21 Sep 2009

Petrol station closures now one per week

4:28 pm on 21 September 2009

The Motor Trade Association says independently owned and operated service stations are closing at a rate of about one a week.

It says tight margins on fuel are partly to blame. Also, independent station owners can't afford the cost of installing new storage tanks.

In 1976, there were 4400 independent owned service stations. In 1996, there were 1500 independents and 400 oil company sites.

Now there are about 650 independents, while oil companies run about 400 stations.

Shell and Mobil are looking to sell. Former managing director of BP Oil Peter Griffiths says it's obvious there are still too many service stations. He expects the closures to continue.