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Exxon Limits Fuel Supply In France As Strikes Shut Down Refineries

ExxonMobil is temporarily limiting the supply of refined petroleum products to its customers in France after strikes at its refineries over pay forced the U.S. supermajor to shut down its two French facilities, an Exxon spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday.

At the end of last week, Exxon’s French unit said it was forced to shut down its 240,000-barrels-per-day Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery and the 235,000-bpd Fos-Sur-Mer refinery due to the industrial action called by unions on September 20 over a dispute over pay.

Exxon’s oil distribution terminals have not been affected by the strike, the company’s spokesperson told Reuters today.  

They also added: “We have temporarily put limitations in place for customers in accordance with the terms of our supply contracts.”

“We have a supply response team in place to supply product from unaffected sources,” the spokesperson added.  

Workers at other French refineries also went on strike on Tuesday. Strikes at several refineries across France have left half of its refinery capacity offline as workers stepped up industrial actions over pay disputes.

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

The 240,000 barrel per day 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 Dufresne 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.

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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.

The disruption at the French refineries 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.   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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