The operators of Israel’s two refineries say scheduled maintenance was the key reason their output fell by a combined 50,000 b/d (17%) year-on-year in the first half of 2017. But a strike in June didn’t help. A diesel unit fire last month added to the woe.

The smaller of Israel’s two refineries, the 100,000 b/d-capacity Paz plant in Ashdod, saw output fall to just 19,600 b/d in Q2 as industrial action in June compounded the effect of a lengthy maintenance outage (see...