Tesco has consolidated its position as the second largest fuel retailer in the UK, as site numbers have continued to fall, according to the latest figures published by Catalist.

Over the past year the supermarket giant has increased its market share by volume to 13% putting it firmly ahead of Esso and Shell, at 11.5% and 11.3% respectively, and behind the leader BP at 15.9%.

Arthur Renshaw, Catalist’s UK and Ireland sales manager, said investment in new sites had enabled the multiple to snaffle up volume, with 31 extra sites opening over the past 12 months. "Tesco has clearly increased its dominance and is now a massive influence in the market, especially as these figures don’t include the Esso alliance sites," he said.

The number of trading forecourts now stands at 9,570 - down from 9,994 for the same period in 2005. There are now 6,153 dealer sites and 2,259 owned by oil companies.