97 countries and 4,600 participants spell success for 16th WPC
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - June 19, 2000 ... The success of the 16th World Petroleum Congress, held June 11 - 15 in Calgary, will leave a legacy for all Canadians, according to Canadian Congress Organizers.
Canada's first-ever opportunity to host the prestigious gathering of the world's oil and gas industry leaders attracted participants from a record-high number of 97 countries. The tally shows a total of 4,642 people attended the Congress, among them 3,078 delegates, 439 accompanying persons, 625 exhibitors and 421 media. Some 900 Calgary volunteers were also involved.
"We've added a positive chapter to the WPC story," says Jim Gray, 16th WPC Chairman. "The breadth and depth of the program-where almost 30 per cent of all papers and presentations focused on the environment and social responsibility-was unparalleled. We took program content to a new level.
"What we've seen in Calgary is an industry in growth and transition. We've seen an industry embracing meaningful discussion in new areas; it signals an industry that is more willing to listen."
Well-attended plenary sessions, featuring some of the world's most high-profile leaders in the industry, addressed topics ranging from financing petroleum development to the challenges of social responsibility. More than 300 papers and posters were presented in four theme areas: upstream; downstream; natural gas, petrochemicals and transportation; and business management. New initiatives included the popular Global Business Opportunities Centre and an increased focus on networking.
Locally, the Congress is expected to contribute $15 - $20 million to the economy, and Gray notes that long-term contributions will be significantly higher. "Success isn't measured only in how much business has been done, but in how much has been started," he says. "Literally thousands of meetings were held in Calgary last week, and these meetings will lead to big payoffs in the future.
"The 16th WPC has crystallized Calgary's reputation in the oil and gas industry, and has identified Calgary and Alberta as partners of choice for many international companies."
Because attendance at the Congress exceeded expectations, organizers say they will create a Canada-wide scholarship program for students in the industry. Full details won't be known until the 16th WPC's final accounting is complete, likely in the next few months.
Founded in London in 1933, the World Petroleum Congresses provides a forum for discussing the issues facing the oil and gas industry on a worldwide basis. Its 59 member countries include the major oil producing and consuming nations of the world. The next gathering of the group, the 17th World Petroleum Congress, will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 1 - 5, 2002.