LONDON (ICIS) -- Strike action by French workers continued on Friday, forcing the country's refineries to operate at minimum throughput levels or freeze production altogether, which has caused feedstock issues for chemical producers.
As a national strike over pension reforms rolled into its fourth day and protests at Marseille's Fos-Lavera oil port entered its 19th day, a shortage of crude supplies has paralysed all 13 refineries in France and was now affecting downstream users.
ExxonMobil's merged refinery at Port Jerome-Gravenchon and its plant at Fos-sur-Mer were also both on strike, company spokesperson Catherine Brun confirmed. Product supplies from ExxonMobil's refinery at Fos-sur-Mer have been blocked and the facility was still running at minimum throughput levels due to crude supply issues caused by the Marseille port industrial action.
LyondellBasell's refinery at Berre L'Etang was not on strike, although it was still forced to begin a production shutdown on the night of 14 October due to crude supply issues. However, LyondellBasell spokesman David Harpole said that chemical operations at the same site were continuing to operate.