As the 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston comes to an end this week, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage is already looking forward to the next one in Calgary in 2023.
“Particularly, I like the fact that it’s coming to Calgary right after Houston,” she told the Bulletin from Houston. “Houston is the energy capital of the United States — I’ve heard that over and over again down here in Texas with all the speeches and events. Houston is the energy capital of the United States, while Calgary is the energy capital of Canada. And I think it’s really fitting that it goes from Houston to Calgary.”
She added: “It’s fitting, because it’s going to showcase that we really are the leaders in the energy sector in Calgary and in Alberta. That’s not only with oil and gas, but in all the emerging sources of energy — things such as hydrogen, petrochemicals, geothermal, and all of the sources of energy that are going to be entering the global energy mix as we move forward. I think it signals our leadership in the area.”
Held every three years, World Petroleum Congress is the oil and gas industry’s most prestigious international event. Assembling expert speakers from all around the world, the event attracts high-level industry and government leaders, including heads of state, ministers of energy and c-suite executives.
According to Savage, it is significant that Calgary will be hosting the next iteration of this event — something the city has not done for several years. “It’s a big event to showcase Alberta, and it’s a big event for economic activity in the City of Calgary — to bring in a large conference of that size into the city.”
With regards to the current World Petroleum Congress in Houston, the energy minister told the DOB that it has been a “tremendous opportunity” for her to attend. She said that a notable recurring theme from industry leaders, government representatives, and others with whom she spoke (or heard speak during panels discussions) would be regarding the need for lowering emissions and for energy transformation, but also for the right timing.
“Affordable and reliable energy is important. Energy transitions take time, and they’re not going to be easy. There’s not a single CEO or country denying the importance of lowering emissions.”
The collaborations and conversations happening at this year’s event in Houston showcase how those in the oil and gas industry are working together to accomplish an objective in a timeframe that ensures an orderly transformation that still allows for reliable and affordable energy, noted Savage. If the energy transition is disorderly, she added, then there will be social unrest and the transformation will not be effective.
“We’re hearing that same narrative coming from all attendees at the conference. It’s just an exciting time to be part of this conversation.”