By KONSTANTIN ROZHNOV and MORGANE LAPEYRE
Workers at three out of five French refineries operated by
Total, the nations biggest oil company, voted to halt
production amid industrial dispute over pay increase, a union
The Feyzin refinery
was in the process of
shutting units after a vote yesterday, Christian Votte, a CGT
union representative, said Tuesday by phone. Operations at La
Mede have already stopped, while the Gonfreville site is
still in the process of halting production, he said.
Officials for Paris- based Total werent immediately
available for comment after being contacted by phone and
If shutdowns at these French refineries do go ahead --
it would take a couple more days for output to be halted
completely -- it couldpotentially provide regional margins
with a boost, Vienna-based researcher JBC Energy GmbH
said in an e-mailed report. The issue has the potential
to see more than 600,000 bpd of the countrys refining
Totals five refineries in France, including the Donges
and Granpuits facilities
, have a capacity to
process about 800,000 bpd of crude, or 60% of the
nations output, according to data compiled by
. Demand for oil products in France
averaged 1.76 million bpd in the third quarter, according to
data from the International Energy Agency published on Dec.
Industrial action over pay started at the refineries on Dec.
13, the day when salary negotiations began with Total,
according to CGT. The CFDT and CGC-CFE unions agreed to a pay
deal with the company yesterday, while CGT didnt sign
it, according to union officials. Acceptance of the accord by
two unions was sufficient for any agreement to be
deemed valid, JBC said.
Separately, the Donges refinery
, where workers voted
yesterday to end strike, was operating at a very low rate
because of a technical incident, CGTs Votte
Total bought three barges of diesel yesterday totaling 8,500
metric tons for delivery in the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp
oil-hub via the Platts pricing window, according to a survey
of traders and brokers.