France has tapped into its emergency oil reserves as refinery blockades and panic buying has hit fuel supplies hard.
The government says it has dipped into its 30-day reserve stock held by the industry, but is yet to touch the 60-day strategic fuel reserve it holds for emergencies.
Thousands of petrol stations across France are running low after a week long strike at refineries, picketing at fuel depots and an unrelated oil port strike.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillion is determined that supplies will be maintained:
“The government will continue to unblock the fuel depots that are picketed by demonstrators and we will implement a plan to supply fuel to petrol stations.”
Some French motorists in the north of the country are popping over the border into Belgium to purchase petrol as the pumps in France run dry.
The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy claims that fuel supplies will be back to normal within a week.