In a nail-biting finish Canada won the bid to host the 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in 2023, widely recognised as the "Olympics" of the oil and gas industry.
One vote made all the difference. In a tightly contested competition, Canada won the right to host the prestigious World Petroleum Congress in 2023 with 51% of the votes, one vote more than the closest runner-up Azerbaijan.
41 member countries of the World Petroleum Council gathered for the 2019 Annual WPC Council meeting in St Petersburg this June and voted on the country to host the world’s largest oil and gas event in 2023. Five member countries of the World Petroleum Council had put forward their bids to hold the 24th WPC. Canada faced off against Argentina with Buenos Aires, Azerbaijan and their capital Baku, Nur-Sultan, the newly renamed capital of Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Dubai. After four rounds of voting, Canada pulled past its closest rival Azerbaijan in a nail-biting finish with just one vote to win.
Tor Fjaeran, President of the WPC, was very pleased with this strong turnout and the record number of bidders for the 24th WPC. He stated that “this underlines the continued importance of the World Petroleum Congress as a world-class gathering to discuss key industry issues with all stakeholders, network, and share best practices for the global oil and gas sector”. He recognised the efforts of all five candidate countries and commended their highly professional and ethical promotional campaigns.
The Canadian team of volunteers was ecstatic with winning the Congress in their second attempt as Denis Painchaud, Chair of the WPC Canadian National Committee, said in his speech after signing the host agreement with the Director General of the World Petroleum Council, Dr Pierce Riemer: “It was a thrilling victory – five years in the making”, and he gave everyone a “guarantee, that you will have an unbelievable experience in Calgary in 2023.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi had accompanied the bid committee to St Petersburg where the voting took place and personally ensured that the team would bring the victory home. He sees the win as a huge opportunity for the Canadian energy sector and “a chance to showcase our innovations, our environmental stewardship and our sustainability – we’ll see the world in 2023!”
All candidates had been conducting an extensive lobbying campaign from January 2019. They visited many of the 65 WPC member countries in person to promote their bids to host the prestigious event. As the “Olympics” of the oil and gas sector, the Congress attracts some of the largest industry attendances, with the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston next year expecting to attract over 10,000 delegates, 500 Ministers and CEOs and around 25,000 visitors for the World Petroleum Exhibition, one of the largest strategic oil and gas expos in the world.
The World Petroleum Council
The World Petroleum Council was established in 1933 and provides a neutral platform for discussion of the issues facing the oil and gas industry and its stakeholders around the globe. It is a non-advocacy, non-political organisation, dedicated to the application of scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, technology transfer and the sustainable use of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all. The WPC is registered as a charity in the UK. Its 65 member countries represent 96% of the world’s oil and gas production and consumption.
The triennial World Petroleum Congress is the oil and gas industry’s largest and most prestigious international event. Known as “the Olympics of the oil and gas sector”, the 23rd World Petroleum Congress will be held in Houston, USA, from 6-10 December 2020. www.wpc2020.com