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.
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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.