France struggles with refinery strikes, but not planning petrol rationing

Content of the article

PARIS – More than a fifth of France’s gas stations were facing supply problems on Saturday, the energy ministry said, as strikes at refineries run by oil majors TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil continued to strain drivers’ nerves.

“The Government is doing everything possible to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible,” Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said in a statement.

Content of the article

The ministry said 20.7 percent of service stations were experiencing difficulties with at least one product as of 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Saturday, compared with 19 percent the previous day.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

“A solution to this conflict must be found as soon as possible”, added the minister, in statements addressed to the workers and employers on strike, echoing the statements of President Emmanuel Macron this Friday.

A walkout by CGT union members at TotalEnergies, mainly over pay, has disrupted operations at two refineries and two storage facilities, while two Exxon Mobil refineries have faced similar problems since Sept. 20 .

Environment Minister Christophe Bechu earlier told Franceinfo radio that the government would not ration petrol for drivers or restrict the use of petrol stations in response to supply problems caused by the strikes.

“We haven’t reached that point yet,” Bechu told franceinfo radio when asked if the government would impose any national measures beyond bans in some places on filling drums.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

“We ask for people’s calm and sense of responsibility,” the minister said, adding that he believed the situation would ease in the coming days as the government makes more use of its strategic reserves.


In some areas, mainly the northern region of Alts-de-France and Ile-de-France around Paris, the proportion of gas stations affected is much higher than the national average.

An interactive map produced by the website, where more than 100,000 users have reported outages in recent days according to its operator, shows that the vast majority of gas stations in and around Paris were out of service .

“The waiting line will take you at least an hour or two and a half,” said Jean Galibert, a real estate broker, as he entered the last stretch of a 700-meter tailback in front of a gas station in Paris on his scooter.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

“This situation right behind me reflects the state of France. We are struggling,” said Franck Chang, another customer.

The strikes have reduced total output at the French refinery by more than 60%, according to Reuters calculations.

“Nothing has progressed, the strikes have continued this morning,” a CGT representative told TotalEnergies.

He added that the union will make a fresh appeal on Saturday to TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne to start negotiations ahead of formal wage talks in November, and that the union has not given up on any of its demands.

A CGT representative at Exxon Mobil also said strikes at two of the US company’s two French refineries continued on Saturday morning and were likely to last into the weekend, with further talks with management planned Monday. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Caroline Pailliez; Additional reporting by Thomas Denis; Editing by Nick Macfie and David Holmes)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encouraging all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve enabled email notifications: You’ll now receive an email if you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update to a comment thread you’re following, or if a user you’re following comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *