World Petroleum Congress Puts On First Youth Forum


Participants in the World Petroleum Congress (WPC) Youth Forum, the first in WPC’s 71-year history, hailed it a success. It was held 17–20 October 2004 at the Beijing Intl. Convention Center, and more than 540 delegates, all under 35 years of age, participated in the program. In addition, 56 observers from 17 WPC member countries and 102 other participants took part as specially invited delegates. Participating in the opening ceremony and other forum activities were WPC officials, members of Chinese Natl. Committee for the WPC, officials from China’s governmental and nongovernmental organizations (including the State Development and Reform Commission, state-owned Assets Supervision and Admin. Commission, Ministry of Science and Technology, and the All-China Youth Federation), and vice presidents from four major state-owned Chinese oil companies.

The principal purpose of WPC is to promote the management of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of humanity. Its mission is to encourage the application of scientific and technological advances and the study of economic, financial, management, environmental, and social issues relating to the petroleum industry. In keeping with WPC’s goal of promoting sustainable development, the theme of the forum was “Youth and Innovation—The Future of the Petroleum Industry.”

Keynote addresses were given by the WPC President, WPC Senior Vice President, Chinese Natl. Committee Chairman, and Vice Mayor of Beijing. The speakers emphasized the key role of young people in the rejuvenation of the oil and gas industry and the strengthening of its capacity for innovation through research and development. They also stressed that the Youth Forum should serve as a platform for information exchange and communication and provide an opportunity for young people from around the world to demonstrate their skills, capabilities, and contributions to the development of the petroleum industry. Focus was placed on the crucial role of the energy sector in driving economic growth. WPC was praised for its decision to encourage young people to play a part in ensuring the sustainable development of the world petroleum industry.

Experts, scholars, and senior executives from the global petroleum industry delivered addresses on major developments and the future direction of the oil and gas industry as well as information on the latest petroleum technology. The addresses were enthusiastically received by the young delegates, with some remarking that the plenary sessions provided them with a rare chance to acquire new knowledge. Also, more than 40 young experts, scholars, and managers presented academic reports and technical papers in a paper exhibition area. In addition, 52 young authors were selected out of 346 submissions from more than 30 countries to present their papers in the following six sessions:

  • The Present Status and Perspective of Petroleum Exploration and Development.
  • Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals.
  • IT and Other New Technology Applications in the Petroleum Industry.
  • Management, Human Resources, and the Contribution of Youth.
  • The Development of Alternatives to Petroleum Energy.
  • The Petroleum Industry and Environmental/Social Responsibility.

Outstanding papers (one from each session) were selected by the session chairperson and vice chairperson and recommended for presentation at the 18th WPC or to professional journals.
During the course of the forum, more than 80 delegates from more than 10 countries visited the U. of Petroleum, Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., the Research Inst. of Petroleum Exploration and Development, and the Research Inst. of Petroleum Processing. Visitors learned about the current status of China’s petroleum industry and its educational facilities.

After 3 days of scientific and technical exchange, a farewell party was held on the evening of 20 October at Beijing’s Chinese Ethnic Culture Park. Activities at the party included a tour of the park, artistic performances, and displays of China’s folk customs.

Cultural entertainment closes the WPC Youth Forum.