Oil transportation: Eni’s fleet, Italian ports and pipelines, 1950-1980

Andrea Maria Locatelli, Ilaria Suffia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To make their business profitable, oil multinationals have to include in their strategies the transport of crude oil from production sites to markets. This article focuses on Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (Eni), the Italian state-owned oil company – a significant firm in the oil industry in the second half of the twentieth century – to show how oil businesses have overcome trading limitations by establishing transportation systems comprising ships, ports and pipelines. Initially, the article focuses on the relationship between oil market growth and the development of oil transport from 1945 until the early 1970s. Secondly, it analyses the growth of Eni’s fleet and the increase in ship size, emphasising limitations and constraints in an international perspective. Finally, the development of ports and pipelines – vital links in the oil supply chain – is assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-927
Number of pages28
JournalInternational journal of maritime history
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 20th century
  • Eni
  • Oil multinationals
  • Oil transportation


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