French pension reform strikes continue to disrupt fuel supplies, power output

© Pascal Rossignol, Reuters

Workers striking in protest against proposed changes to France's pension system continued to block fuel deliveries and reduce electricity production at several sites on Thursday.

Power supply was reduced by 8.2 gigawatts (GW), or 13% of overall production, across some of the country's nuclear, thermal and hydropower sites due to the strike, EDF data showed.

France is not currently importing electricity, data from grid operator RTE showed, suggesting domestic supply is meeting demand.

TotalEnergies said there were again no fuel deliveries from its French refineries due to the strike.

There were also no deliveries from ExxonMobil unit Esso's Fos-sur-Mer refinery in southern France, although operations had returned to normal at Port Jerome in the northwest, a union representative told Reuters.

About 7% of French refuelling stations lacked at least one product as of Wednesday, but "there is no supply problem for service stations and the situation is improving", said OlivierGantois, president of the French Union for Petroleum, Energy and Mobility Industries UFIP.

While the price of diesel product contracts in Europe has edged up in recent days, "overall the market doesn't seem to be reacting to the strikes in the same way it did during October 2022", said Pamela Munger, senior market analyst at energy analytics firm Vortexa, referring to a previous wave of industrial action.


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