Over 1,000 participants from 65 countries gathered in the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg, on June 23, 2019 for the VI Youth Forum of the World Petroleum Council. The event organizers had chosen the most fascinating and the oldest Russian opera and ballet theatre for the opening ceremony.


The venue was full of honorable guests and the ceremony featured four top officials from the the FLF organizing committee and the World Petroleum Council — Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy, Head of the Organizing Committee of the Future Leaders Forum, Tor Fjaeran, President of the World Petroleum Council, Stephane Rousselet, WPC Young Professionals Committee Chair, and Vlada Streletskaya, Director of the Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council.


The opening ceremony consisted of an official and cultural part — greetings and the opening speech of the organizers and the ballet Giselle. During the official part all the officials underlined the outstanding support of the Russian authorities in organizing this event at the highest possible level as well as importance of forums for educating young people and improving international communications in Oil&Gas industry.


“I am happy to welcome you in Saint Petersburg on behalf of the Russian Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Russian WPC Organizing Committee. Today, Saint Petersburg hosts the key event that happens in the Oil and Gas industry — the VI Future Leaders Forum. I am sure that the Forum will be held at the highest level, because we have been taking so much effort to prepare for it and we will be looking forward to it. The students and postgraduate students, young specialists will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and participate in the sessions and discussions, make friends and some business matching! However, the Forum not limited to the business program only. We have prepared very impressive social and cultural program and we are starting the cultural program over here at the stage of Mariinsky Theatre. It is one of the leading theatres in the world and the history of Mariinsky Theatre goes back 200 years ago. Besides, we have also prepared a great leisure program with the opportunity to visit the Hermitage, Konstantinovsky Palace and a boat tour on the river and canals.


You are lucky indeed that the VI WPC Youth Forum is being held exactly now. In June we have so called “white nights”. I am sure that you will take the opportunity to walk through the city at night”, said Alexander Novak.


Tor Fjaeran, President of the World Petroleum Council, announced earlier on Sunday there was a WPC council meeting — annual meeting voting for the next host for the World Petroleum Congress in 2023, our 24th Congress and it was won by Calgary, Canade in the narrow voting to Baku. He also pointed out importance of organizing events for young Oil&Gas experts.


“It is a great privilege for me and for WPC that the opening of the Future Leaders Forum in Saint Petersburg is happening here. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the organizers of this Forum — the WPC Russian national committee for bringing together over 1,000 people from all around the world for this event. Special thanks to Mr. Novak from the Organizing Committee for making this event happen. We are also grateful to the city and regional authorities of Saint Petersburg for creating this high level event. I want to thank all the volunteers, who stay around, sponsors making this event possible and all of you that joined us here.


Since we organized the first WPC Youth Forum in China in 2004, the number of young people has dramatically increased. These forums allow us to set up a communication between the generations and to understand better what we have to expect in the future. The WPC helps to organize a dialogue between members of different Oil&Gas communities and to understand each other better. We think that we contribute to a better future for all”, said Tor Fjaeran.


President of the World Petroleum Council also thanked the Mining University and its Rector — Vladimir Litvinenko for hosting the event in the fantastic museum and university. He added that Leadership, Innovation and Sustainability will be topics for discussions all the next days.


The organizers used a kerosene lamp as a symbol or leadership and experience being transferred from one generation to another one. Stephane Rousselet, Chairman of the WPC Young Professionals Committee, said that the older generation is putting a lot of trust into the younger generation.


“We have now four days. Four days to broaden our horizons, to broaden our knowledge and expertise with all these senior leaders that will be with us and to network”, added Stephane Rousselet.


The organizers wished attendees not only to enjoy the 4 days of the Forum, but also the leisure events, and to make new friends. The opening ceremony ended with Giselle, one of the most brilliant ballet performances in the Mariinsky Theatre.

WHO, IF NOT US? WHEN, IF NOT NOW?  The Forum of Future Leaders has been officially opened