December 24, 2019 / 3:31 PM / a month ago

Factbox: Impact of French pensions strike on oil sector

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s hardline CGT trade union has rejected pleas for a Christmas truce and has vowed to intensify a nationwide strike to try to force the government to drop its plan to reform the country’s pensions system.

The CGT has said it will ramp up action in the oil sector with production shutdowns at key oil facilities. The two-week strike has so far mostly disrupted supplies from refineries.

Here is how the strike is impacting the French oil sector:

REFINERIES

France has seven crude refineries and a biofuel refinery. Energy major Total operates five of the refineries including the biorefinery. Exxon Mobil owns two of the refineries, while PetroIneos operates the other one.

Lavera Refinery

A production shutdown started on Sunday night at PetroIneos’ 210,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Lavera oil refinery in southern France after CGT workers voted to stop output.

Fos-sur-Mer and Port Jerome Refineries

Exxon Mobil’s 140,0000 bpd Fos-sur-Mer and the 240,000 bpd Port Jerome refineries have been little impacted by the strike. Production and deliveries have been ongoing.

Grandpuits Refinery

Total said on Tuesday its 102,000 bpd Grandpuits refinery near Paris was producing at reduced flow after the CGT voted to halt output. The refinery will continue to produce until Dec. 30 when the union will hold another general assembly meeting.

Normandy, Donges and Feyzin Refineries

Production and deliveries have resumed at Total’s three other refineries. The 253,000 bpd Gonfreville Normandy refinery is operating partially after a Dec. 14 fire.

The 220,000 bpd Donges and the 117,000 Feyzin refineries resumed normal production and deliveries this week after reduced output due to strikes last week. The CGT has said there would be general assembly meetings at the plants after Christmas to decide whether ramp up the strike action by halting operations.

La Mede Refinery

Deliveries from Total’s La Mede biorefinery in the south of France have been blocked since the start of the strike.

FUEL DELIVERIES

Some deliveries from refineries to depots and petrol stations have been disrupted due to the strike. French petrol industry lobby UFIP has said that, so far, only around 3% of France’s 11,000 petrol stations have run out of refined products. Some refined products have been moved through pipelines and barges.

France’s environment and energy ministry said on Monday that fuel supplies to gas stations were normal.

OIL TERMINAL

CGT workers at the strategic CIM oil terminal, which handles about 40% of crude imports in France, decided to extend their strike on Monday but held off shutting down operations at the site.

CIM is central to France’s oil sector. The hub at Le Havre port has 2.4 million cubic meters of crude storage capacity and 1.7 million cubic meters of refined products storage capacity for jet fuel, diesel, petrol and naphtha. It supplies crude to refineries and jet fuel to the three airports in the French capital.

The government issued an order during a 2016 strike, allowing managers to reopen taps for products to flow after several days of shutdown.

Compiled by Bate Felix; Editing by Mark Potter

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