Expanding strikes hit refineries in France

Operations at all eight refineries in France are reported to have been hampered by strikes and blockades in a labor action set to expand to other industries.

The disruption, aggravated by panic buying, exhausted oil product supplies at 30% of the country’s service stations and threatened others. Consumption was estimated to be six times the normal rate.

French refineries have combined distillation capacity of 1.4 million b/d of crude oil.

The government approved the use of oil in strategic storage and capped fuel purchases at €30/vehicle.

Striking unions are protesting labor reforms aimed at improving the international competitiveness of French businesses.

Unions planned also to target nuclear power plants, the national railroad, public transportation in Paris, and air traffic control.

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