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Oil refining in Sicily: A critical perspective looking to the future

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Hosting close to half of Italy's oil refining capacity, Sicily is home to four petroleum refineries, one of which ended operations in 2014-2015. Following an updated outlook of Sicily's oil infrastructure, this study provides both a critical perspective as to where oil refining in Sicily currently stands and a substantial view into its near future. We conclude offering a clue on how the autonomous Sicily's government might act to face the consequences of the undergoing profound changes summarized herein.
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1
Oil refining in Sicily: A critical perspective looking to the future
Mario Pagliaro,[a] Francesco Meneguzzo[b]
Abstract: Hosting close to half of Italy’s oil refining capacity, Sicily is
home to four petroleum refineries, one of which ended operations in
2014-2015. Following an updated outlook of Sicily’s oil infrastructure,
this study provides both a critical perspective as to where oil refining
in Sicily currently stands and a substantial view into its near future.
We conclude offering a clue on how the autonomous Sicily’s
government might act to face the consequences of the undergoing
profound changes summarized herein.
Keywords: oil, oil refining, Sicily, electric vehicle, bioplastics
1. Introduction
Aptly called by a historian the “geopolitical oil rig”,[1] Sicily hosts
in its east lands, next to the harbor towns of Milazzo, Augusta,
Priolo, Melilli, Siracusa, and Gela, four large petroleum refineries,
one of which (Gela) in 2015 ended to operate. Not all the oil
refined in these large refineries originates though tankers sailing
from oil-rich countries because Sicily also hosts several oil rigs
and offshore platforms in the southeastern area of Sicily where
the presence of oil was known since early nineteenth century.[2]
We briefly remind that an oil refinery's unit converts crude oil,
through a series of physical and chemical processes such as
distillation, and catalytic desulfurization and conversion (cracking,
hydrocracking, etc.) into valued fuels and petrochemical
feedstock including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), virgin
naphtha, gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and fuel oil.[3] The crude oil is
retrieved from the storage tanks, typically having a capacity of
80-150 thousand cubic meters, regularly filled through dedicated
submarine pipelines carrying crude oil unloaded from a tanker.
Writing in the early 1980s, Dutch scholars were noting how “the
island's geographical position is advantageous both for importing
crude oil supplies and for the distribution of refined products to
home and international market”;[4] adding that “at the onset of
the 'eighties, the European off refinery industry faced a serious
overcapacity in distillation due to the decline of demand and late
effects of investments made in the early 'seventies. Closures
and cut-backs will not be distributed evenly across Europe, but
affect notably regions like Holland and Italy (in particular Sicily
and Sardinia) whose refining capacity far exceeds their own
demand”.[4]
Actually, as mentioned above, Sicily’s refineries were built
targeting Italy’s (and not Sicily’s) fuel market. Indeed, their
capacity amounts to about half of Italy’s overall oil refining
capacity. Not only were existing refineries profitably working for
decades after the above mentioned 1984 forecast, but in 1997
the capacity of Sicily’s largest refinery in Priolo, originally
operating since 1975 with a refining capacity of 11 million tonnes,
was risen first to 12 and then to 16 million tonnes per year.
The price of oil was then very low, economy in Italy, Europe and
even in North Africa’s countries was flourishing and oil refining
was, by far, the most important economic activity in Sicily.
Then, following the great financial crisis started in 2008, Italy’s
economy started an unprecedented decline (between 2008 and
2013 national income fell by 9 per cent, per capita incomes by
11 per cent, and industrial production by 25 per cent; and
unemployment doubled)[5] which lasts uninterrupted to the
present days.
Following the adoption of a common currency with Europe’s
main countries since 2002, Italy can no longer devaluate its
currency to stimulate export, whereas low and declining salaries
(”austerity”) enforced by governments to meet European
Maastricht’s treaty economic requirements (State annual deficit
lower than 3% of gross domestic product), along with growing
wage inequality, caused a similarly unprecedented (and
ongoing) drop in internal demand. With the demand so low,
public and private investment have dropped resulting in
deflation.[6]
With regards to energy, the outcome was a dramatic reduction in
oil consumption, which dropped from 93.5 million tonnes in year
2000 to 57.4 million tonnes in 2014.[7] Since then, it never
recovered, regardless of widening the number of Italy’s oil
industry companies monitored in 2018, when Italy’s consumption
of oil amounted to 60.4 million tonnes.[8] Under these
circumstances, the aforementioned “serious overcapacity in
distillation due to the decline of demand” materialized, and
several refineries in Italy were closed, including one in 2015 in
Sicily’s Gela.
Add to this that almost concomitantly, Italy (and Sicily) almost
suddenly started to adopt wind power and solar photovoltaic to
generate power on mass scale, to such an extent that several
oil-burning thermoelectric plants were closed, including the 210
MW power plant built in 1959 in Augusta to supply power to
eastern Sicily and to the new oil refineries.
Renewable power generation on utility-scale in Sicily is actually
so effective that during the first half of 2015, for the first time, the
zonal electricity price in Sicily decreased below than the national
wholesale price in Italy, with significant benefits for Italy's
electricity consumers.[9]
This study provides both a critical perspective as to where oil
refining currently stands and a substantial view into its near
future. We conclude offering a clue on how the autonomous
[a] Dr. M. Pagliaro
Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR
via U. La Malfa 153
90146 Palermo (Italy)
E-mail: mario.pagliaro@cnr.it
Web: www.qualitas1998.net
[b] Dr. F. Meneguzzo
Istituto per la Bioeconomia, CNR
via Madonna del Piano 10
50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy)
E-mail: francesco.meneguzzo@cnr.it
2
Sicily’s government might act to face the consequences of the
undergoing dramatic changes summarized herein.
2. Sicily’s oil infrastructure
Purchased in 2018 by Algeria’s national oil company, the
175,000 barrel-per-day Augusta refinery is the first refinery built
in Sicily. Through depots in Augusta, Palermo and Naples the
refinery has supplied fuels and other oil-derived products across
the Italian national territory since 1949. Due to lack of sufficient
refining capacity in face of the rapidly developing economy and
young population driving the surge in domestic fuel demand,
Algeria spent $2.5 billion in 2017 for fuel imports, namely three
times more than the $800 million paid in 2016.[10]
Entirely owned by a Russian company since 2013, and
operating since 1964 (the northern site) and 1975 (southern site),
another large refinery is located in Priolo. Consisting of three
production sites interconnected each other through a system of
pipelines, one of which generates electricity burning fuel syngas
produced from the gasification of the refinery TAR (asphalt) in a
549 MW power station, the refinery has a 16 million t/year
refining capacity.[11] The refinery produces large amounts of
naphtha for the integrated production of olefins in the nearby
petrochemical plant.
Located on the north eastern coast of Sicily and operated by a
joint venture of Italy’s and Kuwait’s national oil companies, the
200,000 barrel per day Milazzo oil refinery comprising two crude
distillation units is amid Italy’s four largest refineries.[12] The plant
today specializes in the production of light fuels (gasoline, diesel
and kerosene). When it started, in 1961, the production of fuel
oil for thermoelectric power plants was truly significant. In the
early 1990’s the refinery units were updated to ensure a
reduction of fuel oil production in favor of distillates of improved
quality (lower sulphur content).[13]
Built in the early 1950s by Italy’s national oil company, the Gela
refinery had a refining capacity of 100,000 barrels/day and
mostly refining heavy crude oil obtained from nearby fields
offshore Sicily, being integrated with nearby petrochemical plant.
In 2015, the refinery’s units stopped operation.
An agreement signed in late 2014 aims to convert the latter oil
refinery into a biorefinery designed for processing 750,000
tonnes of palm oil and its by-product palm fatty acid distillate,
and 400,000 tonnes of non-edible waste (recycled used and
frying oils and animal fats) as feedstocks to make biodiesel and
green diesel fuel.[14] The latter, added to conventional diesel fuel,
determines a reduction of ultrafine particulate matter (<2,5 µm)
reduction of up to 40% thanks to an increase of cetane number
(>55), contributing to better combustion efficiency, acoustic
comfort and fuel efficiency.[15]
As mentioned above, Sicily hosts several oil (62 in 2016) and
natural gas wells (44 in 2016), as well as offshore extraction
platforms (3 in 2016) not distant from Sicily’s southern shore.[16]
In 2016, the overall amount of oil extracted in Sicily approached
1 million tonnes, of which 679,000 t inland (from 5 different sites:
Gela, Giaurone, Irminio, Ragusa and S.Anna) and 278,000 t at
sea.
For comparison, and to understand why Sicily’s refineries
actually serve Italy’s fuel needs, the amount of crude oil entering
Sicily’s refinery ports amounted in 2016 to 24.57 million tonnes
(Table 1).[16]
Table 1. Crude oil entering Sicily’s four refinery ports (2010-2016)[16]
Data for year 2005 are included for comparisona
Year Augusta
(103 t)
Gela
(103 t) Milazzo
(103 t) Priolo
(103 t) Total
(103 t)
2005 35110
2010 11320 2110 7760 7570 28760
2011 9880 1730 8480 7000 27090
2012 9875 720 7970 7440 26005
2013 7820 305 7400 6510 22035
2014 7160 125 7110 7010 21405
2015 8180 0 8060 7230 23470
2016 8180 0 8230 8160 24570
aRegione Siciliana, Assessorato regionale dell'energia e dei servizi di
pubblica utilità, Lavorazioni e consumi di prodotti petroliferi anno 2008.
Oil consumption in Italy collapsed to 57.3 million tonnes in 2014
from 95.3 million in 2000 (-40%, Figure 1).[7] This means that in
2014, oil refined in Sicily contributed close to 40 per cent (37.3
per cent) to Italy’s overall needs, showing evidence of the
“geopolitical oil rig” definition of Sicily, as per the historian
mentioned above.[1]
Figure 1. Oil consumption in Italy (2000-2014). [Image courtesy of R.
Pistacchio, reproduced from Ref.7, with kind permission].
The reduction in the amount of oil refined in Sicily between 2005
and 2016 (-30%) parallels that of Italy and explains why two
refineries were sold to new owners and one was shut down to
be reconverted into a biorefinery.
All this happened during a period of time in which the number of
internal combustion engine vehicles in Italy reached (in 2016)
the historic record number of 50.155.380 units (around 38 million
cars, 6.6 million motorcycles, 98,000 buses and 4.6 million
trucks and delivery vehicles).[17]
3
Three years later, in 2019, the number of battery electric
vehicles sold in Italy will cross the 10,000 units threshold, while
across the world the figure surpassed 5 million in a truly
booming market driven by ever lower cost and availability of Li-
ion batteries, and low cost electricity increasingly produced from
freely available solar and wind energy using today’s low cost
photovoltaic (PV) and wind power technologies.[18]
It is therefore useful to ask what might happen to Sicily’s oil
refining infrastructure.
3. Oil, solar energy, bioeconomy
For Sicily’s people, as put it by an anthropologist concluding a
recent research on the long trajectory of petrochemical
industrialization in southeastern Sicily “petroleum represents
both a blessing and a curse”.[19]
Feeding and upholding modern society, oil “is crucial not only for
driving the energy services of modern society, but also as basic
feedstock for producing polymers”.[20] Out of the five
conventional commodity thermoplastics (polypropylene,
polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene and polyethylene
terephthalate), polyethylene is produced in Sicily too, at an
industrial plant in Ragusa receiving the ethylene feedstock from
a plant at Augusta petrochemical site having a 400,000 t/a
capacity. Petrochemical productions in Gela, which included that
of polyethylene, ended in 2009.
From an economic viewpoint, Italy’s 2018 consumption levels of
refined oil barely exceeding 60 million tonnes (60.8 million t in
2018),[21] when the number of electric cars circulating in Italy
merely exceeded 10,000 units and that of electric buses did not
reach yet the 100 threshold, indicate that Sicily’s refineries, with
their refining capacity exceeding 45 million tonnes, may soon
face issues of economic sustainability.
Furthermore, the forthcoming ban of non-biodegradable plastic
bags and other disposable single-use plastic objects in India and
the booming bioplastics production in China, suggest a
forthcoming drop in the global demand of conventional
commodity thermoplastics starting from polyethylene used for
packaging and in agriculture.[22]
We have shown in 2016 that wealth (the global gross domestic
product, W_GDP) can be modeled as a power function of the
global population (W_Pop), as shown in Eq. 1, which explains
more than 99% of the sample variance:[23a]
W_GDP = (0.0077±0.0008)W_Pop(4.69±0.06) (1)
Moreover, according to the latter study, the total energy
consumption is linearly correlated with the global population. At
least in the short term, oil appears as a hardly replaceable
energy source,[23b] therefore the relation above says that, in
order to keep pace with “natural” wealth and global population
growth identified by the model combining the competing
dynamics of oil price, economic growth, and oil extraction costs,
by 2025 the oil companies should make globally available an
extra output of >32 million oil barrels per day (adding to current
consumption rate of roughly 90 million barrels per day).
Not only, we simply do not know where to retrieve all this oil, but
also said oil should be of high energy returned per energy
invested (EROI) in its extraction, and therefore low cost. The
exceptional output of shale oil in North America has been almost
entirely driven by debt in its turn made possible by prolonged
low interest rates. Now that the debt is maturing, several
companies are exiting the market due to lack of profitability.[24]
The almost inevitable outcome when the unprofitable shale oil
production will be over, is a new (and imminent)[25] rise in the oil
price which will make ever less convenient to refine oil faraway
from its extraction wells, driving upwards the costs of fuels and
making electric vehicles even more convenient than today.
Figure 2. Photovoltaic (left) and wind (right) power installed in Italy between
2012 and June 30, 2019. [Image adapted from Ref.26, courtesy of Terna].
In Italy too, driven by the widespread adoption of today’s low
cost solar PV and wind energy, the electrification of the energy
end uses, including electric vehicles (EVs) and building heating
using heat pumps, is growing at fast pace. By the end of June
2019, Italy hosted a 20.35 GW installed PV power park and 10.6
GW of wind power.[26] Most of this power was installed in the
course of the last decade (2008-2018) and, contrary to most
forecasts, its growth (Figure 2) did not stop even after PV feed-
in-tariff incentives were suddenly cancelled by mid-2012.
Investigating the value of solar PV power in the Italian wholesale
electricity market (IPEX), in 2014 we developed a model to
simulate and predict the monthly average electricity prices in
peak hours.[27]
The merit-order effect of the PV generation in Italy thereby
computed, around 2.9 €/MWh per each additional GWh of PV
production, turned out to be in line with subsequent evolution of
IPEX market prices, fully in line with wholesale electricity
markets with significant PV penetration. This means that electric
utilities, whose revenues and profits are negatively impacted by
diminishing wholesale prices as PV energy generation increases,
are left with one of two options (both of which directly impact oil
and natural gas industries).
4
One option is to increase sales of electricity to new customers
such as the owners of battery electric vehicles. Another is to
increase their production of electricity generated at low cost from
sunlight and wind, trying to sell it on the day ahead IPEX market
competing with thermoelectric power plants now routinely
producing at higher costs.
In both cases, the outcome of this new scenario we first called in
2008 “Helionomics”[28] is that electric utilities are no longer
partners (i.e. large customers) of oil companies, but rather
competitors.
For example, by early 2018 Sicily hosted 1323 gas stations,[29]
regularly refilling with diesel, gasoline and LPG fuel more than
3.2 million cars, 650,000 motorcycles, 400,000 trucks, and 7,400
buses. Overall, along with special vehicles, more than 4.3 million
internal combustion engine vehicles were powered by oil in
Sicily in 2016.[17]
Yet, in 2017 Italy’s national electric company started to install EV
charging points across the island. Using €8.5 million 50% of
which from taxpayer money from European EVA+ project,[30]
aimed at building a network of 200 public fast charging stations
in Italy and Austria. In late 2017, the utility installed in Augusta,
the city hosting Sicily’s first refinery and largest petrochemical
plant, one of the very first 22 kW charging stations for EVs.
To envisage what the impact of EV mass adoption will be on oil
refining in Sicily it is instructive to review the case of the city of
Messina, where a first electric fleet of 16 electric buses started
operation in mid-2019. Alone, these buses will allow the city’s
public transport company to save about 200,000 L of diesel fuel
every year.[31]
As the price of Li-ion battery plunges with production levels
exceeding 2 million EVs per year, it is just a matter of time
before all 7,400 buses in Sicily and 98,000 in Italy will be
replaced by electric buses, as the oil-powered bus will be the
first conventional vehicle whose production will stop in the next
few years.[32]
Lithium ion battery production increased from 65 GWh in 2015 to
180 GWh by 2019. Several new large battery factories are under
construction across the world. A conservative estimate suggests
that, in five years only, by 2023 the global capacity and output
will exceed 1234 GWh (1.234 TWh).[33]
When, after 250,00 km drive, the EV battery pack loses 10 to 20
per cent of its original capacity, it is reused in stationary energy
battery system applications through which intermittent
renewable electricity is made even more reliable than electricity
supplied by the grid, diminishing the demand of electricity
generated burning oil fuel, coal or natural gas.[34]
Along with a proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel
cell (with a 1,000 kWh capacity) using solar H2 produced with an
alkaline electrolyzer using PV energy only, a 600 kWh package
of said Li-ion battery is being installed in Sicily’s Stromboli island.
All energy originates from a nearby 170 kW PV park whose first
100 kW portion was installed in Stromboli’s Ginostra as early as
of 2004 (Figure 3).[35]
Figure 3. An helicopter (top) has been regularly used to bring diesel fuel to the
diesel-fueled power generator of the Ginostra village, after the lead-ion
batteries coupled to the original 100 kW PV station built in 2004 (bottom)
quickly went out of use. [Images adapted from: www.remote-euproject.eu, with
kind permission].
In that case, however, the obsolete lead-ion batteries quickly
deteriorated leaving no other option than to burn diesel fuel in
the generator set. For years, diesel fuel has been brought to this
area of the island using a helicopter (Figure 3).
Now, the entire electrical load will be met at low cost using the
PV-battery-hydrogen “hybrid” system affording high quality
electricity at a Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of 0.78
€/kWh, compared to 0.94 and 1.02 €/kWh for the system with
only battery and hydrogen, respectively.[36] With its uniquely high
energy density (40 kWh/kg), indeed, hydrogen can nicely meet
the seasonal energy demand peak due to tourism when the
number of people in hosted in Ginostra goes from a few units
during winter to several hundreds during summer.
In terms of LCOE, the combination of PV, battery and diesel
generator is still the most convenient (Figure 4). Yet, with solar
hydrogen generated by splitting collected rainwater, no delivery
of diesel fuel will ever be needed in this island, making the
method the most suited to power entire islands not only in Sicily,
but actually across the world’s seas.[37]
Solar PV generation plus storage in energy storage systems is
not feasible and convenient only in remote areas. Numerous
5
large installations (storage >100 MWh and PV parks exceeding
50 MW) already exist across the world, whose exceptional
performance in balancing and regulating the grid has allowed to
almost entirely displace natural gas thermoelectric generators
previously used for that aim.[38]
Figure 4. LCOE for the different configurations of the stand-alone system to
power the village of Ginostra, in the Stromboli island (D = Diesel; PV =
photovoltaic; B = battery; H2 = hydrogen). [Image retrieved from Ref.37, with
kind permission].
In brief, after more than a decade of skepticism concerning
renewable energy, and solar PV in particular,[39] today’s electric
utilities are fully aware of the synergistic and beneficial effect on
the overall energy bill between the concomitant expansion of
storage, for example in electric vehicles, and the growth of the
PV energy generation, reflecting the greater and beneficial
impact of the PV generation with increasing electricity
demand.[40]
It is instructive, in this respect, to learn that in Augusta’s refinery
one large petrochemical company has not only purchased a fleet
of 40 modern EVs replacing 40 diesel fuel powered passenger
cars, but it has also installed two external charging points
(beyond 15 within the site) available to external customers to
recharge their own EVs.[41] Electricity, indeed, is self-generated
by the company burning natural gas abundantly available at the
site.
4. Outlook and Conclusions
“For historical and geographical reasons linked to the position of
the island in the Mediterranean sea”, concluded his SuNEC
2013 invited lecture on the end of the culture of oil novelist,
playwright and screenwriter Cappellani, “the dominant energy
culture and Sicily are closely interconnected”.[42]
That a “dominant energy culture” existed for decades in Europe
(including Sicily) and in most world’s countries is testified by the
impressive achievements with electric vehicles and renewable
energy of China. While in most world’s countries, cities and
companies were (and still are) carrying out “experimental trials”
with electric buses, China had already replaced 400,000 diesel-
powered buses with battery electric buses, displacing
consumption of around 177,000 barrels a day of diesel fuel.[32]
At the same time, the country installed over 174 GW PV
capacity and over 184 GW of wind power by the end of 2018,
generating 177.5 TWh from sunlight and 366 TWh from wind
only in the course of 2018.[43]
Altogether, in 2018 China generated from renewable energy
sources 1870 TWh, namely already 26.7 percent its total power
demand, by far the world’s largest (7003 TWh in 2018).
Concluding in 2015 one of the first studies on the impact of the
forthcoming mass adoption of EVs on the power market in the
presence of significant photovoltaic generation,[40] we were
writing that “as the solar revolution continues with electrification
of transportation now slowly, but inexorably, taking place,
governments in both developed and developing nations should
wisely continue to encourage the adoption of electric mobility
through a number of well-known incentives (tax breaks, free
parking, free access to reserved areas etc.)”.
“The outcomes for their countries” we added “will be… eminently
advantageous from an economic viewpoint. Incentives will be
rapidly repaid by the fall of hydrocarbon imports, as well as by
the fast reduction in electricity costs as the impact of PV
generation on the power market is synergistically magnified by a
growing electricity demand”.[40]
This economic advantage will now drive mass adoption of EVs
in Europe, regardless of lacking Li-ion battery plants and the
poor number of EVs manufacturers in Europe. Early signs of
change became evident in the first half of 2019, when the
number of EVs sold in France (21,006) and in Germany (31,059)
approached for the very first time 2% of the total new car market.
Italy will follow shortly as a large number of new EV passenger
car is due to reach the marketplace in 2020 and 2021 after two
decades of postponements and announcements remained at the
motor show level. Automotive manufacturers beyond China,
indeed, have no other option to avoid what occurred to solar cell
and PV module manufacturers based in Europe.
A similar shift will happen with bioplastics manufacturing (whose
current production levels amount to less than 1% of total plastics
market)[44] in which India, and not only China, will play a pivotal
role in rapidly expanding production by quick and dramatic
improvements in both process (chemical and biochemical
process) and product innovation.[22]
Under these global, but “closely interconnected” conditions
emphasized by Cappellani,[42] oil refining in Sicily will undergo its
second major, and this time conclusive change, as the only oil
fuel needed will be highly refined “jet fuel” used to power
airplanes. Even ships, indeed, are undergoing rapid
electrification, first with battery electric ferries already numerous
in Norway, and then with hydrogen fuel cell ships adding to
hydrogen-powered trains already deployed in Germany.[18]
At the end of 2019, a search using the “oil in Sicily” query in an
academic online search engine will return only a few articles,[45]
6
with most of the scientific articles retrieved dealing with olive oil
or with citrus essential oils, both of which are manufactured on
large scale in Sicily.
Starting in the late 1940s, the newly formed Sicily’s autonomous
governments following the 1946 special autonomy statute for
Sicily, largely supported the creation of a large oil refining
industry in the island.[1]
Similarly, entering the third decade of the 21st century,
tomorrow’s Sicily’s governments are called to guide and support
the transition of Sicily’s economy from oil refining and petroleum-
based chemistry to solar energy and biobased productions.[5]
If they will be successful, the fate of Sicily’s large oil refineries
will be different from that occurred to Sicily’s large sulphur mines,
all of which, with the rapid emergence of the oil industry in the
1950s, quickly became an historic heritage of the past.
Acknowledgements
This article is dedicated to Ottavio Cappellani, eminent writer
and novelist, on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Thanks to
Alberto Pierobon, Sicily’s vice President for energy and public
services, for appointing one of us (M.P.) as one of his renewable
energy advisors. We thank Nello Anastasio for making available
on Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0 licence a photograph of a Sicily’s
refinery near Augusta. The photograph of the photovoltaic park
in Sicily is courtesy of Manni Energy. Both photos were used
herein for producing the Table of Contents image.
[1] P. Di Gregorio, Sicily: A Geopolitical Oil Rig in the Mediterranean Sea.
In Sicily and the Mediterranean, C. Karagoz, G. Summerfield (Ed.s),
Palgrave Macmillan, New York: 2015; pp.151-178.
[2] P. Di Gregorio, La conquista del petrolio, Trimestre 1999, 2, 231-261.
[3] M. A. Fahim, T. A. Alsahhaf, A. Elkilani, Fundamentals of Petroleum
Refining, Elsevier, Amsterdam: 2010.
[4] W. Molle, E. Wever, Oil refineries and petrochemical industries in
Europe, GeoJournal 1984, 9, 421.
[5] G. Ciccarone, E. Saltari, Cyclical downturn or structural disease? The
decline of the Italian economy in the last twenty years, J. Mod. Ital. Stud.
2015, 20, 228-244.
[6] S. Storm, Lost in deflation: Why Italy’s woes are a warning to the whole
Eurozone, Working Paper No. 94, Institute for New Economic Thinking,
2019. See at the URL:
https://www.ineteconomics.org/uploads/papers/WP_94-Storm-Italy.pdf
[7] R. Pistacchio, I CONSUMI DEI PRODOTTI PETROLIFERI IN ITALIA:
declino congiunturale o strutturale?, Seminario Staffetta Quotidiana,
Università di Padova, GSE, Rome, 19 March 2015.
[8] M. D’Aloisi, Il downstream petrolifero italiano: dati e tendenze 2018,
Rienergia, 18 December 2019. See at the URL:
https://rienergia.staffettaonline.com/articolo/33205/Il+downstream+petr
olifero+italiano:+dati+e+tendenze+2018/D'Aloisi
[9] F. Meneguzzo, R. Ciriminna, L. Albanese, M. Pagliaro, The
Remarkable Impact of Renewable Energy Generation in Sicily onto
Electricity Price Formation in Italy, Energy Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 194-204.
[10] J. Payne, L. Chikhi, Sonatrach to buy ExxonMobil's Augusta oil refinery
in Sicily, Reuters, 9 May 2018. See at the URL:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sonatrach-exxon-mobil/sonatrach-to-
buy-exxonmobils-augusta-oil-refinery-in-sicily-idUSKBN1IA2R4
[11] Lukoil, ISAB, Italy, 2019. See at the URL:
http://www.lukoil.com/Business/Downstream/OilRefining
[12] A. Ghaddar, Italy's Milazzo oil refinery shuts crude unit due to bad
weather, Reuters, 19 January 2019. See at the URL:
https://uk.reuters.com/article/oil-refineries-italy/italys-milazzo-oil-
refinery-shuts-crude-unit-due-to-bad-weather-idUKL8N1Z31Y4
[13] M. Bevilacqua, M. Braglia, Production, Environmental efficiency
analysis for ENI oil refineries, J. Clean. Prod. 2002, 10, 85-92.
[14] Ministero dell’Ambiente, Eni - Progetto per la produzione di
biocarburanti presso la Raffineria di Gela - seconda fase, Sintesi non
tecnica a support all’istanza di Valutazione di Impatto Ambientale,
January 2019. See at the URL:
https://va.minambiente.it/File/Documento/187792
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7
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[45] For example, a search carried out using Google Scholar on September
12, 2019 returned 88,400 results. In the first 10 pages (50 search
results) only 5 articles dealt with petroleum in Sicily, including a 1959
communication to the 5th World Petroleum Congress entitled “Gela in
Sicily, an Unusual Oil Field” authored by T. Rocco.
8
Oil refining in Sicily: A critical perspective looking to the
future
M. Pagliaro, F. Meneguzzo
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