Calgary narrowly wins the 2023 World Petroleum Congress after four rounds of voting


By Musa Adesina Oluwakemi

Calgary has been selected as host city for the World Petroleum Congress in September 2023, after multiple rounds of voting by the World Petroleum Council on Sunday in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The win was announced on Sunday morning Calgary time, nine hours behind the Russian city. Calgary was narrowly selected over Baku, Azerbaijan by a vote of 21-20 on the fourth ballot.

Kazakhstan, Dubai and Buenos Aires were knocked off the list in previous rounds of voting.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi appeared with Denis Painchaud, chair of World Petroleum Council Canada to announce the win in a video posted to social media.

“It was a thrilling victory,” said Painchaud in the Twitter video. He said the bid has been a process five years in the making.

“What a shot in the arm for the Canadian energy sector,” said Nenshi.

5,000 delegates from more than 80 countries expected

The conference could bring $65 million in economic activity to Calgary, according to a press release from Meetings + Conventions Calgary. More than 80 countries will be represented at the conference, with an estimated 5,000 delegates expected to attend.

Both the BMO Centre and the Telus Convention Centre will host the Congress, with Meetings + Conventions Calgary estimating that 25 hotels will participate as well.

The City of Calgary and the Calgary Hotel Association were major financial partners in support of the bid, according to Meetings + Conventions Calgary.

Calgary previously hosted in 2000

The city has previously hosted the World Petroleum Congress. In 2000, about 1,000 protesters demonstrated in the downtown core amid a heavy police presence.

Then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien opened that meeting 19 years ago by urging the 3,000 delegates and the oil industry to adapt to climate change.

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