Calgary World Petroleum Congress To Focus On Energy Transition

Calgary has an opportunity to position itself as a global leader in the emerging low carbon energy economy when it hosts the 24th World Petroleum Conference, representatives from WPC Canada, the city and provincial governments said last Wednesday at a press conference announcing the theme of the event.

The theme for the conference, to be held Sept. 17-21, 2023, is: Energy Transition – the Path to Net Zero.

The conference theme represents a major shift from previous WPCs, said Denis Painchaud, president of the Canadian Organizing Committee. Historically, congress themes have been focused primarily on industry best practices. The Calgary congress will expand the scope and include content and participation opportunities for pipeline, petrochemical and supply chain companies, as well as the clean technology sector, that play a role in the future energy industry.

The goal of net zero emissions is laudable but it must be achieved without upending economies, jobs and communities, said Painchaud, adding the conference would focus on, “achieving net zero in a responsible way.”

Petroleum development will be the cornerstone of any future energy industry, said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“We can debate when it will decline and how much, but oil and gas will continue to dominate the energy mix for decades to come,” said Savage. “There are no reliable, affordable replacements to provide power, keep us warm in winter and power industry.”

But that doesn’t mean the industry can stand still, said Savage.

“We absolutely must reduce emissions and invest in the energy future and leverage our success,” she noted. “We continue to lower emissions and accelerate investment into new and emerging sources of energy. We are leveraging our potential in hydrogen, helium, petrochemicals, critical and rare earth minerals, and geothermal development and welcoming more renewables into the energy mix. At the heart of our development are the cornerstones of the oil and gas sector, innovation, entrepreneurship and ingenuity. With all of these strengths, Alberta is the right place to have these discussions and exchange of ideas.”

The announcement that the conference would focus on the energy transition was welcome news for new Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, who said it dovetailed well with Calgary council’s current debate on whether to declare a climate emergency taking place today at council chambers. Gondek said declaring a climate emergency would show, “a willingness to commit to action,” similar to the commitments made by energy companies headquartered in Calgary.

“We’re aligning our civic leadership with the energy sector’s leadership and demonstrating we are serious about changing,” she said. “We’re sending a clear message to investors that Calgary is the place to be for investment.”

The 24th World Petroleum Congress in Calgary will welcome an estimated 15,000 visitors, delegates, exhibitors and media from around the world, said Painchaud. This includes an estimated 500 CEOs and 50 heads of state and energy ministers from around 100 countries. Around 500 exhibitors are also expected to attend as well. The local economic impact is estimated in excess of $50 million.

Any Canadian companies interested in sponsoring the 2023 conference should visit the WPC Canada website at

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