Houston in running to host global oil and gas ‘Olympics’ in 2017

A top  oil and gas industry trade group is pushing to bring the triennial World Petroleum Congress to Houston in 2017, 30 years after the city  hosted the last such gathering held in the United States.

“If you want to see the energy center for the world, come to the United States, and specifically come to Houston,” said Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, in a meeting Tuesday with the Houston Chronicle editorial board.

Houston was a finalist in the competition for the 2014 congress, but lost out to Moscow, which expects 5,000 delegates next June.

J. Gerardo Uria, the Petroleum Institute’s director of general membership and member relations, said other contenders for 2014 are Istanbul;  Copenhagen, Denmark; and  Astana, Kazakhstan.

The event is organized by the  London-based World Petroleum Council, comprising 65 member countries that the Council says account for more than 95 percent of the world’s oil and gas production and consumption. It characterizes the event as “the Olympics of the Oil and Gas Industry.”

The Council is set to select the 2017 conference site in October, Uria said.

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