Coronavirus fears trigger key event cancellations at IP Week



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 outbreak in and the Asian trading hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Amongst the latest companies to cancel attendance is the Polish refiner PKN Orlen. Earlier this week, London-based BP said that staff would not be attending any event during IP week. Madrid-based Repsol said that no staff would be coming to IP Week, while ExxonMobil also canceled IP Week attendance.

While a lot of Asia-based oil traders had confirmed last week they would not come to London, many Europe-based and major Geneva-based traders were not sure whether they would make the trip as European companies are advising their employees only to travel when necessary.

“Unfortunately, with the virus, we aren’t sure what 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 party on Tuesday.

“We regret to inform you, that due to the recent developments concerning the spread of the coronavirus, we are canceling our annual IP Week Event scheduled for Tuesday 25th February 2020,” Peninsula Petroleum wrote to guests Thursday.

Amongst the canceled events is Azerbaijani state oil and gas company Socar’s party, typically the largest evening reception in IP Week, which was this year scheduled to take place at the Savoy Hotel in Mayfair on Tuesday.

“We are sorry to inform you that we are canceling our traditional SOCAR IP Week Cocktail reception scheduled for Tuesday 25th February 2020,” Socar wrote to guests Tuesday. “We made this difficult because of recent developments concerning the spread of the coronavirus. In this context, we are giving priority to the health and safety of our business partners and employees.”

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

“Our party is postponed to June 25”, Petroineos said Wednesday.

“Due to recent global developments concerning the spread of the coronavirus and after careful consideration, we unfortunately had to decide to cancel this year’s [event],” Vopak said in an email.

However, the Energy Institute, which runs the main IP Week conference and dinner, said: “IP Week 2020 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 and many others will be speaking at a vital conference focused on the industry’s response to the emergency. Common sense precautions are being taken on coronavirus and delegates are being advised in line with the latest advice of the UK Government.”

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


Day & Time

Company name


Still on / Cancelled

Monday 8:00-17:00

Platts Oil & Energy forum

Hilton Park Lane

Still on

Monday 10:00-13:00


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


Monday 18:30-21:00

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation reception

JW Marriott Grosvenor House Park Lane

Still on

Monday 18:30-23:30


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 9:00-17:00

IP Week 2020 Conference

Intercontinental London

Still on

Tuesday 12:00-14:00

Vopak IP Lunch

Lincoln’s Inn Old hall


Tuesday 12:00-16:00

Marex Drinks

The Tavern, Shepherd Market

Still on

Tuesday 16:30-19:30


116 Pall Mall


Tuesday 18:00-20:00

Saudi Aramco

The Dorchester Ballroom, Park Lane

Still on

Tuesday 18:00-22:00


Banqueting House Whitehall


Tuesday 19:00-22:00


Sushisamba Covent Garden


Tuesday 19:30-late


Savoy Hotel


Tuesday 20:30-late



Still on

Tuesday 22:00-02:00

Argus IP Week Crude Drinks

The Hard Rock Café

Still on

Wednesday 09:00-11:00


Hide, 85 Piccadilly

Still on

Wednesday 9:30-12:30

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


1st floor, Intercontinental Hotel


Wednesday 18:00-22:00

The Dorchester Ballroom, Park Lane

Still On


Bureau Veritas


Source: Platts


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