Ravenna is the most important base for offshore activities in Italy. At the time of the Roman Empire Ravenna was the main port on the Adriatic, where the emperor Augustus had based his fleet. From the ancient port of Ravenna the port and seafaring activity of the city has changed over the centuries.
AGIP, now ENI, began hydrocarbon research in the offshore of Ravenna in the 1950s, using a Western seismic spead returning from the Persian Gulf. In 1960 AGIP put into production the first offshore platform, called Ravenna Mare 1, which will be followed by others, thus developing a new activity in a city that then lived mainly on agriculture, tourism and small commercial port activity.
In the 1970s, AGIP production reached almost 25 billion cubic meters of methane gas, which met one third of Italy's needs. These are the years in which several multinationals open offices in our area, the Ravenna companies diversify their activities at the service of AGIP and create new ones.
The first is Rana, specialized in underwater works, founded by Faustolo Rambelli and Franco Nanni, two passionate sports divers. Mario Bambini transforms his fishing boats into service boats, becoming an important shipping company. Franco Fiore, owner of a shipping and shipping agency, specializes in representation agency for many foreign companies in the sector.
Companies that specialize in supplies and services for oil companies such as Italmet, a leader in the supply of moorings for offshore vessels, and Ferrari, which from hardware become a reference for industrial equipment and flange builder.
ROCA is born
Ravenna thus becomes an offshore capital, so much so that three industrialists in the sector, Franco Fiore, Franco Nanni and Giuliano Resca, with the lawyer Pietro Baccarini, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Ravenna, plan the organization of a fair on offshore, constituting an organizing committee which includes representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Province and Municipality of Ravenna and the sector operators: on October 23, 1992, ROCA, the Ravenna Association of Contractors Operating in the Oil Sector, was born, which has the task to coordinate the fair event.
On March 11, 1993, the WTO - Offshore Mediterranean Conference was inaugurated, which immediately started with large numbers: 40 reports, 300 delegates, 55 stands for 196 companies, thousands of visitors. In 1994 a consortium company was established between ROCA, CCIAA Ravenna and Assomineraria to organize subsequent editions of the WTO, which take place every two years with growing success.