In the second half of the 20th century, as a syndicate Western oil companies came to supply more and more of the worlds oil, they also quietly came to dictate the price. The power these companies wielded as a result, was immense, and some individual disagreed as to whether these companies should have such power. Despite the abundance of critics, there were only a few figures who developed enough valor to take action against this inequity. In the 6th installment of The Prize titled, “Power to the Producers,” we follow the lives of a few men who contradicted the authority of the major players in the oil industry.
In the 1950’s, in an attempt to slowly reintroduce Iranian oil back into the market, following an international embargo on the…show more content… He grew up in a poverty stricken Italy and came to fight in WWII on the Partisan side against the faciests (and Mussolini). Following the end of the war, he was put in charge of AGIP, a failing Italian national oil company. Mattei was a natural leader and following the discovery of large quantities of oil in northern Italy (despite drilling for oil) he managed to grow AGIP into a successful company. As the company grew to prominence, even major oil corporations began to see it as a threat and many time over Mattei was offered blank check for AGIP, to which he stubbornly refused.
Mattei was a clever individual and understood that if he didn’t expand his company rapidly, the “Seven Sisters” would soon enter his native Italy, and using their own resources, outcompete him (in an effort to get rid of him). Determined to not let that happen, AGIP began a campaign of aggressive expansion, most of the time without the necessary permits. Mattei also used his position as a government agent (his company was national property after all) to conduct exclusive business ventures between other government leaders. It was through these governments to government dealings, that Mattei came across, Gamal Abdel Nasser, an Egyptian nationalist who would become one of his greatest allies.
Nasser had recently become the leader of Egypt having staged a successful