The decision from the World Petroleum Council Executive Committee and 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee comes after careful deliberation and discussions with key stakeholders who fully supported the decision.
"Since its founding in 1933, the World Petroleum Council has 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. 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" said Tor Fjaeren, President, World Petroleum Council.
In addition to health and safety concerns, many governments have placed restrictions on travel, affecting all business sectors. 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 23rd World Petroleum Congress was originally due to take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, USA, this year. The venue and host city remain the same for the revised date of December 5-9, 2021.
"The World Petroleum Congress is the world's premier oil and gas forum, and it took significant time and effort to bring it to the United States and Houston. But, considerations for international delegate entry and safety are imperative. 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 Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston. "We will now begin planning for 2021 and I am eagerly anticipating welcoming participants from around the world and showcasing Houston as a diverse, world-class city."
The Congress 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 Presenting Sponsors of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress are Accenture, Baker Hughes, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Hess Corporation, Qatar Petroleum, and Saudi Aramco.