Enrico Mattei

Mattei, Enrico (ānrēˈkō mät-tāˈ) [key], 1906–62, Italian public administrator. After World War II he was given the task of dismantling the Italian Petroleum Agency, a Fascist state enterprise. Instead Mattei enlarged and reorganized it into the Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), or National Fuel Trust. Under his direction ENI developed large deposits of natural gas in Italy and negotiated important oil concessions in the Middle East as well as a large-scale trade agreement with the USSR. Mattei, who became a powerful figure in Italy, introduced the principle whereby the country that owned exploited oil reserves received 75% of the profits. A left-wing Christian Democrat, Mattei was a member of parliament from 1948 to 1953. He died in a plane crash in 1962.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian History: Biographies