Ret. Gen. David H. Petraeus ’ last government job, directing the CIA, included periodic analysis of how another round of sanctions on Iran would affect the price of Brent crude and how the then-nascent U.S. energy revolution would affect energy geopolitics.

Petraeus is a firm believer that the innovations brought to the world by the U.S. have and will continue to make the country a leader in energy for years to come.

The general will be a keynote speaker at Hart Energy’s DUG Permian Basin conference in Fort Worth on May 21. He plans to address the geopolitics of energy and the implications of the extraordinary U.S. oil and gas renaissance.

“We are on the threshold of the North American decades, not the ‘Chinese Century,’” he said, referring to the notion that China’s economic and global influence would rise as the United States’ declines. “That’s not to say that China won’t account for one-fourth to one-third of growth. But the prospect for North America is very bright.”

Petraeus, the former commander of the U.S. Central Command overseeing the operations of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, said the opportunity to talk to DUG attendees, many of whom are leaders in the energy industry, was what persuaded him to speak at the conference.

He said he looks for events that provide opportunities for stimulating thought-provoking conversations, noting how important it is to him to spend time with “others who can help you develop your intellectual capital.”

“This conference is one where I hope to contribute thoughts on global and regional issues in various parts of the world, many related to energy geopolitics,” he said in an exclusive interview with Hart Energy.

A key message he wants to deliver is that the U.S. has created an opportunity to fortify energy security domestically and in North America through the ongoing U.S. energy revolution and through partnership with Canada and Mexico.

Petraeus noted that the energy revolution was born out of U.S. innovation, the nation’s legal system, its capital financing system and several other factors, many of which are unique to the U.S.

“The opportunities for the United States and for our North American partners are really quite extraordinary,” he said.

Energy independence does, he noted, continue to run into some headwinds. He gave approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, now delayed due to legal action in Nebraska,