12 October 2010 14:41 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Operations at 11 refineries across ?xml:namespace>
The French trade union CGT said that 11 refineries, which process more than 1.5m bbl/day of oil, out of a total of 13 refineries in the country had been hit by the strike.
Total said that 50-80% of shift workers at five of its six refineries in France were on strike, impacting production levels at the plants.
Total spokesman Michael Crochet-Vourey said that workers at Donges and Grandpuits had also joined the national strike, which had resulted in the group freezing production at the plants. This would take a few days to complete.
Workers at the group's Gonfreville refinery also voted to go on a rolling strike this morning, which reduced production, however Crochet-Vourey would not comment whether Total would halt production at the refinery.
Total has already begun a production shutdown at its refinery at La Mede in southern
Only Total’s refinery at Feyzin was not on strike, and was running at "nearly normal rates" due to the crude supply issues, Crochet-Vourey said.
Total would not comment on how long it felt the strikes would go on for.
INEOS’s Lavera plant was also on strike due to the current industrial activity and the plant was running at reduced levels, according INEOS spokesperson Richard Longden.
He said the
“Further decisions on plant operating rates will be taken in coming days depending on the development of the situation at the port,” Longden added.
Production at ExxonMobil’s Fos-sur-Mer refinery was not directly effected by the national strike but was still running at minimum throughput levels due to crude supply issues caused by the Marseille port protests.
However, Catherine Brun, spokesperson for ExxonMobil added that the national strike action at the plant’s terminal had meant dispatch of product from the plant had been suspended.
The strike was expected to last one day, Brun added.
In addition, Brun said that the workers at its merged oil refinery at Port Jerome Gravenchon had not joined the national strike and production had not been affected.
LyondellBasell, which owns a refinery in Berre L'Etang, would not comment on whether its workers were on strike. However, media reported that although protests had not affected production at the plant, it was blocking fuel storage in the region.
Media publications also reported that production levels had been reduced at both of Petroplus’s refineries at Reichstett and Petite Couronne due to the strike.
A Petroplus spokesperson would only comment that production levels had been cut at its Reichstett plant due to crude supply issues coming in from Fos-Lavera.
Supply constraints caused by a rolling strike at the Fos-Lavera oil terminal in southern France have already caused production issues for refineries in the local area, including Total’s La Mede plant, INEOS's Lavera refinery, ExxonMobil’s Fos-sur-Mer plant and LyondellBasell’s Berre L'Etang refinery, as well as two other refineries in the north of
Additional reporting by Olivier Geleoc
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