From Beijing to St.Petersburg

Susceptibility to change, active thinking, the desire for progress are becoming factors determining effectiveness and success. All these qualities are inherent in young specialists. And it is their energy and enthusiasm that are now particularly important for the future of the oil industry.

Based on this message, the World Petroleum Council initiated to provide International Youth Professional Forums. Firstly, such kind of Event was in October 2004 in China. The main idea was clearly defined by the motto of the forum: “Youth and Innovation – the Future of the Petroleum Industry”.

It was an impressive success. Boys and girls who tied their fates with the oil and gas industry got an opportunity to represent different countries and freely exchange their views. Their voices were heard by industry leaders. The speeches of authoritative representatives of the oil and gas industry who came to communicate with young people were very useful and informative.

Since then, the issues of professional development and unleashing the creative potential of the young specialists of the industry have been permanently put on the agenda for the World Petroleum Council.

After Beijing, the forums of young specialists in the oil and gas industry were held in Paris (France) and New Delhi (India). The fourth WPC Youth Forum was held in 2013 in Calgary (Canada). Three years later, in the fall of 2016, young men and women with an active professional position were welcomed in Brazilian Rio de Janeiro – for the first time, as the Forum of Future Leaders.

The Forum is the second most important and big event (after the triennial World Petroleum Congress) organized by the World Petroleum Council. It represents a unique platform for experience and ideas sharing, deepening knowledge in advanced technologies and achievements of the industry, developing new skills, becoming part of the international network of young energy professionals. This event gives participants an opportunity to address the challenges the industry is facing now, to strengthen collaboration with the world energy leaders and experts.

The organizer of the event in St. Petersburg is the Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council (RNC WPC) that has rich experience in organization of international high-level events. In particular the 21st World Petroleum Congress held in 2014 in Moscow that gathered more than 16,000 participants from 119 countries, 30 ministers and about 700 speakers. The volunteer program of the 21st World Petroleum Congress, according to the WPC Executive Committee members, was recognized as the best in the history of the event.

he 6th Youth Forum of the World Petroleum Council – Future Leaders Forum

The 6th Youth Forum of the World Petroleum Council – Future Leaders Forum worked in St. Petersburg on June 23-28, 2019. The Forum is the largest international platform for professional communication of young specialists in the oil and gas industry. The Forum was attended by more than 1300 representatives of the oil and gas industry from 62 countries.

The high professional level of the discussions was predetermined by the unique composition of the speakers — most of the 230 speakers have extensive practical experience in leading oil and gas companies or are eminent experts. Ministerial delegations from five countries arrived to communicate with young professionals.

Continuing the established tradition, youth technical sessions were included in the programme of the Future Leaders Forum. For the first time, the selection of young speakers was conducted as an open competition. 75 students and young professionals from different countries of the world, whose works were acknowledged as the best, received invitations to the Forum and made presentations at one of the nine youth technical sessions.

The Gala Opening of the Forum took place on June 23, 2019, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Four prominent representatives of the World Petroleum Council and the Organising Committee of the Forum held speeches on the ceremony: Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Future Leaders Forum Alexander Novak; President of the World Petroleum Council Tor Fjaeran; Director of the WPC Russian National Committee Vlada Streletskaya and Chairman of the WPC Young Professionals Committee Stephane Rousselet.

The culmination of the celebration was the transfer of the old kerosene lamp by Mr. Novak and Mr. Fjaeran to young colleagues. This action was perceived as evidence of loyalty to traditions and continuity of generations.

The Opening Ceremony of the 6th WPC Youth Forum – Future Leaders Forum ended with the Giselle ballet performance, one of the most magnificent productions in the repertoire of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre.

The Technical Programme of the Forum was held at the sites of the Multifunctional Complex “Gorny”, a well-equipped and hospitable modern complex owned by St. Petersburg Mining University. On the morning of June 24, Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, was hosted here.

“Russia has never used and will not use its energy resources and opportunities as levers of economic or political pressure,” Ms. Matvienko said, addressing the Forum participants from the tribune, which represent a wide range of countries – oil suppliers and consumers.

Vice-Governor Oleg Markov welcomed the guests on behalf of the Administration of the city of St. Petersburg. He voiced a hope that the Youth Forum will give a new impetus to the development of modern technologies in the field of oil production and processing.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin sent greetings to the participants, organisers, and guests of the Forum. “It is on you, young leaders, on your readiness to make bold, non-standard decisions, to achieve your goals, to build up an equal and mutually beneficial partnership – the future of the oil and gas complex, its competitiveness and expansion of the resource base largely depend,” – noted in the greeting of the head of the Russian state, which was read out by the Advisor to Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Forum, Kirill Molodtsov.

The right to open the Forum was granted to the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the 6th Youth Forum of the Ministry of Energy of Russia Alexander Novak. “It is obvious that today when the world economy is entering the stage of economic transformation, it is important to ensure the maximum involvement of young professionals in the global energy supply. Such platforms as the Forum help to achieve this goal, reduce uncertainty in the market,” Mr. Novak said, addressing the Forum participants.

The ceremony was conducted by rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko. He noted that the Forum brought together professionals, masters, people representing the main sector, which largely determines the pace of economic development. “I would like to wish everyone a successful discussion and fruitful, effective work for the development of the oil and gas sector. The Mining University, as a platform of the Forum, tried to create all conditions for this,” rector said.

The first Plenary Session was devoted to the discussion of the key topic of the Future Leaders Forum: “Energy Transformation: Map of the Future”. Ministers of Energy participated in the discussion: Parviz Shahbazov (Azerbaijan), Kanat Bozumbayev (Kazakhstan) and Alexander Novak (Russia), as well as the President of the World Petroleum Council Tor Fjaeran.

At the next Plenary Session, “CEO-2030: what is required from future leaders” topic, which is no less informative for young delegates, was discussed. The special value of this conversation was that experienced managers who have achieved significant success in the industry shared their thoughts and observations. Namely, Azat Shamsuarov, Senior Vice President of PJSC LUKOIL; Marina Sedykh, Head of Irkutsk Oil company; Cederic Cremers, Executive Vice President and Country Chair Russia at Shell; Zhou Jiping, former Chairman of PetroChina Company; Arman Tuyakov, General Director of KMG Kashagan; Denise M. Cox, President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2018-2019). The moderator of this fascinating meeting was the Chairman of the Committee of the WPC Young Professionals Stephane Rousselet.

In total, without taking into account Youth Technical Sessions, the Technical Programme of the Forum included 28 discussions on the most topical issues of the industry. They were held in different formats: plenary and panel sessions, round tables, forums, and open dialogues. The entire programme was structured in three main areas: Leadership, Innovation, Sustainable Development.

Lively and dynamically, in an atmosphere of excitement and creativity, Shell organised an educational seminar NXplorers. In a fun way, the programme teaches how to search for and find solutions to complex problems as well as develops critical thinking and teamwork skills.

The Russian National Committee of the WPC invited to the Forum the winners of the “Golden Legacy” scholarship. The Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and the President of the World Petroleum Council, Tor Fjaeran, presented the diplomas and memorable awards to the brightest students in a ceremonial atmosphere.

On the last day of the Forum, technical tours – educational trips to various objects of urban infrastructure and oil companies – were offered to the participants. Among the objects, there were “Gazprom Neft Science & Technology”, Multifunctional Complex “Lakhta Center” and other facilities.

An international group of the Forum participants took part in an environmental campaign: the installation of an artificial spawning ground in the Gulf of Finland. This is a joint project of the International Charitable Public Association “Biologists for Nature Protection” and the Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council. It is aimed at improving the environmental situation in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, where the pollution and destruction of traditional habitats and spawning of various species of fish exacerbated the problem of conservation and reproduction of marine fauna.

In addition to a great Technical Programme, the participants of the Future Leaders Forum were offered a diverse Cultural Programme. In particular, it included a visit to the Hermitage, Neva Cruise, and bus city tours. In addition, a small football tournament was held among the participants of the Forum.

According to many guests’ feedback, the Forum in St. Petersburg has become the best youth event of the World Petroleum Council. It will be very difficult for the followers to exceed the level shown by Russia.
The success of the 6th WPC Youth Forum was the result of the hard work of a large number of people and organisations. The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Administration of St. Petersburg played an active role in organising the preparations for the Forum. The leaders of the Mining University, and personally rector V. Litvinenko, took care of the comfortable conditions for all the participants of the Forum.

During the Forum, an important role in creating the atmosphere of hospitality was played by members of the international volunteers’ team. 200 volunteers, who were selected on a competitive basis and then trained, helped the organisers and guests of the Forum in solving everyday issues.

“We had ambitious plans to hold the Forum at the highest level of hospitality,” said Vlada Streletskaya, director of the RNC WPC. – We managed it. The support of state and municipal authorities, the management of the Mining University helped a lot. I would especially note the role of oil companies – Russian and foreign. Their sponsorship helped materialize dreams and arrange an unforgettable holiday for young professionals who came to St. Petersburg from all over the world. ”

The work of the Forum was covered by more than 100 journalists representing dozens of Russian and foreign media. The TV channel “Russia 24” conducted a live broadcast of the official Opening Remarks of the Forum. An online broadcast of all plenary sessions was organised in Russian and English.

The Closing Ceremony of the Future Leaders Forum was held in Konstantinovsky Palace, located on the picturesque coast of the Gulf of Finland. In this residence, Russian leaders receive important guests. During the ceremony, Kirill Molodtsov, Advisor to Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Deputy Chairman of the Forum Organising Committee; Tor Fjaeran, President of the World Petroleum Council; Director of the Russian National Committee of the WPC Vlada Streletskaya addressed the audience. Kirill Molodtsov expressed his gratitude to the World Petroleum Council for the opportunity to hold the Youth Forum in Russia, St. Petersburg. Tor Fjaeran praised the efforts of the Russian side to hold the Forum at a high level. “It was a well-organised Forum,” admitted the President of the WPC. According to him, the World Petroleum Council pays special attention to working with young people, the Forum is a very effective platform that helps young people show leadership skills.

A large stylized globe like a sports champion’s cup was brought to the stage. “Now the Youth Forum has its own mascot,” explained Vlada. – On this globe, we will mark the cities where our Forums will be held. We will hand over the globe to the National Committee of the WPC of the country that will be chosen as a host of the 7th Youth Forum. And may it always be. ”

The completion of the Forum was no less striking than its entire previous programme. Representatives of various musical genres performed at four areas of the huge park. The evening ended with fireworks and a disco.


The main events of the technical programs of the 6th Future Leaders Forum of the World Petroleum Council – VI WPC Youth Forum are held in the Multifunctional complex «Gornyi» which belongs to the “Saint-Petersburg Mining University».

The Multifunctional complex «Gornyi» is a modern building which has a perfect capability of hosting guests and holding different events. The Complex includes a Congress Hall, several Lecture Halls, and a comfortable Hotel.

The Multifunctional complex «Gornyi» is situated at the junction of Nalichnaya street and Nakhimovskaya street, a 10 minutes walk from «Primorskaya» metro station. Many significant historical sites are located near the Complex. The road from Vasilyevsky Island to the Airport takes not more than 30 minutes. (Address: Multifunctional complex «GORNYI», 199406, Russia, Saint Petersburg, Nalichnaya street, 28/16)

The Federal State Budget Educational Institution of Higher Education “Saint-Petersburg Mining University” is the first in Russia and the second in the world higher mining technical educational institution founded by the Decree of Empress Catherine II 245 years ago. Currently, Saint-Petersburg Mining University is one of the leading scientific and educational center in Russia, which trains 16.5 thousand students, trains bachelors, masters and specialists (engineers) in 97 majors and specialties.



Alexander Novak

Minister of Energy of Russia


Kirill Molodtsov

Advisor to Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office


Sergey Aldoshin

Director IPCP RAS


Vladimir Bogdanov

General Director of the PJSC «SURGUTNEFTEGAS»


Andrey Burbasov

First Vice-President Chairman of the Management Board ARETI International Group


Anatoly Dmitrievskiy

Scientific director of the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Alexander Dyukov

General Director of the PJSC «GAZPROMNEFT»


Vladimir Feigin

President Institute for Energy and Finance


Herman Gref

CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of the PJSC «Sberbank»


Mikhail Gutseriev

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PJSC Oil and Gas Company «RussNeft»


Nana Gvichia

Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Tourism Development of St. Petersburg


Yuriy Kalinin

Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Vice-President for Personnel and Social Issues of PJSC NK «Rosneft»


Sergey Katyrin

President of the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Dmitry Kobylkin



Elena Korzun

General Director of Association of Small and Medium Oil and Gas Producing Organizations «AssoNeft»


Sergey Kudryashov

General Director of JSC «ZARUBEZHNEFT»


Vladimir Litvinenko

Rector of The National Saint Petersburg Mining University


Nail Maganov

General Director of PJSC «TATNEFT» named after V.D. Shashin


Oleg Markov

Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg


Victor Martynov

Rector of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University)


Anton Maximov

Director of the Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis. A. V. Topchiev RAS


Dmitry Mezentsev

Chairman of the committee of the council of the federation on economic policy


Leonid Mikhelson

Chairman of the Board of PJSC «NOVATEK»


Yury Pikhtovnikov

Head of Department for Organizational Development and Career Management of pjsc «lukoil»


Victor Sadovnichy

Rector of Moscow State University


Valery Salygin

Director - scientific leader of international institute for energy policy and diplomacy of MGIMO MFA of Russia


Yuri Shafrannik

Chairman of the Council of the Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia


Andrei Sharonov

President of the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO


Leonid Slutsky

Chairman of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs


Pavel Sorokin

Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation


Eugene Stanislavov

Director of the Department of Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


Vlada Streletskaya

Director of the Non-commercial Partnership «Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council for the Organization and Holding of World Oil Congresses»


Nikolay Tokarev

President of the PJSC «Transneft»


Elena Yagodkina

Head of the Main Directorate of Federal Customs Revenues and Tariff Regulation of the FCS of Russia


Valery Yazev

Co-chairman of the supervisory board of the Russian Association of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry


Pavel Zavalnyy

Chairman of the State Duma Energy Committee


Anatoly Zolotukhin

Adviser on International Issues of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas (National Research University)



The «RNC WPC» association was founded in 1958.

Mission of the RNC WPC:

  • Promoting the interests of the Russian Federation oil and gas industry in the international organization «World Petroleum Council» by active participation in line with the WPC regulations and by taking into account the interests of other WPC member countries;
  • Promotion of the Russian oil and gas, oil refining and petrochemical science development, capacity building and skill development of the Russian industry professionals;
  • Every possible contribution to the achievement of noble goals stipulated by the Constitution of the WPC.

Main targets:

  • Analysis of the Russian short-term and long-term industry priorities and application of the advanced scientific solutions for the rational use of Russia’s oil and gas resources;
  • Addressing these priorities through participation in the World Petroleum Congresses and other WPC events, as well as through the organization of the international and Russian scientific and technical events.

Main activity:

  • Analysis and definition of the oil and gas agenda important for the Government of the Russian Federation, with further discussions and search for solutions via communicative platforms of different levels and types;
  • Support in development of innovative activities in the Russian energy sector.
  • Analysis of the petroleum industry priorities and criticalities, promoting the inclusion of these topics in the programme of WPC Congresses, forums and workshops, including direct participation in the Congress Programme Committee;
  • Analysis of publications and reports by the Russian scientists and specialists, inductions for representatives of the Russian delegations;
  • Nomination of the Russian representatives to the leading positions in the World Petroleum Council.

RNC WPC has successfully organized the World Petroleum Congress twice in its history: the 8th WPC in 1971 and the 21st WPC in 2014. During the meeting of the World Petroleum Council (July 09, 2017, Istanbul), St. Petersburg was chosen as the venue for the 6th Forum of Future Leaders of the World Petroleum Council.

As a result of the successful 21st World Petroleum Congress, a special legacy fund was established to support socially important programs. In this regard, in 2015 the Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council (RNC WPC) established a scholarship programme “Golden Legacy of the WPC”, which aims at identifying the most talented and successful students from all over Russia. The competition is held twice a year and engages students of the Russian universities as well as major petroleum experts and industry leaders.



Abdulkareem AlSofi

Petroleum Engineer / Focus Area Champion EXPEC Advanced Research Center Saudi Aramco


Laura García Chiquero

Vice-Chairman WPC Young Professionals Committee Corporate Strategy & M&A at Cepsa


Süleyman Coşkun

Secretary-General of Society of Petroleum Geophysicists of Turkey


Joanna Desjardins

WPC Vice President Diversity, Inclusion and Youth


Anna Illarionova

Alternate Representative of Russia in WPC Young Professionals Committee


Lesana Kurbonshoeva

Official Representative of Russia in WPC Young Professionals Committee. Master student of Gubkin University


Ivan Kurchatov

Specialist, LLC Gazprom Neft Shelf


David Lankford-Bravo

PhD Student: Geosciences Institute of Tectonic Studies, The University of Texas at El Paso


Eugene Lyubin

Deputy vice-rector for international activities, PhD, Saint-Petersburg Mining University


Maria Morgunova

PhD, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), Researcher Joint Institute for High Temperatures of RAS (Moscow, Russia)


Ali Rahneshin

Senior Analyst Foreign Purchasing in Commercial Affair, Borzouyeh Petrochemical Complex, Representative of Iran in WPC Young Professionals Committee


Euler Reyes

Associate Technical Professional Halliburton


Stephane Rousselet

Chairman of WPC Young Professionals Committee


Elena Strakhova

Leading Specialist, Production and Technical Department, Gazprom International


Vlada Streletskaya

Director of the Association «Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council». Assistant to the rector of Gubkin University


Dmitry Tananykhin

Deputy head of the subdivision “Development and operation of oil and gas fields”,PhD, Saint-Petersburg mining university


Csaba Zsoter

Trading Manager, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc.



The World Petroleum Council (WPC) is a non-advocacy, non-political organisation established in 1933 and headquartered in London. The WPC is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable management and use of the world’s petroleum resources for the benefit of all. Among its key objectives, the WPC facilitates an open dialogue and practice sharing, covering all aspects of the industry including management of the industry and its social, economic and environmental impact.

The World Petroleum Council includes 70 member countries from around the world representing over 96% of global oil and gas production and consumption. Governing body is the Council consisting of representation from each of the country national committees. Every three years the Council organises the World Petroleum Congress hosted by one of its member countries. The triennial Congress is also known as the “Olympics” of the petroleum industry and represents a platform for engaging different stakeholders.

In 2014 Russia hosted the 21st World Petroleum Congress that engaged over 10,000 delegates and 650 speakers from 119 countries. The programme included 700 students, graduate students, young professionals and also 550 volunteers – the biggest number in the history of  the WPC Congresses. In 2017 Russia was chosen as a host country of the 6th WPC Future Leaders Forum that will take place in Saint Petersburg in 2019.

The WPC Executive Committee  consists of the following representatives.

Current members of the WPC Executive Committee (from July 2017 to 2020):


Mr Tor Fjaeran – Norway

Senior Vice President:

Prof. Anatoly Zolotukhin – Russia

Vice President Membership:

Mr Zhou Jiping – China

Vice President Marketing:

Mr Jambulat Sarsenov – Kazakhstan

Vice President Diversity, Inclusion and Youth:

Ms Joanna Desjardins – Canada

Vice President Finance:

Mr Milton Costa Filho – Brazil

Vice President Programme:

Mr Pedro Miras Salamanca – Spain

Current Host Representative:

Dr Pinar Yilmaz – USA

Past Host Representative:

Mrs Burcu Gunal – Turkey

Director General

Dr Pierce Riemer – WPC

Director of Communication

Ms Ulrike von Lonski – WPC