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Total to open 600 low-cost service stations in France
French oil giant Total is to create 600 low-cost service stations throughout the country aimed at beating the competition from supermarkets. The new ‘Total access’ stations will be in urban locations where a higher number of customers is expected to outweigh the smaller profit margin. The first will open in Paris in October.
Some 300 existing Total stations will change to the new format along with 280 Elf service stations.
“Total access stations will be in areas where the potential number or customers is sufficiently high to compensate for the lower prices,” the group said. “They will be easily identified by a new, distinct, modern branding.”
In 2010, 4,902 supermarket service stations out of a total of 12,051 stations accounted for 60 per cent all petrol sales in France. This figure was up from 12 per cent in 1980.
Meanwhile, Total says it has discovered a major gas field in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Azerbaijan.
The Absheron X-2 block is thought to have large pockets of gas spread over a 270 square kilometer field and Total hopes it could find several trillion cubic feet of gas and associated condensates.
Senior vice president for exploration Marc Blaizot says the techniques developed in the Caspian Sea could help to find more gas in similar basins off Britain, Brunei, Malaysia and Egypt.