Workers striking in protest at proposed French pension reforms disrupted fuel deliveries and refining operations at several sites operated by TotalEnergies and Esso on March 7 while power supply was also reduced.

France's hardline CGT union said that shipments were affected as well as refinery operations at both companies' sites, and that they were "producing less fuel."

However, a spokesperson for Esso, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, said that while deliveries had indeed been blocked at the Fos site since the evening of March 6 for an expected 48 hour period, there was no impact on production. Deliveries from the Port Jerome site have also been affected since early morning, they added.

"Esso is doing everything to supply its customers and reduce the consequences of this national movement against the pension reform," the spokesperson said.

Total Energies' Gonfreville, Donges, Feyzin, La Mede and Carling sites were hit by the strike, a CGT representative said.

However, the company said there is no lack of fuel at service stations and stocks are at a high level, adding that teams had been mobilized to meet demand.

The TotalEnergies spokesperson said that out of 296 operators on its sites, 64% were on strike on the morning of March 7.

Eric Sellini, a CGT union representative at TotalEnergies told Reuters that the strike currently completely blocking the Gonfreville refinery in Normandy was expected to run until March 9 and the one at the Donges refinery in western France until March 10.

"The objective is to renew the strike everywhere," CGT representative Benjamin Tange said. The spokeperson for the Esso refineries also said that strikes could be repeated.

France earlier on March 7 imported about 12 gigawatts (GW) of energy, data from grid operator RTE showed, as the strikes disrupted nuclear, thermal and hydro power supply.

However, the strike is also lowering demand for energy, Kpler analyst Emeric de Vigan said in a tweet.

Real-time consumption is lower than forecasts yesterday, which were already 4 GW lower than average at current temperatures, he added.

Labour unions have vowed to bring France to a standstill on March 7, as they step up their fight against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to make the French work two years more, to 64, before they can retire with a pension.