Global petroleum Congress kicks off in Calgary
Major energy players from around the globe are in Calgary for the start of a five-day conference at the BMO Centre and Big Four buildings at Stampede Park.
The World Petroleum Congress was last held in Calgary in 2000.
The event takes place every three years.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and that country’s minister of energy has secured a massive space at the BMO Centre to showcase its work within the industry, while Qatar Energy also has a booth.
The event will have around 5,000 delegates and create around $80 million dollars in economic activity for the city, according to mayor Jyoti Gondek.
"We still have to provide the energy that we're producing to global markets because we are in a global situation of war," said Gondek.
"And it is important that people that are in those nations are able to access energy securely, safely and at an affordable rate."
This year the focus of the conference is Energy Transition - The Path to Net Zero.
"It's different because it's the first climate-related theme that this congress has ever had," said president and CEO Denis Painchaud.
Painchaud says compared with 23 years ago, the conference has definitely seen changes.
"Oil was $10 a barrel then. There were lots of challenges in the industry, just as there are challenges now," he said.
"But transition, that was not something that people talked about in 2000. They were talking about the best ways to get oil out of the ground, the most efficient, most economical ways to get it to market."
Gondek says the message she hopes to convey is that Calgary is a city companies can invest in on a path to net zero.
"I really want to focus on what's important to them as well," she said.
"We are a city that has the type of talent you need to truly transform energy. So if that is the business that you're in, this is the city you need to locate in."
CLIMATE SANITY PROTEST
Protestors at the 2023 World Petroleum Congress. (Tyson Fedor/CTV News Edmonton)More than 100 people gathered on the front steps of city hall ahead of the congress's official start.
The Climate Sanity protest addressed concerns surrounding climate change, and the role emissions has on the world.
The group also spoke about historic wildfires that ravaged Alberta and British Columbia for much of the summer.
Organizer Joe Vipond says it's not everyday major oil company executives from around the globe are in the city, and he hopes they hear his message.
"We can’t pretend that declaring a net zero target, while at the same time increasing production and having no way of dealing with the combustion emissions is a reasonable solution," he said.
Painchaud addressed the protest earlier on Sunday inviting activists to the conference to see what the messaging is all about.
"I’d say come down here, participate in the conversations, listen to what's being said and be proactive and be an active participant in the path to net zero," said Painchaud.
The conference will wrap up on Thursday.
Premier Danielle Smith will hold a media availability on Monday at the conference.