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Army Pfc. Jonathan Sanders watches the pump as he puts gas in his car Thursday at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppette at Pulaski Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Army Pfc. Jonathan Sanders watches the pump as he puts gas in his car Thursday at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service shoppette at Pulaski Barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (Scott Schonauer / S&S)

The cost of gas for U.S. personnel in Europe will hit an all-time high Monday when the Army and Air Force Exchange Service adjusts its pump prices for the month of August, based on figures AAFES released Thursday.

In Germany, for instance, a gallon of regular unleaded gas will increase from $2.31 per gallon to $2.46 per gallon, according to AAFES.

In August 2004, that same gallon of regular unleaded gas, the most popular grade sold, went for $2.08.

“This is a reflection of what is going on in the States,” said Joe Giuffreda, vice president of AAFES-Europe.

The latest Lundberg Survey, an industry standard, showed gas prices at record highs for the first half of July.

Analysts attribute the high prices to greater demands for oil, the summer vacation season and the July 7 terrorist attack in London.

The semi-monthly report surveys 7,000 gasoline stations around the United States.

In contrast, AAFES relies on data supplied by the Energy Department, figures that typically cover a five-week period.

The new rate of $2.46 for regular unleaded gas sold in Germany is 18 cents higher than the Energy Department’s average for the five-week period that ended Monday.

AAFES attributes the difference to dispensing costs, which includes such things as transportation and the coupon program.

Other grades of fuel are going up in price, too.

In the United Kingdom, for example, the price of diesel is going up 12 cents, from $2.37 to $2.49 a gallon, while the cost of super unleaded is increasing by almost 15 cents.

Similar increases for the same grade of fuel are occurring in Turkey and the Azores.

Prices in the Netherlands won’t increase as much.

Super and super plus unleaded, for example, are going up 7 cents, while diesel is going up by just 4 cents.

Still, Giuffreda predicted a busy weekend for gas station attendants.

“I’m sure a lot of folks will be going out to get their coupons,” Giuffreda said. “… Fifteen cents is quite a bit.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Vander, who works for the 32nd Air Operations Center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, said it is frustrating to see gas prices at overseas bases higher than the average cost for a gallon of gas in the United States.

“We were planning on going to Italy soon,” he said as he filled up his 19-miles-per-gallon sport utility vehicle. “We won’t do it now.”

Scott Schonauer in Kaiserslautern, Germany, contributed to this report.

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