

This reality is also reflected in oil prices.  The international price of oil went from less than 2.48 US $ / barrel in 1972 to 111.26 US $ / barrel in 2011, in current dollar terms.  By disaggregating inflation, the international oil price has increased on average in the last 40 years, at a rate of 5.45% / year in real terms.