“When the holiday season starts in Europe and the United States, the demand for fuel will increase. Then there could be shortages: for example of diesel, gasoline or kerosene, especially in Europe,” Spiegel told the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol.
The world is in an unprecedented energy crisis since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major producer of hydrocarbons but also of refined petroleum products such as diesel.
The European Union has also just decided on a partial embargo on Russian crude oil within 6 months and refined products within 8 months. In total, 90% of Russian oil exports to the EU will be stopped by the end of the year.
“Europe does not only depend on deliveries of crude oil, but also on imports of petroleum products. And there, certain exporting countries like China are imposing initial export bans; they want to secure their own consumers”, warns Fatih Birol .
But French professionals do not share this alarmist vision. “We do not foresee a shortage in France, neither in crude oil nor in diesel”, reacts Olivier Gantois, president of Ufip Energies and Mobilities, which brings together the major oil groups in France.
“The supplies are already organized. Fortunately, we are not waiting for July 3 to wonder if we will have fuel for the service stations for the following weekend”, he underlines.
The actors had had time to prepare for an embargo which will only be implemented gradually, adds Francis Pousse, president of the service station and new energy branch of Mobilians, a professional organization in the automotive sector.
“The whole sector is looking for and finding other sources of supply since we have known for two months that this is going to happen”, he underlines, alluding to the long discussions of the Europeans before reaching to a compromise on a progressive embargo.
– The IEA “in its role” –
“Today, oil continues to be imported” from Russia, also recalled the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, on France Info.
“We are replacing over time, we are not intended to suddenly reduce our oil imports” but to “diversify” them, she underlined.
The Minister also recalled the existence of strategic storage of crude and finished products, which normally represent 29.5% of the volumes consumed in one year, i.e. more than three months.
The alert from the IEA, which brings together developed countries, does not surprise professionals. She “is in her role” and “sends messages to OPEC”, judges Mr. Gantois.
It thus regularly appeals to the cartel to ask it to increase its production volumes. A message which also seems to have been heard, since the producers announced Thursday a larger than expected opening of their valves this summer to try to curb the surge in prices.
Other good “surprises” could relax the market, also concedes Fatih Birol, such as an Iranian nuclear agreement or a slowdown in Chinese growth.
In terms of prices, the liter of fuel is evolving in France at a high level but still far from the records of March, when it exceeded 2 euros, thanks in particular to a rebate at the pump set up by the government.
The liter of diesel was worth an average of 1.8281 euro last week and that of super unleaded 95-E10 1.9293 euro. The second has thus become more expensive than the first, as is traditionally the case, under the effect of several factors, in particular the strong seasonal demand for unleaded in the United States.
For the future, it remains difficult to predict the evolution of prices in the coming weeks in a context made uncertain by the conflict in Ukraine. “My prediction, for what it is worth, is that prices will remain high or even continue to increase,” says Olivier Gantois.