In a nail-biting finish Canada won the bid to host the 24th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in 2023, widely recognised as the "Olympics" of the oil and gas industry.
One vote made all the difference. In a tightly contested competition, Canada won the right to host the prestigious World Petroleum Congress in 2023 with 51% of the votes, one vote more than the closest runner-up Azerbaijan.
41 member countries of the World Petroleum Council gathered for the 2019 Annual WPC Council meeting in St Petersburg in June 2019 and voted on the country to host the world’s largest oil and gas event in 2023. Five member countries of the World Petroleum Council had put forward their bids to hold the 24th WPC. Canada faced off against Argentina with Buenos Aires, Azerbaijan and their capital Baku, Nur-Sultan, the newly renamed capital of Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Dubai. After four rounds of voting, Canada pulled past its closest rival Azerbaijan in a nail-biting finish with just one vote to win.
Tor Fjaeran, President of the WPC, was very pleased with this strong turnout and the record number of bidders for the 24th WPC. He stated that “this underlines the continued importance of the World Petroleum Congress as a world-class gathering to discuss key industry issues with all stakeholders, network, and share best practices for the global oil and gas sector”. He recognised the efforts of all five candidate countries and commended their highly professional and ethical promotional campaigns.
The Canadian team of volunteers was ecstatic with winning the Congress in their second attempt as Denis Painchaud, Chair of the WPC Canadian National Committee, said in his speech after signing the host agreement with the Director General of the World Petroleum Council, Dr Pierce Riemer: “It was a thrilling victory – five years in the making”, and he gave everyone a “guarantee, that you will have an unbelievable experience in Calgary in 2023.”