WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Talk of energy independence in the United States doesn't take into account the global nature of energy markets, Saudi Energy Minister Ali al-Naimi said.
Naimi delivered an address to the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies. His speech coincided with a report from the U.S. Energy Department that said imports of foreign crude oil have declined.
U.S. policymakers have pressed for more energy independence as new extraction technologies have led to exponential gains in domestic crude oil production.
Naimi said any talk of ending the reliance on foreign oil reserves is "a rather simplistic view."
"Talk of energy independence fails to recognize the interconnected nature of global oil -- global energy markets," he said. "We are all part of a global market and no country is truly energy independent."
Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the only members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that exported more oil to the United States in February than in January. The United States gets most of its oil imports from Canada.
"Perhaps the question is not how the U.S. can achieve energy independence, but to what degree it will, in the future, be prepared to export its oil and gas supplies," Naimi said.