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Old February 4th, 2017, 12:55 PM   #3901
Kpc21
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We have a partially manned Statoil 1-2-3 in Łódź.

They have even a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Statoil123Lodz/

Those Statoils 1-2-3 used to belong to the "st1" branch (which is Finnish), but Statoil bought them in 2011.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 03:56 PM   #3902
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I have not said anything to deny: the 1-2-3 I meant was built as ST1 also. This is pretty nice example of the consolidation at Polish gas market. I actually don't know why, but so many chains were overtaken by bigger ones in recent years: American Esso (by Polish Lotos), Swedish Preem (mostly by Statoil, some of them by Lotos as well), Finnish ST1 by Norwegian Statoil, Finnish Neste by Dutch-English Shell; I do not count the conversion of Aral ones into BP, as it was global process due to overtaking the whole Aral concern by British Petroleum. As for it there are quite a few chains ruling the majority of market (Orlen, BP, Lotos, Shell, Statoil; next Lukoil and Moya are much less influential while having about 100 stations, as Statoil has much more than 300). Such a consolidation I have seen in Ireland also: purely Irish Topaz, Maxol and Inver rule majority of the market, American Green Apple are also visible, while Esso is being converted into Topaz and Texaco are constantly disappearing as well. Maybe it comes from being not as open in both cases: Poland - due to opening the market for international companies since 90's, Ireland - as the market is pretty small and island location.

Here in Poland the Total brand tried to invest and if I'm not mistaken, they said that they'll have more than 100 stations all around the country till 2016. Till today they have... 17, but it's a huge progress due to having 10 a few months ago, when I checked it last time.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 06:42 PM   #3903
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I think the Statoil fuel stations have also been bought by Canadian company Couche Tard
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:03 PM   #3904
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But in all countries where Statoil exists (so around the Baltic sea), so it's the Aral casus.

Another example I have not written is overtaking Lukoil chain in Poland by AMIC Energy, based in Vienna, but it's probably only a marketing step. The same happened in Ukraine, they managed to rename Lukoils as AMIC Energy ones, but actually the new owner is still ruling by Russians and AFAIR it has some personal connections with "former" Lukoil... The real conversion of Lukoil stations happened in Czech Republic, where they were bought by Hungarian Mol, in Slovakia and Hungary, where they were bought by some another Hungarian company. Actually while selling Lukoil chain in Poland to some enigmatic "Austrians" I was wondering about OMV (for some reason missing in Poland), but unfortunately it did not happen.
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No půdź sam synek, půdź do nos sam, tu momy fajer, tu fajer jes, ja!

Kiedy padł ten pierwszy strzał, Kosteczku, to wszystko się zaczęło, zaczęli strzelać ci grenszuce, których chłopcy jeszcze nie zdążyli rozbroić, i zaczęli strzelać ci chłopcy, którzy już mieli jakieś karabiny albo nulachty, i posypało się trochę strzałów. Słyszałeś krzyki:
- Erich dostoł! - i do dziś nie wiesz, czy to krzyczał grenszuc, czy powstaniec.
Szczepan Twardoch, „Morfina”, o wybuchu I powstania śląskiego.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 09:53 PM   #3905
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What exactly is an "unmanned" fuel station? In Hungary or Germany I have not seen any fuel station with no shop for several years (neither had in other countries but it's only these two where I have significant experiences). And in those shops there is always an employee that sells goods and you have to pay for the fuel to him/her. I think you all saw and refilled in those stations many times.
Does it count as "unmanned"?
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Old February 4th, 2017, 09:54 PM   #3906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajKeR_ View Post
Swedish Preem (mostly by Statoil, some of them by Lotos as well)
The only Preem station I knew about has just left the franchise and it was an independent station. Now, it belongs to the Artus branch.

By the way, I know a few their (Artus') stations - but they don't have any website and by googling it, I find only complaints about mistreatment of employees on their stations, about incorrectly calibrated counters at the pumps (so that they count more fuel than it's actually refueled) and even about arresting the owner of this branch (but regardless of that, the branch is still active - maybe someone bought it and now it's better?).

It's this one: https://goo.gl/maps/YRmC1iFqMWM2 - when the photo was taken (it didn't belong to Artus yet), it still had some Preem reminders like the roof colors. You can also select three older photos there, when it looked even more Preem-like. They were even still using the "Preema" brand for the fuels.

There are also those signs some km before the station: https://goo.gl/maps/gkgtd7amrB62 - they also remember the Preem times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Attus View Post
What exactly is an "unmanned" fuel station? In Hungary or Germany I have not seen any fuel station with no shop for several years (neither had in other countries but it's only these two where I have significant experiences). And in those shops there is always an employee that sells goods and you have to pay for the fuel to him/her. I think you all saw and refilled in those stations many times.
Does it count as "unmanned"?
It means that there is no man there, but you refuel on your own and pay in a machine. Usually before refueling, otherwise it would be too easy to steal the fuel. On manned stations, you pay afterwards, at least in Poland. So when sometimes steals the fuel (refuels without paying), an employee has a possibility to easily notice it and call the police.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 09:58 PM   #3907
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It means that there is no man there, but you refuel on your own and pay in a machine. Usually before refueling, otherwise it would be too easy to steal the fuel.
Thanks. I have never in my life seen such a station.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:09 PM   #3908
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I have never seen one in Germany either, but they are extremely common in the Netherlands, I'd say over half of all fuel stations are unmanned with a payment terminal at the pump. In Scandinavia I've often seen fuel stations with a shop, but where you pay at the pump.

Germany is much more a cash economy than some other European countries. It's unthinkable to have a shop in the Netherlands where you cannot pay by card, but this is fairly common in Germany, even on locations where you could pay a large sum of money (for example at a campsite).

For example, Shell Express with a payment terminal:
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:16 PM   #3909
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I took a survey, in my city (population 120,000) there are 23 fuel stations, only 7 have a shop with staff. The remainder are unmanned with a payment terminal.

You generally cannot get LPG / Autogas at such stations. Many staffed ones close down at 9 p.m. which means it can be tricky to refuel LPG late at night outside of the motorway network.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:18 PM   #3910
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In Poland unmanned stations are not popular, but there are some of them. And it seems that such stations are very popular in the US.

And I believe, there are still some old stations in Poland, where you don't have a shop you can go into, but only a kiosk-type counter, where you can buy only car-related stuff like oils, other car liquids, light bulbs etc.

I remember such one in my town - it doesn't exist any more, already for many years. But there are some photos from the time it was being closed:


(already with no pumps)









It had the Orlen brand, but it still had the CPN colors (CPN owned all the stations in Poland in the communist times and Orlen is their successor, they got rebranded to Orlen at one time; the name CPN became kind of synonym of a gas station and now when someone in Poland says CPN, he just means any gas station).

While most gas stations in Poland are 24/7, this one wasn't.

A similar station in Łódź existed until not a long time ago: https://goo.gl/maps/pqG21t3jkRL2

You can see that it was still operating in 2013.

Another characteristic thing for such old and not renovated gas stations is that each pump has only one type of fuel. It it is still so especially at smaller or independent stations, but most of them have pumps where all types of fuel are available at each pump.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:34 PM   #3911
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By the way, talking about small gas stations, I just must mention this station: https://goo.gl/maps/q71hYzHgFTp
(and it's neighbor at the other side of the motorway)

It's original German "Fürstenwalde type" design: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichs...e_Fürstenwalde

And it's probably the last pair of such stations ever built which is still operational.

It's unusual for this station type that it's built directly at the motorway entrance/exit.

Some old photos of this station: http://dolnoslaskie.fotopolska.eu/Wr...liw_Orlen.html

and here: http://dolny-slask.org.pl/510423,Bie...oclawskie.html
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:41 PM   #3912
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I've tanked at that exact station
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:54 PM   #3913
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Talking about this one:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
A similar station in Łódź existed until not a long time ago: https://goo.gl/maps/pqG21t3jkRL2

You can see that it was still operating in 2013.
- it seems that they reopened it as a new station.

See: http://lodz.fotopolska.eu/Nowa_stacj...owa_Orlen_Lodz


(2016)

Just after closing:


(2014)
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Old February 4th, 2017, 11:01 PM   #3914
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What I've generally noticed with unstaffed fuel stations in the Netherlands is that they're generally clean / unvandalized despite the absence of staff. There is usually no garbage lying around and the pumps look clean. There is no graffiti or big stains on them. Evidently they do clean them, but I've never seen them do it.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 11:06 PM   #3915
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Maybe they are usually in such places that there is no possibility for vandals to be active there - there are always people passing there or living next to it.

So looks one of the few unmanned stations in Łódź: https://goo.gl/maps/R6aUBKGvYHo

The paying machines are next to the pumps.

Maybe it can be seen better from this perspective: https://goo.gl/maps/Yj4nHXxcXfE2 (it happened that there are some employees just servicing it)

By the way, a characteristic thing for all Neste stations in Poland was a satellite dish - they used a satellite connection for the data transfer. Quite interesting as it's more expensive than using just the mobile network as usually, for example, the card payment terminals in shops do. Especially if you talk about two-directional data transfer, not just downlink.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 11:16 PM   #3916
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I've never seen an unmanned station for the general public in the US. there are stations that are unmanned that take corporate credit cards. Those stations are few and far between.

In the US except for two states,New Jersey & Oregon, you can pump your own fuel. Very few old fashion "full service" gas stations left. Also almost all fuel pumps take credit or debit cards. Or you can go inside the station/convenience store and pay. Never seen a machine at a station that you could deposit cash to pay for your fuel.

Yesterday I paid $2.07 a gallon for unleaded plus here in Cedar Rapids. That is the lowest price available.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 11:21 PM   #3917
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Commercial vehicle unmanned stations are apparently called a 'cardlock' in the US and Canada. It seems you can only refuel there with a fleet card.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 11:50 PM   #3918
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd popeye View Post
Also almost all fuel pumps take credit or debit cards. Or you can go inside the station/convenience store and pay.
So you can pay by card at the pump, exactly as at European unmanned stations.

At the manned stations, at least in Poland, there is no such possibility. Regardless of whether you pay by card or by cash, you must go inside, sometimes wait in a queue behind people buying hot dogs, and pay at the counter.

The most annoying thing is when someone is going to buy a hot dog, but he doesn't move his car from the pump after refueling, generating unnecessary queue, because he blocks the pump.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 12:12 AM   #3919
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Quote:
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The only Preem station I knew about has just left the franchise and it was an independent station. Now, it belongs to the Artus branch.
Seemingly they had also their own stations. As I've googled, while leaving they had 80 stations all around the country. 69 of them were bought by Statoil. Here in Tarnowskie Góry the Preem existed also and became a Lotos Optima, so perhaps some kind of station of economical segment (but as for me it only appears in condition of their pavement, which is horrible and general vintage look of the station). Some premium fuels like arctic diesel (currently) are being sold there also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
What I've generally noticed with unstaffed fuel stations in the Netherlands is that they're generally clean / unvandalized despite the absence of staff. There is usually no garbage lying around and the pumps look clean. There is no graffiti or big stains on them. Evidently they do clean them, but I've never seen them do it.
Simply they mantain them from higher level. Talking about Statoil; maybe a month ago I asked an employee in manned, "premium" one, where I often fuel (currently more often, as it's in my way to often visiting places and as they offer an "arctic diesel" without BIO-additives), how deliveries of various types of fuels look and if some additives are being added to the fuel at the delivery (as some urban legend says). He said that at all Statoil stations deliveries are "automatic", there are people at general headquaters looking after this and no one at gas station has any influence to this, as he even doesn't know when will the delivery take place. I guess something similar takes places about general maintance of unmanned stations, seemingly there are people taken by people in headquarters to clean them. Vandals are being discouraged by CCTV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpc21 View Post
It's this one: https://goo.gl/maps/YRmC1iFqMWM2 - when the photo was taken (it didn't belong to Artus yet), it still had some Preem reminders like the roof colors. You can also select three older photos there, when it looked even more Preem-like. They were even still using the "Preema" brand for the fuels.

There are also those signs some km before the station: https://goo.gl/maps/gkgtd7amrB62 - they also remember the Preem times.
Generally it mainly concerns former Shell stations. They still open new ones, but the amount of them stays pretty equal, because some are very often being changed into different ones, mostly unchained. I don't know why, but such an optimalisation is Shell's speciality around here. E.g. at this photo at Google Street View you can still see a Shell one, while it doesn't exist anymore - there is some unchained station, but some signage, like this at the first plan, still is. https://www.google.pl/maps/@50.08427...!6m1!1e1?hl=pl

There is also a small chain called "R8", which is invented for transportation of goods and they often convert into their brand former Shell stations. Here it is, actually this photo is from short episode of being unchained at all, but some significant signage still appears. https://www.google.pl/maps/place/%C5...!6m1!1e1?hl=pl
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No půdź sam synek, půdź do nos sam, tu momy fajer, tu fajer jes, ja!

Kiedy padł ten pierwszy strzał, Kosteczku, to wszystko się zaczęło, zaczęli strzelać ci grenszuce, których chłopcy jeszcze nie zdążyli rozbroić, i zaczęli strzelać ci chłopcy, którzy już mieli jakieś karabiny albo nulachty, i posypało się trochę strzałów. Słyszałeś krzyki:
- Erich dostoł! - i do dziś nie wiesz, czy to krzyczał grenszuc, czy powstaniec.
Szczepan Twardoch, „Morfina”, o wybuchu I powstania śląskiego.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 12:42 AM   #3920
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A liter of cheap pilsener costs about € 0,90 here. A brand pilsener costs twice as much and more tasty specials go for € 2,- a bottle (30 cc)
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