Enrico Mattei

Apr 29, 1906 - Oct 27, 1962

Enrico Mattei was an Italian public administrator. After World War II he was given the task of dismantling the Italian Petroleum Agency Agip, a state enterprise established by the Fascist regime. Instead Mattei enlarged and reorganized it into the National Fuel Trust, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi. Under his direction ENI negotiated important oil concessions in the Middle East as well as a significant trade agreement with the Soviet Union which helped break the oligopoly of the 'Seven Sisters' that dominated the mid 20th century oil industry. He also introduced the principle whereby the country that owned exploited oil reserves received 75% of the profits.
Mattei, who became a powerful figure in Italy, was a Christian Democrat, and a member of parliament from 1948 to 1953. Mattei made ENI a powerful company, so much so that Italians called it "the state within the state." He died in a plane crash in 1962, likely caused by a bomb in the plane, although it has never been established which group might have been responsible for his death.
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