Energy Experts from Around the World Convene in Titusville for Energy Security Summit

| October 12, 2022

TITUSVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Energy industry experts, diplomats, and officials from as far away as Azerbaijan convened on Tuesday, October 11, at a summit held at Drake Well Museum and Park in Titusville. The conference will continue through Wednesday.

(Pictured above: Andrew Tabler opens the energy summit.)

The idea for the summit was sparked after Andrew Tabler, an Oil City native and former Drake Well Museum and Park intern, invited Khazar Ibrahim, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the United States, to visit Venango County back in May of 2022. After the visit, Tabler wanted to expand on the successful trip in a meaningful way and engaged others to make it happen.

“The United States and its allies face increasingly stark dilemmas concerning energy and national security,” Tabler said. “So, Venango County is hosting discussions at Drake Well Museum and Park and other heritage sites in the Oil Region to discuss the lessons of the global energy industry’s past in order to power a more prosperous and sustainable future.”

The timing of the summit came from a suggestion from Oil City High Schoolers.

“When the ambassador asked our students the best time for him to return, they shouted ‘October!’ to take in our area’s stunning fall foliage,” said Venango County Commissioner Sam Breene. “We took it as a great sign and ran with the conference idea.”

Drake Well Museum under fall colors

Similar to Western Pennsylvania’s oil-rich heritage, Azerbaijan experienced an oil boom in the late 19th century and into the early 20th. Writings of manually digging wells to produce oil in the area, though, go back as far as 1593 according to Energy and Civilization: A History. Marco Polo wrote in The Travels of Marco Polo, published in 1300, about springs near the Georgian border that gushed oil. It is believed he was speaking about Baku, Azerbaijan. The first oil well ever drilled happened in 1846 in Baku, while Edwin Drake’s well in Titusville was the first American-drilled well in 1859, launching the modern petroleum industry.

Yellow dog lanterns were lit during the conference's first day lunch break.

Yellow dog lanterns were lit during the conference’s first day lunch break.

Most seminar sessions at the invitation-only event titled “Back to the Future: Toward a Successful American Energy Policy” are being held off-the-record. Organizers say this is to facilitate productive discussions.

Panel members and speakers include Victoria Coates, Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the Council for a Secure America; Ed Chow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, Center for Strategies & International Studies; Khazar Ibrahim, Ambassador of The Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States of America; Richard Morningstar, Founding chairman of the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council and Former US Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan and the European Union; and Brenda Shaffer, Professor at the Research Energy Academic Group of the Naval Postgraduate School.

The entrance to the Drake Well Museum and Park.

The entrance to the Drake Well Museum and Park.

Event organizers are Friends of Drake Well, the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry, and Tourism.

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Category: Events, Local News, News, Politics, Regional News

Gavin Fish is a reporter for EYT Media Group and YouTuber based in Venango County. In addition to his YouTube Channel, he has contributed to investigations and reports for ABC News, Investigation Discovery, and Fox Nation, and has collaborated on projects developed for Netflix, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
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