I would like to thank the organizing committee of this simposium, in particular to Mr. Phil Schultz, for inviting me to participate in this event, thus giving me the opportunity and the privilege to address such a prominent audience.

I am sure that the subjects discussed here will be of special importance, mainly for those that, like myself, work in the oil industry. May the best success crown the endeavor of all and each one of you.

Throughout a large portion of the world, the evolution of society during the last one hundred and fifty years has been truly impressive. The dramatic improvement of the standard of living that has favored large human conglomerates has been of such an extent, that it has no precedent within the history of humankind.

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