On March 27, at a press conference for roughly 60 journalists, the president of Petrobras and of the National Brazilian Committee, Francisco Gros, and the president of the Brazilian Organising Committee, João Carlos de Luca officially launched the 17th World Petroleum Congress. Mr. Gros noted that "this Congress will play a key role in rethinking the new role of the oil companies in economic and social development in the localities where they operate. Still according to Mr. Gros, the new business environment requires companies to focus not just on economic and financial indicators but also on the well-being of the publics with which they interact.
The president of the Brazilian Organising Committee, João Carlos de Luca explains that "the Congress is an impartial forum for discussing the advances of the sector. It brings together all segments of the oil industry, producing the largest international event in the oil and gas business." For Mr. De Luca, one of the Congress' objectives is to call attention to the social responsibility theme. For him, awareness of the need to be socially responsible is a primary condition for the success of any company nowadays.
Brazil's campaign to host the Congress began in 1996, having attained this objective only three years later after competing with Turkey, France, Iran, Indonesia and Egypt. Among the factors that led to Brazil having been chosen we count the recent opening of the market to new investors, the high level of development of the Brazilian oil and gas industry and of its offshore E&P technology, and the growing potential of Brazil's domestic market," Mr. De Luca said.
Mr. Gros in turn highlighted the performance of the Brazilian delegation in its effort to have the Congress meet in Brazil. "It was a close call, and we only won because the Brazilian team worked very hard at it. He also emphasised the benefits that the 17th WPC will bring to the country's economy and image. The week in which the Congress and the Rio Oil & Gas Expo 2002, Latin America's largest sector show, are to be held will see the injection of US$ 13 million into the economy of the city of Rio de Janeiro, where the events will take place. "The event will also attract the attention of market analysts and sector investors and experts, all of whom will undoubtedly put Brazil and the oil industry in the limelight, showing how important they have become," Mr. Gros noted.
Still According to him, the 17th World Petroleum Congress will cost US$ 7.5 million. Registration fees will amortize 35% of this amount. The remainder is expected to come from the sponsor companies. In the case a balance is recorded, the money will go to sponsor graduate scholarships in the field of Petroleum Sciences and Technology, as well as to sector-related research and development projects.