DeSmog

Oil and Gas Leaders to Make ‘Net Zero’ Pitch at World Petroleum Congress

The energy conference will bring 400 speakers and 15,000 attendees to Calgary Sept. 17 to 21.
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Calgary skyline
The World Petroleum Congress is coming to BMO Centre in Calgary's Stampede Park Sept. 17. Photo credit: Mack Male (Flickr CC)

The 24th World Petroleum Congress is taking place this year in Calgary, Alberta, from Sept. 17 to 21. In response to looming questions about decarbonization, this year’s event is titled “Energy Transition: The Path to Net Zero.”

Major sponsors of the congress include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, and the Pathways Alliance, as well as the governments of Canada, Alberta, and Calgary.

The congress — one of the world’s largest —is expected to welcome 15,000 visitors and 5,000 delegates from over 100 countries. There will be more than 200 national and international exhibitors in attendance, and more than 400 leading energy industry speakers.

This year’s World Petroleum Congress will facilitate vital conversations between traditional energy sector leaders and the carbon neutral energy industry of the future, according to the event’s website.

In promotional materials, Congress organizers identify “energy poverty” and a growing global population as environmental challenges and drivers of industry growth. Speakers will address the need to develop new energy resources in a way that respects both consumers and the climate. The goal is an energy future that is affordable, reliable, and above all, sustainable.

The conference’s strategic program includes a variety of high-level subject matter experts including CEOs, policy makers and government ministers. The schedule lists discussions of energy security, energy transition, responsible energy transition management, as well as ensuring access and affordability during the energy transition. Confirmed speakers include Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, Darren Woods, CEO and Chairman of ExxonMobil, and Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, USA.

Strategic sessions will include discussions of the role of hydrogen in energy transition, key challenges in energy transition research and development, carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technology to reduce emissions, and Indigenous economic reconciliation. 

Canadian programming will look at how Canada’s energy industry can lead on the path to net zero emissions. This will include lessons on Alberta’s energy transitions, collaboration on CCUS, and how to finance the energy transition in Canada.

The Congress will also provide for a comprehensive four day technical program, which will include discussions and presentations concerning the energy transition across several broad areas, such as exploration and production, refining and petrochemicals, gas and transportation, and challenges to leadership.

An opening ceremony and reception will be hosted by federal energy and natural resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson. A ‘Canada Night’ event will feature a performance by Cirque du Soleil as well as a rodeo. A ministerial reception will give representatives from various governments the opportunity to network and discuss key issues, while speaker luncheons will bring together members of the energy industry community and provide attendees with new insights into the energy transition.

The 2023 edition of the World Petroleum Congress was brought to Calgary by WPC Energy which marketing materials say is “dedicated to the promotion of sustainable management and the use of the world’s energy resources for the benefit of all.” The organization is recognized as a non-governmental organization by the United Nations and is a registered charity based in the United Kingdom. It describes itself as a “non-advocacy, non-political organization.”

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Taylor C. Noakes is an independent journalist and public historian.

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