Earlier today, Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil’s CEO, gave a talk here at the Council on Foreign Relations in which he outlined the global oil and energy markets trajectory during the past five years. He focused his prepared remarks on the promise of North America, and its potential to finally bring about “energy security” in the United States. Tillerson emphasized not just the like-minded policies and geographic ties, but the vast resource base—today the combined U.S., Canadian, and Mexican oil output tops fifteen million barrels a day (more than Saudi Arabia or Russia), and could grow in the coming decade to some eighteen million.
As the head of one of the largest oil company in the world, Tillerson spent much of his time talking about natural gas—suggesting more than anything else that this is where he and Exxon see the future. This is backed up by Exxon’s recent actions—including a $35 billion investment in XTO, an oil and natural gas company. The purchase (followed up by other smaller ones) has made Exxon the largest gas producer in U.S. In the question and answer period Tillerson also touched on many other issues, ranging from climate change to educational needs.