Strikes knock already struggling French refined products sector

(Reuters) - More than 60% of France's refining capacity is offline as strikes over pay and unplanned maintenance pile pressure on the refined products sector.

The outages come as Europe looks to ease its dependence on Russian fuel.

Here are the oil companies and sites affected by strike action and outages:


French unions CGT and Force Ouvriere called for a strike on Sept. 20 following wage negotiations with Exxon Mobil Corp related to rising inflation in Europe.

Strike action continued for the 11th day on Sept. 30 after failed wage talks.

"We have temporarily put limitations in place for customers in accordance with the terms of our supply contracts. We have a supply response team in place to supply product from unaffected sources," the spokesperson said."


Exxon began gradually closing the 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery on Sept. 20, a process completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.


Exxon began closing the NGD petrochemical site on Sept. 20 as a result of strike action and completed the shutdown on the weekend of Sept. 24.


Strike action spread to Exxon’s 140,000 bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refinery on Sept. 21, leading to a gradual shutdown of the plant, which was completed on the weekend of Sept. 24.


Workers at Exxon’s Toulouse depot joined the strike on Sept. 22 but Exxon said that operations at its terminals have not been impacted.


Strikes over pay disrupted TotalEnergies SE's oil products refining and delivery for a fourth day on Friday, with four of its French plants hit by continuing industrial action by workers.

A TotalEnergies spokesperson said there is no impending fuel shortage due to the strikes as the company has built up stocks and is importing regularly.

"The objective of the strike is not disruption, but to obtain a negotiation on wage measures compensating for inflation," CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne told Reuters.

It is possible the strikes will continue past Friday, he added.

France's largest sugar maker Tereos on Thursday said it had to slow output slightly at some factories and TotalEnergies had said the strikes would prevent it from supplying diesel fuel until the end of the week.


TotalEnergies is temporarily halting production at its 240,000 bpd Gonfreville refinery, the company said on Wednesday.

Deliveries at Gonfreville have stopped and it is still in the process of being shut down, said Defresne.


Deliveries at the 240,000 bpd Gonfreville refinery in Normandy have stopped and it is being shut down, Defresne said.

TotalEnergies and trade union CGT said that strikes were also underway at the La Mede, Feyzin and Flanders refineries.


TotalEnergies' 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery in southern France was taken offline on Sept. 16 after a leak at the fluid catalytic cracking unit.

The refinery is likely to remain closed for four to six weeks from that date, CGT's Defresne said.


Product transport from the Cote d’Opale fuel storage depots near Dunkirk has been halted since Sept. 27, Defresne said. (Reporting by Rowena Edwards in London and Forrest Crellin in Paris; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jonathan Oatis )

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