Istanbul Beats Out Houston To Host 2017 World Petroleum Congress

Every three years, representatives from more than sixty countries gather for the World Petroleum Congress. Heads of state and business leaders gather to address major issues facing the oil and gas industry. Late Wednesday, Houston lost its bid to host the conference in 2017.

It came down to two contenders at a meeting of the World Petroleum Council in Calgary. But when the third and final round of voting was done, delegates had picked Istanbul over Houston.

The vote means the loss to Houston of about $10 million worth of direct economic expenditures. That’s not counting indirect spending and potential deal-making tied to the event. Greg Ortale is president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I was really, really humbled by the level of support that we got from the Houston industry, the oil and gas industry. They were just terrific. We personally presented bids to the voters in fifty-eight countries. We traveled 366,000 miles. So, there’s not much more that we could have done, I don’t believe, to get the victory.”

Istanbul bid for the World Petroleum Congress three times previously without success. Ortale says that may have played a role in the delegates’ decision. Houston hosted the event in 1987, the last time it took place in the United States.  The next congress will take place in 2014 in Moscow.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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