One in ten French petrol stations running low as refinery strike continues

© AFP/Nicolas Tucat

More than one petrol station in ten was out of all or part of its fuel in France on Thursday, as workers at TotalEnergies continued their strike at the oil giant's refineries.

The strike, which began last Tuesday, was ongoing on Thursday morning, Eric Sellini, CGT union coordinator for the group, told France Info.

According to him, four of the five refineries operated by Total were still shut down.

'No fuel shortage'

Government spokesman Olivier Véran said on Wednesday that there was "no fuel shortage" at petrol stations, but that "temporary tensions" were affecting some supplies.

About 12 percent of stations in France are experiencing "difficulties with at least one type of fuel" at the pump, with situations varying from one region to another, Véran said.

Hauts-de-France, the northernmost French region, is reportedly the worst affected with about 30 percent of its petrol stations struggling to maintain full supplies.

Northern regions most affected

Many fuel stations of various brands were empty on Wednesday in the north of France and several others were flooded with drivers stocking up.

Police in the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Somme departments prohibited the sale and purchase of fuel in jerry cans. They also asked the operators of some stations to set up priority access" for medical transport, doctors and nurses.

In the centre of the northern city of Lille, several TotalEnergies stations were closed for lack of fuel and at an Esso station in the city centre, an hour's wait was needed to fill up. On the A1 motorway, a queue at a petrol station spilled over onto the highway.

(with wires)

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