Exxon Argentine unit short of crude, cuts refining

* Strike against YPF is affecting crude storage, loading

* Exxon unit says refinery’s crude supplies disrupted

* Exxon’s Campana refinery is fourth largest in country

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – A labor dispute causing
crude shortages in Argentina has forced Esso, the local unit of
U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil, to reduce refining activity, a
company spokesman said on Thursday.

A Patagonian energy workers’ union has been in conflict
with Argentina’s biggest energy firm YPF (YPFD.BA: ) for two
weeks. Protesting workers have blocked a crude storage and
loading facility used by other energy companies, including
Esso. [ID:N14293594]

YPF, a unit of Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC: ), has halted
operations at several sites in the southern Patagonian region,
citing unrest linked to the conflict over wages.

About a third of Argentina’s crude oil is produced in the
area affected by the dispute, and the Esso spokesman said the
conflict could soon start causing shortages at service stations
unless normal crude supplies to refineries resume.

“We’re really at the point where we need to lower …
processing in the refinery as a way to deal with a critical
situation that is going to get more and more critical if this
conflict isn’t resolved,” Esso spokesman Tomas Hess told local
radio.

“We’re receiving hardly any crude,” he added.

Esso has a processing capacity of 88,000 barrels per day at
its Campana refinery in Buenos Aires province. Campana is the
fourth largest refinery in the South American country.
(Reporting by Helen Popper; Editing by David Gregorio)
([email protected]; +54 11 4318 0655; Reuters
Messaging: [email protected]))

Exxon Argentine unit short of crude, cuts refining