giant Royal Dutch Shell has appointed investment bank Lazard to sell its Swedish unit, while rival BP is looking to sell its French petrol stations, it is understood.
Shell is hoping to sell off its Swedish business, which includes a refinery in Gothenburg, a marketing arm, and its network of more than 400 gas stations for around $750m (£461.2m).
Shell has been selling refineries in the United States and Europe in recent years and says its refining focus is shifting eastward.
It is planning to sell about 15 per cent of its global refining capacity, or 600,000 barrels a day of capacity over the next three years as it looks to restructure, improve its profitability and increase its efficiency.
The news comes two days after Shell won a joint contract for one of Iraq’s highly coveted oilfields, after a two-day auction which was designed to boost up the country’s crude oil output.