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Shell following Paddy Briggs advice in New Zealand?

TVNZ

Shell review puts Fly Buys under a cloud

8:25PM Friday February 13, 2009

One of New Zealand’s biggest petrol brands, Shell, is considering selling most of its New Zealand operations.

That doesn’t necessarily mean your local petrol station will close but it’s not clear if you will still collect Fly Buys at the pumps.

Shell has announced it is reviewing what it calls its “downstream” business, basically all its retail and service operations.

And that could spell the end for Shell Fly Buys.

Shell is considering selling everything from its shares in construction firm Fulton and Hogan to all 225 gas stations.

In a statement to ONE News Shell says the review is not a response to the international financial turmoil. But instead, the company wants to concentrate on its oil exploration and high growth markets.

But before motorists fret about their local Shell shutting down, there’s reassurance from the Automobile Association.

“They’ve got good service stations in good locations for motorist and the public to use and you know in some respects if the brand sign changes on those it won’t change the fact that they’ll be there retailing and selling petrol,” says Mike Noon of the AA.

And that’s the situation across the Tasman. For the last five-and-a half years Shell stations in Australia have been operated by retail chain Coles Myer under the Shell logo.

The government has had a private briefing from Shell on its plans and is not concerned about less competition at the pump.

“The expectation is that their asset in New Zealand would be picked up by another player outside of those who are currently here. So that would mean consumer choices maintained,” says Gerry Brownlee, Energy Minister.

But it will be months before any decision is made. And so it will be months before Fly Buys customers know whether Shell, or any new operator, continues Fly Buys at the petrol pumps.

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