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French Strike Disrupts Exxon And Total’s Oil Product Shipments

Oil product shipments at some refineries in France owned by ExxonMobil and Total SA were disrupted on Thursday as French labor union CGT is staging a 24-hour strike in the petroleum sector.

Shipments of products at Exxon’s refinery in Fos sur Mer, as well as at Total’s Grandpuits refinery near Paris, have been disrupted, Platts reports, quoting union sources and the companies.

Shipments of oil products are partially disrupted at Grandpuits, while at Fos sur Mer, workers have joined the industrial action and the plant is operating at reduced throughput for safety reasons.

The CGT union called the 24-hour strike because it had not received a positive response from employers over its demands to keep the collective labor agreement in the petroleum sector. The labor union called upon workers in various segments of the petroleum industry to join the strike—refineries, fuel storages, petrochemical facilities, all depots, ports and airport depots. CGT has said, however, that it could call off the strike if it receives a positive response to its demands.

While part of the production at Exxon’s Fos sur Mer refinery is disrupted due to the strike, its other refinery, the 235,000-bpd Gravenchon, as well as the chemical plant there, are running normally, according to Platts.

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The refineries near the port city Le Havre in the northern Normandy region have not seen disruptions in operations or loadings so far, Platts says, quoting media reports. In the south of France, operations at the Lavera refinery of Petroineos have slowed down, but Total’s Feyzin refinery is said to be operating normally. 

Among the French trade unions, the CGT union has been the most vocal opponent to the reforms in France’s employment laws in recent months. In early October, CGT called its third strike against the reforms of French President Emmanuel Macron, but failed to get the other two major unions on board.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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