What is it about?

The strategic importance of Libya to Italy's energy interests has been a constant feature of Italy’s attitude towards the regime that began on 1 September 1969.This continued a tradition already well established by Eni's actions and,even earlier,by the numerous presence of Italians dating back from the colonial period. However,the oil needs of Italy have often clashed with the complex and changing personality of Gaddafi,creating a relationship that was always constantly at risk.The Italian government and Eni were often placed in great difficulty by the inconvenient demands of the Arab leader. The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of this difficult oil relationship, focusing the attention during the 1970s and 1980s.

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Why is it important?

Thanks to the new documentation now available at the Giulio Andreotti Archive it now appears possible to reconstruct in greater detail the decisive moments of Italian-Libyan collaboration.


The study aims to retrace the key moments of this difficult liaison from the point of view of oil issues, examining in depth the complicated events of 1970s and 1980s.All this trying to highlight both the importance of energy supplies for Italy,and the role played by Eni and by Italian political leader Andreotti in an attempt to maintain oil interests in Libya.

Silvio Labbate
Universita del Salento

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This page is a summary of: Italy and its oil dealings with Libya. Limits and obligations of a dependency: the difficult 1970s and 1980s, Middle Eastern Studies, June 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/00263206.2019.1625333.
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