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19th World Petroleum Congress :
Madrid will play host to the most influential international congress in the hydrocarbons industry between 29 June and 3 July, 2008

CARACAS 10 22 07

The Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, and Antonio Brufau, Chairman & CEO of Repsol YPF, the Host Sponsor of the 19th World Petroleum Congress, yesterday unveiled the 19th World Petroleum Congress to take place in Madrid between 29 June and 3 July, 2008.

The World Petroleum Congress is the largest international gathering in the oil and gas industry. Governments, national and international oil companies and representatives of international institutions and suppliers of goods and services worldwide will come together in Madrid to discuss the future of the industry.

The Congress to be held in Spain will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World Petroleum Council, the not for profit organisation that promotes the congress and was created in 1933. The World Petroleum Council, made up of 60 countries that account for over 95% of global economic activity, acts as a forum for discussing issues facing the oil industry and is strictly apolitical. The WPC is dedicated to the application of scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, to technology transfer and to the use of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of mankind.

The official slogan for the 19th World Petroleum Congress, A Word in Transition: Delivering Energy for Sustainable Growth, reflects industry efforts to ensure ongoing, affordable, sustainable and environmentally-friendly supply.

The Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, summed up the significance of this event as follows: “If there is one issue that attracts worldwide attention at present, that issue is energy, both because it is vital to progress and because of the role its production and consumption plays in a model predicated on sustainable development”. An event which, with oil prices hitting an all-time high last Monday, will “focus the attention of analysts worldwide on Madrid, a city destined to become a global metropolis”.

Ruiz-Gallardón added data to explain Madrid’s “committed interest” in this Congress. In Spain over 50% of energy consumption comes from oil while a further 15% comes from natural gas, both imported products, a phenomenon which makes “Spain’s economic variables highly sensitive to price variations”.

However, Madrid is not only a consumer, it also generates oil derived wealth in industries such as the pharmaceuticals industry, which contributes 8% of manufacturing value-added generated by the city. “Even still, the energy sector alone – the source of 20% of the capital’s industrial output – is the highest contributor to Madrid GDP, not because of generation but rather the strategic and management activities undertaken by large players. Repsol YPF and Cepsa, like 52% of Spain’s oil companies with over 500 employees, are headquartered in Madrid”.

Antonio Brufau, Chairman & CEO of Repsol YPF, the Host Sponsor of the 19th World Petroleum Congress, thanked the Mayor of Madrid for the institutional support provided, facilitating the hosting of the Congress in Madrid 14 years after it was last hosted in Europe: “Madrid’s candidacy was promoted by a group of Spanish companies under the auspices of the Spanish Energy Club, who were provided the indispensable official and institutional support required to host an event of this magnitude”. His Royal Majesty Juan Carlos I personally expressed his support for the Congress, committing to officially inaugurate the event.

In the words of Brufau, “the 19th World Petroleum Congress is an opportunity for the Spanish oil and gas industry to showcase its current paradigm and future plans” against a backdrop in which “the oil industry will pronounce its full commitment to the principles of sustainable development”. Brufau highlighted that the sector’s performance in Spain in recent years positioned the country as a candidate to host the event. He also referred to other pressing issues such as deregulation of the oil and gas market, corporate internationalisation, the spin-off of generation and distribution activities and the significant levels of investment required to diversify oil and gas sources and thereby ensure uninterrupted supply, “Spain stands out for its technological developments in reducing environmental damage and for research into and the use of renewable sources of energy such as bio fuels, photovoltaic solar energy and wind energy”.

The 19th World Petroleum Congress will be held between 29 June and 3 July, 2008 at Madrid’s IFEMA Congress Centre and is expected to draw some 4,500 attendees, of which 3,500 will be delegates. The Congress will be structured into multiple sessions dealing with issues ranging from general matters of utmost importance to the latest technological developments in the sector. Over the course of the event there will be round table debates, forums and key note presentations made by the world’s leading experts.

In addition to plenary, technical and ministerial sessions, the Congress will touch on sensitive issues for society such as Water, Corporate Social Responsibility, Women and Youth in the oil sector. For the first time in the history of the Congress, women and youth will have a special section.

As it always does, the World Petroleum Congress has called upon all professionals, experts, researchers and students from the energy industry interested in sharing their knowledge and experience with the event’s participants to send in their proposals. The deadline for Call for Papers was last 15 October. Over 1,500 abstracts were received from 180 companies and 215 training and research institutions across 57 countries. Three hundred will be selected to participate in the presentations making up the Technical Program and a further two hundred for the Poster Plaza.

In parallel to the Congress, the World Petroleum Exhibition (WPE) and the Global Business Opportunities Centre (GBOC) Exhibition will be held in an exhibition space covering 20,000 m2 located in three IFEMA pavilions.

The World Petroleum Exhibition will feature the largest sector players as well as a large number of media from all five continents in the Media Village.

All the member nations of the World Petroleum Council and certain state companies will have the opportunity to showcase their petroleum industries to delegates, exhibitors and visitors at the Global Business Opportunities Centre. The GBOC will also house the Poster Plaza, the Social Responsibility Area and the Youth Stand.

Exhibitors have displayed unprecedented interest in the Congress, as witnessed by the fact that 70% of the exhibition space has already been booked.


19th WPC Spanish Organising Committee office:
Inés Elorriaga
Communications Manager
Tel.: 34 91 745 30 68

Press Office for the 19th WPC:
SC Comunicación
Pilar Suárez-Carreño
Tel: 34 91 575 45 05

Story from Petroleumworld 21 10 07

Copyright© 2007 Petroleumworld. All rights reserved.



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