Hundreds of executives and government officials from oil-producing nations around the world are gathering in Calgary this week, against the backdrop of growing global pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The 24th World Petroleum Congress, one of the largest oil-and-gas conferences in the world, runs from Monday to Thursday. The event, which has not been held in Canada since 2000, will count among its attendees heavyweights such as Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods, Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz and Amin Nasser, the CEO of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company.
The congress, which occurs every three years, is taking place at a time when the issue of global energy security remains heightened in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, Saudi Arabia and Russia recently agreed to extend their voluntary oil production cuts through the end of this year, sending commodity prices higher. Last week, the U.S. benchmark crude price West Texas Intermediate topped US$90 per barrel for the first time since late last year.
But the executives meeting in Calgary are also gathering after what scientists say was the hottest summer on record – a summer marred by climate change-fuelled wildfires and floods around the world.
Many of the companies in attendance at the congress have been criticized by environmentalists for prioritizing profits over the planet.
The energy transition, and the need for the oil and gas sector to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the decades to come, is the theme of this year’s event.
The World Petroleum Congress is led by WPC Energy, which is an organization of nearly 65 member countries from around the world, including both OPEC and Non-OPEC countries.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2023.