The 23rd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) has been postponed until Dec. 5-9, 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and global market uncertainty, according to WPC president and chairman of the organizing committee.
A WPC statement on Thursday said postponing the congress from this December to December 2021 would better assure international participation and engagement, pointing to the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic and the resulting fall in oil and gas demand which are expected to last through the rest of 2020.
“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,” Tor Fjaeren, president of the WPC, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The congress will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, in the US as originally planned.
It is expected to attract more than 50 ministers, 700 expert speakers, 1,000 media and 10,000 attendees from around 100 countries. It will also feature the World Petroleum Exhibition in the 50,000 square-meter venue in the compact downtown Houston campus.
“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,” said Jeff Shellebarger, chairman of the organizing committee.
“If moving to a different date allows us to deliver what we had promised – hosting the best WPC in the event's storied history – then I'm in favor of the change,' said Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner.
By Sibel Morrow