Fuel Shortage: Renewed Strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, Derogations to Supply Gas Stations

Fuel Shortage: Renewed Strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, Derogations to Supply Gas Stations

Queue in front of a gas station, Friday October 7, in Lille.

The government is seeking solutions to fuel supply problems plaguing much of France, in particular due to strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil refineries. A decree published on Saturday October 8 in official diary Exceptionally, it authorizes hydrocarbon transport trucks of more than 7.5 tons, which are usually stopped on weekends, to circulate on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays to oil depots as well as to distribution points and final customers.

“The situation must continue to improve, since we have taken authorizations so that tankers can circulate this weekend” Y “that we have withdrawn from the strategic stock”said Christophe Béchu, Minister of Ecological Transition, on Franceinfo on Saturday.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Gasoline: Why Some Gas Stations Are Dry or Taken

Renewed strike at three refineries

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) announced on Saturday that the strike movements had been renewed. Three French refineries remain closed, according to the union: TotalEnergies’ largest refinery, in Normandy, as well as the two refineries of the US Esso-ExxonMobil, in Seine-Maritime and in Bouches-du-Rhône.

Another TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône) continues to produce, but shipments are blocked. The strikers have also mobilized in recent days at the Flanders fuel depot, near Dunkirk (north), in the “biorefinery” at La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône) and at the Grandpuits fuel depot (Seine-et-Marne), to reduce the output of petroleum products.

The CGT of the oil group asks for a salary increase of 10%, including 7% to compensate for the effects of inflation and 3% to “Share the Wealth”. The management recalls that it has already granted an average increase of 3.5% in 2022 and refers to the negotiations scheduled for November 15 for the salaries of 2023.

The government is pressing to end the conflict. “I call on the companies involved, which, for the most part, are still doing well, to also consider requests for salary increases”Olivia Grégoire said on Friday, without mentioning TotalEnergies by name and its $10.6 billion first-half profit.

A fifth of the stations in “difficulty” on Friday

Striker lockouts lead to lower fuel deliveries, so gas stations run out of stock of gasoline or diesel more often. TotalEnergies manages almost a third of the French stations.

The situation particularly affects northern France and the Paris region. friday noon, “19% of service stations” in France “experienced difficulties with at least one product”according to the Ministry of Energy Transition, which referred to “in Ile-de-France a stable situation in 25% of the stations that have a problem with at least one product”. In Pas-de-Calais, 42% of stations were affected on Friday, and 43% in the North, according to the Minister for Energy Transition.

The government is ruling out the prospect of restrictions on the pump for the time being: “We are not there, apart from the bans on filling drums or cans, especially in the north of France, where we have the most tense situation”Mr. Bechu said on Saturday.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Gasoline: Why Some Gas Stations Are Dry or Taken

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