Agip (Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli—General Italian Oil Company) is a former Italian automotive gasoline, Diesel, LPG, lubricants, fuel oil, and bitumen retailer established in 1926. It has been a subsidiary of the multinational petroleum company Eni. In 2003, Eni acquired Agip Petroli S.p.A., creating the Refining and Marketing Division (R&M).
Sinclair Oil was a U.S. oil company that, with the Italian Ministry of National Economy in 1924, reached a fifty-year agreement for which both companies were issued a permit to conduct oil research in Emilia-Romagna and in Sicily, for an area of 40,000 km ². Sinclair and the Italian ministry constituted a joint enterprise; 40% of the capital was the ministry’s property, all expenditure incurred by Sinclair Oil and 25% of profits to the Italian ministry. The agreement was judged to cause serious damage to the nation and the opposition, headed by Giacomo Matteotti and Don Sturzo, started a controversy which aligned the suspicion of corruption; Matteotti indeed had prepared a speech on this issue for June 12, but was killed two days earlier. Don Sturzo continued the controversy, stating in a public company was the only way for a national energy independence. Coal in Italy was scarce and of poor quality. It was imported from abroad at prices that seriously weighed on currency balance and limited industrial growth. Power plants, which were not very developed and mainly concentrated in the north of the country, could not satisfy the needs of energy.