Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Departs for Bahrain to Make Final Pitch for 2020 World Petroleum Congress

December 12, 2016 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner departs this evening for Bahrain where the World Petroleum Council (WPC) is expected to decide whether Houston or Vancouver will be selected as the site for the 2020 World Petroleum Congress, which draws as many as 10,000 top-level international oil executives together every three years.  The mayor and the Houston WPC Bid Committee will make the final pitch on Houston’s behalf Thursday morning and a vote by WPC delegates will follow later in the day. This is the third time in a row Houston has competed for this international event.  The 2014 event went to Moscow and Istanbul won next year’s meeting.  The last time Houston was selected to host was 1987.

“For the past six years Houston has been committed to hosting the WPC,” said Mayor Turner. “The competition has been strong, and while I believe Houston is a natural fit, we are not taking the organization’s support for granted.  The Houston bid committee has traveled the world to tell WPC delegate cities what we have to offer.   We are energy; Houston is energy. There is nowhere else in the world that can put WPC attendees so close to the action and the experts.  We are going to close this deal in Bahrain.”

Houston’s bid touts its broad access to leading energy industry technology, infrastructure and human capital as well as the city’s welcoming attitude, ethnic diversity, culture, entertainment options, restaurants and direct connections to 74 international cities.  The mayor will make direct reference to this during his final presentation to voting delegates, noting that Houston is the most diverse city in the US with more than 140 languages spoken and more than 90 nations represented in the consular corps.

In a first, Houston is promising to dedicate 100% of its net profit from the WPC to establish a Global Legacy Program that will benefit the next generation of energy industry young professionals.  The funds would be redistributed by the WPC to select Legacy Projects that align with WPC Legacy Committee initiatives, including educating and developing the future of the energy industry. “I firmly believe that WPC 2020 can create a strong Global Legacy Program for the next generation of young professionals. They are our future leaders and together we can pave the way for them to succeed,” said Turner.

Approximately 70 WPC member countries have a vote on the 2020 convention, but delegates must be present in order to cast a vote.  A country’s delegates are usually made up of representatives from the national oil company, major private energy companies based in that country or ministry of energy top executives.

Accompanying the mayor in Bahrain will be U.S. WPC National Committee Chair Galen Cobb from Halliburton, Gerardo Uria of the American Petroleum Institute, Pinar Yilmaz from Exxon/Mobile and Daniel Palomo from the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau/WPC U.S. Bid Committee.

The mayor’s itinerary also includes 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 (link deactivated).