Elf takes on domestic gas market

Elf Petroleum plans to move into the domestic gas market, and is rebranding its commercial operation Agas as Elf.

The move is planned for next year, after the gas market has been deregulated. One source says: “The Elf name is the one which is recognised by the consumer.”

One possibility is that the gas will be distributed through the forecourt shops, which are jointly branded Elf and Somerfield.

Supermarkets are scrambling to set up deals to sell gas and electricity before deregulation.

Agas managing director Alan Marshall says: “We are not ruling anything out. We are always looking for profitable opportunities for our customers.”

Although Agas has not registered with industry regulator Ofgas to test domestic selling regionally, it already supplies gas to houses in areas where its sister company, Agas Developments, has the public gas transporter licence.

Elf bought out the remaining 50 per cent share of Agas – Associated Gas Supplies – from Energy & Technical Services early last year, making it the sole owner.

Elf’s chairman Frederic Isoard says in the company’s end of year results: “Elf intends that this acquisition will affirm its commitment to the UK.”

Elf is in talks with the Woolwich Building Society about launching banking facilities on its forecourts (MW January 24).

Last week, Agas appointed Aspen Direct to develop its communication strategy.

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