Astana Awaits Determination on Hosting 2017 World Petroleum Congress

ASTANA – The Kazakh capital will learn on Oct. 23 whether it has won the right to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) to be held in 2017.

The congress attracts thousands of petroleum professionals from around the world who share their knowledge and exchange views on modern production technologies and management practices.

The host city is determined by secret ballot and the results will be announced on Oct. 23in the Canadian city of Calgary as part of the fourth WPC Youth Forum. Astana’s main rivals for the congress are Copenhagen (Denmark) and Istanbul (Turkey).

Kazakhstan spent months preparing its hosting bid, which was presented in July in Moscow. Kazakhstan’s application combined two 2017 events—EXPO 2017 and the WPC in light of international oil production demand and the need to seek alternative energy sources.

“Kazakhstan has strong competition for the right to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress, but, nevertheless, it has a chance to win,” said the Vice-President of the World Petroleum Council and Executive Chairman of the Board of Olajterv Oil and Gas Engineering Group, Dr. József Tóth.

“Competition is very strong. This is akin to the struggle for the right to host the Olympic Games,” Tóth recently told reporters during the 8thEurasian Kazenergy Forum.

Kazakhstan’s hosting bid is being supported by Germany. The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Berlin organized an Oct. 2 conference with German heads of ministries and government bodies, German business leaders and the media to discuss Astana’s efforts to host the WPC. Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Germany Nurlan Onzhanov and Kazenergy Association Vice-Chairman Dzhambulat Sarsenov were among the speakers. Both discussed Kazakhstan’s 2050 economic strategy and described Kazakhstan’s potential for oil extraction, refining and transportation. They also requested support for Kazakhstan’s effort to host the petroleum congress.

Among the German representatives attending that event were the Head of the Division for Internationaland External Energy Policy of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Jörg Kirsch, Head of the Berthold Beitz Center at the German Society for Foreign Policy (DGAP), Dr. Ewald Böhlke and President of the Board of KSA Deutag Drilling GmbH company, Jurgen Werning. A number of the German speakers noted the importance of Kazakhstan to European energy security and said Astana is well situated to host the petroleum congress.

Indonesia and Slovenia have also expressed public support for Kazakhstan’s bid.

The World Petroleum Congress, organized by the Council of the World Petroleum Congress, is often considered the most important event in the oil and gas industry.Since 1933, the forums have brought together up to 5,000 participants, including key figures from the global oil and gas sector, heads of leading oil companies and heads of government ministries.

Well-known companies, such as ABB Group, General Electric, Siemens, Honeywell, Saudi Aramco, Petrobras, CNPC, Sonatrach, Gazprom, Lukoil, BP Plc, Chevron, ExxonMobil, PDVSA, Schlumberger, Shell, Total, Qatar Petroleum are among permanent participants of the congress. Kazakhstan became a member of the World Petroleum Council in 2008.

Kazakhstan’s proven hydrocarbon reserves are estimated to be 5 billion tons of equivalent fuel, or more than 35 billion barrels. That equals 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 1.3 percent of the world’s gas reserves.

More than 90 percent of Kazakhstan’s oil resources are concentrated in such fields as Tengiz, Kashagan, Karachaganak and Uzen. The world’s largest energy companies, such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, Eni, Shell and Total work in Kazakhstan.

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