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Cablegate: Turkey Seeking to Host World Petroleum

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RUEHYG
DE RUEHAK #0662 0821138
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231138Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1434
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0915
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 1931
RUEHAST/USO ALMATY 2236

UNCLAS ANKARA 000662

SIPDIS

USDOE FOR CHARLES WASHINGTON
USDOC FOR 4212/ITA/MAC/CPD/CRUSNAK

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET ENRG AORC TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY SEEKING TO HOST WORLD PETROLEUM
CONGRESS 2011

1. SUMMARY: The government-supported Turkish
Organizing Committee seeks U.S. support for its
candidacy to host the 20th World Petroleum Congress in
2011 in Istanbul. Turkey's Organizing Committee will
meet U.S. World Petroleum Council (WPC) members
(Chevron, API, Schlumberger) in Houston April 16 to
make their pitch for the U.S. vote at the annual
meeting in Uruguay November 29. The cities of
Aberdeen, UK and Doha, Qatar are also competing.
Istanbul's selection would highlight the importance of
Turkey as an energy bridge between the Caspian and
Europe (Bosphorus, BTC, "southern gas corridor"). End
Summary.

2. On behalf of Turkey's candidacy for Istanbul to
hold the 20th World Petroleum Congress in 2011, Dr.
Zihni Aksoy, Chair of the Turkish Organizing Committee
and a representative of the state oil company TPAO,
called on Embassy on March 21 to describe its efforts
and to seek U.S. support and its vote at the annual
meeting of the World Petroleum Council in November in
Uruguay. U.S. WPC members include officials from
Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute,
Schlumberger, and Halliburton. Aksoy asserted that
Istanbul was clearly a more exciting and better
prepared site than Aberdeen and Qatar. Moreover, he
noted that the UK had already hosted the congress twice
in London, but an OPEC member had never been chosen to
host. Turkey was a candidate for the 17th Congress and
narrowly lost to Brazil that year.

3. Background: The last triennial congress of the 61-
member World Petroleum Council was held in 2005 in
Johannesburg and the next one is planned for 2008 in
Madrid. The host country for a WPC Congress is chosen
by secret vote at the annual meeting four years in
advance. The WPC and the host determine a specific
theme based on the issues of the day. The organization
works on variety of issues from technical reserve
definitions to environment and social issues.

4. Comment: Hosting the congress would be an
opportunity for Turkey to highlight its contribution to
global and regional energy supply security, including
as an energy bridge and southern gas corridor from the
Caspian to Europe. It appears that the USG may not
have an official role in the organization, and it is
not clear how U.S. private sector members determine the
U.S. vote. Unlike in Turkey, the USG cannot tell oil
companies what to do.

MCELDOWNEY

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