Total plans sale of UK forecourts

Energy giant Total has signalled its withdrawal from the UK petrol pump market by announcing the proposed sale of nearly 500 service stations.

The French firm said the decision follows a "strategic review" of its downstream business, which includes forecourts and heating oil.

An official statement from Total UK said the sale process will cover 480 petrol stations directly owned by it, and also its supply contract with 300 independent outlets that carry its brand.

Total currently has a 9% share of the UK market and its service stations have combined annual sales of more than three billion litres of fuel and lubricants.

Russia's Gazprom is reported to be one of the parties interested in the buying the operations.

Total, the world's fourth largest energy group, said it will retain its aviation and lubricants businesses in the UK and is laying out a £2.5 billion investment in its North Sea oil and gas exploration unit.

The company, which has been selling products in the UK for 55 years, employs 6,500 people in the UK and indirectly supports 35,000 jobs.

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