Fuel shortage: “The weekend will be tense”, warns Olivier Véran, situation update

15% of service stations currently suffer from fuel shortages. Update on the situation.

Around 10% of service stations in Île-de-France are experiencing supply difficulties, government spokesman Olivier Véran said on Friday morning, October 7, as the strike at several French refineries entered its 11th day.

The at least occasional shortage of gasoline, which had started in the Hauts-de-France region in the north of the country, has spread in recent days and now affects 15% of service stations nationwide, Olivier said. They will see in BFM. TV and RMC information.

The government spokesman acknowledged that “the weekend will be tense” since the CGT union has promised to continue with the strike that paralyzes several refineries, including the two largest in the country, operated by TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, as long as their demands are not met. wage claims. have been heard.

A strike called to “anchor in the long term”

In particular, the CGT is calling for 10% wage increases for TotalEnergies employees to take into account inflation and rising cost of living as the French energy group is posting record profits. A union spokesman, Thierry Defresne, told Reuters on Friday that the situation had not changed at the striking TotalEnergies refiners.

The social movement, called to “anchor itself in the long term”, according to the CGT, reduces France’s refining capacity by 60%, or 740,000 barrels of oil per day, forcing the Government to resort to its “strategic stocks” or to import gasoline.

For the president of the Système U stores, Dominique Schelcher, who denounces supply difficulties, the government underestimates the fuel shortage. “I am a little surprised by the figure of 15% of stations without stock. For me, this figure, at this moment, is underestimated.”he said on franceinfo.

He specifies that this Friday it was impossible to order fuel for the north, east and south of France for this weekend. He adds that the situation is getting complicated “hour by hour” and asks the Government to divert more of its strategic stock reserves to improve the situation. Olivier Véran repeated on Friday that France is not facing a fuel shortage, but “temporary distribution difficulties”.

“This shortage is accentuated by motorists who fear they will not have gasoline,” lamented the government spokesman, calling once again not to panic. “There is concern and several of our compatriots are going to the stations with their drums,” he said.

“Spiral of Drawbacks”

The use of jerrycans has already been banned in Hauts-de-France, where the influx of drivers from Belgium to take advantage of cheaper gasoline than at home has compounded the difficulties.

Tensions over supply are also accentuated by the bonus granted by TotalEnergies, which caused an avalanche at the group’s service stations, underlines Olivier Véran. The government spokesman ruled out requisitioning the refineries, as suggested by the president of the Hauts-de-France region, Xavier Bertrand, promising instead to draw more of the country’s strategic stockpiles if the situation requires it.

“Let’s take care that this social movement finds a quick solution, so as not to trigger a spiral of very embarrassing inconveniences,” he assured, however.

A spokesman for the French Union of Petroleum Industries (Ufip) told Reuters that as long as the problem remains logistical, France’s strategic reserves will not be affected, thanks to an effect of communicating vessels between the regions that have a specific need for oil. gasoline and those that have a surplus. Strategic stocks guarantee France three months of fuel consumption in advance.

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