French oil and gas company Total acquired Royal Dutch Shell’s fuel retail network in Egypt in an attempt to strengthen its distribution position in the country and across the whole region.
“Through this acquisition, we reaffirm our ambition to pursue our development in Africa and in the Middle East in the retail business,” a spokesman at Total said.
The details of the transaction and its price have not been disclosed.
“The sale is consistent with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets,” Shell reported to the media.
The French company has been trying to strengthen its position to become the biggest gasoline retailer in Africa. The company referred to the recent sale of some refineries in the UK and Germany, and its refining and marketing businesses in Finland and Sweden as examples of its expansive plans.
The company has engaged heavily in a massive exploration effort to find new oil and gas reserves. It has also targeted emerging markets where the demand for fuel and oil are growing fast.
Egypt has been facing fuel shortages on a daily basis, which have affected most economic and business sectors. Officials at a number of power plants reported that they were forced to curb their production a little due to the fuel crisis.
Total currently owns 70 fuel stations in Egypt, which represents four percent of the market share.