(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 in controllingoffshore installations, platforms and environmental conditions,will also apply to onshore plants. This was the case in theItalian region of Basilicata, which boasts the largest oilfields in continental Europe, in Val d'Agri (Eni-Shell-Total)and Tempa Rossa (Total-Shell-Mitsui). The plans will includehigher risk assessment standards, more stringent rules andmonitoring of seismicity [risk of earthquakes], grounddeformation and pore pressure, in compliance with recentguidelines. (AGI). .