Two Strikes and Out for Total Plant


Total was forced to close its refinery and base oil plant in Gonfreville, France, last week because of a strike – the second labor walk-off at the complex in September. The shutdown temporarily reduces European base oil production by 10,000 barrels per day.

A Total spokesman confirmed yesterday that operations at the Gonfreville facility ceased Sept. 26 because of a strike that began seven days earlier. Oil & Gas Journal reported that union employees walked off their jobs over a wage issue, and that the union staged another strike earlier at the Gonfreville facility earlier the same month.

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Strikes are notoriously common in France and the oil industry sees its share. Totals spokeswoman said the company is continuing its discussions with the union but that it cannot predict when operations will resume.

The base oil plant makes mostly Group I stocks, but its capacity includes 800 b/d of Group III. It is Totals only wholly owned base oil plant in Europe, although the Paris-based company also holds stakes in three plants on the continent – one in France and two in Spain.

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