Driving in France turns chaotic as strike pulverizes petrol supply

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Reports suggest many of the around 3,500 fuel stations of TotalEnergies affected as workers demand better pay.

By :
HT Auto Desk

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Updated on:
07 Oct 2022, 14:35 PM

Car drivers queue to fill their fuel tanks at gasoline pumps at Auchan gas station in Petite-Foret, France. (REUTERS)
Car drivers queue to fill their fuel tanks at gasoline pumps at Auchan gas station in Petite-Foret, France. (REUTERS)

A massive strike called by many workers employed by TotalEnergies has thrown daily lives out of gear across France with supply of automotive fuel severely affected. As per an AFP report, fuel deliveries schedules have halved since the strike was called over pay-related issues towards the end of September.

The strike has entered its 12th day with supply of petrol either reducing significantly or even stopping entirely at most of the around 3,500 fuel stations operated by TotalEnergies in France. This has prompted the country’s government to release fuel from strategic reserves to help meet the shortage. Agnes Pannier-Runacher, the French Minister for Energy Transition, further said that more supplies were coming in from Belgium and other neighbouring countries.

Runacher has further highlighted that the strike has affected around 15 per cent of fuel stations in the country and that the situation will improve over the weekend. But others predict that the supply-related issues will continue as workers of TotalEnergies are determined in their demand for better pay to counter inflation. The issue isn’t as much about fuel stations running dry – which they have in some areas – as this can be offset by reserve supplies being released. The larger problem is at the refineries where work has slowed down to a trickle.

Then there is the larger problem facing most of western Europe on how to replace fuel which was otherwise sourced from Russia. The Russia-Ukraine was has resulted in a deep impact on supplies from Moscow and with winter beckoning, it could have a deeper impact still.

First Published Date: 07 Oct 2022, 14:35 PM IST

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