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French refineries struggle to operate as strike continues

October 18/2010

LONDON (ICIS) -- French unions continued to strike on Monday, forcing the country’s refineries to shut production altogether or operate at minimum levels as the government sought to reassure the public that there was no threat of an imminent fuel shortage.

French oil major Total confirmed that it’s operating refineries in Donges, La Mede, Grandpuits, Feyzin and have all now completely stopped output after striking workers and crude supply issues, caused by protests at the Fos-Lavera oil port, forced the group to begin production shutdowns last week.


ExxonMobil’s merged refinery at Port Jerome-Gravenchon and its plant at Fos-sur-Mer were also still both on strike, company spokesperson Catherine Brun confirmed. Product supplies from ExxonMobil’s refinery at Fos-sur-Mer continued to be blocked and the facility was still running at minimum throughput levels, Brun added.


LyondellBasell’s refinery at Berre L'Etang and Petroplus’s refineries at Petit Couronne and Reichstett were also forced to begin a production shutdown last week due to crude supply issues and strike action taken by workers, which had prevented the plants operating within required safety standards.


INEOS was also progressively turning down production at its Lavera plant to stand-by mode after being affected by the current industrial action as raw material feedstocks ran low.

The strikes were also now beginning to affect downstream users, with a variety of chemical producers feeling the effects of a lack of refined feedstock. Some producers have already begun to cut down chemical production or declare force majeure on products as availability of supplies diminished.

On 13 October, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) monthly oil report said that major strike action in France could result in a shortage of European gasoil supplies and higher spot prices.

French refineries struggle to operate as strike continues

French refineries struggle to operate as strike continues














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