Transcript: Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO

CHARLES GIBSON: Let me talk politics with you for a little bit, because energy is very much in the political sphere right now. Americans use roughly a little bit more than 20 million barrels of oil a day. The numbers I've seen, we will produce in this country a little over 5 million barrels next year. That leaves us with a deficit just under 15 million barrels a day that we have to get from outside sources. We keep hearing from politicians that we need to get energy independent. Is that a pipe dream?

REX TILLERSON: Well, I think energy independence is not realistic for the United States or almost any other country. Even exporting countries are not independent of many of their needs. But also I'm not sure that it's even desirable for the United States to pursue that as a goal. Our country's economy is so interdependent with the rest of the world in so many areas of, not just commodities, but capital markets. And to create the jobs that have created the prosperity in this country has been because we have remained integrated with the global economy. So I'm not sure why we would view energy any differently than the way we view the rest of our economy.

CHARLES GIBSON: So Barack Obama said the other day, "Follow my policies, and in 10 years," I'm quoting, "we will eliminate the need for foreign oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela." Is that even in the realm of possibility?

REX TILLERSON: Well, first of all, you have to understand how much of our oil comes from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. And it's not as much as most people think. First of all, I think it's important that Americans remember the United States is still the third largest producer of crude oil in the world, only behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. So we are a significant producer of oil ourselves.

CHARLES GIBSON: But we're only producing 25 percent of what we use.

REX TILLERSON: And that's because we have a very healthy economy, which requires a lot of energy. Now, in terms of what we should be doing, we should be developing, again, all the supply sources and all the options that we can develop in a way that's efficient and is going to provide energy at a cost that Americans can afford. And that does get to the question of are we doing everything here at home that we could be doing. And I think most people have come to the realization that, for many, many years, the United States has not fully developed its own natural resources.

CHARLES GIBSON: But even if you had the leases to drill in Anwar, and you had -- you could pick any place you wanted off the coast of the United States to drill, you're still not going to be producing 50 percent of what we use.

REX TILLERSON: No, that's true, Charlie. We are going to continue to require imports of our energy for as long as anyone can foresee, certainly well into the middle of this century. And that's why I think it's important that we take a thoughtful approach as to how we want to manage those future energy supplies. But, certainly, anything that we produce at home does relieve the pressure for those imports in the future. So it's not that that is unimportant by any means. Again, our sources of supply around the world are from many different countries. And I think it's important that we maintain the diversity of supply to manage that energy security of the future.

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