Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more

THE DEBATE

A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more

FOCUS

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more

FASHION

Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more

ENCORE!

Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

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)