The World Petroleum Congress (WPC) Returns to Calgary after 23 years - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

The World Petroleum Congress (WPC) Returns to Calgary after 23 years

Tako Koning, Calgary

In the year 2000, the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) was held in Calgary, Canada’s energy capital city. Now 23 years later, the 24th WPC returns to Calgary with similar and different objectives. The theme of this year’s congress is “Energy Transition: The Pathway to Net Zero”.
Back in 2000, the WPC in Calgary was focused entirely on oil and gas. But this year’s WPC, which runs from September 17 – 21 has its focus beyond just oil and gas and is dealing with the energy transition, growing concerns about climate change, energy security and affordability. It is expected to draw more than 5,000 delegates from 100-plus countries along with 750 representatives of the local, national, and international media.
The list of keynote speakers includes the following:
• Amin Nasser, CEO Saudi Aramco
• Darren Woods, CEO, Exxon Mobil
• Josu Jon Imaz, CEO, Repsol
• Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister, Canada Natural Resources
• Haitham Al Ghanis, Secretary General, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
• Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Saudi Arabia
• Dai Houliang, Chairman, China National Petroleum Corporation
Speakers from Africa include:
• Gaspar Martins, CEO, Sonangol EP Angola
• Leparan ole Morintat, CEO & MD, National Oil Company of Kenya
• Malam Mele Kyari, Group CEO, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
• Anibor Kragha, Executive Secretary, African Refiners & Distributor Association
• Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers Organization
This year’s WPC Strategic Programme features high-level sessions led by government leaders, CEOs, and other industry leaders from around the world with discussions focused on the transformation of the industry and developing global and regional supply and demands. Meanwhile the Technical Program features over 200 expert speakers representing more than 100 organizations and 30 countries, providing a platform to explore market trends, investment opportunities, technological advancements and process integrations and optimizations to help business navigate the energy transition.
Al Ghanis, Secretary General of OPEC, is expected to expand on his presentation in mid-July 2023 to the G-20 energy ministers where he said that by 2045, global energy demand will increase by 23 percent. However, to meet this increasing appetite for energy, the industry must invest an estimated $12Trillion by 2045, even as there are increasing calls to end oil-project financing.
Canada’s Pathways Alliance is a group of major Canadian oil sands producers working to reach net-zero emissions. The group’s CEO, Kendall Dilling, who will be a speaker at the WPC, recently stated “We are at a massive crossroad. Clearly, the world is moving to a low carbon future and that is a massive shift for us as producers and for consumers and heavy industry. This is the challenge ahead of us for the next decade or decades. And it very much is a pivotal point in the industry”.
In early July, the World Petroleum Council which organizes the triennial congress official announced a name change. Founded in 1933, it will now be known as WPC Energy, which “reflects the organization’s commitment to lead the global transition to a low-carbon energy system” it said in a statement. The Calgary WPC won’t alter its name due to the short amount of time before the WPC is held in September.
The return of the World Petroleum Congress to Calgary is very appropriate since the head offices of all of Canada’s oil and gas companies are based in this city. Also, not to be taken lightly is that Canada is the 4th largest producer of oil in the world, after the USA, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Canada is the world’s 6th largest producer of natural gas. Also, Canada is investing billions of dollars annually in the energy transition including wind, solar, and geothermal energy. Almost all the companies active in the energy transition are based in Calgary. Similarly, several Calgary-based companies are carrying out major investments in the development of helium, lithium, and hydrogen.
Sponsors of the 24th WPC include:
Aramco, Accenture, China National Petroleum Corporation, Quatar Energy, Saudi Arabia Ministry of Energy, Sinopec, Cenovus Energy, Pathways Alliance, Repsol, Suncor, bp, Bennet Jones, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Chevron, Deloitte, Enbridge, ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, Fluor, Petrobras, PWC Canada, S&P Commodities Insight, Sonangol EP, and WestJet. Government partners includes the Federal Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, and the City of Calgary.

Tako Koning is a Calgary-based senior geologist and energy consultant. He is Holland-born and Alberta -raised. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1971 with a B.Sc. in Geology and earned a B.A. in Economics in 1981 from the University of Calgary. His fifty years of work experience includes thirty years of living and working in Indonesia, Nigeria and Angola and the remainder in Canada. He was employed primarily by Texaco but also consulted for Tullow Oil and Gaffney, Cline & Associates. Koning has been an active member of the International Advisory Board of the Africa Oil + Gas Report since it was founded by Toyin Akinosho in 2001.

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