Oil giant Shell is reducing its forecourt estate in the UK because of intense competition in petrol prices. Sixty of the multinational's 1,200 British service stations are on the market, and another 82 have been disposed of since March. Paul Skinner, head of refining and marketing, says Shell is being driven out of the Britain by high taxation and supermarket price wars in fuel. He said: "Shell's overall business in the UK has actually earned close to zero over the last three years. We have matched supermarket cuts and found profitability to be very low indeed." Of the 140 "less profitable" stations being disposed of, 80 are to be swapped with Texaco for sites in Poland and Greece. Some of the 60 sites which are not going to Texaco have been put up for sale to property developers, although over half of them will be retailed for oil use under a Shell fascia. UK operations are the fly in the ointment for Shell which reported record $3.14bn quarterly profits last week. A spokesman for Sainsbury said its Local c-store format would still be put on trial at six Shell forecourts over the next months. The first Local concession is scheduled to open at the end October at an undisclosed location. {{NEWS }}