(AGI) Ravenna, March 27 - If a country does not invest inresearch, the oil industry risks having no future, despite itsrecord-setting technological levels of excellence. Oilcompanies working in Italy gave this warning in Ravenna, northeast Italy, at a forum on development potential. Italy'sgovernment is concentrating research on the safety ofoperations, in close collaboration with the European Union.Franco Terlizzese, Director General of Mining and EnergyResources, said: "Our installations are among the the safest inthe world." He addressed a session on "Offshore Regulationsand Technologies: Five years after Macondo", which looked atregulations in countries involved in oil extraction - Italy,Cyprus and Croatia. They comply with a European directive,which aims to prevent accidents like the one in the Gulf ofMexico. The same safety procedures now applied incontrolling offshore installations, platforms and environmentalconditions, will also apply to onshore plants. This was thecase in the Italian region of Basilicata, which boasts thelargest oil fields in continental Europe, in Val d'Agri(Eni-Shell-Total) and Tempa Rossa (Total-Shell-Mitsui). Theplans will include higher risk assessment standards, morestringent rules and monitoring of seismicity [risk ofearthquakes], ground deformation and pore pressure, incompliance with recent guidelines. (AGI). .