Dubai: Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), the Dubai government-owned oil and gas company, is looking to expand its service station network into other GCC countries, according to a top Enoc official.
“Enoc is studying to take the petroleum-retailing industry to GCC countries, to a new dimension,” Burhan Al Hashemi, Managing Director of Retail at Enoc, told Gulf News.
While a final decision on when or where Enoc will go has not yet been made, he said: “Enoc sites will be similar to the Enoc stations in the UAE, reflecting the same high standards of quality and service that has made Enoc one of the most respected and well-known brands in the Emirates today.” “It will be significant to share our expertise by reaching out to a wider audience in the GCC. It is a potential investment according to our expansion plan,” he pointed out. Business enhancement Al Hashemi said that the company earmarked most of its annual budget to go into enhancing Enoc’s current businesses.
“Enoc has an annual budget of $45 million, of which 75 per cent will go into enhancing and developing the current business while 25 per cent will go to building additional stations on Dubai’s Bypass Road to meet the increasing demand,” he said.
Currently, Enoc retail operates a network of 160 service stations across the Emirates, 90 in Dubai and the rest in the Northern Emirates. Since the recent closure of Enoc stations outside Dubai, they have been replaced by Adnoc (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company).
In Sharjah, 45 stations were closed while another 25 stations in the Northern Emirates have been kept open for retailers and to sell diesel.
However, Al Hashemi said that despite the slowdown of the company’s business outside Dubai, it didn’t affect the company result as it reported a 15 per cent increase in the retail business, backed by the opening of 43 Zoom stores at Dubai Metro stations.
“In general the retail business is a slim margin business which represents 13 per cent of the company’s total revenues,” he said.
The company, according to Al Hashemi, reported an annual loss of Dh2.7 billion for 2011, a year in which oil prices rose to levels last seen in 2008.
Enoc retails see over 600,000 customers a week, according to Al Hashemi. In addition to selling petroleum, Enoc also offers a number of facilities and services, including a supermarket, car wash, lube express — an advanced quick oil change service, comprehensive auto care services including a mechanic workshop and tyre express, in addition to bill payment, car registration and courier services.