ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that he misses his oil industry “colleagues, partners and competitors” as he accepted an award at the World Petroleum Congress, hosted by Turkey this year.
Council President Jozsef Toth described Tillerson, who is from Texas, as “a man born with oil in his veins” before presenting him with the Dewhurst Award, named after the founder of the congress.
The former ExxonMobile chief expressed his gratitude and said he shared the award with the company’s employees.
Tillerson arrived in Istanbul on Sunday after a visit to Ukraine, where he reaffirmed U.S. support for the country as it struggles with a Russia-backed insurgency.
He met with Turkey’s foreign minister and was scheduled to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan later Sunday.
Tillerson said the U.S. and strategically located Turkey would collaborate for “greater energy security.” The next World Petroleum Congress is scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas in three years.
“On behalf of the United States, let me just say, I hope I am there in 2020,” he said. “I’ll be there, in some capacity, one way or another, because I’m never going to forget my friends and my colleagues and my partners in this extraordinary industry delivering energy to the world.