CIM oil storage tanks in France overflow as coronavirus cancels demand


PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) – The oil tanks of the French storage and shipping company CIM are completely full due to the glut of global oil supply and the sharp drop in demand for products said the company’s chief executive on Thursday.

The CIM, which manages around 40% of French crude imports, has 3 million cubic meters of crude storage capacity and 1.7 million cubic meters of storage capacity for refined products, mainly on the hub of the Le Havre oil port.

The company also operates the 4,700 km Trapil pipeline network.

“There is no demand, our tanks are full to the brim,” Olivier Peyrin of CIM told Reuters.

Measures taken by governments to stop the spread of the new coronavirus epidemic have led to a sharp drop in fuel demand worldwide.

“The demand for gasoline has dropped by about 80% (in France), while the demand for kerosene has dropped by about 95%,” said Peyrin, with air traffic at the two main French airports Orly and Charles. De Gaulle, almost stopped.

“I have never witnessed a crisis like this,” said Peyrin, who worked for the big oil company Shell before joining CIM in 2010.

“Before the crisis, we generally received around 2 million tonnes of crude per month. Today we are around 1 million tonnes, “he said. “For refined products, we use to process 500,000 tonnes per month, now we are falling to zero. “

Peyrin said only one of the three oil refineries supplied by CIM from Le Havre, Exxon Mobil Port-Jerome Gravenchon, is still operational. Total’s refinery at Gonfreville in Normandy was shut down following a fire, while the restart of its Grandpuits was delayed.

“We have reduced the Le Havre team to the minimum just to receive the few deliveries we receive and to speed up some refined products,” said Peyrin, adding that other storage facilities in France were in a similar situation. (Report by Bate Felix; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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