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Workers Strike At One Of Europe’s Largest Oil Refineries – Fears Of A Diesel Crisis Mounting

An Oil Refinery

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While Europe is already facing the worst energy crisis in a generation, concerns are mounting that a diesel crisis could be next as Dutch labor unions have stopped the restart of production at BP Plc’s Rotterdam refinery, which is a top supplier of diesel for Northern Europe.

The refinery, which annually processes 400,000 barrels of oil, stopped production after a technical issue took it offline last week. Now, according to a spokesperson for CNV Vakmensen, one of the unions going on strike, the refinery workers refuse to restart production until a resolution regarding a pay dispute is reached.

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Jaap Bosma, with the CNV union, told Reuters on Monday, “We will help resolve the problems until the facilities are ready to be restarted, and then we’ll stop, that’s our intention.” Since refinery strikes in France have seriously limited Europe’s diesel supply in recent months, outages at refineries are closely monitored. The strikes come as the EU prepares to cut off diesel imports from Russia due to the war in Ukraine.

The strikes in France took more than 60 percent of the country’s refining capacity offline and left gas stations in Paris and Northern France with fuel shortages. Meanwhile, other European countries have increased imports of Russian oil to build stockpiles before the EU embargo on Russian diesel imports takes effect on February 5th. The U.S. has also been struggling with a diesel shortage and Vietnam.

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