Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest producer and exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2010, and the world’s second largest crude oil producer behind Russia. Saudi Arabia’s economy remains heavily dependent on crude oil. Oil export revenues have accounted for 80-90 percent of total Saudi revenues and above 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Saudi Arabia has been shifting its focus beyond increasing its upstream oil production since Saudi Aramco said that it had reached its target production capacity of 12 million barrels per day. In addition, its spare oil production capacity is well above Saudi Arabia’s stated target of 1.5-2 million barrels per day. Subsequently, Saudi Arabia is moving to diversify its economy by expanding its refining, petrochemicals, and mineral products industries (such as high-value fertilizers).
Saudi Arabia’s hydrocarbon sector operations are dominated by the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company in terms of proven reserves and production of hydrocarbons. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals have oversight of the sector and Saudi Aramco directly. The Supreme Council, which is comprised of members of the royal family, industry leaders and government ministers, is responsible for petroleum and natural gas policy-making, including contract review, as well as Saudi Aramco’s strategic planning. The Ministry is responsible for national planning in the area of energy and minerals, including petrochemicals.