(Reuters) - Total says it has begun restart operations at three refineries that have been shuttered by labor strikes since late May.
A strike by French oil workers belonging to the hardline CGT and FO trade unions has halted operations at four of Total SA’s five refineries, prompting an increase in imports.
Total said last week it was planning to restart operations at Donges after a majority of workers voted on resume work.
But the site is being blocked by about 30 members from the CGT union, which is leading a wave of stoppages and protests in the rail and energy sectors against government plans for labor law reform.
France has a total refining capacity of nearly 1.5 million barrels per day of oil, equivalent to about 1 percent of total global daily crude demand.
Total, U.S. rival Exxon Mobil and PetroIneos, owned by PetroChina, operate the eight facilities.
A prolonged refinery strike in France in 2010 led to a glut of crude in Europe because it could not be delivered to refineries, and a spike in the prices of refined products due to low output from refineries.
Refineries in France:
Refinery Operator Capacity(bpd Status
Donges Total 220,000 Shutdown*
Grandpuits Total 101,000 Restarting
Gonfreville Total 247,000 Restarting
Feyzin Total 117,000 Restarting
La Mede Total 153,000 Output at 80 pct
Port Jerome Exxon 240,000 Normal output
Fos-sur-Mer Exxon 140,000 Normal output
Lavera PetroIneos 240,000 N/A
*The refinery is being blocked by CGT members. Total said on June 2 preparations were underway to restart after 94 percent of staff voted to resume. However, CGT union rejected the vote saying workers were coerced by management.
Compiled by Bate Felix, Amanda Cooper, and Ahmad Ghaddar, editing by Louise Heavens