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Oman Invests in Crusoe Energy to Minimize Gas Flaring

The Oman Investment Authority (OIA) has invested in US-based crypto mining company Crusoe Energy. Bloomberg reported this news yesterday, noting that OIA participated in Crusoe Energy’s $350 million equity round in April. OIA and Crusoe Energy declined to reveal the size of the investment.

Through this investment, Oman seeks to empower Crusoe Energy to minimize gas flaring in the country. Crusoe Energy CEO Chase Lochmiller said the company would set up shop in Muscat, Oman.

Explaining why Crusoe Energy decided to establish an office in Oman, Lochmiller said,

We’ve always felt it was important for us to have a presence in the MENA region. Having the buy-in from nations that are actively trying to solve the flaring issues is what we are looking for.

Crusoe Energy plans to launch the first pilot program under this initiative by the end of 2023 or early 2023. To kick start operations, the firm will ship generators and crypto mining rigs to the country to capture natural gas at well sites.

This news comes after the Oman government signed the World Bank’s initiative to terminate regular flaring by 2030. Before the April investment, the government invested in Crusoe Energy early last year.

Ismail Ibrahim Al-Harthi, the Senior Manager of Technology Investments at Oman Investment Authority, said,

Oman is committed to reduce greenhouse gases in line with the Paris climate agreement.

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Gas flaring involves the burning of excess natural gas following oil extraction. This practice has been around for nearly two centuries. However, it has met a lot of criticism for emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change.

Notably, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) accounts for 38% of the world’s gas flaring. Oman is among the largest gas flaring nations in the world. Like flaring, crypto mining has also come under fire for its intensive energy consumption. Specifically, regulators and lawmakers are targeting Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining.

Crusoe Energy taps natural energy to mine crypto, thus minimizing gas flaring. The company holds all the crypto it mines. Crusoe Energy’s strategy involves establishing mining farms in remote areas where it is not economically feasible to build infrastructure to mitigate flaring.

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However, Crusoe Energy has met its fair share of criticism In its quest to solve the gas flaring puzzle. Climate experts maintain that the company still burns fossil fuels to mine crypto.

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