Mayor's Office Press Release

Houston Selected as Site for 2020 World Petroleum Congress

December 15, 2016 -- The third time was the charm for Houston in the competition for the triennial meeting of the World Petroleum Congress.  In voting held in Bahrain today, WPC delegates awarded the 2020 WPC to Houston.  The Bayou City beat out Vancouver for the coveted event that has an estimated economic impact of $60-80 million and draws as many as 10,000 top-level international oil executives together every three years.  It was Houston’s third try.  The 2014 and 2017 events were lost to Moscow and Istanbul.  The last time Houston was selected as the host was 1987.

“I want to thank the U.S. bid committee for their hard work,” said Mayor Turner.  “We spent six years building relationships with WPC delegates and it paid off.  Houston is the epicenter of energy on the global scale and this is where the new technologies are being developed.  The Houston event will feature strong speakers, strong technical tours, strong sponsorships and strong corporate and community support. This all combines with our diversity, welcoming attitude, entertainment and cultural offerings to create the best convention the WPC has ever seen.”

A key factor in Houston’s win over Vancouver was a promise to dedicate 100% of the net profit from the Houston event to establish a Global Legacy Program that will benefit the next generation of energy industry young professionals.  The funds will be redistributed around the world by the WPC to select Legacy Projects that align with WPC Legacy Committee initiatives, including educating and developing the future of the energy industry.

“The young people in school today will be the industry professionals and innovators of tomorrow,” said Turner. “They will develop the solutions needed to conquer our global energy challenges.  We have to invest in their futures.”

“This decision was due to the hard work of a diverse team that covered all the bases,” said Galen Cobb, U.S. WPC Bid Committee Chair. “The federal government, City of Houston, Houston First, Consular Corp, industry trade associations, energy company operators and service companies joined together for the common purpose of promoting Houston as the world energy city leader it is. We have so much to be proud of and want to showcase it to the world in 2020.”

“This is a major win for the city of Houston and for our energy sector,” says Mike Waterman, executive vice president of Houston First. “WPC will bring thousands of the top minds in this industry to Houston from across the globe. Not only will the event have a significant economic impact on our city -- filling our hotels and restaurants -- it will also help create new business opportunities for our energy companies. Capitalizing on the strength of Houston’s core industries when going after business is a growing focus for us at Visit Houston.”

Mayor Turner and members of the U.S. WPC Bid Committee traveled to Bahrain to make the final pitch on Houston’s behalf and to witness today’s vote by WPC delegates.

The mayor’s itinerary also included meetings with the U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce, the Bahrain Ministers of Education and Oil, the Bahrain Economic Development Board and the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission.

More information on Houston’s winning bid is available at Houston 2020 WPC Bid