The German energy giant RWE and British Petroleum plan to combine their petrol station and oil refinery activities into a joint venture, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.
The supervisory board of RWE was likely to approve the plan at a meeting on Friday, the newspaper said, quoting industry and company sources.
The combination would create one of the biggest petrol station and oil refinery companies in Germany.
Handelsblatt said that neither company was willing to comment on the information.
The two groups would have a network of 2,662 petrol stations, only just behind the market leader Aral which has 2,797 stations, but a long way ahead of other competitors.
RWE has been looking for an international partner for its petrol unit RWE-Dea for a year.
Following the merger between RWE and its much smaller rival VEW, it views its oil activities as a non-core business, the newspaper said.
BP ranks number five in the German petrol station sector and has seen its market share consistently eroded over the past few years.
The British group has also lost ground in its German oil refinery activities, where it accounts for just 30 percent — or four million tones of oil annually — of total capacity at the Bavarian refinery Bayernoil.
RWE treats 19.4 million tones of crude oil each year at its four refineries in Germany.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000