Houston is competing with Bogotá, Colombia, and Moscow in its bid to host the global oil and gas forum. We host other petroleum events each year, but George Franz from the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau says this international event represents all sectors of the petroleum industry.
"This Congress basically brings together heads of state, energy leaders and technology practitioners to address the major issues facing the oil and gas industry. They also 'promote the management of the world's petroleum resources for the benefit of mankind,' as they put it in their description. So if Houston gets this conference, we'll bring in about 9,000 individuals related to the petroleum industry, oil and gas industry. It'll generate about 40,000 room-nights to Houston hotels and about $10 million in economic impact for the city."
There's a 51-member bid committee, and 24 energy companies are supporting the bid financially. A delegation will travel to Beijing for an October 21st meeting of delegates from 23 countries to pitch Houston as host city.
"You have to have a strong bid document, which you normally have to do for any major congress, conference or convention. This is not too unlike bringing an Olympics in. We have 20 minutes to present, Bogotá has 20 minutes to present and then Moscow has 20 minutes to present. And it'll be a secret ballot. The presentation will include our mayor, and then we're going to have Gaylan Kobb of the World Petroleum Council. That's the group that basically nominated Houston to be a bidding city for the United States."
Houston last hosted the WPC in 1987. Moscow hosted the event in 1971, and Bogotá has never hosted the World Petroleum Congress.