Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
⏰ React to the Market Faster with Custom, Real-Time News Get Started

Strikes disrupt French fuel deliveries, but participation waning

Stock Markets Jan 26, 2023 16:21
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign with the logo of French oil and gas company TotalEnergies is pictured at a petrol station in Bouguenais near Nantes, France, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

By America Hernandez and Forrest Crellin

PARIS (Reuters) -Protests against French government plans to raise the retirement age had a muted impact on the energy sector on Thursday, the first day of 48-hour strikes, lowering hydropower output and curbing some refinery deliveries.

In electricity, supply from the Belleville 1 nuclear reactor was lowered 1 gigawatt (GW) due to the strike, data from operator EDF (EPA:EDF) showed. Hydropower supply was unaffected after dropping by 1.7 GW earlier, the data showed.

That's compared to a steep fall in power production during a nationwide day of strikes on Jan. 19, when output was down some 6.6 GW, roughly 10% of the country's total, forcing France to import power from neighbours.

Spot electricity prices for Friday rose slightly, as an expected drop in demand and rise in wind supply offset some uncertainty linked to the two-day walk-out call by trade unions.

At oil refineries, strike participation also waned, although deliveries were partially disrupted.

An Elabe poll for BFM showed 72% of the French are against the pension reform. It is too soon to say who will win the showdown between unions and the government.

More than a million people marched through French cities on Jan. 19 in a boon for unions. A second nationwide day of strikes, across all sectors, is planned for Jan. 31.

In the energy sector, unions had previously said they expect industrial action to intensify on Feb. 6, when a 72-hour strike is scheduled to start and possibly be renewed.

Meanwhile, the government, which lacks an absolute majority in parliament, is still not sure it will get all the votes it needs to push through the pension reform from the conservative Les Republicains.


Amid a cost-of-living crisis fuelled by inflation, another question is how long and how often workers can afford to strike.

"Oil workers are against this (pension) reform but they don't want to be on the front line," said a CGT union representative for Exxonmobil.

"The goal is to keep pressure on the government and to encourage workers from other sectors to mobilize ... (but there is) nothing spectacular planned at our sites, no well-organized pickets or blockages," the union representative added.

A spokesperson for Esso, whose two French refinery sites are run by ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), said only truck loading operations were suspended at Fos, with everything else operating normally.

A union representative added that production at the Port Jerome site was slightly impacted.

TotalEnergies (LON:TTEF) also said fuel shipments were disrupted at its La Mede, Donges, and Normandy sites, but added it continued to make sure petrol stations were supplied. It added its refinery site at Feyzin was not affected.

The strike ended at the Dunkirk site, however, and shipments are expected to resume.

A CGT union representative for TotalEnergies estimated that around 60% of union members were on strike on Thursday across all sites, down from at least 70% last week.

So far, the industrial action has not had a significant impact on wholesale European refined product prices, as the market awaits whether refinery output will be curtailed. 

Any disruption to diesel production in Europe would boost prices, especially ahead of a Feb. 5 EU ban on oil products imports from Russia, a major supplier to the continent.

Strikes disrupt French fuel deliveries, but participation waning

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
YousufKhan Khan
YousufKhan Khan Jan 26, 2023 8:39
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email