LATEST: Where in France the petrol shortage is biting

The fuel crisis in France shows no sign of easing on Wednesday with most of the country now affected by shortages. Here's a look around the country at what's going on.

LATEST: Where in France the petrol shortage is biting
Photo: Essence

When the blockades and strikes at refineries and depots began to take hold on Friday, there were only 300 petrol stations throughout the country that reported shortages.

But by Wednesday that number had jumped to 4,026, according to Pierre Auclair, the co-founder of the app “Essence” (petrol). The maps from his app have been widely used to show where in France the shortages are worse (see below).

“It’s very complicated in the west, and it’s worsening in the Paris region and all of the Rhône valley down to the Mediterranean,” said Auclair.

Petrol rationing has been imposed across much of northern France and many motorists were crossing the border to fill up in Belgium.

See an interactive version of the map above here, via Le Figaro newspaper.

Local authority chiefs in the Var département of southern France also imposed a €20 limit on the amount of fuel customers could buy from petrol stations.

The limit was set at €15 for diesel.

For heavy duty vehicles, the limit has been set at €100 of diesel. Meanwhile the distribution of fuel in portable containers, including jerrycans and tanks, is forbidden.

Other départements around France have imposed limits on the amount of fuel drivers can purchase.

In L’Ille-et-Vilaine, Eure-et-Loire, Côtes d’Armor, Loiret, Finistere, Orne and Loire-Atlantique have all imposed caps of 20 litres on most vehicles.

The practice of filling jerrycans with petrol is also banned in these départements.

In the Vendée there has been a maximum spend imposed on petrol of €30 and €20 for diesel. American Adrienne Mowery says the situation is “pretty bad” in Nantes, north western France. 

“I haven't been too affected personally as I only drive a few days a week and was lucky to fill up last week, but others are not so fortunate. When there is a station open, the lines are crazy.”
She added that there were “silver linings” as a result of the shortage, as there was no traffic during rush hour on the city's ring road “for the first time ever”. 
Another expat, Jeff Fountain, said all stations were closed in the Vaucluse and Bouche du Rhone area. 
“They open in the morning but everyone is still in a panic and rushes to fill up and they are dry again before noon,” he said.

Seven service stations in Var have also been reserved for emergency and law enforcement vehicles.

Those stations are the Total station on the A8 in in Brignoles, the Carrefour station in Draguignan, the Intermarché station in Ollioules, the Total station on the A57 in La Garde, the Total station in the Saint-Esprit area in Rians, the Total station on the Boulevard Jean Moulin in Sainte-Maxime and the Esso station on the Boulevard du General Brosset.

In the northern département of Pas-de-Calais they have also temporarily commandeered 11 service stations today for the refueling of priority vehicles.

This includes all vehicles related to public order, defense and security, transporting the wounded or sick, related to hospital practice, associated with emergency interventions for example road repairs, school buses and taxis.

On Saturday, it will be the turn of Nord département to reserve 11 service stations for the needs of emergency services.

Other areas like the centre and east of the country were spared the worst of the shortages.



Please send us in your own stories of the situation in your part of the country. Tell us how hard or indeed how easy it has been to get fuel.

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Drivers in France warned of steep hike in petrol prices

Motorists in France were warned on Monday that the price of petrol at the pump will rise steeply in the coming days and weeks. And there could be more bad news ahead.

Drivers in France warned of steep hike in petrol prices
Photo: AFP

Oil prices are expected to surge after the drone attacks on the Saudi oil instillations over the weekend.

The attack, which prompted the US president Donald Trump to warn that the US was “locked and loaded” and ready to respond, will push up the price of petrol at the pumps in France according to industry leaders.

The French Union of Petroleum Industries told AFP that the hike in oil prices will see petrol rise by 5 centimes a litre in the coming days and weeks.

“We can expect a quick rise of around 4 to 5 centimes,” said the union's leader Francis Duseux.

“Five centimes is a considerable rise, and that's without considering that it might rise even further, which is the most worrying thing for French people,” he said.

The drone attack has reportedly resulted in a 6 percent drop in global oil production.

Petroleum industry chiefs say France is at least safe from suffering a rupture in supplies given that by law it has to have three months worth of reserve fuel stocks.

“In the case that the supply of crude oil becomes a little more difficult, I don't think it would be a problem tenable French drivers to fill their tanks at service stations,” said Duseux.