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BP says new fuels will cut emissions
BP.L launched a new set of motor fuels this week that it said would deliver better engine performance while also cutting down on emissions of harmful pollutants, enabling the oil major to step up its battle for market share of higher value petrol and diesel.

LONDONThe company's global products strategy director, Phil New, told Reuters during the UK launch of BP Ultimate petrol and diesel that the new fuels were costing BP "hundreds of millions of pounds" to develop, manufacture and market across the world.

"This has been a significant investment, both in terms of financial resources and expertise and the time involved that has gone beyond the industry's conventional boundaries," New said.

BP said the fuels would reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulates and nitrogen oxides and at the same time improve fuel efficiency.

Declining petrol consumption, due to increased popularity of diesel and to ever-greater fuel efficiency generated by modern engines and fuels, has seen oil majors seek a bigger share of the higher-value end of the market as they wrestle with supermarket chains to retain their slice of the highly competitive fuel retail sector.

According to the UK Energy Institute, total UK petrol consumption fell in the first seven months of this year by five percent compared with the same period last year, to 10.89 million tonnes.

But consumption of super unleaded petrols jumped by 48 percent to 474,000 tonnes, raising the share of the performance fuels to 4.4 percent from 2.8 percent.

BP retail director Graham Sims said BP 's new fuels would be available at 700 of its 1,200 UK filling stations by the end of this year, followed by a universal rollout across its system in early spring of 2004.

The newly launched high performance ultra low sulphur petrol, with an octane count of 97, will fully replace BP 's current super unleaded petrol, while BP Ultimate diesel is to be the UK's first performance diesel.

The new fuels will be sold alongside the now standard ultra low sulphur petrol and ultra low sulphur diesel at BP forecourts. Over the same period, BP will phase out its offering of lead replacement petrol that now only accounts for a tiny fraction of UK fuel sales.

Like the current superunleaded petrol, BP Ultimate petrol will be sold at a 4-5 pence per litre premium over standard ULSP, while Ultimate diesel will be priced three pence per litre over standard ULSD.

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