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Europe gripped in fuel drought, Paris riots over CO2 tax, prices soar

2019-01-04

PARIS has erupted in mass rioting over fuel shortages and new carbon taxes as Germany's industrial southwest and Switzerland faces lack of supply as freezing temperatures heightens demand.

Real Clear Markets also reports that global average temperatures fell 0.56C from February 2016 to February 2018, the biggest two-year drop in 100 years, according to US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) data.

Britain too is bracing for its coldest winter in eight years with temperatures falling to -5C in Inverness and -6.7C in Oxfordshire, reports the Daily Mail.

With little relief in sight, the German government is seeking to loosen rules on fuel transports by road to prevent shortages, reported Bloomberg.

"Some petrol stations are empty," said Herbert Rabl, a spokesman for Tankstellen-Interessenverband, an association representing German fuel station operators. "The problem is the logistics, and it is quite big."

Said a provincial Baden-Wuerttemberg spokesman: "It's not that the oil isn't there - it's a logistics problem."

In normal market conditions, upwards of 100,000 tons a week of diesel-like fuels flow up the Rhine from Rotterdam. Gasoline also moves in the opposite direction when the waterway is functioning without restrictions. 

Because of the drought, water levels in the Rhine basin, which have been well-below average since July, will continue to fall or remain unchanged with little significant rainfall forecast in the next few days.

The situation in Switzerland, which relies on Europe's busiest waterway for two-thirds of its diesel and a quarter of its petrol, has become "tense," according to the nation's EV-UP oil federation.