Closed gas stations and endless queues: when will the fuel shortage end in France?

Closed gas stations and endless lines: when will the end of the period be over? fuel shortage in France?


French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday promised a return to normal “during the coming week” in the face of major fuel shortages affecting the whole of France due to a strike movement in several oil groups. 

These shortages have “nothing to do with the war, nothing, they are social conflicts in two companies, which are Exxon and Total (TotalEnergies), which have made significant profits because the context is good (.. .), who have distributed a lot to their shareholders and who have an ongoing negotiation”, underlined the Head of State, launching “a call for responsibility” to the leaders of these companies and their unions.

At TotalEnergies, “negotiations have finally begun,” rejoiced Mr. Macron, adding that he wanted “that in the next few hours, they can find an agreement, because it is first by agreement and the social dialogue that we must succeed”.

In addition to fuel depots, six of the seven refineries in France were on strike on Wednesday, two from Esso-ExxonMobil and four from the TotalEnergies group, to demand wage increases, against a backdrop of oil groups' superprofits with the surge in price increases. linked to the war in Ukraine.

This strike movement, which has already been going on for two weeks, has caused supply difficulties in a third of French service stations. 

And from north to south of France, the same scenes are repeated: closed gas stations, endless queues, rising prices and the morale of motorists at half mast.

The government Frenchman carried out his threat: faced with the strikers determined to continue their strike for wages, he launched a first requisition to unblock an Esso-ExxonMobil fuel depot, in the north-west of the country.

Four ExxonMobil employees were requisitioned to allow the operation of the Normandy fuel depot in Port-Jérôme (north-west), two for Wednesday and two for Thursday morning, the government explained.

The few strikers essential to unblocking the fuel from the tanks will thus be forced to come to work, under pain of criminal sanctions, unless a court decides in favor of the unions.

Despite this threat brandished for the first times the day before by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the strikers decided early Wednesday morning to continue their movement, prolonging the fuel shortages for the time being.