French crude oil imports down in first half

During the first half of 2009, France’s hydrocarbon port of Fos-sur-Mer on the French Riviera posted a 7% drop in oil imports intended for both for French and European refineries.

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, July 27 -- During the first half of 2009, France’s hydrocarbon port of Fos-sur-Mer on the French Riviera posted a 7% drop in oil imports intended for both for French and European refineries. By the end June, 30.06 million tons of hydrocarbons—both liquids and gases—were traded at Fos, 4% less than over the same 2008 period.

Input into French refineries suffered a drop as well, falling 3% vs. the same half in 2008. Besides the economic slump, this was also due to the technical shutdown of Total's Feyzin refinery and the Petroplus refinery at Reichstett for turnaround maintenance.

However, stockdraw that was carried out over the last month or two pushed up imports of refined products by 16% in June, stabilizing the first half’s overall totals.

In comparison to oil, France’s LNG activity was particularly brisk over the first half, up by 17%, a rate kept up in June, while LPG trade fell by 6% both regarding imports from countries like Algeria and Nigeria and exports to the Mediterranean countries.

Biofuels imports jumped by 51% over this year’s first half.

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