World Petroleum Congress kicks off in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyThe 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC), the largest meeting of the oil and gas industry, opened in Istanbul on July 9.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, World Petroleum Council President Jozsef Laszlo Toth said the challenges in the petroleum sector had been growing as the world population is increasing and economic development has brought a large number of consumers to the market.
Oil and natural gas remain the world’s leading energy resources for decades to come, Toth added.
“Meeting the future energy demand safely and environmentally friendly will require massive investment, technology, the highest skilled human resources and superior ethical business practices,” he said.
Toth noted that energy corridors play an important role in securing safe and economically viable access to markets from hydrocarbon reaching regions, especially from Central Asia and the Middle East.
“The Turkish government has been making efforts to create new corridors. High-level executives, international organizations and government leaders, experts from all areas of the industry, researchers, academia, NGOs, students and civil society representatives are gathered here to collectively analyze and determine the future of the petroleum sector,” he said.
The congress will also strongly focus on engaging young professionals in the industry, he added.
“As we all know, in many countries, the number of young people joining the energy industry is declining,” he said.
Turkey a ‘safe harbor for energy investments’
Turkey is a key and safe harbor for energy investments, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said during his speech at the event.
Albayrak said the oil and gas sector had and would continue to have an economic impact for decades to come and therefore, investments in this sector are required for the future of energy security.
The minister hailed the rising popularity of renewable energy while asserting that coal continues to be a crucial energy resource along with oil, natural gas and nuclear power.
“As you all know, oil and gas investments decreased due to low prices. On the other hand, projections tell us that oil will meet around 15 percent of global energy needs in the near future,” Albayrak said.
He praised Turkey’s steps during the environment of low oil prices and said that despite rapid demand, growth in generation capacity tripled in the country. However, he warned that the continuation of security of supply remains critical.
“We ensured security of supply by providing sustainable market conditions and now we have begun focusing on oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region,” he said, noting that Turkey consumes around 50 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
“Fifteen years ago we could provide gas only to five provinces, but now all 81 provinces in Turkey receive gas,” Albayrak said.
He added that in order to ensure gas supply security, Turkey had increased its LNG capacity and launched its first Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) in 2016.
“The second one will also become operational by the end of this year. Gas storage capacity is also critical for us. We plan to increase it as an emerging market with political stability also,” Albayrak stressed.
“Within this perspective, we introduce the motto ‘share for peace.’ Turkey is a reliable partner for energy projects. We will continue to support regional projects for supply security. Turkey is a key and safe harbor for investments – a reliable, regional actor and key for energy. The country is providing a stable, predictable environment for investments,” he also said.
Between July 9 and 13, high-level executives from leading energy companies and up to 50 energy ministers will be attending the congress, the theme of which is “Bridges to our Energy Future.”