The first hydrocarbon explorations took place off the coast of Ravenna in the 1950s whilst in 1960 the first hydrocarbon field was discovered. These were major breakthroughs for both Ravenna and Italy as a whole and the port of Ravenna immediately became the most important Italian base for offshore operations.
Multinational companies set up their bases in Ravenna and Ravenna’s entrepreneurial companies geared up to provide their services within the hydrocarbon exploration activities field.
In the 1980s, over fifty companies operate directly or indirectly in the offshore sector; from a predominantly agricultural town, Ravenna became the most important site for offshore operations in Italy.
The Port of Ravenna is in fact the most important center for extractive activities in the Adriatic Sea. A third of the methane gas consumed in Italy is produced by Ravenna’s offshore plants. Furthermore, many of those companies originally set up in Ravenna to provide assistance to offshore oil operations, have now become world sector leaders.
In 1992, the Ravenna based companies serving the extractive industry operators, formed the Ravenna Offshore Contractors Association (ROCA) which promotes the activities of its members in the international arena.
Since 1993, ROCA (http://www.roca-oilandgas.com) has organized, together with Ravenna’s Chamber of Commerce and Assomineraria, the “Offshore Mediterranean Conference and Exhibition” (OMC).
OMC has become an important biannual event during which world sector operators are brought together in Ravenna.