For most people, everyday interaction with our industry happens on the forecourt. With around 8,500 filling stations located across the UK, marketing and retail is a vital part downstream oil sector both in terms of supply to the consumer and employment across the country.
Over time the downstream oil retail sector has changed considerably. Petrol retailing is a highly competitive business, a trend that has accelerated during the 1990s to now, with a number of significant players in the UK retail fuels market.
The growing presence of supermarkets has led to a significant change for the sector, with their share of the retail fuels market growing from 11% in 1992 to around 45% in 2018.
The supermarkets' growth in market share has coincided with a rapid expansion in their large out-of-town stores, whilst smaller and more remote filling stations have closed, with the number of filling stations in the UK falling from about 19,000 in 1990 to 8,422 in 2017.
Nonetheless, the positive economic impact of filling stations across the UK is widely felt.