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|Founded||1926 in Rome|
|Headquarters||Rome, Milan, Italy|
Agip (Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli—General Italian Oil Company) is an Italian former automotive gasoline, diesel, LPG, lubricants, fuel oil, and bitumen retailer established in 1926. It has been a subsidiary of the multinational petroleum company Eni. In 2003, Eni acquired Agip Petroli S.p.A., creating the Refining and Marketing Division (R&M).
Sinclair Oil was a U.S. oil company that, with the Italian Ministry of National Economy in 1924, reached a fifty-year agreement for which both companies were issued a permit to conduct oil research in Emilia-Romagna and in Sicily, for an area of 40,000 km ². Sinclair and the Italian ministry constituted a joint enterprise; 40% of the capital was the ministry's property, all expenditure incurred by Sinclair Oil and 25% of profits to the Italian ministry. The agreement was judged to cause serious damage to the nation and the opposition, headed by Giacomo Matteotti and Don Sturzo, started a controversy which aligned the suspicion of corruption; Matteotti indeed had prepared a speech on this issue for June 12, but was killed two days earlier. Don Sturzo continued the controversy, stating in a public company was the only way for a national energy independence.
Coal in Italy was scarce and of poor quality. It was imported from abroad at prices that seriously weighed on currency balance and limited industrial growth. Power plants, which were not very developed and mainly concentrated in the north of the country, could not satisfy the needs of energy.
The constitution of the company and the ad aziendam laws
With a royal decree on April 3, 1926, the government of the Kingdom of Italy ordered the establishment of the Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli (AGIP), in the conduct of all activities relating to industry and the commerce of petroleum; the company was created in the form of joint stock companies. The share capital was given for a 60% from the Ministry of the Treasury, for a 20% by Istituto Nazionale Assicurazioni (INA) and the remaining 20% by the Social Insurance. The first president was Ettore Conti, contractor in the electricity sector. The establishment of the company was attributed by many analysts to Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, Ministry of Finance, and Giuseppe Belluzzo, Ministry for the National Economy. Volpi di Misurata, however, was directly involved in oil-related interests, working together with FIAT of Giovanni Agnelli, and with the financial backing of Banca Commerciale Italiana, which had searched for oil in Emilia-Romagna, unsuccessfully. In 1927 the Mining Act was issued, which gave the ownership of the subsoil to the State and imposed the rule that any oil-related activity was subject to authorization and / or government grant.
It experienced difficulties after the crisis of 1929, but began to flourish in the 1930s. In 1933, a new law was issued in the field of protectionist refineries and AGIP could operate with greater ease in this area.
Early stages and development
AGIP had a facility for refining at Fiume and in 1936 it took over a refinery at Porto Marghera, owned by Volpi di Misurata. Soon after it made an agreement with Montecatini for the creation of the joint enterprise Anic (Fuel Hydrogenation National Company), which was to pursue the derivation of fuel by hydrogenation of brown coal. Then Anic built two refineries to process the oil extracted in Albania from Azienda Italiana Petroli Albanesi (AIPA), a subsidiary of AGIP. However the Albanian oil was of poor quality and its processing proved uneconomical.
Simultaneously, however, because of the costs to support colonial campaigns, Agip had to give up to continue in some foreign investment, in particular it had to abandon their exploration campaigns in Iraq. It was the explorer Ardito Desio who found oil in Libya and in 1939 came the so-called "Petrolibia operation", in which AGIP was linked to FIAT, with which the year before it had created an Italian company for synthetic fuels who wanted to explore the possibility of obtaining gasoline from synthetic chemistry.