Gas prices surge at overseas bases in wake of Hurricane Harvey
By LEON COOK AND STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 8, 2017
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Fuel prices at overseas bases are surging in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s damage to Gulf Coast oil facilities.
In the Pacific, gasoline prices at Army and Air Force Exchange Service outlets will go up Saturday by an average of 28 cents per gallon, with diesel increasing by an average of 15 cents per gallon. In Europe, costs will jump by as much as 29 cents per gallon.
“The Exchange policy is to set prices based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s weekly average for each grade of gasoline in the continental U.S.,” AAFES spokesman Chris Ward told Stars and Stripes in an email Thursday.
Hurricane Harvey — a category-4 storm that reached peak intensity before making landfall in southern Texas on Aug. 25 — caused refineries to close temporarily along parts of the Gulf Coast, said Patrick Dehaan, a senior petroleum analyst for the fuel price-tracking site GasBuddy. Although oil prices were unaffected, refined fuel production slowed and gas prices increased.
“That increase is crazy,” Senior Airman Asmerjohn Diwa, a 374th Medical Group technician, said as he filled up his vehicle Friday at Yokota Air Base, Japan. He paid $2.939 per gallon for gas that would cost $3.229 per gallon the following day.
Hurricane Irma, a category-5 storm that’s on track to make landfall in Florida over the weekend, is also likely to cause fuel prices to jump as hundreds of thousands seek to evacuate, Dehaan told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday. However, the storm shouldn’t cause a nationwide cost spike like Harvey since no refineries are threatened, he added.