▪ Italian corporationabbreviation of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (Italian: “State Hydrocarbons Authority”) , in full Eni SpAan Italian energy company operating primarily in petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Established in 1953, it was by the late 1990s one of Europe's largest oil companies in terms of sales. Eni has operations in more than 70 countries. Its headquarters are in Rome.Eni is an outgrowth of Agip (Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli), an oil and gas agency set up by the Italian fascist government in the 1920s. In 1952 Enrico Mattei, a former resistance fighter, persuaded the Italian postwar government to coordinate the Agip gas and oil holdings in the new Eni; AgipPetroli is now the retail subsidiary. Eni was state-owned until 1995, when the government began to privatize the company; by the end of the 20th century more than 60 percent of Eni was publicly owned.Eni subsidiaries engage in the exploration, production, transportation, refining, and retailing of oil and natural gas. Exploration for oil is intensive, especially in oceanic areas, and Eni has established itself as a leader in ocean mining technology. Eni holds extensive exploration rights in northern Africa and in 2000 made an important discovery in the waters off Angola. It also has major operations in Latin America and the North Sea. As consolidation within the oil industry increased in the late 1990s, Eni began acquiring a number of companies, including British-Borneo Oil & Gas PLC (2000) and the U.K. oil firm Lasmo PLC (2001). Among Eni's other interests are nuclear energy, chemicals, mining and metallurgy, and the manufacture of heavy machinery.
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