The Norwegian group Statoil has sold its Irish fuel retail network to Topaz Energy, a private equity group based in the country that already operates 150 Shell-branded forecourts.

<p>Topaz now intends to merge the existing Shell operations with those acquired from Statoil, and the merged entity will include commercial fuel, lubricants and oil import operations. Topaz bought Shell&#0039;s retail and commercial fuels business in Ireland in 2005.<br /><br />The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed however. Topaz will gain 69 retail service stations from Statoil as well as marketing and usage rights for the Fareplay brand, one of Ireland&#0039;s most high profile forecourt names.</p>