Esso, the European petrol trading arm of US energy titan ExxonMobil, is to sell 41 of its Czech petrol station fleet, the Prague Daily Monitor has reported quoting Euro Online as its source.

<p>According to the report, the move to divest the assets comes as part of a sweeping change of strategy for Esso in the Central European marketplace.<br /><br />Although local Esso bosses have declined to comment on the speculation, it is believed that the development is a precursor to further sales by Hungary&#0039;s Esso Hungaria and Slovakia&#0039;s Esso Slovensko.<br /><br />Market analysts have identified leading market players OMV, Benzina and Shell as potential buyers for the Esso stations, the Prague Daily Monitor reports.<br /><br />Esso&#0039;s move is further evidence of a trend for consolidation in the Czech fuel market and follows on closely from ConocoPhillips&#0039; decision to sell all 44 of its Jet petrol stations in the Central European country.</p>