One service station out of two in Val-de-Marne lacked Thursday morning at least one type of fuel (gasoline and / or diesel). In Essonne, they were 42.3% in this case and in Paris 32.7%.

The situation is also tense in some departments of the West, such as Loire-Atlantique, or the Southeast, such as Bouches-du-Rhône, where in both cases, more than 30% of resorts are out of at least one product and more than 20% of resorts are even completely dry, according to government data.

At the national level, 11.2% of petrol stations are lacking at least one product, a figure down from Tuesday (15.5%).

Fuel shortage in metropolitan © France / AFP

Two out of six conventional refineries are currently operating in France. Those at a standstill, however, can ship their stocks intermittently, depending on the strikes.

Regarding the Ile-de-France, the two Norman refineries strategic for its supply have stopped their production for several days, that of Esso-ExxonMobil in Port-Jérôme-Gravenchon (Seine-Maritime) and the neighboring TotalEnergies site of Gonfreville-L'Orcher, but their stocks of fuels are full.

The Gonfreville refinery renewed its movement Thursday for four days, the CGT told AFP.

The Port-Jérôme refinery had done the same the day before, until the next national day of mobilization on April 6, but the unions agreed to release a "small volume" of fuel, told AFP Christophe Aubert, delegate CGT Esso-ExxonMobil.

Unlocking strategic repositories

Some 43 million liters of fuel were shipped Thursday morning, according to management, giving the opportunity to a million motorists to refuel.

In the most affected regions, "it means more waiting at service stations," acknowledged on Sud Radio the Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher who evoked "supply difficulties".

Many refineries still block their shipments: in addition to the Normandy refineries, that of TotalEnergies in Donges (Loire-Atlantique), or, further south, the PetroIneos refinery in Lavéra (Bouches-du-Rhône), but shipments take place sporadically to the nearby Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Fos-sur-Mer. They have also resumed in recent days at the TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône), as well as at the TotalEnergies fuel depot in Flanders, Tuesday evening.

The latter could also help ease the situation in Ile-de-France, according to a union source.

When depots are blocked, not by strikers but by external demonstrators, the authorities do not hesitate to "release the blockades", and in case of stoppage by strikers, to proceed with requisitions, recalled Ms. Pannier-Runacher.

The latest operation to date, the unblocking Wednesday evening by the gendarmes of the SFDM oil depot, located 2 km from the TotalEnergies refinery in Donges (Loire-Atlantique), where the access of tanker trucks was stopped since Tuesday morning, before the taking of requisitions since Thursday 13:00, at the rate of "one person per quarter", told AFP the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique.

"Less than five" oil depots out of the 200 in the France were blocked Wednesday night, according to Ufip, the union of oil companies.

Regarding air traffic, kerosene shipments have partially resumed at the oil depot of Le Havre, which serves Paris airports, for ten hours of pumping per day, or five hours per 12-hour shift, according to the CGT.


© 2023 AFP