UK gasoline sales up in '06 after long slide

Gasoline sales in the UK reversed a 10-year slide last year, reports the Energy Institute, London.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 10 -- Gasoline sales in the UK reversed a 10-year slide last year, reports the Energy Institute, London.

In line with a well-established European pattern, diesel sales increased by much more than gasoline.

UK gasoline sales climbed in 2006 by 572,000 tonnes, or 3.1%, the Energy Institute reported in its UK Retail Marketing survey. Gasoline sales had fallen each year since 1997. Diesel sales last year grew by 1.6 million tonnes, or 8.4%.

Total motor-fuel sales increased by 5.8% to a record 40.5 million tonnes in 2006 as registered UK vehicles grew by 0.6% to an all-time high of 33.1 million.

While product sales grew, the number of retail outlets in the UK and Northern Ireland fell to 9,382, the lowest since the 1920s. That number was 382 below the end-2005 total.

The Energy Institute study reported increases in the numbers of retail sites owned by supermarkets and small retailers and decreases in oil-company, main-retailer, and other unbranded sites.

Here are last year's changes in retail outlets by the leading UK oil-company marketers: BP down 20 to 1,212, Texaco down 13 to 1,041, Esso down 46 to 910, Total down 1 to 909, and Shell down 34 to 872.

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