Argus Media Limited

03/17/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/17/2023 06:50

French refineries to halt operations as strikes deepen

Four out of six French refineries are stopping operations or plan to stop by Monday, 20 March, as industrial action deepens over planned changes to pension rights.

Workers and union officials said refineries are shutting as a response to the government forcing through its pensions law, using a parliamentary clause known as 49:3.

"Anger is rising," one said.

It also appears refineries are running short of crude, as strikes by dockers and port workers hamper discharge.

TotalEnergies' 219,000 b/d Donges and 246,900 b/d Gonfreville plants, UK-Chinese refiner Petroineos' 210,000 b/d Lavera refinery and ExxonMobil's 207,100 b/d Port Jerome should all be closed by 20 March, according to workers. The latter is halting operations as it does not have enough crude to maintain throughput.

The situation is fluid and TotalEnergies has yet to respond to queries on the matter.

By Adam Porter