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Costa Rica Mulling Over Reducing Gas Prices

Costa Rica is mulling over whether to add on or shave off a few cents at the pump.

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP), tasked with approving price adjustments, is still processing bids issued last month to increase the price of gas by ¢7 (about 1 U.S. cent) and diesel by 34 (6 cents) a liter, according to ARESEP spokeswoman Carolina Mora.

As fuel prices appear to be cooling abroad, ARESEP is also considering an idea to drop the price of gas by ¢14 (2.5 cents) and diesel by 76 colones (14 cents), said Mora, adding that the decision could be made by mid-October.

The Costa Rican National Refinery (RECOPE), however, is asking for a drop of just ¢2 per liter for super and ¢3 for regular, citing Hurricanes Ike and Gustav as affecting oil supplies.

Super currently costs ¢736 ($1.32) a liter, regular is ¢721 ($1.29) and diesel ¢726 ($1.30). Prices of fuels have increased six times already this year.

ARESEP launched a public survey Sept. 18 to get Costa Rica’s input. Residents can write in by e-mail at usuario@aresep.go.cr, by fax at 2290-2010 or by dropping off a written letter at the services authority’s offices in the western San José neighborhood Sabana Sur.

Before the decision is approved it has to incorporate a consultation of the public, which takes about two weeks, then there’s an analysis by the official experts, and finally, it would take another week for it to be published so that’s about a four-week process to apply new prices, Mora explained.

SOURCE: Tico Times

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