Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi ENI

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI)


the largest state-owned petroleum company of Italy.

ENI was founded in 1953 through the merger of a number of state-owned companies. It soon became one of the most active competitors of the international petroleum cartel by offering the petroleum-producing developing countries more favorable terms for the distribution of profits and for collaboration in the exploration for, extraction of, and refining of petroleum. Using this strategy, ENI gained access to the petroleum fields of Iran in 1958 and to those of several African countries in subsequent years.

By the mid-1970’s, a large proportion of ENI’s extraction and refining of petroleum was being done outside of Italy (90 percent of extraction and 35 percent of refining); it was exploring in 23 countries, extracting in Libya, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, and the British part of the North Sea, and refining in eight plants located in seven countries, including Italy. ENI was also extracting natural gas in Italy.

ENI includes 25 petrochemical enterprises (22 of which are in Italy), with a total capacity of 37 million tons; these enterprises manufacture such materials as synthetic fibers, synthetic rubbers, fertilizers, and plastics. ENI also owns approximately 13,000 service and gasoline stations, as well as a tanker fleet. More than 80 percent of the company’s sales are of petroleum and petroleum products, and 10 percent are of petrochemical products. ENI’s activities also include exploring for, extracting, and processing uranium ores, manufacturing machinery and equipment (including electrotechnical and automation equipment), manufacturing textiles, and designing and constructing petroleum-refining, petrochemical, and nuclear-power plants.

ENI is a holding company, combining nine branches. In 1976, the company had a turnover of $10 billion, and it employed 101,000 persons; as of 1975, its petroleum production exceeded 14 million tons, and its natural gas production totaled approximately 15 billion cu m.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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