Val d’Agri is an area of the province of Potenza interested for about twenty years by the extraction of oil and gas. The volumes of hydrocarbons that are ex-tracted amount today to 7% of oil and gas consumption in Italy. In 1998, some years after the beginning of this activity and in anticipation of its growth, Eni and Basilicata Region signed an agreement which contains several measures of com-pensation over royalties. This type of activity (along with the first oil treatment in the Oil Center) pro-duced initially forms of opposition from environmental groups, which led to com-mittees and associations, born in the last years. Yet the response of the local popu-lation to these initiatives has been weak. We argue that different measures of com-pensation, although considered insufficient so far, have contributed to contain the protests. However, plans for a further expansion of extraction and some events af-fecting the state of the environment and the protection of health are increasing awareness of the risks and impacts associated with this activity.
Keywords: Local development, institutional regulation, social conflict, oil indus-try, ecological impact.