Diesel is in short supply in Europe. The situation is about to worsen as the biggest French refinery is shutting down.
Bloomberg reports Europe’s Diesel Woes Deepen as Strike Halts French Oil Refinery.
Total SA, France’s biggest refiner, is in the process of shutting its largest plant in the country, the 247,000-barrel-a-day Gonfreville facility in Normandy, due to a labor dispute, a spokeswoman for the company said on Tuesday. A few hundred miles away, in the Netherlands, retail fuel stations are running out of supplies because of shipping constraints on the Rhine, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Shell said Nov. 20 that it cut production at its Rheinland refining site, the biggest complex of its kind in Germany, due to low water levels on the Rhine. In a tweet on Tuesday, the company said that it was temporarily unable to supply some unmanned fuel stations in the Netherlands.
Gas stations in Germany had already been running dry due to the situation on the Rhine, a major petroleum product transportation corridor that runs northwest from the Swiss Alps all the way to the Netherlands. Switzerland released emergency fuel stockpiles because of the situation on the river.
The premium per barrel of diesel over Brent crude – another indicator of market strength – was at $15.96 on Tuesday, the highest for the time of year in six years.
Diesel Price Poised to Soar
This shutdown cannot possibly come at a worse time for French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron is already reeling over a protest of his diesel tax.
Diesel Tax Turns Violent
People from across France went to Paris to let the president know how they feel about the taxes in general and the tax on diesel. The [Diesel Tax Protests](Diesel Protests in France Turn Violent) then turned violent.
Expect more reactions when the price skyrockets.
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