when can refinery blockages trigger a shortage?

Margaux Fodere

On this sixth day of mobilization against the pension reform, no more fuel leaves French refineries, announced this Tuesday morning the CGT-Chemistry. Should the French fear a new fuel shortage in service stations in the coming days?

Fuel shipments were blocked Tuesday morning at the exit of “all refineries” in France (TotalEnergies, Esso-ExxonMobil and Petroineos), said the CGT-Chemistry union. There are seven refineries in France. If these blockages continue, they could lead to the shutdown of refineries, which would no longer have room to store the fuel produced on site, and to shortages at the stations as last October. Should we expect the same scenario in the coming days?

State stocks may be mobilized in the event of tension

Admittedly, the refineries are blocked, but not the 200 depots from which the delivery trucks leave. Gas stations are therefore always supplied with fuel. Distributors, in anticipation of the movement, filled their stocks to the maximum. On average, there will be enough to last a month. Alongside these commercial reserves, state stocks, i.e. three months of strategic stocks, can be mobilized in the event of tension, as was the case last fall.

In the coming days, it is above all panic movements that could deteriorate the situation, as in October. Do not change your habits, do not refuel if you do not need it. This is what happened this weekend: fuel sales were up 10 to 30% compared to the average.