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INSIDECOSTARICA.COM | COSTA RICA  NEWS |        Tuesday 02 August 2011

Costa Rica Decrees Moratorium On Oil Exploration

Facing protestors on his first day on the job, the new minister of the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energia y Telecommnicaciones (MINAET), RenÚ Castro, issued a moratorium on oil drilling in Costa Rica for the next three years.

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The incoming environment minister argues that present there is no market condition and nor the appropriate institutional framework to begin oil exploration in the country.

The decision takes effect once the decree is published in the official government newsletter, La Gaceta, which is expected in the coming week.

The decision directly affects efforts by the U.S. company Mallon Oil to establish itself in Costa Rica.

The first time that Castro headed the MINAET between 1994 and 1998, signed a decree favoring the Mallon oil company, then asking for environmental impact studies as a requirement.

Castro moved from the Foreign Ministry as part of presidenta Laura Chinchilla's cabinet shuffle last week. Protestors question the appointment of a Castro a who is being investigated for alleged political appointments in the Foreign  Ministry.

Replacing Castro at the Foreign Ministry is Enrique Castillo, while Castro replaces Teofilo de la Torre who was appointed as head of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) two weeks earlier, replacing Eduardo Doryan, former head of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), resigning as a consequence of the economic crisis in the state health system and a four day national health strike.




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