World’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, could invest in importing gas into the kingdom to meet rising demand. However, the priority would be on finding new sources of gas domestically through exploration, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said, according to Reuters.

The Saudi kingdom has struggled to keep pace with domestic gas demand in recent years as increased use from industry and power generation put pressure on supplies, Rigzone wrote. Announcing the National Transformation Plan, Oil Minister and Aramco Chairman, Khalid El-Falih, said in a news conference: “Gas makes up 50% of our energy mix now and we aspire to raise this to 70% from all sources, be it local or, if it is possible, from a source to import from at a competitive price.”

It was also reported that in mid may Saudi Aramco sent its first LPG cargo to China, and has awarded contracts for international firms to expand the Hasbah sour field which will supply 2bscf/d of gas to the Fadhili plant. While Aramco has several overseas Joint Ventures in the refining and petrochemical sectors with foreign oil companies, it has not pursued so far oil importing deals in upstream initiatives.