Tillerson Reminisces About Life at Exxon in Accepting Oil Award
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said lovingly about his 41-year career with Exxon Mobil Corp. because he accepted a Sunday World Oil Council price honoring his “outstanding contribution to the oil and gas industry.”
Flanked by huge oil pipeline models on a huge stage in a conference room in Istanbul, Tillerson praised those working in the industry who helped form during his decade as CEO of Exxon and offered some advice on his approach to foreign policy .
Tillerson said that success requires the rule of law “a respect for the sanctity of contracts and a level of integrity among partners and counterparts” – just the kind of problem that challenges as it seeks to forge better relations in the United States With Russia and to resolve a diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf.
“I miss you all,” Tillerson, 65, told the crowd. “I miss you as colleagues, I miss you as partners, I miss you as competitors, I miss healthy debates, collaboration, progress.”
Tillerson was the 10th recipient of the Dewhurst Award Board during a lightning trip that has so far brought in Germany, Ukraine and Turkey.
There is a stop in Kuwait on Monday and may make other stops in the area while trying to deal with Qatari’s diplomatic isolation by a Saudi coalition. He also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.
In his brief speech, Tillerson offered the kind of light touch and humor that critics of the large government department he leads now failed.
“When I was informed that I would receive this award that there are not enough years, I thought I would intervene my retirement, I will likely be fishing somewhere in the mountains of North America,” Tillerson said to laughter. “It does not really work that way.”
Tillerson withdrew decisions related to his former employer for two years under the ethical order of President Donald Trump for assigned persons. His comments echoed the comments he made in the State Department, in which he stressed that employees are the most important asset.
“What’s extraordinary about this industry, it’s all you and all those who defend it do so largely without public notice,” Tillerson said upon receiving the award.
Tillerson also noted that the next World Petroleum Council conference will be held in Houston in 2020, when Trump will face re-election if he decides to seek a second term.
“On behalf of the United States, I hope I’ll be there in 2020 – I’ll be there, somehow, one way or another,” said Tillerson.
“I will never forget my friends, colleagues and partners in this extraordinary industry that supplies energy to the world. You are remarkable, all of you.