Oman invests in US firm to use natural gas flaring for crypto mining

    05 Jun 2022

    Oman’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a $350 million stake in Crusoe Energy Systems – a US company that helps fossil fuel producers reduce gas flaring by using stranded flared gas to power crypto mining. According to Crusoe’s CEO, the first pilot project could be launched by the end of this year.

    According to Bloomberg, Crusoe Energy, a US firm repurposing discarded fuel energy for the computational power of crypto mining, is starting operations in Oman, a country that exports 21% of its gas output and aims to eliminate gas flaring by 2030.

    This year, Crusoe Energy will set up an office in Muscat, Oman’s capital city, and install equipment for collecting gas waste at well sites. It has already conducted a training session with OQ SAOC, Oman’s largest energy firm, and Petroleum Development Oman.

    “We’re excited to expand our Digital Flare Mitigation technology to the Middle East to help solve the region’s long-standing flaring challenges while also empowering a new generation of digital technology in the region,” Chase Lochmiller, Crusoe’s CEO, said. “Both OIA and Mubadala saw the value in Crusoe’s digital flare mitigation technology and how it can actually bring a flexible mechanism to both reduce emissions and bring new technologically enabled industries to the country.”

    “Our hope is that these two locations can be a launching point for continued expansion into other nations in the region,” he added, noting Oman’s and Abu Dhabi’s MENA neighbors – Saudi Arabia among them – face similar challenges.

    Oman Investment Authority announced its investment in Crusoe Energy as part of its efforts to diversify its international investments across different countries and sectors, Times of Oman reported.

    OIA said it aims to achieve optimal benefit for Oman in terms of return on investment, attracting direct foreign investments, and attracting modern and advanced technologies worldwide to be utilized locally.

    Ismail Ibrahim Al Harthy, Senior Manager of Technology Investment at OIA, said that the OIA is playing a pioneering role in bringing this technology to the region, which is home to some of the biggest oil and gas producers globally. The aim is to benefit the energy sector in the region from this environment-friendly technology.

    “Oman is committed to reduce greenhouse gases in line with the Paris climate agreement,” he said.

    Crusoe’s Digital Flare Mitigation technology specifically targets oil and gas companies and fields.

    The company utilizes gas flaring emissions that negatively contribute to global warming by mitigating the flare of CO2 by around 63%. This includes a 98% reduction of methane because Crusoe’s generators have a combustion efficiency of 99.9% vs an average of 93% for flares.

    This technology processes gas flaring emissions in an environment-friendly and cost-effective manner; it generates enough power to operate energy-intensive crypto mining applications in oil and gas fields far from centralized power grids.

    According to Lochmiller, Crusoe Energy’s first pilot project will be launched by the end of this year or early next year.

    The Sultanate of Oman’s involvement in the partnership is motivated by a desire to reduce gas flaring. According to reports, the Sultanate of Oman has committed to eliminating routine flaring by 2030, and it invested in Crusoe last year. The government entity signed this particular agreement with the World Bank.

    As recently reported, Oman Capital Market Authority (OCMA) is set to include real estate tokenization in its virtual asset regulatory framework, a report quoting an advisor of the authority has said. Oman expects to complete drafting the virtual assets regulatory framework by Q3 of 2022.

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