In a bid to counter falling demand for gasoline exports, French oil major Total SA plans to cut 306 in its petrochemical operations, and 309 jobs at its refineries in France. Total will outline a plan to cut jobs through attrition at sites including France's largest refinery- the Gonfreville refinery in Normandy.
About 77% of all new cars registered in France last year run on diesel. The company plans to reorganize its refining operations as they are ill-suited to the market due to a lack of investment and growing use of diesel. Total, Europe's biggest refiner and owner of six of France's 12 refineries, plans to increase diesel production 50% in the 10 years to 2015 by retuning plants to make more of the fuel without raising crude consumption. Rising diesel demand in Europe has forced retailers to import from Russia, while excess gasoline is exported to USA.
As required under the French labor law, the company declined to comment until after talks between management and workers' representatives.