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Brief History

The Soviet oil industry first tried to establish controlled outlets for its fuel in Sweden in the 1920s where it built up the Nafta chain, before selling them to Gulf in 1937. V/O Sojuznefteexport re-entered the Western European market with two small chains of service stations using the Nafta brand in Britain and Belgium in the mid 1960s. At its peak the British chain had 275 outlets and the Belgian about 50. The British chain was sold to Q8 in 1987 but a Belgian presence continues in fuel oil, with 7 branded service stations remaining until around 2005.

East London station, August 1987


1978 Nafta map of Belgium

1978 Nafta map of Belgium - rear

Nafta opened its first filling station in Belgium in November 1967 and issued this standard FalkPlan map pasted into a plastified hard cover around 1978. Drawn to a scale of 1:250.000, it is the 10th edition by FalkPlan but has no mention of Nafta activities inside. The image on the top right corner is the dealer's sticker - from 'Lambaerts'. Nafta was based in Antwerp, but also had a significant presence in the Liège area.

Images courtesy of Michel Breugelmans.

1970 Nafta map of Antwerp Harbour

This harbour plan of Antwerp is by the German cartographer Orun (Otto Runte) and is dated 15.IV.70. The price was 70 BFr. The plan shows the harbour facilities and companies (and of course the Nafta depot next to the Albatross refinery). No maps are known from the British operation.

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Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2000-11

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.