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Navigation aidSwedish Independent Brands

Sweden has never had many independent brands of petrol, and the smaller names have often been owned by major companies, and used for purposes such as unmanned discount stations (automats). This happened with Mack, which can be found on some BP maps. The leading independent name for many years was UnO-X, which was successively under the ownership of Britain's Burmah Oil then Norsk Hydro. Bilisten (which means "motorist") was established in 1980 and controlled by Shell from 1985-99; it was mainly used at smaller dealer sites, but after a few years of independent ownership was bought by QStar in 2010. ARA was a much longer established independent, but along with the smaller Maxi was sold to Jet in the 1980s.


Brief History

Scandinaviska Bensin AB din-X is the largest independent Swedish petrol distributor. It supplies around 140 outlets in Southern Sweden under the din-X identity from is Helsingborg base. Established in the early 1960s, its sign closely mimics the original sign used by unO-X.


1998 Station booklet for din-X

The 1998 booklet ("From Skåne in the South to Dalarna in the North") shown left primarily listed the location of din-X filling stations. An address section was preceded by six pages of fairly basic two colour maps covering Southern Sweden, overprinted with orange symbols showing the nature and locations of the din-X facilities.
The 2007 map (right) covered all of Sweden, and both marked din-X stations on the map and listed them in a gazetteer. Produced by Folia it uses their proprietary QuickMap folding system at scales between 1:800,000 and 1:1.25mn spread over 6 sections.

2007 din-X map of Sweden

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Brief History

QStar has grown rapidly in South Central Sweden since it was first established in 1990 near Norrköping by concentrating on supplying unmanned filling stations (automats) at discount prices. Like several of the other Swedish independents, QStar runs a proprietary payment card for use at its locations. QStar became part of Nordic Oils, which also acquired the Pump chain (at one time owned by Q8), and announced that from 2007 onwards they would use the Gulf brand again. Qstar Försäljning AB was formed from QStar, Pump and Bilisten in 2010. According to its website (June 2014), it has 50 Pump stations, mainly operated by dealers in Southern Sweden, 280 QStar stations -all unmanned, and 80 Bilisten stations, mainly operated by dealers; it appears that the Gulf name is not widely used if at all - none are shown on its website station locator. In mid-2014 the company was sold to Ireland's DCC plc, which also owns the rights to use the Gulf brand in the UK.


Initially, QStar simply distributed a list of station addresses, but by 2005 had moved to locating them on a map of Sweden, still described as being a Stationsföreteckning. Neither a cartographer or scale is mentioned, but it is at approximately 1:1,125,000 and was printed by c-dryck. To keep the size of the map down, Sweden North of Umeå is omitted. As well as marking the 119 QStar outlets, the five of Sydoil and four from Oljeshejken that also accept QStar cards are shown. Oljeshejken (Oil Sheiks) was formerly known as Oljekejkerna Johnsson (see photo).

2005 QStar map of Sweden

Oil sheiks from Oljekejkerna Johnsson

No maps are known from other Swedish independents, including Bilisten.

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Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 1999-2014

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