BP to open 40 new fuel stations in Turkey this year

By bne IntelliNews June 26, 2015

BP plans to open 40 new oil stations in Turkey this year, Martin Thomsen, country manager of BP Turkey, announced on June 26, adding that growth potential of Turkey, Azerbaijan’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil line and Sahdeniz natural gas projects keep Turkey as a strategic country for BP although BP Turkey currently posts losses due to government interventions on fuel prices, depreciation of TRY and regulations in the domestic market.

BP Turkey currently operates 647 oil stations and has a 9% share in domestic market, Thomsen informed. BP is currently focused on its organic growth strategies, however, it is also open to evaluate inorganic growth options, Thomsen commented as a response to a question asking whether BP is interested in Turkish state-owned oil company TPAO’s oil distributing subsidiary TP Petrol Dagitim which was put up for privatization, according to the Official Gazette’s June 24 issue.

On June 26, BP Turkey also signed an agreement with Turkish conglomerate Dogus Holding's subsidiary Dogus Otomotiv Servis to provide a 3% discount to Dogus Otomotiv customers’ fuel purchases. Thomsen informed that BP expects an increase in its turnover which would finance about 7-8 new station investment while Ali Bilaloglu, chairman of Dogus Otomotiv’s executive board, said that Dogus Otomotiv currently has about 1.3mn active vehicles.

In April, BP dismissed media rumors suggesting that the oil company may exit the Turkish market. BP Corporate Communications Director Murat LeCompte said that Turkey is a strategic market for BP and BP would not end its fuel distribution operations in Turkey. The Turkish newspaper Haberturk previously reported that following Total’s decision to exit Turkey by selling its fuel retailing business, BP started to reconsider its Turkey operations.

Reuters reported in April that Total aimed to sell its fuel distribution business in Turkey and asked Societe Generale to lead the process, as the French oil producer was looking to retreat from a highly competitive and regulated market. Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding said on May 21 that its indirect subsidiary Aytemiz Akaryakit Dagitim placed a non-binding bid to acquire a 100% stake in Total Oil Turkey. Four Turkish companies are interested in buying French Total’s local unit Total Oil Turkey, said earlier this month the head of the energy market regulator EPDK Mustafa Yilmaz, adding that one of the interested parties is the second largest distributor in the local market.

According to the latest data of the EPDK, OMV Petrol Ofisi is the largest player in domestic market with a 24.79% share while Opet Petrolculuk is the second largest player with a 16.91% in January-April. BP was the fourth largest oil distributer with a market share of 8.44% and Total Turkey ranked at the fifth place with a share of 5.64% in the same period.

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