Workers strike at all five of TotalEnergies’ French refineries and one of its fuel storage depots, preventing the export of refined products.

The strikes began on 27 September and have now entered their second week. TotalEnergies has temporarily halted production at its 240,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Gonfreville refinery, announced on 28 September, as sector industrial action threatens supplies at a time of increasing energy insecurity.

Due to a leak, the 119,000bpd Feyzin oil refinery in southern France shut in mid-September. The refinery could remain shut for between four and six weeks.

However, Thierry Defrense, a spokesperson from the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), a French national trade union centre, told Reuters that “there is a low rate of striking workers at Feyzin, and some deliveries have started.”

According to Reuters calculations, the suspension intensified France’s strained supply of refined products, with more than 60% of the country’s refining capacity now down.

CGT called for strike action against TotalEnergies over a week ago, a part of a broader action across the French energy sector. 

As a result of soaring inflation, the workers demanded higher pay amid the tensions between the French Government and the unions over pension reforms. 

French annual inflation declined from 6.6% in August to 6.2% in September, according to the national statistics agency INSEE.