Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank

Read more

FOCUS

Scottish referendum: Should I stay or should I go?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Paris conference: A coalition against the Islamic State group

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Spies, doppelgangers and gay rights activists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Salmond's 'emotional eve-of poll plea to Scots to seize their historic opportunity'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Nick Witney, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Valls is starting to act like Hollande'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Wikileaks releases 'weaponized malware' customer list

Read more

France

Petrol firms ask for emergency supplies to avert shortages

Video by Louise Hannah

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)