1st Youth Forum

1st Youth Forum

Theme: Youth & Innovation –The Future of Petroleum Industry

17th – 20th October, 2004 - Beijing International Convention Center (BICC), Beijing , China

WPC organised its 1st Youth Forum in Beijing in 2004 under the theme "Youth and Innovation – the Future of the Petroleum Industry". The Forum was an overwhelming success and won widespread acclaim from its participants. The authors of the best papers were invited to the 18th World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg the following year.

The principal purpose of the WPC is to promote the management of the world's petroleum resources (oil and gas) for the benefit of mankind. It aims 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. The WPC is recognized by all stakeholders as a proactive leader for the petroleum industry that benefits society's expectations for sustainable energy.

The WPC is the only global organization that represents all aspects of the petroleum industry, with the purpose of providing:

  • Networking opportunities in a global forum
  • Common understanding of issues and challenges
  • Co-operation (partnerships) with other organizations
  • The promotion of science/technology/social issues/economics/R&D/management and the environment
  • A showcase for the industry – walking the talk
  • A forum for developing business opportunities
  • Communication, via Information dissemination (congresses, reports, regional meetings and workshops)

The WPC values strongly:

  • Membership for all countries, and respect for individuals and cultures world wide.
  • Unbiased and objective conduct
  • Transparency and openness
  • A positive perception of the industry
  • Science and technology aimed at the sustainable development of people and societies.
  • The views of other stakeholders

The features of youth such as active thinking, being sensitive to new issues and having powerful potential in innovation, are vitally important to the future of the petroleum industry. A key on-going challenge for the International petroleum industry is to attract and retain young people. The Chinese National Committee for WPC has been designated to organize the first WPC Youth Forum in Beijing during 17th – 20th October, 2004, with the following theme:

"Youth & Innovation – The Future of the Petroleum Industry"

At this Youth Forum Senior Petroleum Industry Officials representing all aspects of the Industry engaged in discussion with Young People. That will include those new to the industry as well as those considering the Petroleum Industry as a career. The aim is to create exciting and interesting debates and discussions.

WPC's 1st Youth Forum, the first activity in which youth has played a leading role in WPC's 71-year history, was held in Beijing from 17-20 October 2004. The Forum was a hailed as a great success and won widespread acclaim from its participants.

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Over 540 young delegates with an average age of 35 from 40 countries and regions participated in the Forum's programme. In addition, 56 observers from 17 WPC member countries and 102 participants over the age of 35 also took part as specially invited delegates. WPC officials, members of Chinese National Committee for WPC and officials from China's governmental and non-governmental organisations including the State Development & Reform Commission, State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, Ministry of Science & Technology and the All-China Youth Federation as well as the VPs from four major Chinese state-owned oil companies and top management from the Beijing offices of several international oil companies were invited to participate in the opening ceremony and other Forum activities.

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In keeping with WPC's mission to promote sustainable development, the chosen theme of the Forum was "Youth and Innovation - the Future of the Petroleum Industry". With this in mind, the Chinese National Committee for WPC cooperated with the four major Chinese state owned oil companies, CNPC, Sinopec, CNOOC and Sinochem to create a rich and colorful programme specially tailored for young people, including a spectacular opening ceremony, plenary sessions, technical sessions, poster sessions, an exhibition of the achievements of young people's innovations in science and technology development, technical visits, Beijing city tours and a farewell party.

The opening ceremony was held in Beijing International Convention Center on October 17 and featured keynote addresses from WPC President Dr. Eivald Røren, WPC Senior Vice President and Chinese National Committee Chairman Dr. Wang Tao and Vice Mayor of Beijing Mr. Zhang Mao. Dr. Røren's address placed great emphasis on 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. Dr. Wang Tao, in his address, expressed the hope that the Youth Forum would act as a platform for information exchange and communication and provide an opportunity for young people from all over the world to demonstrate their skills and capabilities, thereby enhancing their contribution to the development of the petroleum industry. For WPC, he added, attracting more young people to join its activities is a strategic measure to deliver its goals and maintain the health and vitality of the organization in years to come. Mr. Zhang Mao, for his part, emphasised the crucial role of the energy sector in driving economic growth and hailed the far-sighted decision of the WPC to encourage young people to play their part in ensuring the sustainable development of the world petroleum industry.

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Three days of academic exchange activities followed. At the morning plenary sessions, participants were able to hear keynote addresses from Mr. Qu Geping, Chairman of the China Environmental Protection Foundation; Dr. Randall Gossen, Vice Chairman of WPC and Vice president of Canada's Nexen Inc; Mr. Zhou Jiping, Vice President of CNPC; Mr. Wang Jiming, Vice Chairman and President of Sinopec; Mr. Mohammad Alipour-Jeddi, Head of Petroleum Market Analysis Department of OPEC; Mr. Takaaki Yamaguchi, Chairman of the Japanese National Committee for WPC; Mr. George Verberg, President of the International Gas Union; and Mr. Chin Leong Lim, Vice President & General Manager for North Asia of Schlumberger.

The keynote addresses were extremely well received by the young delegates present, with some remarking that the plenary sessions provided them with a rare chance to learn new knowledge and that "listening to the keynotes surpassed many years study".

Six technical sessions were included in the Forum's programme under the following headings:

  • 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

52 young authors were selected from 346 submissions from more than 30 countries to present their papers at the six sessions. The presenters delivered their papers vividly and competently, demonstrating the achievements that they had made in both research and practice. For many of the young people taking part it was the first time that they had addressed such an international conference. Many remarked that courage and participation are the first steps towards success. 12 of the 52 presentations were selected by the session Chairs for recommendation to the WPC Congress Programme Committee. As promised, the Committee will do further evaluation of these presentations and single out a few of the very best papers for presentation at the 18th World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg next year.

In addition to the technical sessions, a total of 183 posters and nearly 100 items of technical results were displayed at the Forum, reflecting the creative spirit of young professionals and their achievement in technical development and management. The visitors highly appreciated those posters and technical data and actively engaged in discussion of their content with the authors.

After three days scientific and technical exchange the farewell party was held on the evening of October 20 at Beijing's Chinese Ethnic Culture Park. Activities at the party include sightseeing of the park, art performances, displays of China's folk customs and enjoying delicious Chinese food. The music of "Friends for Life" finally brought the 3-hour farewell party to an end; the young people left their hearts in Beijing and the Forum was formally closed.

During the course of the Forum, over 80 delegates from more than 10 countries visited the University of Petroleum, Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, and the Research Institute of Petroleum Processing. The visitors were warmly welcomed by these institutions and learned much about the current status of China's petroleum industry and its educational facilities.

The WPC 1st Youth Forum attracted a great deal of media attention, with approximately 50 news agencies publishing around 100 items of news reports in newspapers, on radio and TV.

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The Youth Forum proved successful on a number of fronts It taught the younger generation that the petroleum industry is an important part of the wider energy industry and gave them an intensive introduction to the World Petroleum Congress, encouraging them to join the petroleum industry and to support the WPC in conducting its sustainable development strategy and achieving its aim "to promote the management of the world's petroleum resources for the benefit of mankind".

The Forum also provided a platform for young people worldwide to demonstrate their skills whilst creating an opportunity for petroleum industry management to find and select the industry professionals of the future.

Senior industry experts and young people were able to get together to discuss and exchange views on the most important issues currently affecting the petroleum industry. The Forum reached many important academic achievements.

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Most importantly, young people from all over the world came together in Beijing and built a solid foundation for international exchange and cooperation in the future.