Astana Bids to Host 2017 World Petroleum Congress
By Michelle Witte
Kazakhstan presented its application on July 11 in Moscow to host the 2017 World Petroleum Congress in Astana. Kazakhstan is competing against the United States city of Houston, Istanbul, Turkey, and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Consultant of the Kazakh National Committee of the World Petroleum Congress Ardych Durdu made Kazakhstan’s case for hosting the event organised by the World Petroleum Council, an international organisation and oil and gas industry forum. During the presentation, Durdu discussed Kazakhstan’s role as an energy bridge between Europe and Asia.
“The key advantage of Kazakhstan is its geographical situation at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and of course its position in the global oil and gas sector. Kazakhstan is a new and very strong player. The country has developed infrastructure, especially in the areas of production, storage and transportation of hydrocarbons,” he said. With the opening of the new Kashagan oil field, Kazakhstan is actively exploring new oil transportation possibilities, including expanding pipelines and other transport projects.
Kazakhstan’s chances are improved by its recent experience in holding major international events, including the Astana Economic Forum, the Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Islamic Economic Forum, the European Future Energy Forum, the Conference on the Development of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in Central Asia and the CIS and others. This event would be a new victory.
“First, the World Petroleum Congress has never been held in the Central Asian region,” said Executive Director of Kazenergy Ramazan Zhampiisov, speaking of Astana’s chances when the bid was first announced in April. “Second, Kazakhstan has experience in this kind of large-scale event.”
Astana has already been awarded the right to host EXPO 2017 in the same year as the World Petroleum Conference, meaning that Astana’s infrastructure will have been significantly increased in the five years leading to the congress and will be capable of handling a large international event.
The decision on who will host the 2017 congress will be made by secret ballot at the World Petroleum Council’s meeting in Calgary this October. The World Petroleum Congress is held every three years.