According to an AFP count, around 6% of French service stations are currently experiencing shortages of petrol or diesel due to the strike in some refineries to protest against the pension reform.
Nearly 6% of service stations in France ran out of petrol or diesel on March 8, according to public data analyzed by AFP, the oil sector questioning the concern of motorists who would increase their precautionary fill-ups due to refinery strikes.
The West is more affected than the national average, with around a quarter of the stations of Sarthe, Indre-et-Loire and Calvados lacking either petrol or diesel. This analysis is based on station feedback available on the prix-carburants.gouv.fr website.
No more fuel leaves the French refineries, on strike, but there are 200 depots in France which continue to supply the stations. “As of today, there is plenty of fuel on the national territory” and “the service stations continue to be delivered normally”, indicates to AFP Francis Pousse, president of the professional union Mobilians representing 5 800 stations out of the approximately 1,000 in France. Even if one of the 200 depots is blocked, “we have enough agility to get fuel elsewhere even if it takes longer”, he added, while saying he was unable to decide for the rest: “Everything will depend on whether the strike continues or not, whether it intensifies or not.”
Ile-de-France, Normandy and Pays de la Loire in tension
According to its own figures, the stations with at least one tank empty are “less than 5%” and this shortage of stock is due exclusively to a “runaway” of motorists who have multiplied their precautionary fill-ups since March 3 and “caused oversales of 10 to 30%”. “Some stations had anticipated by stockpiling before the crisis. But in some outlets, we had sales increases of 50%. So, inevitably, there is a given moment when there is a break because we do not put as many trucks as we want on the road to re-deliver the stations, ”he explains.
These figures remain far from the more than 40% of stations running out of fuel observed on average national at the height of the strike of the refineries at TotalEnergies and Esso-ExxonMobil in October, with shortages which were even more serious in certain regions.
“We don’t have any particular concerns, except for logistical difficulties”, also believes Francis Plan, whose FF3C federation represents a thousand independent stations. “The flow of sales is higher than normal due to concerns,” he said. The rush to the pumps was reinforced by the operation of the Leclerc brand offering fuel at cost price and whose stations were “very busy during the weekend”, according to him.
The lack of fuel in the stations he represents is very marked in three regions: “Ile-de-France, Normandy and Pays de la Loire where 15% of the stations lacked product on Tuesday evening (March 7)”, he concludes. .