Strike action, outages in France's refined product sector

(Reuters) - France's refined products sector is under strain as a result of strike action over pay and unplanned maintenance which have led to more than 40% of its refining capacity being taken offline.

The outages come at a time where Europe is looking 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 ExxonMobil related to rising inflation in Europe.

Strike action continued on Sept. 27 with wage discussions still underway, an ExxonMobil spokesperson told Reuters.

"This unfortunate situation may impact our customers, contractors, suppliers, and employees, and affects the international reputation of Exxon Mobil activities in France," the spokesperson said.


Exxon began gradually closing the 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery on Sept. 20, which was 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 235,000 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 on Sept. 27 that operations at its terminals have not been impacted.


French union CGT began a three-day strike over wages on Sept. 27 across TotalEnergies’ platforms, which has disrupted refined product distribution across the oil firm's five French refineries.

"In anticipation of the strike, TotalEnergies has taken the necessary logistical measures to be able to supply its service station network and its customers normally," a TotalEnergies spokesperson said.


No product is leaving TotalEnergies’ 240,000 bpd Gonfreville oil refinery, the 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery, the 230,000 bpd Donges refinery and La Mede biorefinery, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

Very little product is currently leaving the 102,000 bpd Grandpuits refinery, and distribution will be halted on Sept. 28, a union official at Grandpuits told Reuters on Sept. 27.


Product transport from the Cote d’Opale fuel storage depots near Dunkirk has also stopped, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.


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 4-6 weeks from that date, CGT union delegate Thierry Defresne said.

(Reporting by Rowena Edwards; Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter)

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