QCOSTARICA – Despite drops in oil prices internationally, now at a 6-year low, and world oil production running above consumption, fuel prices in Costa Rica remain high and price drops, if any, are weeks away.

Both the Regulatory Authority for Public Services (Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos – ARESEP) and the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo – Recope) agree that fuel prices will fall.

However, it won’t be until the first half of September that drivers will see any relief.

Juan Manuel Quesada, head of energy at the ARESEP, said the drop of oil prices on international markets will mean a drop in fuel prices at home, “the country is very vulnerable to international prices”.

The process of setting fuel prices in Costa Rica is time-consuming, slow. Increases seem to creep up on us suddenly, drops on the other hand seem to take an eternity.

Quesada explained that it won’t be until the end of August (the 28th) when the Aresep will make a decision on domestic fuel prices. From that, it will take up to 15 days for the drop to be felt at the pumps.

Why so long?

Quesada explained there is a public hearing process and then any changes to be published in the official government newsletter, La Gaceta, typically within five working days of any Aresep resolution.

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