Crusoe Energy received support from Oman, which seeks to cut gas flaring. U.S. mining crypto firm is now planning to open an office in Oman. The Middle East and North Africa account for 38% of global flaring.
Oman's sovereign wealth fund took an equity stake in the U.S. firm that claims to help fossil fuel producers reduce flaring, according to Bloomberg. The firm is using stranded natural gas to power cryptocurrency mining. The Oman Investment Authority was part of the $350 million equity round that Crusoe Energy Systems Inc. raised in April. A spokesman for the fund said that, as per its policy, he would not comment on the size of the stakes or terms.
Crusoe will open an office in Muscat, Oman, to assist in the deployment of generators and mining equipment to capture gas at drilling sites, Chief Executive Officer Chase Lochmiller said. The Middle East and North Africa account for about 38% of the world's flaring of excess natural gas from oil fields.
“We’ve always felt it was important for us to have a presence in the MENA region,” given its share of global flaring, Lochmiller said. “Having the buy-in from nations that are actively trying to solve the flaring issues is what we are looking for.”
Meanwhile, Crusoe has faced criticism from climate experts who say the fact that the company is using gas that would otherwise go to waste does not change the fact that it is burning fossil fuels to mine cryptocurrency. Crusoe is focusing on setting up in remote areas where it is not economically feasible to build infrastructure to reduce flaring.
The first pilot project in the Middle East will be up and running by the end of this year or early 2023, Lochmille said. He also said that although the fall in Bitcoin prices has some impact on revenue, it does not affect growth and expansion plans.
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