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.
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.
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|