Fuel For Members

MAP: Where in France are blockades causing fuel shortages?

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected] • 23 Mar, 2023 Updated Thu 23 Mar 2023 09:16 CEST
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Petrol nose units in Brittany, France (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

Striking workers are blockading French oil refineries with the intention of stopping deliveries of petrol/gasoline and diesel to filling stations - here's what impact the blockades are having on fuel supplies.


France is in the grip of ongoing strike action as unions battle the government over pension reform. Among the workers on strike are employees at oil refineries owned by TotalEnergies.

Their stated aim is to prevent supplies of fuel getting out, with workers also staging blockades at refineries across France.

On Thursday, strike action had continued at several of France's oil refineries. As of Tuesday, in the three TotalEnergies refineries, about 36 percent of workers were reported to be striking, according to Le Parisien.


According to Franceinfo, approximately 17.9 percent of French service stations were reporting some shortages as of Thursday, with 8.8 percent completely out of fuel.

A representative for the CGT union representing oil refinery workers warned Franceinfo on Thursday that "fuel shortages will intensify" in the coming days, as refineries and fuel depots remain blocked.

The effects have been heavily concentrated in certain areas, namely in the west and in the south of the country.

Specifically, the départements of Loire-Atlantique and Ille-et-Villaine in the west reported that at least half of their service stations were experiencing shortages on Thursday, and to the south in the Gard, Vaucluse and Bouches-du-Rhône départements over half of stations had a shortage of at least one type of fuel.

In both Bouches-du-Rhône 65.5 percent of stations were out of at least one type of fuel, and in Loire-Atlantique 61.6 percent reported shortages.

In contrast, départements in south-west and eastern France were less affected by fuel shortages as of Thursday. The Landes département in the south-west did not report any stations with shortages, and neither did the Meuse département in the north-east.

The French government began targeted requisitions on Tuesday - forcing some striking workers back to work - at a fuel depot located in Fos-sur-Mer, which provides fuel for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, the eastern part of Occitania, and some parts of Lyon. As a result, certain employees had to fill trucks so they could make deliveries to service stations. 

Local authorities in Bouches-du-Rhône also issued an order prohibiting the sale of fuel "in jerry cans" due to low fuel supplies.

The Vaucluse préfecture announced on Monday that it was limiting fuel sales "due to supply difficulties at service stations", specifying that purchases would be limited to 30 litres for private individuals, excluding public service missions, and to 120 litres for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. These restrictions were set to apply until Thursday March 23rd inclusive.

Shortages of petrol (gasoline) are less marked than diesel, but the overall pattern is the same with the south-east and western areas the most affected.

The French government has created an interactive map showing the price of fuel at filling stations around France, which can also be used to see which stations are reporting shortages.

The map allows you to search by town, département or postcode for the nearest filling stations to you - you can find the interactive version here.




The Local France 2023/03/23 09:16

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juncit 2023/03/09 21:09
The Local comes in many languages, so I suppose one should be sympathetic to maladroit English usage. 'Impact' is not a substitute for affect or effect. It is not proper English and makes the sentence almost meaningless and repetitive. 'Impact' should be reserved for exceptional or catastrophic events or crashes; effects seldom are that serious. The strikes are not (in France) exceptional, nor are the effects catastrophic - yet. Impact, used where effect is more appropriate is now very common, and largely due to poor education and confusion over knowing how to use 'affect' and 'effect', or, I'm sad to say journalists seeking sensationalism. For a useful explanation why not consult the American dictionary where they say "What to Know:- Affect is usually a verb meaning "to produce an effect upon," as in "the weather affected his mood." Effect is usually a noun meaning "a change that results when something is done or happens," as in "computers have had a huge effect on our lives." There are exceptions, but if you think of affect as a verb and effect as a noun, you’ll be right most of the time.

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