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Coronavirus fears trigger key event cancellations at IP Week

Highlights

Eight events canceled so far, say sources

Key oil firms imposing travel restrictions

London — A growing number of oil companies are canceling their attendance during International Petroleum Week, Europe's premier oil event which is due to take place next week.

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At least eight industry events have already been canceled as companies take a cautious stance against the coronavirus outbreak in China and the Asian trading hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Among the latest companies to cancel attendance are Hellenic Petroleum, Chevron and PKN Orlen. Earlier this week, London-based BP said staff would not be attending any event during IP Week. Madrid-based Repsol said no staff would be attending IP Week, while ExxonMobil also canceled its attendance.

While many Asia-based oil traders had confirmed last week they would not travel to London, many Europe-based and major Geneva-based traders said they were unsure whether to make the trip since European companies are advising employees only to travel when necessary.

"Unfortunately, with the virus, we aren't sure what the company travel policy will be yet so IP Week is slightly up in the air for me," a trader said.

"I am not coming," a second trader based in Switzerland said.

Cancellations

The latest events to be canceled are Saras' party on Monday and Peninsula Petroleum's party on Tuesday.

Among the canceled events is Azerbaijani state oil and gas company Socar's party, typically the largest evening reception in IP Week, which had been scheduled to take place at the Savoy Hotel in Mayfair on Tuesday.

Socar said in a note to guests that it was "giving priority to the health and safety of our business partners and employees."

Other companies whose receptions and events have been canceled are: ExxonMobil, Petroineos, Vopak, Bureau Veritas, and Shell.

Petroineos said its party had been postponed to June 25."

However, many events are still going ahead.

"We will have our reception as planned," a spokesperson for Equinor said Friday.

The Energy Institute, which runs the main IP Week conference and dinner, said: the conference and dinner is "full steam ahead" for next week.

"Senior figures including the new CEO of BP, the CEO of Masdar, the CEO of Vitol, the UK Chair of Shell, the President of E&P Total, the Executive Director of the IEA and many others will be speaking at a vital conference focused on the industry's response to the climate emergency," it said. "Common sense precautions are being taken on coronavirus and delegates are being advised in line with the latest advice of the UK Government."

IP Week takes place every February in London and is due to kick off this year on Monday.

IP WEEK SCHEDULE

Day & Time Company name Location Status
Monday 08:00-17:00 Platts Oil & Energy forum Hilton Park Lane Still on
Monday 10:00-13:00 Citi Citi Sterling Square Still on
Monday 13:30-15:30 JBC Energy briefing No 4 Hamilton Place Still on
Monday 16:00-19:00 Vitol - Women in energy reception Arts Club Dover street Still on
Monday 16:00-18:00 Rystad Energy information Session Le Meridien Piccadilly Still on
Monday 17:30-20:30 Saras Trading Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane Cancelled
Monday 18:30-21:00 Kuwait Petroleum Corporation reception JW Marriott Grosvenor House Park Lane Still on
Monday 18:30-23:30 IBIA Grosvenor House Hotel Still on
Monday 18:30-late Vitol LPG Café de Paris Still on
Monday 19:00-22:30 Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) National Gallery, Trafalgar square Still on
Tuesday 07:30-13:00 Argus IP Week Conference JW Marriott Grosvenor House Park Lane Still on
Tuesday 09:00-17:00 IP Week 2020 Conference Intercontinental London Still on
Tuesday 12:00-14:00 Vopak IP Lunch Lincoln's Inn Old hall Cancelled
Tuesday 12:00-16:00 Marex Drinks The Market Tavern, Shepherd Market Still on
Tuesday 16:30-19:30 Petroineos 116 Pall Mall Cancelled
Tuesday 18:00-20:00 Saudi Aramco The Dorchester Ballroom, Park Lane Still on
Tuesday 18:00-22:00 Shell Banqueting House Whitehall Cancelled
Tuesday 19:00-22:00 Equinor Sushisamba Covent Garden Still on
Tuesday 19:30-late Socar Savoy Hotel Cancelled
Tuesday 20:30-late Peninsula Quagalinos Still on
Tuesday 22:00-02:00 Argus IP Week Crude Drinks The Hard Rock Café Still on
Wednesday 09:00-11:00 Eagle Commodities Hide, 85 Piccadilly Still on
Wednesday 09:30-12:30 OMV Brunch Savoy Hotel Still on
Wednesday 12:00-15:00 Goldman Sachs River Entrance of Savoy Hotel Still on
Wednesday 14:00-19:00 Sonangol Conference & Tea Party Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane Still on
Wednesday 17:00-18:00 ExxonMobil 1st floor, Intercontinental Hotel Cancelled
Wednesday 18:00-22:00 Glencore The Dorchester Ballroom, Park Lane Still On
Wednesday Bureau Veritas Cancelled