On Wednesday 20th October, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, ordered riot police to clear all barricades at French ports and fuel depots. France’s largest oil port has been blockaded for over 24 days and import numbers of refined oil products are at a record high.
Facts and figures
On Wednesday of this week the French government announced that approximately a quarter of France’s 12 000 service stations were out of fuel.
It has been reported by trade unions that over 3.5 million people have played an active part in the protests and strikes however; official figures suggest only 1 million.
All five of Total’s refineries are halted. One ExxonMobil refinery is running on minimum supplies, the other is in the process of being shutdown. The Ineos refinery is running at reduced production rates. Two Petroplus refineries are in the process of being shutdown and the other is running at reduced rates. LyondellBasell are in the process of shutting down operations at its refinery.
Between Friday 15th and Wednesday 20th October riot police had managed to clear protesters’ and blockades from 21 oil depots. However, since then a barricade has been reconstructed at Donges.
On Friday 22nd October, riot police managed to regain control of Total’s Grandpuits refinery after a 10 day blockade at the facility.