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ARLINGTON, Va. — Servicemembers in South Korea and Guam will see a sharp increase in gas prices for September, while Japan and Okinawa will stay at bargain levels.

On Thursday in South Korea, Army and Air Force Exchange Service pumps will go up to $2.517 per gallon for unleaded fuel, from $2.324, according to Judd Anstey, a spokesman for the Dallas-based organization.

A gallon of premium fuel, meanwhile, will go from $2.528 to $2.710, while diesel will go from $2.427 to $2.539 per gallon.

On Guam, U.S. servicemembers will pay $2.549 per gallon for unleaded fuel in September, up from $2.369. Midgrade fuel will go from $2.459 to $2.639 per gallon, and premium will jump from $2.559 to $2.739.

By contrast, fuel prices in Japan and Okinawa will be relative bargains: Drivers there will shell out $2.03 for midgrade fuel, while diesel fuel will cost $2.05 — both unchanged from August.

AAFES bases its overseas fuel prices on a four-week average of costs across the United States, as tallied by the Department of Energy, “plus incremental costs unique to each country,” such as the price of shipping the fuel to the pumps, Anstey said in a Tuesday telephone interview.

Once posted, AAFES fuel prices are fixed for the entire month, Anstey said.

That means servicemembers overseas will not feel the immediate effects of any increase in gas prices that might hit U.S. consumers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, although “I would think in October that would be a concern,” Anstey said.

The storm forced the shutdown of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and damaged important port facilities and refineries on the Gulf Coast, particularly around New Orleans.

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