by Jenifer Dike……….
The organisers of the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) have cited health and safety issues as part of reasons for shifting the event to next year December, 2021.
The event which is only held every three years, has not been held in North America since 1987, when Houston was also the host city. The venue and host city, according to the organisers, remain the same for the revised date of December 5-9, 2021.
The organiser said COVID-19, global market volatility and restrictions to travels by some countries are among the factors for the postponmeant of the WPC this year. The 23rd global energy event was scheduled to take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX this winter.
Tor Fjaeren, President, WPC said that the event has over the years played a leading role in supporting the industry. “And creating the authoritative platform for engagement of all stakeholders in oil and gas with the World Petroleum Congress” he said.
“We are very mindful of the challenging situation currently facing all our participants, whether they be sponsors, exhibitors, partners, speakers or delegates. Under these circumstances, we feel postponing the Congress to next year is the most prudent approach to ensuring a safe and productive dialogue with our global attendees” Fjaeren said.
The organisers bemoaned the impact of covid-19 on businesses around the world adding that the lockdowns by governments have affecting all business sectors.
According to them as the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic and the resulting fall in oil and gas demand are expected to last through the rest of 2020, moving to December 2021 better assures international participation and engagement, for a truly global Congress.
“Our industry is under intense pressure but, as we have witnessed time and again, this industry is also resilient and extremely innovative. The Organizing Committee will host a world-class event for oil and gas leaders and dignitaries from around the globe next year in Houston as a forum for the important conversations necessary to navigate this new landscape,” added Jeff Shellebarger, Chairman, 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee.
The Congress is expected to draw over 50 ministers, 700 expert speakers, 1,000 media and 10,000 attendees from around 100 countries.
Headquartered in London, the World Petroleum Council includes nearly 65 member countries from around the world representing over 96% of global oil and gas production and consumption. WPC membership includes both OPEC and Non-OPEC countries with representation of National Oil Companies as well as International Oil Companies.