The 20th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) was opened by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who provided the inaugural address to the first ever congress to take place in the Middle East.
The Emir was joined by Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, who gave the opening remarks at the start of the five day congress.
After almost eighty years
Al-Thani started by saying: "This is a great event, which we have the honor to host in Qatar, specially that it is convened for the first time in the Middle East after almost eighty years since the founding of the World Petroleum Council," adding that it was " high time to convene this conference in the region, as a symbolic recognition of the importance of its status in the energy industry."
Al-Sada highlighted the main theme of the conference, "Energy Solutions for All," which "has been developed bearing in mind the vital role that energy plays in development and its link to the three main pillars of sustainable development: Social, Economic and Environmental."
The overall theme of the 20th WPC was praised by Dr Randy Gossen, President, World Petroleum Council who said: "I would like to thank our hosts for delivering an outstanding and relevant Congress that captures the essence of both, current and future, challenges in the oil and gas industry."
Role of Innovation and Investment
Al-Sada talked about the important role that innovation must play in shaping the energy world. "There is an urgent need for scientific and research development, which would spur the innovation process and expedite the development of applicable technologies in various fields, such as in increasing energy consumption efficiency and in developing renewable energy sources."
The Qatari Minister of Energy also touched on the pivotal role investment plays in the hydrocarbon sector. "Investment and finance represent the cornerstone in developing energy at various forms. In conventional energy, mainly oil and gas, we have found that research, exploration and the development of infrastructure are characterised by intensive capital, in addition to the need to finance the technology used in improving the efficiency of traditional energy resources, boosting production operations, and in mitigating the environmental impact of fossil fuels"
Al-Thani ended his inaugural speech by saying that: "I am quite confident that these issues and several other ones linked to energy sector would be addressed and highlighted during this conference and that delegates will strive to reach practical solutions and propose appropriate recommendations and suitable mechanisms for their application."