The first step of formally applying for membership of the WPC is the establishment of a National Committee representing a range of petroleum interests operating within the country and sponsored by an appropriate organisation. The sponsoring organisation can be an institute of petroleum or a similar professional or scientific body. In some countries the sponsoring organisation can be the state Oil Company, or petroleum or other ministry department. The members of the National Committee should represent a spectrum of petroleum interests: major oil companies, whether privately or state owned; small independent oil companies; government departments dealing with the regulation of the oil industry; universities, or other training and research institutes; professional and trade associations; service industries; consumer organisations. The National Committee must have a chairman and a secretary, an operating base for easy communication with the WPC Headquarters, and funding to cover its own secretariat expenses, attendance at meetings, congresses and the payment of annual dues. It is assumed that before a prospective country goes to the trouble of setting up a National Committee the secretariat and senior officers have already assessed the suitability of that country for potential membership.
Submitting credentials and a letter of intent
The National Committee, once established, should seek official recognition from the Executive Committee of the WPC. This is achieved by submitting its credentials, together with a letter declaring an intention to join, to the Director General who, after checking the credentials, will circulate the details to members of the Executive Committee. The information required is:
details of the sponsoring organisation;
the names, contact details (addresses, telephone, fax and email) and affiliations of the Chairman, Secretary and members of the National Committee.
The Director General will present the details of the application to the Executive Committee and providing there are no objections the application for membership is sent to the Council. The application should be sent to the Director General at least six months before the next Council meeting at which the application will be considered; such meetings take place once a year and during a Congress or a Regional Meeting. The Constitution of the WPC also provides for the election of a new member by postal vote (one vote per member-country). By this means the time taken to process the application can be reduced.
Meeting the commitments
Once the Council has approved an application, the National Committee must complete the formalities for membership within six months. This involves:
payment of annual dues;
Notification of the names of up to three Council representatives.
The National Committee then undertakes to:
co-ordinate its activities with those of the WPC and act as a channel of communication between the WPC and its country;
keep the headquarters secretariat informed of any changes in its representatives or officers;
pay its dues regularly and promptly.
A National Committee automatically loses its membership if it fails to pay its dues for two years in succession, or is not represented at two successive meetings of the Council. Most National Committees of the WPC meet at least once a year and all keep in regular touch with the headquarters organisation. National Committees vary greatly in size and structure, so there are no set procedures - each Committee organises its activities in the way that suits it best.
Gaining the benefits
The benefits available to National Committees when they join the Council include:
opportunities to host meetings of the Executive Committee, task forces, committees and, once fully established, a Congress;
discounts on Congress fees and publications;
regular information on WPC activities, task forces, meetings and briefings;
network with other National Committees, directly and through the Secretariat;
invitations to propose programme officers and authors for congresses;
The most significant benefit of joining the World Petroleum Council and Congress is to participate in the leading global institution representing the international and domestic oil and gas industries and to have an equal voice and vote in its deliberations, decisions and policy recommendations.