Lukoil could be forced to sell a third of Russian gas stations

Challenging economic conditions may push Lukoil to sell over 700 gas stations in Russia before the end of the year.

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Lukoil, one of Russia´s oil and fuel giants, is weighing up the possibility of selling a third of its large fuel retailing network in the country as it continues to suffer the effects of harsh economic conditions, reports RBC.

“We are seriously considering the possibility of selling up to a third of gas stations by the end of the year,” a company source told Interfax news agency.

Lukoil currently enjoys a 21% market share with a network of 2,544 fuel stations, according to its website.

The company source told Interfax that Lukoil´s net profit for its gas station business during the first quarter was “close to zero.” Incredibly low fuel margins would be the main reason behind the sale of hundreds of sites.

A slight increase in fuel prices and an expansion of non-fuel services at gas stations would help mitigate the difficult situation but would not solve the issue, explained the source. 

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