photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Jakob Ehrensvärd | profile | all galleries >> Decay, ruins, wrecks and scrap >> The abandoned oil refinery tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The abandoned oil refinery

This tiny unit does not have much in common with what we usually think of when it comes to giant refineries with kilometers of shining pipes and large cisterns, but it is obviously the remains of an oil processing plant of some kind.

Located in the middle of a small Italian village, it is mind-boggling to imagine how it must have been here when the plant was in operation. Apart from the obvious pollution of both air and ground, the apparent risk of a giant firestorm if the place blew up is a hard to imagine that people could live with. But a fair guess is that it all started in the early days of crude and it grew with the petroleum economy. Maybe they even refined gasoline here, but it seems like the menu was more specialized, probably more into lubrication oils or something like that. Most likely, the plant was doomed as the post-WWII petroleum era began. When mega-refineries were built at coastal locations, served by giant tankers, there was simply no place left over for such a small and remotely located plant.

Italy is interesting with regards to petroleum as the lack of domestic sources of coal was a large competitive disadvantage in the early days of industrialization. One can guess that the search for alternative made Italy’s industrialists very open to other fuels and large efforts were made to drill oil and gas on the Italian mainland already in the 1860s.

The foundation of ENI in the early 1950s, a booming domestic automotive industry, the absence of a domestic coal industry and the vicinity to the oil wells in Libya, Egypt and all over the middle-east was a perfect recipe for success. As the oil market soared in the twenty-year period to come, Italy’s previous disadvantageous position quickly flipped and former self-confident coal countries like Belgium, UK and Germany went into monumental problems with their domestic coal industries. ENI on the other hand grew and is today Italy’s largest industrial company.

Some scattered evidence indicates that time stopped here around 1980. Amazing that a place so polluted can be left just as is.
BF5T9233.jpg BF5T9244.jpg BF5T9288.jpg BF5T9256.jpg
BF5T9253.jpg BF5T9270.jpg IMG_9826.jpg BF5T9247.jpg
IMG_9843.jpg BF5T9284.jpg BF5T9259.jpg IMG_9850.jpg
BF5T9291.jpg IMG_9830.jpg BF5T9265.jpg IMG_9836.jpg
BF5T9325.jpg BF5T9305.jpg IMG_9856.jpg BF5T9269.jpg
IMG_9854.jpg BF5T9296.jpg IMG_9841.jpg BF5T9318.jpg
IMG_9848.jpg BF5T9321.jpg BF5T9241.jpg BF5T9267.jpg
BF5T9301.jpg BF5T9238.jpg BF5T9249.jpg IMG_9838.jpg