The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, had told German newspaper Der Spiegel that “there could be shortages – for example of diesel, gasoline or kerosene, especially in Europe” during the summer holiday season as a result of oil embargoes imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation based in Paris, part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, that was founded in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.
But both the French government and oil industry professionals in France do not expect to see shortages and see no need to tap into the country’s three-month reserves.
“We do not foresee a shortage in France … of crude oil or diesel,” Olivier Gantois, president of Ufip Energies and Mobilities, which brings together the major oil groups in France, told AFP.
“Supplies are already organised. Fortunately, we are not waiting until July 3rd to wonder if we will have fuel for the service stations for the following weekend.”
The industry has had plenty of time to prepare for the recently declared EU bans on Russian crude oil and Russian refined products in six and eight months respectively, Francis Pousse, of professional automotive sector group Mobilians.
“The whole sector is looking for and finding other sources of supply since we’ve known for two months it was going to happen,” he said.
In total, 90 percent of Russian oil exports to the EU will be stopped by the end of the year, which gives countries time to find other supply lines.
On the price side, the cost of a litre of fuel remains high, and experts predict it will remain high for some time, but has fallen from the records of March, when it exceeded €2. A litre of diesel in France cost an average €1.8281 at the end of May.
Since April, the French government has been operating a rebate scheme for motorists, where 18c per litre of fuel is subsidised.
READ ALSO How France’s fuel rebate works
This will continue until at least July 31st, with an option to extend.