23rd World Petroleum Congress

23rd WPC Announces Innovation Zone

HOUSTON, TX — The 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee has announced the launch of the Innovation Zone, a captivating new feature on the exhibition floor of the Congress, which will take place in-person in Houston from December 5-9, 2021 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The Innovation Zone, presented by ConocoPhillips, will provide startup companies an international platform to showcase cutting-edge practices and solutions to combat the current challenges of the energy industry and bring awareness to progressive energy solutions available on the market today.

“For more than a century, innovation has enabled our industry to keep pace with the growing demand for safe and reliable energy,” said W. L. (Bill) Bullock, Jr., EVP and CFO, ConocoPhillips. “ConocoPhillips is pleased to be the Innovation Zone presenting sponsor, where companies will showcase innovations that can propel our industry’s purposeful journey through the energy transition and into the future.”

Thirty-two selected startup companies and individuals will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative energy tools, technologies and practices on stage to Congress delegates and participants, who will then pick one to receive the Energy Innovator Award.

The Innovation Zone is open to all for-profit energy companies, private entities and individuals operating as independent contractors. Proposals will be evaluated on how well they meet seven criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Evidence of potential or achieved technical and/or business success
  • Impact on the environment
  • Impact on stakeholders
  • Scalability
  • Wider applicability

The application form, and details on how to apply, can be found at:


The deadline for receipt of proposals is August 20th, after which a selection committee comprised of professionals from ConocoPhillips and the 23rd WPC will evaluate and choose 32 finalists. Those selected will be notified in early September and will present in person at the 23rd WPC in Houston in December.

Serafina Lalany, Interim Executive Director at Houston Exponential commented: “This is a tremendous, tangible milestone for ConocoPhillips and the 23rd World Petroleum Congress. We are delighted to set an example of the global integrated energy transition right here in Houston.  Start-ups with their innovative business models will play a decisive role in shaping a sustainable energy future, and for participating companies, this is a good opportunity to present and forge new links with key-stakeholders and investors.”

Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director at The Ion added: “The energy landscape is being transformed globally and The Ion is transforming Houston into a technology destination. We are proud to be partnering with the World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee to bring The Innovation Zone to the 23rd WPC”.

Jeff Shellebarger, Chairman of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee, concluded: “Innovation is at the heart of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress. We are excited to present the Innovation Zone, and give organizations and individuals the stage to bring forward and amplify transformative ideas that will impact the future of energy.” 

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About the 23rd World Petroleum Congress

The 23rd World Petroleum Congress takes place in Houston, Texas, December 5-9, 2021. The triennial World Petroleum Congress is the oil and gas industry’s most prestigious international event. Assembling expert speakers from all around the world, the Congress attracts the highest-level industry and government leaders, including heads of state, ministers of energy and C-suite executives. The Congress will also feature an engaging exhibition floor in the 50,000 square meter George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston’s Downtown Campus.

The Presenting Sponsors of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress are Chevron, Halliburton, Accenture, Hess, ExxonMobil, BP, Qatar Petroleum, Baker Hughes, Saudi Aramco and ConocoPhillips. www.23wpchouston.com

About the World Petroleum Council

The World Petroleum Council was established in 1933 and provides a neutral platform for discussion of the issues facing the oil and gas industry and its stakeholders around the globe.  It is a non-advocacy, non-political organization, dedicated to the application of scientific advances in the oil and gas industries, technology transfer and the sustainable use of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all. The WPC is registered as a charity in the UK. Its nearly 70 member countries represent 96% of the world’s oil and gas production and consumption.

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