BISMARCK — Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to headline a major oil conference in Bismarck next month.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council announced on Monday, April 12, that Pompeo will speak on May 13, the final day of the trade group's Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. Pompeo, who previously led the CIA and served as a Republican congressman from Kansas, worked as the president of an oilfield services company before entering the national political scene.

Former Republican President Donald Trump appointed Pompeo to the country's top foreign policy-making post in 2018 and he remains popular with Trump's loyal supporters. Widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2024, Pompeo is a controversial figure nationally, taking heat from Democrats and political observers for failing to acknowledge that Trump had lost his bid for reelection last year.

"(Pompeo) has an energy background and understands the important role our domestic energy industry plays in supporting our national security,” said Ron Ness, the council's president. “We look forward to hearing an encouraging message about the value of American energy to the world.”

More than 70 speakers will take the stage during the three-day conference, including executives from oil giant ConocoPhillips and Dakota Access Pipeline operator Energy Transfer, according to a news release from the council.

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North Dakota is the nation's second-leading oil producer after Texas, and the industry is a major employer and economic boon in the western part of the state.