Surviving Basilicata's oil bonanza

Available in: :gb: English / :it: Italino

:gb: English version

Basilicata has oil – in fact, it is Europe’s biggest onshore oil field. This is at best a mixed blessing: proud locals think it may be a blessing for Italy, who gets the revenues, but it is a curse for them, as they get to deal with the environmental costs. To make this worse, arcane implementation details of the Eurozone’s fiscal compact implies that Basilicata has money in the bank from oil extraction royalties, but cannot touch it to fight Italy’s current recession.

This theme is the subject of passionate discussion in Matera and Basilicata. In this session, we would like local people and guests from all over the world to exchange notes on surviving the oil economy, hopefully figuring out together some actionable path that the citizens of Basilicata could walk to make their voice heard. Everyone is welcome; any knowledge on geology, energy, economics, policy making particularly appreciated.

##:it: Italino version

La Basilicata sta vivendo una fase delicatissima dal punto di vista amministrativo: si sta decidendo come gestire una risorsa che ha un impatto sull’ambiente oltre che sull’economia. Sarebbe interessante confrontarsi con cittadini lucani e stranieri sulla gestione di questa risorsa, confrontandosi con geologi e policy makers per capire quali sono i rischi e quali le opportunità.

Date: 2014-10-26 09:30:00 - 2014-10-26 09:30:00, Europe/Brussels Time.


Made an English translation of this


set the time

Hi all, I’m talking with geologist of University of Basilicata and they give his confirm, they’ll partecipate with students too, in order to discuss with people about the resource.

I need to set the time because they have to know it and I want that Fabrizio is still with us, so I think that it can be perfect in the morning, around 10 o’ clock for example. Do it works?

1 Like

Looking forward to this session

I remember @Smari mentioning something about a similar conversation taking place in Iceland after the recent discovery of oil I think it was. Maybe he has some suggestions or report to refer to?

it would be great

I hope that edgeryders from all around the world can contribute to this session, it can be useful for us, like basilicata’s people, know others similar case. I just write a post in italian, here available, and I explain how the session is gone; all the external participants are ready to present in english, so we decide depending on the audience if do it in english or in italian.

I’m originally from the Shetland Islands, and we had this sort of conversations back in the 1970’s.

Scotland has the access rights to two-thirds of the current-technology-profitably-extractable oilfields in the North Sea, and most of those are due to the location of Orkney and Shetland. So we were the beneficiaries of a large amount of geographical luck.

We were careful NOT to squander it. Most of the money that came in was put into a Community Trust, and we then used the interest from that to finance the rest of the upgrades to the local infrastructure.

NB. It wasn’t used to pay the running costs, just to pay for the upgrades. The running costs were paid for from the local taxes, so we got a great improvement in the local infrastructure without having to put the taxes up. And because the infrastructure upgrades were paid for from the interest, rather than the capital, we’ve still got a large buffer to work with.

The main reason it was set up like that, is because we were very conscious that this was a one-time bonus. If we squandered it, we wouldn’t get that chance again.

We also had to put a large amount of emphasis on resilience planning, as the climate we live in is harsh. Winter-time is not always fun, it’s when you get weather for dying in. With the forecasts for the rise in sea-levels, and with the regular 10-year and 20-year storms, we’ve had to put strict limits on where you can build, as the flooding is regular.

@Alberto. Could you put the relevant people from the Matera planning department, in touch with Malcolm Bell, or Billy Fox? You can get their contact details here,

Learning from our mistakes and successes, will help their learning be a lot cheaper and more effective.