"We are no longer going to be inward-looking and focused only on monetising the kingdom's resources," Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told the Financial Times in an interview.
"Going forward the world is going to be Saudi Aramco's playground."
Saudi Arabia's oil reserves are so vast that Aramco has not really needed to look abroad for oil. At over 260 billion barrels, Saudi reserves are second only to Venezuela, although much cheaper to produce.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has had two somewhat contradictory strategies. On the one hand, Aramco has stepped up investment in both oil and gas, hoping to increase capacity in the years ahead. The projects were intended not only to offset depletion at aging fields, but also to increase spare capacity. Heavy investment would ensure Aramco's – and the country's – dominance in the oil market for years to come.