San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica crude consumption drops 15.28 percent

The National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) recorded a 15.28 percent decrease in fuel consumption in the first four months of 2009 in comparison with the same period in 2008, according to a communiqué released this week.

Last year, RECOPE reported the sale of 6,848,936 barrels of crude oil between the months of January and April. In 2009, the refinery sold 5,802,152 barrels in the same months.

The first quarter drop represents a continuing shift away from the use of crude oil in Costa Rica. From 2007 to 2008, RECOPE reported a 1.5 percent drop in sales – 18.4 million barrels to 18.1 million.

Several factors could be at play for the decline of oil consumption, but RECOPE seems to believe that it is the conscious choice of Costa Rica´s citizens.

“Costa Ricans have shown a clear desire for a cleaner future and a tendency toward smaller consumption of oil,” the press release noted.

More than 80 percent of Costa Rica´s energy is generated by renewable sources. The nation has pledged to be the first carbon neutral country by 2021.

The International Energy Agency estimates crude oil consumption will decrease 83.2 million barrels every day in 2009.

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