Libya discovers oil in Libya

Discussions on all aspects of Italy under Fascism from the March on Rome to the end of the war.
General Assembly
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Libya discovers oil in Libya

Post by General Assembly » 22 Jan 2016 23:18

So what happens to Italy if they discover oil in Libya prior to WWII. My thinking is this;
1930 Italy starts exploring for water, phosporous and oil
1931 Italy gets control of all present day Italy
1933-1934 Italy discovers oil in the Sirte basin. Oil is 800 m deep but industry is able to drill down to 9000+ feet by now. Italy also discovers water and phosporous.
1936-1937 Italy starts drilling for oil in earnest
1937-1939 Italy extends railway from Tripoli all the way to Tobruk, expands port facilities at Tripoli, Bengazi and Tobruk
1937 - forward Italian oil tankers concentrated in Mediterrean instead of outside Med.
1937 - forward italian navy starts to expand and conduct more exercises, increasing abilities
1938 - forward Italian Air Force starts to expand and conduct increased exercises.
1938 - forward Italian army starts to expand on mechanization

Italy is now in a much better position, versus everyone else. Do they remain neutral, join British or join Germany?

steverodgers801
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Re: Libya discovers oil in Libya

Post by steverodgers801 » 24 Jan 2016 06:52

Italy did not have the means to exploit oil reserves so they would have relied on foreign assistance, most likely British. The main dilemma for Italy would have been it needed so much more then just oil, so like Germany does it send badly needed oil overseas for sale and thus reduce its own usage or not sell it and still not be able to acquire the other resources it needed. Remember that by 1940 Italy's army and air force were badly obsolete and it would have taken time to build up its industry to modernize.

Dili
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Location: Lusitania

Re: Libya discovers oil in Libya

Post by Dili » 24 Jan 2016 21:23

Italy did not have the means to exploit oil reserves
Why not? They had oil in Italy and Albania.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO5IQsZ_l3g

http://www.albanianews.it/cultura/stori ... -1935-1943

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azienda_i ... i_albanesi

Btw this topic was already discussed here, a search probably shows it

Dili
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Location: Lusitania

Re: Libya discovers oil in Libya

Post by Dili » 24 Jan 2016 21:32

About the question, it would make Italy richer and they could trade more strategic materials for oil, but the Fascist autarchic economy stifled competition. In 1940 was even worse since they were in a transition period.
Italy had to fix one big vulnerability they seems to not even be aware: having modern aircraft engines with in country creation.

mezsat2
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Re: Libya discovers oil in Libya

Post by mezsat2 » 20 Apr 2019 07:32

steverodgers801 wrote:
24 Jan 2016 06:52
Italy did not have the means to exploit oil reserves so they would have relied on foreign assistance, most likely British. The main dilemma for Italy would have been it needed so much more then just oil, so like Germany does it send badly needed oil overseas for sale and thus reduce its own usage or not sell it and still not be able to acquire the other resources it needed. Remember that by 1940 Italy's army and air force were badly obsolete and it would have taken time to build up its industry to modernize.
Were Italy to invest in oil exploration and development in Lybia, Mussolini would have little need to modernize his forces. What's more expensive- a few dozen good geologists, drilling equipment, and pipelines/refineries or a massive army, a fleet of cruisers/battleships (usually without fuel to operate), tanks, artillery, warplanes, etc.? The Germans would gladly trade Mussolini plenty of top-notch military equipment (instead of the garbage italy produced) for the oil.

Also, all Italy would need to do, militarily, is defend itself and Lybia. No worries about rolling through Egypt into the Middle East.

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