Fracking is a game changer and the UK’s refining model is in a period of flux with only the strongest destined to survive, Pete George, managing director of UK & Ireland marketing for Phillips 66 told the audience at last month’s Top 50 Indies dinner. He stressed the need to partner with a financially strong fuel brand that not only has a focus on fuel quality and long-term security of supply, but also has the ability to suit individual needs.

"This is clearly a time of accelerating change in consumer behaviour, the UK’s refining model is in a period of flux and frankly only the strongest will survive," he said.

The annual Top 50 Indies dinner, held at the Chesford Grange Hotel, coincided with the publication of the latest Top 50 Indies listing, which saw MRH (GB) once again at the top of the table with 381 sites, more than 170 ahead of its nearest rival, despite having added just four sites since 2013, compared with 52 in the previous year.

Rontec also held on to its position at number two with 208 sites, combining its Snax 24 network which was previously listed separately. Thus Euro Garages remains in third place with 179 sites up from 120 sites last year, including the package of 48 sites it bought from Esso in January. Its network growth of 59 sites makes it the most expanded company in this year’s Top 50. Another notable performance came from Petrogas UK which almost doubled in size from 23 to 42 sites; and Spring Petroleum which added 16 sites to last year’s total. Platinum Retail, added four new sites, moving it up the list from 32 to 15.