World Petroleum Congress starts in U.S. Houston amid Omicron concern

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HOUSTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The World Petroleum Congress, the largest triennial gathering for the industry, kicked off Sunday in Houston, the largest city of south central U.S. state Texas, amid the shadow of the fast-spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of global economic activity and energy consumption.

Topics include the role of U.S. oil and gas in global energy markets, shale revolution, digital evolution of oil industry, energy transition from oil, gas and coal to wind, solar and other clean technologies, and a future vision and perception of the industry at large, according to the organizers.

More than 300 speakers are likely to participate in strategic programmes and technical forums, with some 4,000 registered attendees from about 70 countries and regions.

Chief executives of BP and QatarEnergy have dropped out of the conference in the last minute over concerns about the Omicron variant, the Upstream reported on Sunday.

The fast spreading of Omicron sent oil prices plunging recently. Crude prices lost more than 15 percent within days, falling back around 65 U.S. dollars a barrel, according to media reports.

The World Petroleum Congress is organized every three years by the London-based World Petroleum Council which includes 65 member countries, representing over 96 percent of global oil and gas production and consumption.

The international gathering this year, which will end on Thursday, hasn't been held in the United States since 1987 when it was held in Houston. Enditem

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