Corrected: Total declares force majeure on propylene from French refineries

22 February 2010 14:37  [Source: ICIS news]

TotalCorrection: In the ICIS news story headlined "Total declares force majeure on propylene from French refineries" dated 22 February 2010, please read in the 10th paragraph … Workers at INEOS' Lavera refinery in southern France have not voted to strike, according a statement by Richard Longden, group communications manager for INEOS - contrary to an earlier Reuters report citing the CGT Union.… instead of … Workers at INEOS' Lavera refinery in southern France have voted to strike from Wednesday, according to a Reuters report citing the CGT Union.… A corrected story follows.

LONDON (ICIS news)--Total has declared forces majeures on propylene at some of its French refineries following a continuing strike by workers and sub-contractors, a market source said on Monday.

"Things are getting worse," said a major consumer. "There is no indication when things will return to normal," it added.

A Total spokesperson refused to comment on the forces majeures and no other details have been given.

The continuing strike by workers at Total's refineries in France has raised questions about the availability of propylene in Europe and has led to the possibility of further strikes and possible supply shortages.

Employees last week voted for an unlimited strike at all six refineries in France, prompting some market sources to suggest that force majeure could be called on propylene in the near future due to a lack of supply.

Around 7,000 direct employees, suppliers and subcontractors of the refineries went on strike for 48 hours last Wednesday to demand a restart of the petrochemical giant’s Dunkirk site, which has been idle since September and was likely to be closed down.

Talks between Total and French union CGT collapsed on Sunday.

The CGT has called for the strike to spread to the two French oil refineries owned by US group Exxon Mobil,  where strikes have been planned for Tuesday, according to media reports.

ExxonMobil would not comment on the possible strike and said at present all of its refineries were running as normal.

Workers at INEOS' Lavera refinery in southern France have not voted to strike, according a statement by Richard Longden, group communications manager for INEOS - contrary to an earlier Reuters report citing the CGT Union.

In a radio interview, the French industry minister Christian Estrosi pledged to prevent any shortages of petrol and diesel supplies.

Total has proposed a roundtable discussion on 4 March on the future of its refining operations in France and the five-year investment programmes for each refinery would be presented and discussed.

Franco Capaldo contributed to this article
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