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Exxon’s Refineries In France Will Take Weeks To Restart

The two French refineries operated by ExxonMobil will likely take between two and three weeks to restart to full capacity after workers ended a three-week strike, a spokesperson for the U.S. supermajor told Reuters on Tuesday.  

Workers at Exxon’s 240,000 barrels per day Port Jerome-Gravenchon refinery and the 140,000-bpd Fos-sur-Mer refinery are back to work as of Saturday after some of the French trade unions reached an agreement with the company for a 7% pay rise.  

The three-week strike at Exxon’s facilities is over for now, but the strike at TotalEnergies’ refineries continues after the hard-left CGT trade union walked out of wage increase talks with TotalEnergies early on Friday, vowing to continue the strike at refineries that has crippled France’s fuel supply.

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Two other trade unions found the offer for a 7% pay rise “rather favorable,” including the staff at Exxon’s refineries.

Workers are back to work at Exxon’s facilities, and it will take “10-15 days to first restart the units, and then to produce finished gasoline, diesel,” the GCT trade union told Argus on Monday.

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The weeks of strikes at refineries in France have left more than 70% of the country’s refining capacity offline while gas stations in and around Paris and in the northern part of the country began to run out of at least one type of fuel. France moved last week to requisition essential workers to staff Exxon’s French oil depot and threatened to do the same for TotalEnergies’ French refineries if talks failed to progress.

Earlier this week, the French government ordered more staff at fuel depots back to work as Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday, “The time for negotiation is over.”

Several trade unions also called a nationwide strike in France on Tuesday, which affected railway transportation, schools, and the public sector.  

The restart of Exxon’s refineries wasn’t affected by the nationwide strike, the company spokesperson told Reuters.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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