Of the utmost importance for the world's oil corporations, social responsibility integrates the theme of the 17th World Petroleum Congress, namely, The Oil Industry: Excellence and Responsibility in Serving Society. Of the four blocks into which it is divided, the Congress features one entitled "Excellence & Responsibility in Managing the Petroleum Business with Economic, Environmental and Social Dimensions," which is devoted entirely to this subject, and which is made up of six blocks in turn subdivided into ten poster sessions and three technical presentations given by experts on this topic. This block's plenary session, entitled Balancing the Petroleum Business and its Social Responsibility: Enhancing Reputation and Building a Competitive Edge, will feature as speakers Opec president Rilwanu Lukman, Norsk Hydro CEO Egyl Myklebust, and Saudi Aramco CEO Abdallah S. Jum'ah, and will be presided by Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) president Eleazar de Carvalho Filho.
The social responsibility indicators generated by oil companies currently make up one of main aspects to be taken into account when assessing the impact caused by the oil business, the competitiveness levels of the sector's companies and their institutional image. Sustaining quality relationships with society, company employees, suppliers, customers and with the environment is the foremost condition for attaining good results in a market without frontiers. This is an ever more competitive universe constantly flooded by new requirements from society and governments, both of which demand transparency, an ethical stance and social returns. Ten years after Rio 92, it is expected that the Congress become the new venue for discussing trends in the energy area, with emphasis on sustainable development.