(Houston) — Over to you, Calgary.
The city’s mayor, Jyoti Gondek, invited the world to the north to meet the innovators and exchange ideas with some of the brightest minds in the energy sector at the next World Petroleum Congress.
The City of Calgary officially became the host city of the 24th edition of the global event on Wednesday evening when Houston wrapped up the four-day event at a special closing ceremony. Calgary will host the prestigious event Sept. 17–21, 2023.
Gondek said Calgary has always been a world leader in the energy industry and is now poised to be a leader in the energy transition economy.
“It has been uplifting to observe energy industry stakeholders pulling in the same direction on a path to net zero, the theme of the 2023 WPC event,” she said in the closing ceremony. “I have tremendous optimism about our future, given all of the great minds that are producing innovative ideas that will ultimately produce energy in ways that we have not yet imagined to meet the needs of our future.”
The mayor was part of the Team Canada delegation at the four-day event, which drew 5,000 participants from 70 countries featuring more than 300 speakers. Panelists included Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage, Saskatchewan Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre and Suncor Energy Inc.’s Mark Little, among others.
Gondek reflected on the messaging at the Houston event, which revolved around the themes of putting aside competition in the interest of collaboration, as well as the need to communicate clearly and effectively with citizens that the energy transition is a priority and one that will take time. It’s also important to ensure that incremental changes, adaptations, and transformation are well described to show progress as it occurs.
“They further spoke of the need for quick and intentional attraction of global capital — this imperative in funding and critical research and technology shifts necessary to achieve true energy transformations,” said Gondek. “In short, all of us agree that transition and transformation is our collective task. And that work starts right now.”
Throughout the conference the delegates heard that Houston was the energy capital of the world.
Savage noted in her closing remarks that Calgary is the “the energy capital of Canada.” She said WPC 24 will showcase that the province is a leader in the energy sector — not only with oil and gas but the emerging sources of energy including hydrogen, petrochemicals, geothermal, and all of the sources of energy that are going to be entering the global energy mix as the world moves forward.
Michael Hampton, president of the WPC organizing committee, said bringing the event to Houston was a long time coming as the bidding on this event more than 10 years ago.
“We had to work through many difficult issues through COVID and everything that we’ve been facing over the past number of months and, frankly, years,” he said. “To have success like we’ve been able to do this week with 5,000 registered attendees from 70 countries and 300 speakers is truly an incredible achievement that we’re very proud of.”
The mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, added the teams were able to show a successful and safe event can be done despite the ongoing pandemic. Turner also reflected on the discussions around the future course for the energy sector, innovation and energy solutions.
“We have acknowledged that the energy transition is here, and it is on us to lead,” said Turner. “And I heard this week from many of our energy executives, the industry needs to better tell their story about powering the world while being a critical and fundamental part of reducing the emissions to take on climate change. The story about leading the energy transition is very much real and again, simply, [I] want to echo the remarks by [others]. I sincerely hope that we can continue to mutually advance this conversation.”
David Woodward, executive director of the meetings and conventions team at Tourism Calgary, said they are excited to welcome the world and to celebrate the industry in 2023.
“With the many delegates that will join us in 2023, the Congress will bring tremendous economic impact to the City of Calgary and at a time where, following the pandemic, we are in a time of recovery,” he said. “We’re looking forward to hosting all the delegates and sharing our western hospitality with the World Petroleum Congress.”