Both plus and super gas to go above $5 a gallon

Unrest in the oil-producing Middle East and the continued weakness of the U.S. dollar against the colon are being blamed for a sharp increase in the price of petroleum fuel. Both types of gasoline will be above the $5-a-gallon mark.

The Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos announced the increase Thursday, based on the petroleum market price from Feb. 24 to March 10 and the exchange rate on the final date of the period. The agency used the exchange rate of 500.30 colons to the U.S. dollar.

Gasoline is going up 54 colons (11 U.S. cents) per liter and diesel is going up 39 colons (8 U.S. cents). Super gasoline that has been selling for 627
colons ($1.27) per liter will go to 681 colons ($1.38). Plus gasoline goes from 610 colons per liter ( $1.23) to 664 colons ($1.34).

There are similar increases in kerosene, aviation gasoline and jet fuel, as well as cooking gas.

There are 3.79 liters in a U.S. gallon, so the gallon price of super gasoline will be 2,578 colons or $5.21. The new prices are expected to go into force next Thursday. Plus will be $5.08 or 2,514 per gallon.

Costa Rica imports all of its petroleum although there may be large deposits on the Caribbean continental shelf. However, a U.S. firm was forced to abandon plans for an exploratory well there after extensive environmental protests in 1998 to 2002.

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