Royal Dutch Shell said Monday it plans to develop 100 gas stations in Shaanxi province with its Chinese partners, in a move to expand its oil retail network in the country.
Shell will develop the stations through Shaanxi Yanchang and Shell Petroleum Co Ltd, a joint venture between Shell, Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co Ltd and Shaanxi Tianli Investment Co Ltd.
Shell has a 45-percent stake in the joint venture, which was established last year. The company has a registered capital of 330 million yuan ($48 million).
The joint venture opened its 10th gas station Monday in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi.
Overseas oil companies were allowed to start selling refined oil products in China from Jan 1, 2007. Shell now has over 500 gas stations, mainly in Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Guangdong and Jiangsu.
China reformed the oil pricing system this January, moving it closer to the international level. Analysts said that the new mechanism, which guarantees an appropriate margin for refiners, might help foreign companies accelerate their expansion into the Chinese market.
French oil major Total celebrated the opening of its 100th gas station in China on September 3. Since 2005 Total has partnered with Sinochem to develop a network of gas stations in China.
Through joint ventures with Sinochem, Total will continuously bring market-leading gas stations with quality products and leading services to the Chinese consumers, said Michel Benezit, president of refining & marketing at Total.