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Half Of France’s Refinery Capacity Goes Offline As Worker Strike

Strikes at several refineries across France have left half of its refineries offline or without sending out fuels, as refinery workers stepped up industrial actions over pay disputes this week 

Three of TotalEnergies’ refineries and a storage site are not sending fuel as of Tuesday, an official at the French union CGT told Reuters.

The 240,000 barrel per day (bpd) Gonfreville oil refinery operated by TotalEnergies, the 119,000 bpd Feyzin oil refinery, La Mede biorefinery, and the Cote d’Opale storage site near Dunkirk are not sending fuel currently, CGT delegate Thierry Defresne told Reuters.   

The strike is expected to continue until September 29.

Together with the strike at the ExxonMobil refineries, around half of France’s refinery capacity is currently offline.

France’s crude refining capacity is just over 1.4 million bpd, the fourth highest in Europe after Germany, Italy, and Spain, according to the Oil & Gas Journal data cited by the EIA.

TotalEnergies has prepared logistically ahead of the announced strike, a spokesperson told Reuters.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

ExxonMobil, for its part, is continuing its dialogue with unions after shutting down the 240,000-bpd Port Jerome-Gravenchon and the 235,000-bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refineries at the end of last week,

The disruption at the French refinery comes amid a worsening energy crisis in Europe, which is trying to procure non-Russian sources of crude ahead of an EU embargo on imports from Russia by sea as of early December.  

Currently, Europe still imports over 1 million bpd of Russian crude, attempting to fill up before the EU-wide embargo on Russian oil imports by sea comes into effect.

Yet, the global oil market will have to prepare itself for a loss of 2.4 million bpd supply when the EU embargo kicks in; an additional 1 million bpd of products and 1.4 million bpd of crude will have to find new homes, the IEA said.  

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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