Vivo Energy Kenya, the retailer of Shell-branded fuel products, has raised its market share to 26.52 percent, marking the first time in recent years that a single oil dealer is holding more than a quarter of local petroleum sales.
Data from the Petroleum Institute of East Africa shows the oil marketer’s share rose to the new high in the three months to March, up from 21.7 percent held in the full year ended December 2021. The market share gain is the result of the company’s aggressive marketing and expansion across the country.
The share of TotalEnergies Marketing Kenya increased to 17.7 percent from 16.4 percent while that of Rubis grew by 2.13 percentage points to 10.73 percent over the same period.
Ola Energy is the fourth biggest with a share of 7.52 percent.
Vivo Energy Kenya has disclosed plans to open 20 more fuel stations across the country before the end of the year, further cementing its dominance in the sales of super, diesel, and kerosene.
“We are looking at opening 20 more stations across the country before the end of this year. I cannot disclose the investment value because this is an internal matter. We are the market leader and we want to strengthen this position,” Vivo Energy Kenya managing director Peter Murungi said on Tuesday.
Other firms including Ola Energy and the French-owned Rubis have also stepped up their expansion as the race for a bigger share of the local fuel sales heats up.
Data shows that the four oil majors increased their dominance of fuel sales with a combined share of 62.47 percent from 53.4 percent.
The jump in their dominance came in a period when the oil majors posted spikes in customer traffic following a fuel shortage that first hit Kenya in March.
The shortage adversely hit the small dealers that depend on oil majors for supplies of their super, diesel, and kerosene.
Oil majors reduced their fuel allocations to the small dealers due to uncertainties over the State-backed subsidy ahead of the monthly review of pump prices in March and April.
The small dealers mainly supply the rural economy while the oil majors dominate the cities and major highways where demand for super and diesel is traditionally high.