Exploration #187. One of the largest oilfield in Italy, the Villafortuna-Trecate field, was located in the western Po Valley. Exploratory drilling began in 1974-75, while extraction began in 1984 with the drilling of the first extraction well. In the years that followed, extraction was increased to 26 extraction stations. Each location was connected by pipelines that brought the crude oil to the large refinery in Trecate. The oil extracted was of excellent quality and in 1997 the maximum value of 85,000 barrels per day was reached.
In the years that followed, production declined to 1,200 barrels per day in 2014 and stopped in 2016 due to the exhaustion of the field.
The Villafortuna-Trecate field was a major Italian engineering challenge because, unlike the Persian Gulf where the fields are located a few hundred metres underground, the drilling in the Po Valley was 5,000 to 6,000 metres deep. In addition, oblique drilling was carried out in order to safeguard certain nature reserve areas.
Today, the drilling rigs have been dismantled at almost all locations, while a few service facilities remain in place. This former extraction station is one of the few abandoned, perhaps due to the fact that the part of the deposit from which it drew was exhausted many years ago, before the other areas.