ROCA’s dossier handed over to the Italian Government by its ambassador Giorgetti
The Under-Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Italian Ministers attended the opening of the biennial oil & gas OMC, reporting the protests, supported by actual data, of the Romagna offshore contractors’ cluster against the 2018 measure damaging Adriatic drills
Ravenna – After attending the Offshore Mediterranean Conference (OMC), Under-Secretary to the Presidency of the Council of Italian Ministers Giancarlo Giorgetti got back to Rome with a document drawn up by the Ravenna Offshore Contractors Association (ROCA) to urge the part of the Government which issued a detrimental measure for Ravenna – the largest Mediterranean oil & gas hub – to change its mind.
At the end of January, ROCA – headed by Franco Nanni since its creation (in 1992) – had already issued the “Ravenna Energy Capital Manifesto” urging to safeguard offshore activities and to protect the main territorial socio-economic resource from rash measures.
The document was submitted to the Chamber of Commerce to raise public, press and political awareness about the importance of resuming offshore activities in Italy and in particular in the Adriatic Sea. It pointed out that Ravenna is the main Italian energy district since 60 years, relying on 50 companies and 3,000 employees, and being among the most advanced as concerns technology and sustainability. This “sustainable” sector allowed the city to have 8 monuments protected by Unesco and a marine protected area at community level with disused platforms, it gave rise to the Po Delta Park and it granted thousands of skilled jobs in full respect for the environment.
ROCA simply asked to continue in this direction during the transition towards renewables, i.e. to keep on extracting gas in the Adriatic in order to provide new jobs, without having to import the same Adriatic gas which will inevitably be extracted from Croatia, Albania and Montenegro. In short, they want to supply gas to Italian families and enterprises at a lower price, and with less pollution for the sea and the environment.
Supported by Lega Senator Bini, ROCA convened a meeting the night before the opening of the conference, gathering some 70 operators representing 50 companies who had drawn up an accurate dossier detailing the association’s concrete proposals in order to highlight eco-friendly ideas about offshore activities.
The 10-pages document addressed to the Italian Government aims at limiting the negative effects of Article 11-ter on the thriving industry that at the XIV biennial conference gathered 643 exhibitors from 40 countries, thus proving its strength and unity.
As one of the entrepreneurs leading this peaceful protest observed, the point is that the whole world draws from its natural resources, except for Italy, where they pretend not to understand that gas is an energy source without any negative side effects in terms of pollution or operational risk.
As the figures and data provided by the international speakers during the conference showed, the offshore market is recovering in the whole world. Therefore, Italy demands a legislative support favouring the growth and development of extraction activities.
“Giorgetti accepted our invitation because the Lega party supports new investments and productive settlements of this clean industry. Besides contractors, there was also the top management of giants like Edison and PIR, to mention a few, as they are furious for the disconcerting measures taken in 2018”, Franco Nanni explained to Ship2Shore.
“We drew up two separate documents: a law amendment proposal promoting oil & gas activities and granting relief to a sector that is forced to pay 25 times as much for concession fees, besides a 10% increase in royalties’ prices.
The second document provides a series of suggestions for those who will launch the new National Energy Plan, which will have to be prepared in 18 months, taking into consideration our legitimate requests.
The main measures include an amendment of the absurd 12 miles limit to install extraction activities, which was imposed following the disaster of the Gulf of Mexico offshore platform, although we are not dealing with oil nor with equally deep waters”, SiTriv movement spokesman observed. We estimated that 50 new platforms could be installed within a short time to support the existing 100 platforms in the Adriatic coastline overlooking Ravenna, thus providing 150 cubic meters of gas, creating 15,000 new jobs and increasing the GDP by 2% in a decade. A 0.2% annual growth is significant, also considering that renewable energies – for which the Italian Government paid 96 billion euro – had very little effects on the GDP. This is confirmed also by Nomisma Energia’s research, in which Davide Tabarelli explained that the national energy mix will result in a significant reduction in coal and oil, with methane remaining stable at 40%”, ROCA’s leader continued.
The association was created because at the first edition of the OMC in 1993 we needed a separate legal entity.
“A quarter of a century ago, the initiative was launched by only a dozen of companies, with a hundred exhibitors, while today we are more than 600 enterprises, and the estimated visitors are 25,000. This proves that the sector is alive and, despite all the difficulties suffered, the exhibition achieved the record figures of its 2017 edition.
As a matter of fact, Ravenna is known as the seat of this industry and its leadership is not threatened by the similar exhibition held in Alexandria, MOC, with which we are actually collaborating, while the other two European exhibitions organized in Aberdeen (Scotland) and Stavanger (Norway) concern only Northern Europe”, Nanni concluded.