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Pompeo asks oil, gas leaders to follow US energy blueprint against 'bad actors'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the oil and gas industry to work together with the Trump Administration to keep Western countries more secure, fighting "bad actors" by exporting not only American oil but also America's commercial value system.

"We don't want our European allies hooked on Russian gas any more than we ourselves want to depend on Venezuela for our oil supplies," Pompeo told attendees of CERAWeek by IHS Markit on March 12.

Earlier in the week, the International Energy Agency announced that the U.S. in 2018 led the world in crude oil production growth and for the first time in two decades also became the leader in demand growth, as consumption increased more than 500,000 barrels per day.

In just under 10 years, the U.S. has become a major crude oil exporter, driving an unprecedented transformation in the world oil market, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at the conference March 11.

In his March 12 comments, Pompeo said the American model matters more than ever in this "era of great power rivalries and competition," where some are using their energy for a "maligned end" and not to promote prosperity.

While calling out China, Russia and Syria, Pompeo said there is no clearer example of this kind of abuse than Iran, a country that uses its energy exports to exert its influence all across the Middle East, but particularly on Iraq.

While the U.S. is working to develop an independent, sovereign Iraq, Iran is using its energy to create a vassal state, Pompeo said. "There could not be more of a contrast about how America uses its energy resources, than to how the leaders of the Republic of Iran use theirs," Pompeo said.

Battling Iran, the Trump administration has worked over the past months to reduce the flow of Iranian crude oil around the world in order to convince the Iranian leadership to protect its citizens.

"We have every intent of driving Iranian exports to zero as quickly as we can," Pompeo said. While continuing with sanctions against Iran, the administration is also committed to using all economic tools at its disposal in Venezuela, Pompeo said.

The U.S. has to create energy security for those all around the world, Pompeo said. He encouraged American diplomats to push to ensure markets are open for American businesses all around the world, by facilitating investment, promoting energy security and urging countries around the world to partner with the U.S.

He urged the rest of the world to "get on board with this project, to follow America's energy blueprint," which he said is to innovate and not subjugate, to contribute and not coerce, and to allow the markets to command.