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.


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French fuel crisis to ease as unions set to call off strike action

The strike by French fuel tanker drivers is set to end Thursday with unions promising petrol stocks will be replenished at filling stations throughout the day.

French fuel crisis to ease as unions set to call off strike action
Photo: AFP
The announcement will be good news for anyone planning a road trip for the Pentecost bank holiday weekend in France. 
After a meeting at the ministry for transport on Wednesday, the hardline CGT union that had called the strike last Friday, announced that the situation should return to normal on Thursday, in other words tankers will start delivering the necessary fuel supplies to petrol stations.
“The recovery should be effective. In principal the situation will return to normal today,” spokesperson for CGT Transport, Fabrice Michaud, said. 
At the end of talks at the ministry for transport on Wednesday evening, the CGT said significant progress had been made, highlighting a timetable for discussions.  
The strike action which began last Friday was led by tanker drivers responsible for delivering dangerous chemicals including fuel, gas and chemical products.
The hardline CGT union had been demanding bosses open talks over wages and working conditions and have threatened to do what it takes to get them around the negotiating table.
They blockaded some fuel depots around the country and at others in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France they are controlling how many fuel tankers can leave.
By Wednesday the strike action was beginning to bite with some 1,000 petrol stations around France either running low or completely out of fuel.
Most of the petrol stations hit by strike action were in the Paris region where 70 percent were either out of petrol or running low.
The shortages had impacted on tourists as well as locals.
Worried motorists from Britain contacted The Local fearing they were about to get stranded.
“We crossed to France this afternoon and have arrived at our first stop in Beauvais for the night,” said the concerned driver. “I went to the supermarket to fill up and found there was no diesel. I only have enough for 50 km. If i don't find a station then what? Do I call  the fire station?”
Other readers in Paris reported how they simply had to leave their vehicles at home and take public transport and failing to find fuel.
This interactive below claims to show which fuel stations have been affected by shortages with the yellow icons showing those that are running low and orange signs for those that have run out.
The map is based on users sending in information.