State oil giant Saudi Aramco is set to make further LNG acquisition deals following its recently announced investment in an American liquefied natural gas (LNG) company.

The world’s biggest oil company has just signed definitive agreements to buy a strategic minority stake in MidOcean Energy for $500 million, marking its foray into the global LNG scene. The company is owned by EIG Global Energy Partners, a Washington-based investment firm.

In a latest emailed statement, Aramco said it seeks to “become a leading global LNG player”, as it sees growing demand for the fuel.

“We see indications that the LNG market is positioned for structural, long-term growth,” Bloomberg quoted Aramco’s Upstream President Nasir Al-Naimi as saying. The official confirmed plans to diversify Aramco’s business and tap into demand for gas and cleaner energy options.

Global LNG trade doubled in value last year to more than $450 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. The growth in LNG demand has been attributed to supply disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The oil giant has allocated a huge spending outlay of $45 billion to $55 billion this year, as it looks to expand its investments.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)