Refineries may halt production as French strikes cut crude supplies
08 October 2010 16:34 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The rolling strike at the Fos-Lavera oil terminal in southern ?xml:namespace>France
has cut crude supplies to such an extent that Total may begin a production shutdown at its La Mede refinery on Sunday, the company said on Friday.
Supply constraints have also caused production issues for the three other neighbouring refineries, including INEOS's plant in Lavera, ExxonMobil’s Fos-sur-Mer plant and LyondellBasell’s Berre L'Etang refinery, according to French oil industry association (UFIP
) directorate of communication, Yves Le Goff.
Le Goff added that two other refineries in the north of France which were delivered crude through a pipe from the Fos-Lavera terminal, Total’s Feyzin plant and Petroplus’s Reichstett refinery, were also experiencing supply issues.
For Total, crude constraints have become so bad that the group's rate of production at its La Mede refinery has been running at reduced levels, and if the situation did not improve, the group would need to halt production, according to Michael Crochet-Vourey, a spokesman for the company.
“Due to the lack of crude, which has worsened, we might have to begin to stop processing crude oil
on Sunday,” Crochet-Vourey said.
“But only because of this lack of crude oil, there is no strike in Total, everybody is at work,” he added.
Crochet-Vourey also said Total’s refinery in Feyzin was running at reduced rates, however he added that there were no plans to halt production at the plant.
ExxonMobil’s refinery at Fos-sur-Mer also saw its production affected due to limited crude supplies.
The group’s spokesperson, Catherine Brun, said the plant was running at reduced rates but noted that the group would not be shutting down production.
In addition, INEOS spokesperson Richard Longden
, said that production at its Lavera refinery had "not been significantly impacted" by the effects of the industrial action but added that rates had been turned down. However, like ExxonMobil, plant production would not be shut, he said.
LyondellBasell, which owns a refinery in Berre L'Etang would not comment on any strike related topics.
Petroplus was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, Le Goff said that the French union CGT
had called for all 12 refineries in France to join a national strike on 12 October in protest over the government’s pension reform, which plans to increase the retirement age to 62 from 60.To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit ICIS connectBy: Franco Capaldo+44 (0)20 8652 3214
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