Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'We sell dreams, passion,' says French Open's Guy Forget

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or is it just a misunderstanding?

Read more

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

France

Petrol firms ask for emergency supplies to avert shortages

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-15

French petroleum distributors asked the government on Thursday to release emergency fuel stocks as continuing strikes over pension reform plans shut down 70 percent of the country's oil refining capacity.

AFP - France's petroleum distributors on Thursday urged the government to release emergency stocks from the strategic reserve to avert shortages due to a strike blocking most of the country's oil refineries.
  
It also called for measures to dislodge the protestors who are blocking fuel depots as part of ongoing action against President Nicolas Sarkozy's bid to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
  
"On average, we each have around 10 days of supplies in our depots," said Jean-Louis Schilansky, head of the suppliers' federation. "We ask permission to dip into the reserve stocks available to distributors, to support customers beyond these 10 days."
  
France has 17 million tonnes of refined fuel products and crude oil in its strategic reserve, the equivalent of 98.5 days of normal consumption.
  
Most of this stock is held in storage by a national committee, but around five million tonnes is already with private distributors, monitored and not normally allowed to be put on the market.
  
France is in the grip of a series of strikes by workers protesting plans to raise the minimum pension age, and 11 of its 12 mainland refineries are either shut or severely disrupted.
  
Schilansky also asked for the state to "unblock the depots which protestors are preventing from working."
  
The government has tried to play down fears of fuel shortages, insisting that France has enough fuel on hand to see out the action, but panic buying has broken out in some areas, putting a strain on supplies.

Date created : 2010-10-14

  • FRANCE

    Unions call for new protests Oct. 19 as strikes continue for third day

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strikes shut down 70 percent of oil refining capacity

    Read more

COMMENT(S)