Oil&nonoil: An important date in the diary for an evolving industry

The thirteenth Oil&nonoil exhibition, which will be running from 9th to 11th October at the Veronafiere fairgrounds, will adopt the same approach as in previous years, combining an exhibition with conference sessions.

The oil companies’ gradual abandonment of the downstream sector is an international phenomenon that has reached Italy later than other countries, but has intensified strongly in the past two years.

There are now only four vertically integrated oil companies still operating on the Italian market (Eni, Kuwait, Api-Ip and Tamoil) and this leaves the rest of the network, at least 50%, in the hands of private entrepreneurs, who have to deal with all the complex management steps.

There are more than 160 brands currently within the Italian network, representing companies that often operate in regional settings. Filling station owners are growing in number and many of them entrust oil companies with the running of their facilities.

Recently, the British company Eurogarages purchased 1,170 Esso filling stations and is now starting their new operations. There are also other aggregations of owners that can bring together as many as 500 stations, sharing management and procurement problems and, often, a common brand too.

In Verona, the Italian Economic Development Ministry will be presenting the results of the “Anagrafe della rete” (network registry), a complex survey carried out to obtain precise data on the solidity of the network, and to identify stations that fail to meet the latest safety regulations.

The picture that emerges will shape the debate over the coming months and also the choices of those entrepreneurs whose stations will be forced to close.

It is no coincidence that Oil&nonoil has been chosen by the Ministry and the Conference of Italian Regions for the presentation of these data.

The event attracts over 4,000 operators, who include representatives of industry associations, managers of oil companies and many independent operators.

Some of the twenty-five scheduled conference sessions are aimed at independent entrepreneurs and will be seeking to provide information that may facilitate organisational choices.