Report: Strikes at French refineries and LNG terminals are in week two
Strikes against the French government’s planned pension reform entered a second week on Wednesday, disrupting maintenance at nuclear reactors, hitting liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, and blocking some shipments from refineries and depots, Reuters news agency reported.
According to Reuters, at least seven LNG ships heading to France have changed course to terminals in Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain since the strike action started, and analysts and traders said cargoes planned for the coming week will also be diverted to other terminals and some are likely to be delayed. To note, so far, most of these cargoes have stayed in Europe.
On 5 March, the day before LNG strikes started, deliveries from the four French terminals totalled about 1,165 gigawatt-hours per day (GWh/d), on 6 March, they shrank to 600 GWh/d, and have been at zero since 7 March, Refinitiv data showed.
Managing editor of Atlantic LNG Allen Reed said that the French strikes have led to discounted offers on prompt cargoes and a widening spread between European LNG cargoes and natural gas hubs, Reuters reported.
The three LNG terminals operated by Engie subsidiary Elengy are expected to remain blocked until 21 March, a company spokesperson told Reuters.
The Fluxys terminal in Dunkirk, northern France, which has also been affected by the strike, is expected to remain disrupted until Friday morning.
Among refiners, deliveries of refined products were partially blocked from leaving TotalEnergies’ refineries and depots, while refining operations continued, a company spokesperson told Reuters, adding: “We are providing the necessary shipments to keep our facilities in operation.”
A union representative told Reuters that the Fos refinery in southern France operated by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso was also back on strike on Wednesday.
Click here to read more about the latest updates on LNG in France.